24 September 2008

Vote for the Manifesto! The Results Are In.

The results are in for the manifesto of The Slow Bicycle Movement. Thanks to all the suggestions here on the blog and on the Facebook Group.

There were humourous suggestions, poetic suggestions and practical suggestions. It was a close race really.

7% Please ride the bike you have, in the clothes you like, at the speed you enjoy.
5% If you see something interesting, stop to look at it.
5% Take spontaneous detours.
5% Notice something new about your neighbourhood each day.
5% Ring your bell for fun when travelling through tunnels or under bridges.
5% Ride calm, composed and courteous.
4% Refrain from road rage. When faced with road rage from others, please wave and smile.
4% Name your bicycle.
4% Our bicycles give us the freedom of the city and the keys to the country.
4% Please sigh and smile contentedly at least once a day on your bicycle.
4% Chat to somebody. Anybody. Whether you know them or not.
4% Recommended accessories for the Slow Bicyclist include, but are not limited to, a bell, a back rack, lights, fenders, chainguard and a skirtguard.
4% Hills and/or gradients may be walked.
4% Please enjoy any views you come across at a snail's pace or while stopped.
4% The recommended posture for slow bicycling is upright, straight-backed. Just like your mother taught you.
4% 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!
3% Any driver you make eye-contact with should receive a conspiratorial wink and a knowing smile.
3% If you break a sweat, you're pedaling too hard... coast!
3% At least once a week riders should be so deep in thought and distracted by meandering that they forget where they are going.
3% Wave at passing trains or boats.
3% Blackberries found growing in the hedgerows must be picked and eaten before the ride can carry on.
3% Membership is contagious. Spread the slow word in low, sultry tones.
3% Yawn at traffic lights.
3% Ensure that some part of the bicycle creaks gently when in motion.
2% Try removing one hand from the handlebars, if you crash, you were going too fast.
2% The freewheel should tick at a rate that suggests it may be possible to count the number of clicks - though one should not be inclined to do so.
1% If you feel yourself going too fast, pedal with one foot for a while.

22 comments:

Alexandra said...

yay!! very exciting to see all the great ideas.

What's with the 'please's? Please and thank you are nice to say and I am a big believer in them but this seems to be the wrong place for them - maybe. It seems that all of statements that start with please would would perfectly well without the prefix and not sound so much like an instruction from my 2nd grade teacher. ;) -- just a thought

cityexile said...

I suppose, once we've agreed the principles, we can tweak the wording. Although phrasing it courteously can be cool, as long as it doesn't come across too patronise

Nick Peterson said...

I love these! I wish we could pick several and have a rotating manifesto!

Small correction: for the first one, "sulty" should be "sultry."

Thom said...

I agree about "please"--in this context it sounds condescending or even a bit snarky.

melancholic optimist said...

could I also suggest - "if you're too short of breath to sing, slow down."? :)

Zakkaliciousness said...

i think the 'please' issue is a cultural one. In a British context it is funny, self-ironic and yet polite.

If i say 'please be careful' to a friend it is because i wish for them to take care, because I am fond of them and do not wish to see them get hurt. for example.

Joe said...

Regarding slogans, this was posted on the Facebook page: "Wow, you can see lots of stuff if you're not sniffing someone's Lycra."

dygituljunky said...

"If you break a sweat, you're pedaling too hard..."

Or you've stepped outside in the Southeastern USA. :-)

The Bronze Bombshell said...

I think our manifesto should place an emphasis on style and comfort/pleasure. Perhaps it could go something like this:

I ride the bike I have, in the clothes I like, at the speed I enjoy.

Accessories and self-expression are a must. (I don't think that chainguards or fenders need to be mentioned here.I think it's enough that people think about how they can customize their bikes. Specific suggestions for that should be mentioned somewhere else).

On my bike I am cool [headed] and I know that I belong on the street as much as any other vehicle.

Everyone should aspire to look this good when getting from Point A to Point B.

Vocus Dwabe said...

Just one niggle: it should be sultry not sulty (though I have to add that men asking "Would you like to come for a slow bicycle ride with me?" in a sultry voice are liable to get their faces slapped or end up on the wrong end of a disciplinary hearing for sexual harrassment).

I think the "please" preface sounds a bit too diffident for a list of principles. But that being said, I'm all in favour of those which encourage politeness and consideration for other road users. I cycled to work for a year in the Netherlands and was greatly impressed by the good manners of the swarms of cyclists who pour down the city streets and across intersections at rush hour: thousands and thousands of them, yet hardly ever a collision or a cross word. And Dutch motorists likewise: quite amazing care and consideration shown to cyclists at road junctions. Back here in the UK it's a war situation by comparison: the cyclists often every bit as loutish and testosterone-fuelled as the car-drivers. If slow bicycling is not a movement for civility then it's nothing.

Vocus Dwabe said...

PS. Could Zakkaliciousness please include the YouTube video "The Copehagen Cycle" on this blog at some future date? The one with the 1935 film music "Cykelsangen"? It's charming, and nothing I've seen conveys quite so well the carefree hedonism of slow cycling. Please...

Vitor Leal said...

Hi!
I agree with all that. I bike there because is better. And that´s it. It makes me happy.

And I have a new suggestion: Remember to whistle a song you like when ride. And be sure to wave to drivers that are stuck in traffic.

Travis said...

"Please ride the bike you have, in the clothes you like, at the speed you enjoy." This is it. This is all that needs to be said. So inclusive. Thank you, SBM.

dennzio said...

Please lay an extra bike on any random can kicking needy kid...and a helmet.

Mikael said...

nice idea. but no helmets. they're not necessary and there is nowhere in the world where helmet usage has resulted in fewer head injuries. Nowhere. www.cyclehelmets.org

But Slow Cycling is the best safety measure ever concieved.

shoesonmybike.com said...

So true. I love cycling slowly and exploring my community. :)

Another: stop and smell flowers occasionally.

michelle the wanderer said...

It is my firm belief that a bicycle should also have a cupholder. My late 70s 5-speed step-through Takara has fenders, chainguard, basket, bell, and cupholder. One has to ride slowly over the bumpy Atlanta streets in order to avoid splashing one's coffee - or if it does splash, slowly enough to prevent the wind from blowing it onto one's business clothes.... ;)

M'dame Jo said...

"Hills and/or gradients may be walked."

Well, where I live, we'd walk our bikes 95% of the time. That'd be slow biking ;-)

david said...

Hmm. Wouldn't that be walking the bike 48% of the time and saying, "Wheee!" 47% of the time? ;-)

M'dame Jo said...

david > In distance, yes, but not in time ;-)

lee.watkins said...

vehicle naming is closely associated with road rage incidents, at least statistically - so I have to disagree with that one. Naming your bike is territorial, hence you feel obligated to bark at trespassers.

In a good healthy bicycle culture, all the bikes tend to look the same - usually painted black and worn from frequent use. Even better than that is shared bikes. It's not the bike - it's the experience.

Mike Rubbo said...

This not about the manifesto. All for that.

I think the show bike idea might be part of the solution to the fact that compulsory helmets make bike share schemes, and the slow riding they bring, impossible in Australia.

If we can have a category of the slow bike, basically sit up bikes which are by nature safer and slower, then we can ask that the law for them be different, that on such a bike, under 25kms an hour, you don't legally need a helmet.

It might work if everyone gets behind it.

The film on my blog explains it all. http://datillo.wordpress.com

cheers. Mike Rubbo