Slow summers, long days and growing closer to those you love

Two years ago on 20th February, Millie and I were married at our Greytown home on perfect late summer’s day. A Dixieland Jazz band played in our back yard, and Ruth and Paul Pretty, our friends and caterers, delivered our guests one of the finest ever degustation dinners, complete with a wedding cake made of cheese. Our special day was scheduled at a gentle, easy pace and it reflected the way we have chosen to live our lives. Slowly. Our beautiful Pashley bicycles were part of our wedding, because of their role in our relationship; riding our bicycles has made us happier and healthier in so many ways.

Living life slowly is not something odd we have discovered in an offbeat lifestyle book. And we don’t bundle it with any rejection of technology or other quirky life choices. Several summers ago, we simply realised that we could do many of the chores and short trips that would normally be made in a car, on our Pashley bicycles. And the more we did that, the happier we became. A ride to the village for coffee, groceries, a show at the local theatre or dinner at The White Swan was something Millie and I could do together, every day. Picnic? Easy. Some home made sandwiches and a bottle of wine in a basket and a slow 45 minute ride to a nearby swimming hole or the local marae. No fuss. No huge effort. Just a lot of joy.

Slow cycling generates multiple levels of happiness. You can see, hear and smell the environment you cycle through. Fitness levels improve, without squeezing yourself into lycra and breaking a sweat. And best of all, you get to share your experience with the person you love. Yes gentlemen, slow cycling improves your relationship, I promise ... especially if your wife cycles with you!

This summer, please take some time out to dust off your bicycle, pump up the tyres, oil the chain and find somewhere to go, slowly, with your favourite person in the world. The day will last longer. You’ll feel more energised. And you’ll grow a little closer as a couple. It’s a very simple formula for adding happiness to your life; that’s something I can personally guarantee.