Is Slow Cycling Faster? The Guardian 'Tests' Riding Styles
Image credit: SamiCommuters Go Head to Head in Battle of the BikesI'm beginning to love The Guardian's bike related blog posts. Only yesterday they got me musing over the rights and wrongs of cycling drunk, and they've also explored work-appropriate bike clothing. It's just nice to see bike articles that aren't all about the Tour de France or the latest developments in lycra, but rather issues that the rest of us cyclists have to face daily. Their latest contribution to the debate is an exploration of riding styles for commuting - do fixed gear riders really get to work faster than mountain bikers or those of us on granny bikes? Read on for a (pseudo) scientific experiment...OK, so Matt Sparkes' experiment of which 'bike tribe' is fastest is hardly the stuff of scientific break throughs - after all, setting up a race between one rider on a racer, one on a fixed gear bike, one on a mountain bike, and one on a 'granny bike dawdler' is, as he himself admits, "as scientific as a climate change sceptic", but it does raise an interesting debate.
Just because the fixed gear rider gets to work first - does it count as the best commuting method if he or she is so sweaty and out of breath he needs a shower? If the slow cyclist comes in minutes later but doesn't need to clean up, is that really the faster method? And what about if the fixie rider saves their morning shower until they get into work (keeping in mind they've got to get home too...)?
I for one have never really bought into the need for fancy bikes in an urban setting - after all, theft is usually rampant, and I'd rather keep my head up than sacrifice vision for streamlining. Better 5 minutes late, sweat-free and alive than on time, sweaty and, errm, dead. I'd love to hear from our bike commuters out there - what do you ride and why? And is slow cycling the new fast?