“The only thing for certain is that everything changes. The rate of change increases. If you want to hang on you better speed up. That is the message of today. It could however be useful to remind everyone that our basic needs never change. The need to be seen and appreciated! The need to belong. The need for nearness and care, and for a little love! This is given only through slowness in human relations. In order to master changes, we have to recover slowness, reflection and togetherness. There we will find real renewal.” ~Guttorm Flí¸istad
The Slow Food movement, and other associated Slow initiatives, aim to combat “time poverty”, and other ills brought on by our increasingly hectic “fast food” culture, by promoting simpler, slower-paced, self-sustaining lifestyle alternatives. We’re not participating members of any Slow organization, but we’re all for the ideas of slowing down, keeping it simple, and taking time to smell the roses.
One way we do this is with what we call a Slow Ride. A Slow Ride is much like any other bike ride, but with its priorities on straight. On a Slow Ride, we set a purposely slower than normal pace, possibly stop to shoot some photos and/or observe the local flora and fauna, work in an errand if need be, and maybe even take the time to enjoy a picnic (gasp!). A Slow Ride is directed more by the pace and enjoyment of the associated activities and less by the concerns of Serious Cycling. Taking a Slow Ride doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll negate getting a workout, it’s just that the focus is more on the overall experience and less on performance. As a matter of fact, often times when we take a Slow Ride we’ll end up out-and-about and on the bike much longer than if we set out to cover a specific distance and “log some miles”. A Slow Ride is considered successful if we catch a glimpse of a wild animal, or the angle of the light is just right to capture a particularly beautiful photo. The success of a Slow Ride is not predicated upon besting our elapsed time over a measured route or passing a roadie in team kit.
We find these Slow Rides to be wonderfully calming and restorative; they very effectively peel away the layers of stress accumulated over the work week. So if you’re feeling a little over burdened, you might try slowing down a little and taking a Slow Ride with a good friend; you might be surprised at what a change of pace can do for you.