, Newburyport, MA


July 27, 2013

Slow down! Yankee Homecoming race encourages lack of speed

Get ready. Get set. Go really slow!

The Coastal Trails Coalition is gearing up for its third annual Slow Bike Race Wednesday, and this year the race will be right in the middle of downtown.

“It’s like the tortoise and the hare in reverse,” said race director Cyd Raschke. “Slow and steady, but not slowest and steady often wins the race.”

Previously held at Cashman and Cushing Parks, this year’s Slow Bike Race will be held during Yankee Homecoming at Brown Square on Pleasant Street between Green and Titcomb Streets.

“We’ve always enjoyed having a park for the spectators,” said Raschke. “And we picked the Brown Square because the race is so short. It will be a nice place for people to put out a blanket or sit on the sidewalk. It’s also in the heart of downtown where all the festivities are and the food vendors. And hopefully the race will be over in time to hear the music down on the waterfront.”

The rules for the Slow Race are simple: the last one across the finish line wins. There are three causes for disqualification: going out of a marked lane, going backwards and no foot must touch the ground once the race has begun.

“People with good balance win,” said Raschke. “It tends to favor people that are experienced bikers only because, if you’re an experienced biker, there are so many opportunities or emergencies where you have to go slow. So, if you use your bike for errands a lot, or family outings, that’s the kind of skill it requires.”

Raschke got the idea for the Slow Race when researching fundraisers for another organization and came across a single sentence in a magazine about a slow race in the Midwest.

“It stuck in my mind,” said Raschke. “And I said, ‘That would be so much fun.’”

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