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We are showing you the Taiwanese version of our site: would you prefer a different location?
The idea came, as most of the best ideas do, during a pub conversation. Present were the editor, Rouleur photographer Ben Ingham and myself. Alcohol had been consumed, admittedly, so when we struck upon The Big Idea, it hit us as a stroke of genius, a moment of pure brilliance that would surely sweep the cycling community once unleashed on the populace.
Even better, in the harsh and very cold light of day, The Big Idea still held water. It had legs. Wobbly legs, perhaps, but legs nonetheless – at least as far as we were concerned. But you be the judge.
It could be that three middle-aged men under the influence, bemoaning the fact that fellow cyclists seem to be getting faster while we gasped and panted our way around the (theoretically) easiest of rides, are not best qualified to set up a movement of their own. It could also be that said movement will never get beyond a core membership of three. But it is, ultimately, of little importance. We are happy.
The Slow Cycling Movement takes its inspiration from Slow Food – founded in 1986 in Italy to promote traditional and regional cuisine, biodiversity, and to fight the inexorable rise of fast food culture. It is time to re-appraise our beloved two-wheeled sport in the same light.
Those who wish to race, good luck to you. (We are very much in favour of racing, especially when viewed from the side of the road with a glass of beer in hand). But those with neither the inclination nor the required fitness levels to thrash around the countryside at top speed, we beseech you, come and join us.
Resist the temptation to attach a number to your bars for a ‘non-competitive’ sportive ride: it will be a burn-up of the highest order. Do not be fooled into thinking a Sunday morning spin with your club-mates will not turn into an all-out, testosterone-fuelled thrash once you hit the first hill of the day. Boys will be boys.
Instead, join up with like-minded souls who appreciate what riding a bike is about; who want to inhale the heady air and absorb the sights and sounds of English countryside before returning once more…to the pub.
A few ground rules have been hammered out – obviously. Extravagant facial hair and plus-fours are seriously frowned upon. The fixed wheel is encouraged, but only with mudguards and two brakes. A picnic of Melton Mowbray pork pie and malt loaf, packed in a canvas saddlebag, is a thing of beauty, and is to be encouraged. Dull conversation, unnecessary haste and carbon fibre bottle cages (or any combination of the three) shall result in a stern talking-to from the Captain – yet to be appointed. Women members are very, very welcome.
The rules are not set in stone. Indeed, we welcome your suggestions. The fact is – in all probability – we’ll still be cosily ensconced in the pub come springtime, considering applications of membership and drafting and re-drafting the rulebook ad infinitum. And talking endlessly, to anyone prepared to listen, about how fast we once were…
- Last week was a great one for Rapha Condor JLT, all the action and images now up on the team site: http://t.co/ftBejPnnCJ
- RT @alainrumpf: Well done @mike_cuming and @raphacondorjlt winner of #TdK2013 under the scrutiny of latest drone… http://t.co/gv81uP9mHP
- In their attempt to cross the US in 24 days, @michaeltabtabai & Andrew Hudon will ‘Leave It On The Road’. → http://t.co/Per6QsCAtt
- We are delighted to announce the opening of a one-month, pop-up @RaphaCycleClub in Tokyo this summer from 22/6–21/7 → http://t.co/Jrc0EKZ9ky
- Huge congratulations to @raphacondorjlt’s @mike_cuming for winning the @TourdeKorea2013 and to @tomsoutham for best DS. #TdK2013
- @danfromnam in Corsica — outtake from our 2013 Spring/Summer shoot #corsica #beningstagram http://t.co/03A7pT9mtj
- Winner Winner Chicken Dinner ! The most important jersey of #TdK2013 hot off the press. http://t.co/Pflx0eUfdv”
- What a day... The boys keep Mike Cuming in yellow, after having to chase all day. Great performance by all.
- Just rehearsing the whole of Pacino's speech from Any Given Sunday to recite to the boys...
- UK: Thanks to all who came to to tonight’s Rapha Étape Evening in London with @CyclefitUK — one of our biggest turnouts yet.