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Five Reasons to Cycle Slowly

By Christopher Ashley

The Tour de France is over and we feel exhausted just from watching it. But the good news is you don’t need to cycle fast to have fun. Here are some great reasons to lower the pace…

Social butterflies

Go for a ride with your family and friends – have a chat along the way. Don’t make any plans about what you’re going to do until you’re on your bike. Turn off Strava and put the SatNav away, turn down a street you’ve never ridden before.

Going so slow your little cycle gang will have plenty of time to agree which fork in the road you’re going to take, or which café looks like it will serve you the best coffee. Even slow cycling burns a few calories, so enjoy an extra slice of cake before heading home.


It’s summer time, and cycling slow is no sweat. Ease yourself along and enjoy the gentle breeze. Cycle slowly enough and you won’t feel the heat which means, of course, you can wear what you like.

Take some time to make some sartorial choices – ladies can choose a dress to suit their ride, and everyone can leave the Lycra at home. Why not try on some jeans for a change?

Enjoy the view

Face down looking at your heartrate is no way to live – get your head up, look around and smell the roses! What’s the point of all that interval training if you’re not going to enjoy the benefits? Cycle away from civilisation and see how things look from a bicycle.

You’d be surprised that cycling slow, even on a route you’ve cycled a million times before, gives you a new perspective on scenery. Try your commute at half the speed and take in your surroundings. Smile at passers-by. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at who smiles back.

Recovery ride

Your 60-mile training ride followed with a slow ride the next day will really help your performance. In fact, it helps so much that active recovery, as British Cycling call it, actually improves performance more than doing nothing at all.

That family trip on your mountain bike doesn’t need to be hidden from the Cycle Club Snobs after all – because the science is on your side!

Develop your skills

Slow bike has turned into an international phenomenon, with organised Slow Cycle events starting as early as 2010. The idea is to race as slowly as possible, with no track-standing, and with no feet touching the floor.

Nothing will teach you economy of movement and balance quite as well as trying to come last place in a race to be the loser. What better way to unwind after the drama of Le Tour? Get out the low-gear mountain bikes and prepare to battle…