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'SLOWER: SeLf-supported & Overland cycling World REsearch' is a sociological research project focus on understanding - via qualitative approach (using interviews and focus groups) - self-supported ultracycling/ultra-distance cycling, in particularly how this community looks at the evolution of the sport/activity and how is experiencing/reacting to the current changes. 'SLOWER' is a 'community-based' science project and will seek answers and/or clarifications to questions such as:

  • What is self-supported ultracycling/ultra-distance cycling? What are the differences and boundaries for other bicycle-based activities and 'traditional' cycling sports?
  • Which is the origin of self-supported ultracycling/ultra-distance cycling and how important is the legacy noways?
  • What are ultra/long-distance cyclists' feelings about the sport/activity and how strong is their sense of identity?
  • How does the 'traditional' cycling community and industry look at self-supported ultracycling/ultra-distance cycling?
  • Which changes are expected in the sport due to the increasing number of ultra/long-distance cyclists, races/events and support from the bicycle and cycling industry?

From June to November 2023 | Development of the research design, questions and goals.
From December 2023 to Apr. 2024 | Interviews with key actors and focus groups.
From May to December 2024 | Data analysis and reflections.
From January 2025 | Share the results with the community.


We are looking for volunteers to join the 'SLOWER' team. Research background in social sciences and passion for bikepacking and self-supported cycling is the perfect storm. However, everyone is welcome and there are many and diverse ways to contribute. The project has a volunteer basis and is up to you the degree of commitment. Eventually, we will seek for funding and take the project into a higher level. However the 'SLOWER' will move on in any scenario. Slower or faster we will do it as a unpredictable bikepacking journey. We will answer you soon as possible, but don't forget that sometimes we like to disconnect during our adventures.

photos by Marek Piwnicki on Unsplash