Always ready for a slow ride

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - French slow rider in Brussels near military vehicles

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Slow rider from France on the streets of Brussels seeing the military presence

“I am a cycling activist and am involved with many cycling associations in France. Mostly slow cycling. I advise about festivals for long journeys, especially in the south of France.  When with friends who ride at 40 km/ph, I cannot follow. My philosophy is to ride slowly.”

Photographer’s notes: My father would adore an opportunity for this chat. These two would have disappeared into a corner to discuss cycling, advocacy, the role of everyday cycling and the like. My dad was a passionate about cycling. He felt it was something each and every person could enjoy.

He came from an old school UK style. Touring was his backbone and he would ride mile after mile at a steady, easy pace. It might seem slow, but it was immensely effective.

He ran the St. John’s Cycling Club back in my Canadian province of Newfoundland. He would look at and enjoy the weekly races, but his passion was with the touring rides. Every Wednesday and Sunday, cyclists would gather for a touring ride through the countryside.

He took great pride that people could come to a ride for the first time and be able to keep up, or at least not get left in the far distance.

If you wonder if it works, my dad was one of the fittest men I have ever known. His daily cycling, to and from work, the weekend rides left him a man I never suspected as being old, save for his grey hair.

… There are worse role models for a young man to have.

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