A Confession: Breaking some of ‘the rules’

Given the level of cycling education and interest that most roadies have, I’d imagine that we’re all very familar with Velominati’s ‘The Rules‘. For the unitiated, it’s a list of tongue in cheek rules for all serious cyclists to adhere to. Breaking some of them make you stand out like a sore thumb in a group but many others are harmless.

Merckx and De Vlaeminck at Paris Roubaix

In the interests of honesty and confession, there’s a few I just break without caring, effort and forethought.

The Rules

Rule #1 – Obey the Rules
We’re off to a good start…

Rule #14 – Shorts should be black
Style has repeatedly suggested that black is the best colour. The lesson learnt from the production of Beetle Vale Velo Club kit was that green is a terrible shorts colour – great for you, the view into your inner soul from behind less good.

Rule #16 – Respect the jersey
Whilst I will never been seen in a Tour de France jersey or the rainbow stripes, occasionally people have had to double check that I am not, or ever have been, the German national champion.

Rule #17 – Team kit is for members of the team
Again, I may have the jerseys from when I represented Garmin in 2010 or Cofidis in 2003, alternatively the internet might have been involved.

2003 Cofidis Jersey Maillot Trikot

Rule #24 – Speeds and distances shall be referred to and measured in kilometres
Whilst I can convert between the two happily by dividing and multiplying with 5s and 8s, the British side of me always wins over and miles will always win. Audaxes however are the one and only time the Garmin will actually be set to kilometres due to the sheer barrage of metric data.

Rule #26 – Make your bike photogenic
Many people have seen my carbon repair…it’s not pretty, it looks like a sludge of carbon fibre set upon the junction of the chainstay and seatstay.

Rule #29 – No European Posterior Man-Satchels
I use a huge massive red bag that projects itself out a fair bit, primarily for Audaxes where you want one of everything, just in case.

Rule #31 – Spare tubes, multi-tools and repair kits should be stored in jersey pockets
One action, two rules broken.

Rule #33 – Shave the guns
I’ve seen the video, I know it does actually help but I’m also aware it will eat into my non-bike time in such a way that I can’t make the effort. Plus I’m not married and I have been reliably informed by Tinder’s finest that hairy is best.

Rule #37 – The arms of the eyewear shall always be placed over the helmet straps
Always always inside, cannot understand the justification, cannot comply.

Rule #49 – Keep the rubber side down
All punctures or mechanical bashing is so much easier by turning the bike upside down, whilst remembering to take the Garmin off first. You only do that once, regret the scratches and then remember forever (just like learning to ride clipless).

Rule #56 – Espresso or macchiato only
Cafe Nero knows full well I’ll have a latte post-ride, steamed frothy milk is the reward for getting flogged on Tardebigge each week.

Cafe Nero Latte
Frothy milk goodness

Rule #60 – Ditch the washer-nut and valve-stem cap.
Without the nut the valve rattles around the rim weirdly. Caps I can do without. Fun fact, I’ve recently had a doctor and a Masters student tell me that the cap’s job is to keep air in the tyre.

Rule #62 – You shall not ride with earphones
Yeahh I do this but the absence of Beiber and Carly-Rae Jepsen makes it alright. The carefully selected brand of non obvious indie bands lends itself to credibility.

That’s it.

If anyone actually does actually adhere to the all the rules, they’re certainly not enjoying themselves on the bike and take themselves too seriously.

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