The satisfactions of Slow Cycling

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
swansonj
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Joined: 18 Sep 2007, 9:53pm

The satisfactions of Slow Cycling

Postby swansonj » 28 Sep 2009, 10:00am

Those of you in the south east may know Box Hill - a mecca for today's bread of "serious" cyclist, lycra absolutely compulsory, carbon fibre or ultra light-weight fancily bent frame tubes and wheels with ever-decreasing numbers of spokes almost compulsory, as they all race each other up the zig zags to the National Trust tea room at the top. Well, yesterday, I wanted to take my daughter out for a bit of fresh air. I couldn't be bothered to get changed so went in the jeans and casual shirt I happened to be wearing. I couldn't be bothered to get our Roberts touring tandem out of the back of the garage so we went on the childback tandem which has a rather upright posture (it's set up for my wife to do the school run and the deal is if I use it I don't adjust it!) And basically I was feeling lazy anyway. So we pootled to Ryker's cafe at the bottom of Box Hill, had a burger and chips, then made our way in a 22x28 gear (with occasional bits of 22x24 when I felt like it!) up the zig zags at a speed relaxed enough not really to raise much of a sweat (and that's me doing all the work because my daughter doesn't pedal much, so it was rather slow indeed). We were, of course, overtaken at great speed by numerous lycra-clad warriors (they put on a spurt to overtake, you can see them slowing up twenty yards ahead, though they are still, of course, a lot faster than I was). And at the top, we just leaned the battered old tandem with its straight bars, fat tubes and tyres and "only" 21 speed gears up amongst all the expensive solos, sauntered in our jeans and trainers past all the panting and puffing lycra, and bought an icecream at the shop.

Now that's what I call enjoying cycling.

John

Thomas125
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Joined: 23 Sep 2008, 6:50pm
Location: Telford, West Midlands

Re: The satisfactions of Slow Cycling

Postby Thomas125 » 28 Sep 2009, 10:16am

Scenic cycling has to be done every now and again, tis good for the soul :D
Was 93.4kg now 78.3kg

Next target 74.0kg

"Life is one long bike ride" :-)

mark a.
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Location: Surrey

Re: The satisfactions of Slow Cycling

Postby mark a. » 28 Sep 2009, 10:37am

Sounds like a nice day out. Not sure why you felt the need to be patronising about the other cyclists enjoying their quick blasts up the hill, though.

robertrabbit
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Location: Devon

Re: The satisfactions of Slow Cycling

Postby robertrabbit » 28 Sep 2009, 12:41pm

You know, you are right. Sometimes, I do try and remember to slow down. Not every ride is a full on training session and if I am not in a rush to get anywhere why not remember that I am doing it because I enjoy it ! I think sometimes I feel that because I have a cycling top and bib shorts on that I must beast myself !

bensonboo
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Re: The satisfactions of Slow Cycling

Postby bensonboo » 28 Sep 2009, 9:14pm

How I wish I could cycle along without a care in the world, unfortunately, I am now in a state of mind of constant worry over my job, (my current contract runs out next Tuesday - I don't know if it will be renewed for another three month stint). Every time I go out resolving to just enjoy the ride, my mind wanders and invariably it then turns to work and thus worry. I'm not in a position to change my job, indeed, I quite enjoy it, but 3 month contracts don't lend themselves to "job for life" mentalities. To avoid this wandering of mind I have to concentrate on the cycling, I can't seem to do this without subconsciously speeding up or setting myself a target of some kind.
Life can sometimes be cruel can't it. :cry:

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hubgearfreak
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Re: The satisfactions of Slow Cycling

Postby hubgearfreak » 28 Sep 2009, 9:22pm

swansonj wrote:sauntered in our jeans and trainers past all the panting and puffing lycra


you forgot to refer to them clicking about in their silly shoes :mrgreen:

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DaveP
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Location: W Mids

Re: The satisfactions of Slow Cycling

Postby DaveP » 28 Sep 2009, 10:47pm

bensonboo wrote:How I wish I could cycle along without a care in the world, unfortunately, I am now in a state of mind of constant worry


I can understand that, really I can! Its a pity that you cant let go and just enjoy a day trundling about in the sunshine, but sometimes, I know, you cant.
All the same, the OP has a point. It is a pity that the media have managed to create a situation where such a high proportion of cyclists seem to feel that they have to achieve long distances or short times before they can allow themselves to feel that their efforts have been worthwhile.
Whats not to like about simply pedalling off for an ice cream, beer, sunset, what have you? :D
Trying to retain enough fitness to grow old disgracefully...

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meic
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Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: The satisfactions of Slow Cycling

Postby meic » 28 Sep 2009, 11:57pm

It seems there are a lot of people who are pretty insecure about their cycling prowess (in or out of Lycra).
Personally I do my cycling for me, sometimes I am going fast and others are slow, sometimes I am slow and others whizz past.
I can relate to either side and give a nice Hello either way.
Sometimes the people I am overtaking are in too much of a huff because they feel they look inferior because they are being overtaken. Sometimes people dont condescend to acknowledge me because they feel superior as they are faster.
A curse on both their houses :D
The rest of us just laugh at these stuck up (word removed for being French)s and enjoy (or suffer if going fast) our day.
Yma o Hyd

robertrabbit
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Joined: 27 Jul 2009, 10:03am
Location: Devon

Re: The satisfactions of Slow Cycling

Postby robertrabbit » 29 Sep 2009, 11:02am

robertrabbit wrote:Sometimes, I do try and remember to slow down.


I tried to remember this last night on my commute - until I got a good start and felt good :( I then fell back into race mode and ended up beating my best time by just over a minute. That felt good, but it didn't achieve my original objective of enjoying a slow ride home !

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Velocio
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Re: The satisfactions of Slow Cycling

Postby Velocio » 29 Sep 2009, 1:49pm

...I must be a very satisfied cyclist ...as I rarely cycle above 12 mph ...if the wind's behind me on a flat stretch I can somtimes reach 17mph ...and on a steep downhill 25mph ...but otherwise ...I stick between 10 - 12mph most of the time ...and find this very satisfying especially when touring in the countryside ...you can appreciate so much more at a gentle speed...

:)
...ever cycle ...ever CTC


glueman
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Re: The satisfactions of Slow Cycling

Postby glueman » 29 Sep 2009, 11:41pm

I once got told off by a fast audax group for screwing everyone's legs off behind. Fortunately I know better now.
Quick is wrong. Watch those birdies, eat cake, drink tea.

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Velorum
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Location: Ruscombe, Berkshire

Re: The satisfactions of Slow Cycling

Postby Velorum » 30 Sep 2009, 12:02am

I'm with you all the way on this one.

My anxiety increases at speeds over 15mph............

AndyB
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Location: Lancashire

Re: The satisfactions of Slow Cycling

Postby AndyB » 30 Sep 2009, 8:53am

glueman wrote:Quick is wrong. Watch those birdies, eat cake, drink tea.

No! Slow is good. Quick is good. Different fun, that's all.

pioneer
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Re: The satisfactions of Slow Cycling

Postby pioneer » 30 Sep 2009, 9:52am

If I really feel like just chilling out and going out for a relaxing ride for a couple of hours,I'll take the roadster.It's a lovely old bike but was never intended to go fast,just pootle along from A to B whilst carrying "stuff". Therefore the perfect antidote for stress,worry, et all and it allows me enjoy the ride. And for a break, sitting on the bench by the church with a bottle of strawberry milk and a mars bar, watching the world go by. Tip Top. :D