> hold your bicycles | CITY GIRL RIDES

hold your bicycles

11 August, 2011

i live in a city that accommodates all sorts of cyclists and many are usually commuters in a hurry to get to work. during rush hours i feel safe whenever i find myself in a group of cyclists when riding downtown of san francisco, but it's hard to enjoy my commute when i have to watch out for the next rushing cyclists to fly by me. i don't take pleasure in racing someone to pass a light, i've got nothing to prove dude, i just wanna ride my bike. i'm not really one to speed my way through a bike lane either. i'm one of those cyclist's that constantly get's passed by and left in the back of the group, stops when the light turns yellow, and patiently waits behind a bus to pick up passengers. i know fast riders hate me! thinking "omg, when is she going to move so i can squeeze through this lane." sorry if it was you but don't make me jeopardize my safety so you can save yourself 10 seconds, mmkay? i don't like to be in a hurry when i ride, i have nothing against speed (especially when going downhill!) so i always give myself time to enjoy the air, maybe interact with others around me, and find places that i would like to visit or grab a cup of coffee. i also find when i'm not in a rush for any reason, i'm less stressed, confident, and safe on the road. i'm aware and allow myself to communicate with drivers, cyclist, and pedestrians. you would be surprised how many people appreciate this and always allow me to move ahead. i know there is a whole movement called the "slow bike movement" but i just like to consider this as the reason why the bicycle became so popular. thinking back on my visit to the Velo Expo in Paris, a lot of photos referred to the bicycle as recreation, it encouraged people to take a holiday on a bicycle, to experience freedom, and to discover the world about. i think the bicycle was meant to be just that (even in a commute).

what are your thoughts on the "slow bike movement?" how do you like to ride your bicycle?
Dave Feucht said...

I'm generally a little bit skeptical of anything considered a "movement," as they usually have ulterior motives, but I at least like the idea of this one... we should also have a slow automobile movement. I think in general, it's healthy for people to move around in their world at a speed where they can feasibly react to and interact with the world around them. The space they are traveling through becomes more meaningful, and they are less likely to do harm to themselves or others in the process of getting where they are going.

The fact that simply going places (automobile crashes) is the largest cause of death under age 35 in the U.S. is just mind-blowing, and completely ridiculous. I would say the primary cause of that (though there are many other factors) is speed.

I'm definitely not a daredevil, and I feel much better about life when I feel anchored to the ground and in control when I'm on my bike. Plus, there's so much to see, why miss it all just to improve your "commute time," anyway?

cb said...

tom and i were just talking about this. i am part of the slow bike movement and then we joked that tom was part of the slow jogging movement. hehe i don't mind if people are in a hurry but rude people in a hurry are not nice. people who don't signal or don't tell you "on your left" i don't appreciate. i mean what if a bee flew in my eye and i was all over the place on the road and we crashed because you didn't tell me you were passing me. i mean come on people open your mouths. i usually thank all the people that say something to me while passing.

Erin said...

I am always surprised when cyclists don't vocally warn someone they're trying to pass, since like cb says, it's a simple matter of safety! I try not to hurry too much, because one of the joys of cycling is being able to see things going on around you that you'd miss if driving. But I also love to go fast. :)

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