12 July 2008

Slowly Back in Town & Facebookishness

So here's me back from the Swedish summer house. What a thrill to see so many comments. Give Marie and I some slow time to read them and to start making lists of members and of suggestions for a manifesto.

In the meantime, the video above is a lovely example of Slow Bicycle, from the streets of Copenhagen.

Oh, and in a moment of concentration I actually started a Facebook group because that's what one must do these day. The group will be even slower than this blog, so stick to the present URL for slow updates. But it'll be nice to see you all in your profile photos and to get an idea of how many members we have.

I'll return casually in a day or so.


Simple Pleasures said...

Below are my thoughts on the 'Manifesto' (because I prefer that to Commandments)which I have been mulling over since this site went up.
I have nine items right now. I'm sure others have ideas of their own that will cut some and add others.
I borrowed 1 from the first entry to this blog as it seemed a good place to start.
Special thanks to Copenhagen Cycle Chic from which I have plagerized liberally - see items 2,4,5,6,9, and some of 7. (wow)
I've tried to avoid negatives to define the movement - number 9 is the exception and I would love to find a more positive way to say this.
Anyway .... here are my thoughts ....

1.I chose to be a slow cyclist and at every opportunity I will ride at a leisurely pace. I will ride in a casual relaxed manner taking the time to enjoy the ride and to enjoy the environment I am in.
2.I am aware that my mere presence in the urban landscape will inspire others.
3.I will ride my bike as a form of everyday transportation including trips to work, to shops and restaurants.
4. I will dress for riding in street clothes appropriate for where I am going. I may dress up a bit more because I am on a bike.
5. I will accessorize and personalize my bike in accordance with the standards of a bicycle culture and my own personal needs including a chain guard, kickstand, fenders, bells, and a basket or rack.
6. I will respect traffic laws.
7. I will ride with grace, dignity and good manners. I will yield to pedestrians on bike paths and in crosswalks with a smile on my face and will wave thanks to drivers in cars when they yield to me.
8. I know that biking offers an excellent opportunity to practice civil courtesies, socialize with friends and spread good cheer to strangers therefore I will say hello to people as I pass by.
9. I will refrain from wearing any form of ‘cycle wear’ – the only exception being a bicycle helmet if I chose to exercise my freedom of personal choice and wear one.

Simple Pleasures said...

Revise # 8 to read:
"I know that biking offers an excellent opportunity to practice civil courtesies, socialize with friends and spread good cheer to strangers therefore I will say hello to people as I pass by and chat with other cyclists at a red lights."

Two additional items to consider:
10. I will ride my bike if my trip is two (or three or five) miles or less whenever possible.

11. I know that riding my bike is a healthy activity for my mind and body, reduces traffic congestion and is good for the environment. I feel sorry for those who don’t ride their bike regularly, but politely refrain from telling them this ad nauseum.

Shepherd said...

Alexandra has really captured the spirit, IMHO, of this movement as I see it. My only critisism of all of your manifesto points would be #9. As a maker of fine wool cycle wear I consider my product to be in fact cycle wear yet appropriate as off the bike apparel. I have seen many fine looking articles of clothing that make riding comfortable and yet are stylish enough to be "normal" wear as well. There are many knickers on the market that are sold as cycle wear, are very stylish and are quite appropriate for off the bike attire, and they announce to the world your affinity for bicycle culture. Wool works(warm when cold and/or wet, cool when it's hot), having back pockets in your jersey works, it's style over speed not style over function. Plus I happen to think our jerseys are quite stylish.

Simple Pleasures said...


I'm a big fan of wool - living in muggy DC it's a significant improvment over tech fabrics. I love my lightweight SmartWool - particularly the boy briefs under my skirts and the lightweight sleeveless tops!! Couldn't survive without them.
IMHO, if you can pull it off at work or at the pub with friends it's perfect for biking.

- Alex

Anonymous said...

I like the manifesto - but the less prescriptive the better. How about

I will wear what I please on my bike...

(ps. any chance you could change your commenting policy to allow name/url as well as blogger and open id?)

Shepherd said...

disgruntledcommuter said...
"I will wear what I please on my bike..."

That works for me . . .

Simple Pleasures said...

hmmmmm, if we are going to look at item number four - I think plenty of cyclist think their lycra outfits ARE what they please to wear and, perhaps, the intent is a for something not ... that. I see plenty of lycra cycle wear at cafes around town on weekends. For me, a twenty mile bike ride does not require such a ridiculous outfit.
An alternate perhaps can be paraphrase from Copenhagenize:
"Your entire wardrobe can be classified as ”cycle wear”. Espeically those stilettos from Christian Louboutin or your new double-breasted trenchcoast from Tiger of Sweden." Personally, I think we can change this to take out the ridiculously priced (but lovely and well made) name brands for now.

Anonymous said...

Well, how about collapsing 4 & 9 together:

I understand that everything in my wardrobe (yes, even those heels) is 'cycle wear' and I will wear what I please on my bike.