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All My Friends Know the Slow Rider

August 8, 2011

While I agree with Bike Snob that it’s a bit ridiculous to call riding slowly a “movement,” it has been getting a bit of attention lately.  Maybe it’s the natural off shoot of the cycle chic movement, or maybe it’s just the heat, but slow riding is all the rage right now.

Reuters blogger Felix Salmon:

One of the things I like about urban biking in the summer is that people go slower: no one wants to arrive at their destination a sweaty and disheveled mess. When bikes go slower, that’s safer for everybody, especially pedestrians. And it’s much more pleasant for the bicyclist, too. If you take your time, and you’re not always in a rush, stopping at red lights is no longer an annoyance: it’s an opportunity to cool down a little look around, learn about your city. I like the fact that my bike is faster than a car for most New York journeys. But that doesn’t mean I’m in a race.

The San Francisco Gate:

Slow riding means not arriving at work sweaty or worrying about wearing specific bike-riding shoes or any of the other wardrobe-related concerns that plague would-be commuters. Being a Slow Bike Rider may mean being left behind by the pack of spandex-wearing cyclists in the mornings, but it also means getting to know more about the rest of your community.

I take things slow on my ride in and even during July’s massive heat wave I would routinely arrive at work less sweaty than my coworkers who walked and took the subway.  I also have very few items in my wardrobe that one could label as “bike-specific,” and I’d say the same is true for most of the riders I see on my way into Manhattan every day.  While I’m partial to my very comfortable Swrve shorts, I only have one pair so I can’t wear them more than once a week.  Mostly, my commuting wardrobe is my work wardrobe, which is all the more incentive to ride slowly.

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One Comment
  1. August 8, 2011 11:01 pm

    Oh my God those special shoes. That is the only thing I don’t like about summer streets, getting stuck behind Aspirational Cyclists trying to work those ridiculous contraptions. At one point I was behind some lady who doggedly attached her right foot to the unwilling pedal only to get one good stroke out of it; by the time we were in motion the light was red.

    I am not a fast rider and do try to be patient with everyone, but I do not think much of those who crowd up to the front at an intersection, only to fiddle with a their unnecessary straps and mechanical bindings when the signal finally allows everyone to advance.

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