There’s a movement afoot that’s taking back the world of cycling from the sporting cyclists and returning it to a “normal way to get to work, to the shops, to the cinema”. It’s the Slow Bicycle Movement.
The movement came about when Mikael Colville-Andersen, a cycling advocate and the CEO of Copenhagenize Design Co., a Danish urban-design firm, wanted to replicate the leisurely bike rides which are so common in European countries such as Denmark and Holland.
In 2008, he set up the “Slow Bicycle Movement” group on Facebook which as since amassed 12,000 relaxed cyclists worldwide. So far the movement has taken America by storm, with slow biking groups from San Francisco to Nashville.
Eschewing speedometers, calorie counters and sweat, the Slow Bicycle Movement is a backlash against today’s hard-core fitness world. Instead of getting their heads down and speeding along, riders sit upright and pootle along at about 10km an hour in whatever they happen to be wearing that day.
Meandering through your town, suburb or countryside on a ride is not only relaxing, it’s a great way to get to know your community, your neighbours and your environment. Just cruising around means you can have a chat with another plodder and simply enjoy the ride.
Slow biking is certainly something you can do on your own, but groups are springing up all over the place. If you can’t find one near you, just start one and let the leisurely riders join forces.
So, leave the spandex at home, ring your bell and just mosey along. Maybe even drop an ice cream stop into the journey. You can’t get slower than that.
To find out more, join the Slow Bicycle Movement on Facebook.
The unofficial rules of the Slow Bicycle Movement:
- Ride the bike you have, in the clothes you like, at the speed you enjoy.
- Hills and/or gradients may be walked.
- The recommended posture for slow bicycling is upright and straight backed.
- The average speed of cyclists in Copenhagen is 15 km/h. This is the maximum speed for the Movement. Unless going downhill and shouting Wheeeeeee!