The tortoise bike that is the secret hare

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Va et Vient café owner w his cargo bike in front of his café.

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Even the basic commuter bike is going to beat gas guzzlers.

“I am riding an average speed of 18km per hour now from home to here, and I have only had the bike for one week. I am always faster than when I took the car and just five minutes slower than the moped – and I do not have to pay for gas! I can feel myself getting better every day. When I started, I was using the easiest gear to climb the long hill on my route. Today, I was in the fourth gear! I still ride easy. I want to get to work relaxed and not covered in sweat, so it is good that I can do this without any great effort. And I am still faster than the car.”

Notes: I have been frequenting Va et Vient café since it opened. There is a Facebook page here...  A place that serves a real coffee. And tea. Real tea!! And then the owner and I started talking about bikes and how he wanted to get something affordable and able to do what his lifestyle demands. He decided on a  basic city bike. Next week, we are going to do some fine-tuning of position. He is already talking about a better road bike for next year. The addiction is quick to take hold on some people.

We ended up talking about my dad for a short while. Dad was an avid cyclist. He would define his rides as being 12 mph every hour, methodically. He rarely broke into a serious sweat (not save the super hot days. But up and down hills, legs turning, he would do his daily commutes, and weekly long spins through the region. And he would swear that 18-20kms per hour is all that is needed. That man was fit. Not fast. But he was a definition of the turtle winning over the hare. Rescuing cyclists were faster and would speed up the hill – and then do recovery. And dad would be eating into the space constantly.
I wil never be a dedicated touring cyclist, like him. Even when I have panniers, I want speed. But at least I can see a place for touring riders. There was a time when it seemed so distant.

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