I ride a lot. When I ride for fun, I wear sports clothes, avoid the city, and go fast.
I also ride to get to places, and when I do, I wear the clothes I want to wear at my destination. Sometimes this means I’m riding in jeans, sometimes I’m wearing a suit, sometimes boardshorts and thongs (i.e. flip-flops).
And when I’m riding in my suit, people go past me. I want to tell them it’s not a race, I’m not playing your game, I’m not even trying. But they looks so smug.
So I want to start a campaign to get people to ride like they walk. Take it easy. Don’t puff. And above all, no sweating.
Imagine a crowd of pedestrians on Swanston Street. If one guy was trying to run, he’d bump into people, cut people off and be pretty unpopular. Walkers don’t think Swanston St is the right place to work on their cardio. They cruise along at a similar pace, without exertion.
But on bikes, people think the only appropriate speed is ‘as fast as possible.’ This is bad for the overtaker and the overtakee. It causes impatience, and creates risk. Commuting is not a time trial.
Unless you’re an infernal hipster, your bike has gears. This means that even going uphill, there’s a cog in which you can sit back and spin the pedals without resistance. You’ll go a lot slower, for sure. You just need to change mindset from ‘this is a sport’ to ‘this is like walking’. Ride like you walk. You’ll get to your destination a few minutes later, but you’ll be fresh and ready to go. It will make cycling the go-to choice for even more kinds of trips.
I’m thinking of getting some of those plastic wrist bands made up, Lance Armstrong style.
Or maybe getting knuckle tattoos:
Do you ride like you walk? Share your thoughts!