March 30, 2013 Ride: The Slow Cycling Movement (I’m founding it right now)

Seems to me that what we need is a revolution… yeah, a revolution! With slogans and stuff!

The rest of you are riding around at high speeds, tearing by me with your lycra and (mostly) cute butts, and I appreciate the love of fastness, I do. But really, we all need to slow down and smell the spring flowers some time, right? Now’s the time, men (and women)! Let’s appreciate, for a moment, the six benefits of the Slow Cycling Movement.

Brought to you by The Gazelle Trimsport.

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1. You can hear stuff.

Riding along the Samamish River Trail on a gloriously sunny afternoon, one can hear the screech of an osprey, about to dive for his dinner. Or the squawking, honking cacophony of hundreds of Canada geese, landing in a freshly-plowed field. Or the sweet tones of a five year-old announcing “Take a biking break, mommy and daddy!” Or the rattling, hissing sound of that bike you’ve been meaning to get tuned up for the last year. Bikes are supposed to be quiet modes of transportation, dude. Get on that. Or the moaning, Streisand-esque howls of that woman who thinks that the trail is her personal concert hall, as I peddled by as quickly as I could while she screamed out “YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL… TO MEEEEEEE” out of key. This, my dear lady, is why God invented cars and showers. Restrain yourself, for the love of all that is holy.

2. You can see stuff.

The glory of a great blue heron, drying his wings in the sunshine of a tulip field. Rows of golden daffodils planted for the Easter market. The sleek blue-and-chrome beauty of a vintage Peugeot touring bike as it streaks past. The fine, fine butt of that tall guy in the “Ireland” jersey and green shorts who passed me going way too fast and then popped his chain and didn’t know how to get it back on the bike. Not so cool, now, eh Ireland Boy? And the eye-popping spectacle of all the middle aged women who have not yet heard the news reports that Lululemon’s yoga pants are, in fact, see-through. Especially in strong sunlight. Oh, and those bike shorts you bought last year at REI? Probably also see-through, guys. Ask me how I know.

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3. You can smell stuff.

That slightly sour hops-laden scent of the Red Hook Brewery on a sunny spring day. The thick smell of the freshly cut grass on the verge along the river. The gently wafting odor of the porta-potties on the side of the trail. The phantom pungency of your own body’s musk, drifting up occasionally through the armpits of your lycra jersey. Or better yet, all this combined on the slow-brew setting without the breeze to blow it away from your tender nostrils.

4. You’re not sweaty.

At least, I’m not sweaty. Or not much, anyway. Until I tried to drag The Gazelle up the hill to the bridge crossing the river. Then maybe a little. But the rest of you greasy bastards? Wipe that goo from your eyebrows, people, that’s nasty.

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5. You can wear normal clothes.

Assuming that anyone considers my rainbow plaid jacket “normal.” But hey, at least it’s opaque!

6. You can’t pretend, even for a moment, that you’re in the peloton of the Tour de France.

Honestly, even without the steroids and sociopathic lack of empathy, Lance would totally kick your rear end. So please, stop trying to muscle your way past me without any warning while forcing me to the side of the trail. You’re not going to get a yellow jersey, so you can politely let me know you want to go around, and I’ll move over . And the huffing when you’re stuck behind me for a few moments? You can knock that crap off too. I can totally hear you, Mr. Fussy (see-through) Pants.

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17 Responses to March 30, 2013 Ride: The Slow Cycling Movement (I’m founding it right now)

  1. Hopeful Romantic says:

    I’m totally with you!

  2. Linda B says:

    My Gazelle Oma and I will sign up! Add in my blue 1975 Schwinn Continental with upright handlebars, fenders, and rear rack. We all join up right now….or whenever you get around to it, being as it’s slow.

  3. Here here! Sounds good, count me in…

    Hearing things, check!
    Seeing things, check!
    Smelling things, um depends on the smell, but check!
    I like a little sweat to know I am burning some calories, but at my current level I am still probably going slower than you and sweating…
    Normal clothes, check! I used to wear lycra. I have a pair for the chamois, but wear it under cargo shorts, so that works, check!
    No pelatons in my future, unless its my family as a small pelaton… Check!

    You should at taste, since you can see and smell that coffee shop or bakery, you are sure to stop! Not that I need either, but why not?

    I love the Sammamish Trail. I used to ride it regularly and had planned to ride there yesterday if not for my derailleur incident!

    Chris

  4. anniebikesa says:

    Too funny. Thanks for the laughs. All the sugar houses in my neck of the woods are in full swing, boiling sap into maple sugar. Now that’s a smell I will sow down for!

  5. adventurepdx says:

    I think the Slow Bicycle Movement has already been founded, so watch out for the cease-and-desist letters.
    http://www.slowbicyclemovement.org/

  6. rideblog says:

    Thanks, Hopeful!

  7. rideblog says:

    Welcome aboard, Linda.

  8. rideblog says:

    I rarely stop for food, Chris, so taste is out. I know many people who would add “drink…”

  9. rideblog says:

    Ooooo, maple syrup! Yum.

  10. rideblog says:

    Too funny, Adventure. Typical Danes!

  11. CJ says:

    Every word of this is 100% true.

  12. rideblog says:

    I know, right, CJ?

  13. Aidan says:

    has the slow bicycle movement been formed in Ireland?

  14. rideblog says:

    I’ve ridden in Ireland, and I was slow… does that count?

  15. Denis says:

    COULD NOT AGREE MORE I USE A VERY SIMILAR PRINCIPLE WHEN SWIMMING OR WALKING.I DID ONCE TRY IT WITH BOXING BUT THE RESULTS WERE MIXED ALTHOUGH I DID ENJOY MY COMA

  16. that1tech says:

    I try to remind myself of this each time I go down the Terminal 91 trail and cyclists zoom by stead of enjoying the scenery. My commute takes me as long as the bus despite me being an extreme novice.

  17. rideblog says:

    I’d love to commute by bike! And I suspect, with Seattle traffic, that I’d make about the same time :). But unfortunately, it’s just too far. Lucky you!

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