I broke the rules (now I pull out all my pubic hair)

To understand the title:

(yes I know Ben just put a post up about the breaking the rules but this one is more comprehensive.)

The Rules

These Velominati rules get quoted a lot. Yes they’re funny. Yes some I agree with. Yes, some I don’t agree with. I’m going to focus on the ones I don’t agree with. You focus on the ones you don’t agree with and I’ll respect the fact that you don’t agree with them as long as you respect the ones I don’t agree with.

Rule #1 // Obey The Rules

I got news for you Fred.

Rule #5 // Harden The Fuck Up.

Yes. But sometimes choosing to not ride when it’s icy or dangerous or for whatever reason you deem appropriate to save yourself an injury which would allow you to MTFU on future occasion because you’re not sick or in a hospital bed filled with regret or worse is more sensible than being stupid in the first place. Peer pressure, ego, and status can be a terrible thing.

Rule #6 // Free your mind and your legs will follow

Freeing your mind is not being bound by any rules.

Rule #7 // Tan lines should be cultivated and kept razor sharp.

I love pulling up my sleeves; I love the air blowing into my armpits on a warm day. If this puts a gaussian blur on my tan lines then so be it.

Rule #8 // Saddles, bars, and tires shall be carefully matched.

Unless it’s your winter bike or you got a great deal on some parts. What’s important is you have a working bike that fits you.

Rule #11 // Family does not come first. The bike does.

Dependent on the family member. My son comes first. The rest follows the bike.

Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.

Controversial to question this one, but see Rule 11 on family members and putting their needs first. Secondly, I’ve been shedding bikes recently in an attempt to just enjoy riding my bike and not worry about if I have the latest and greatest and if I chose the correct bike for this particular scenario – this is mostly to do with mountain bikes that seem to have a specific bike for every discipline and sub discipline to keep the bike manufacturers happy by you buying many bikes because you feel let down that they moved the pivot position and your full suspension bike is “out of date”. Lately I’ve been enjoying my rigid 29er and I’ve had more fun on it than my uber suspension “trail bike”.

Rule #27 // Shorts and socks should be like Goldilocks.

I’ll decide what sock length I wear. I like my ankles protected by the thin veil of material, it really does make all the difference.

Rule #30 // No frame-mounted pumps.

Bring a pump, if it’s on your frame then that’s where it is.

Rule #31 // Spare tubes, multi-tools and repair kits should be stored in jersey pockets.

Or in a seat mounted pouch, or any pouch you choose to strap to your bike. Just be sure you can get yourself out of a mechanical situation.

Rule #33 // Shave your guns.

I’ve never heard a compelling argument for shaving your legs, and arms (?) I’ll keep them hairy. Not that I’m particularly hairy anyway. It won’t make you go faster and even if it did give you a marginal gain it wasn’t worth the effort of shaving and cutting behind your knees with an exposed blade. It won’t psyche anyone out on the start line. It won’t make your injuries heal quicker (it will hinder them as you get ingrown hair pointing into the graze/ cut). If you’re female do shave it all because it’s sexier (by my standards).

Rule #34 // Mountain bike shoes and pedals have their place.

Yeah, on any damn bike you choose because you might not want to walk like a duck when you go to your cafe stop, or slip down the wet stairs because your shoes have been provided precisely no grip or you want to own just one pair of shoes that does you across a range of cycling disciplines.

Rule #35 // No visors on the road.

Wear a visor on the road. It keeps the sun and rain out of your eyes and off your glasses. It’s a really sensible thing to do.

Rule #36 // Eyewear shall be cycling specific.

Unless you wear spectacles.

Rule #37 // The arms of the eyewear shall always be placed over the helmet straps.

Unless they happen to not go over the helmet straps when you put them on.

Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.

Unless you happen to enjoy that scenario.

Rule #44 // Position matters.

Unless you are riding a shopping bike, or “gewoone fiets” in the Netherlands where they all have wonderful postures and are fit as fuck.

Rule #45 // Slam your stem.

No. Put your stem where you find it most comfortable and it doesn’t break your back leaning forward. You are much more uncool being hunched because your back hurts than you riding in a comfortable position.

Rule #46 // Keep your bars level.

See previous – make the bike fit you, not the other way round.

Rule #47 // Drink Tripels, don’t ride triples.

Ah, the very rule that sparked this post. Ride a triple if it suits you. If you’re doing large distance with lots of uphill it could be a blessing. Front mechs are shit though so deal with the consequences of this.

Rule #49 // Keep the rubber side down.

Unless it is convenient for cleaning. Do protect the saddle and bars though.

Rule #56 // Espresso or macchiato only.

Or an “Americano”, but not too watery. You still want it to be strong. Or a nice cup of tea.

Rule #57 // No stickers.

Stickers. Put stickers on. Your name. Your favourite band. A Back to the Future related sticker. And definitely a Charlie the Bikemonger sticker.

Rule #60 // Ditch the washer-nut and valve-stem cap.

Maybe if you live somewhere hot and your definition of cleaning a bike is getting your feather duster out but here where it’s shit weather n+1 days of the year it could stop the valve seizing shut. Even in the sun a valve cap will stop dust getting in. Come one, valve caps are sensible. This rule list seems to oppose sensible a lot.

Rule #66 // No mirrors.

Unless you want mirrors because car owner douchery has oppressed you and you’d like to know when you’re about to be ploughed into by some fool in a car that’s too big for our roads and too energy sapping for our society.

Rule #69 // Cycling shoes and bicycles are made for riding.

That’s only because you didn’t wear suitable MTB footwear with actual grip on that pub visit. Duck walking dork (Chuck Berry is the only one that can pull off a Duck Walk, and Marty McFly).

Rule #72 // Legs speak louder than words.

But do discuss Strava, which is just a reflection of what your legs did timeshifted, so this is just a tech update to that point really.

Rule #90 // Never Get Out of the Big Ring.

Oh dear, choose a sensible gear (hey, that rhymes). But newbies especially should try shifting to the big ring earlier than they do because it’s likely a more suitable gear even though it might not seem like it at the time. Test it out and you’ll gain experience.

Rule #91 // No Food On Training Rides Under Four Hours.

Actually I think it’s quite sensible (there’s that word again) to eat a little and often during a ride, even under 4 hours. Anything to stop a bonk and some would bonk on a 4 hour ride.

Make your own rules, and laugh at yourself.

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