Guest Article: The Ride Starts On Time. No Exceptions.
In light of the first North American Cogal (a Cogal is a gathering of Velominati just like a Cabal was a gathering of Illuminati); this Guest Article by community lurker @gmoosh seems apropos. Except that obviously every ride starts at V past the hour. In this spirit, we have added Rule 87.
Message from the Keepers to @gmoosh, it is precisely V past Awesome; time to stop lurking and start sharing more of your undeniable insight into la Vie Velominatus with the community.
Yours in Cycling,
Things that happen on time: Saturn V rocket launches. D-Day invasions. BBC time codes. Japanese Shinkansen. UCI time trials. Things that do not. Greyhound buses. Airline flights. Weddings. Work meetings.
There is an obvious, significant and qualitative difference between them. One class are demonstrable showcases of Rule 5. The other involve the mundane, forgettable and lamentable periods of time between such brilliance.
That is why the best rides, and, I would argue, every ride, should leave at exactly the stated time. If the ride is called for 7:30, it should leave at 7:30. Not 7:31. Not 7:29. Anyone arriving after the stated time of departure should see, far up the road, the Lycra-clad asses of Ones-Who-Take Riding-Seriously.
The upside of always leaving on time is considerable. Others will be late exactly once. You signal that the sanctity of this ride, like all rides, is not something with which you should muck. You demonstrate, not with words but with actions, your commitment. As a bonus, you make more time for post-ride espresso.
Conversely, if you’re not ready to roll at the announced time, you’re prove that in your feebly misplaced life, other things-sleeping, driving, talking to you spouse or even pumping your tires-are more important than The Ride. You are wrong. That’s why you are sprinting up the street like a domestique after a puncture, while everyone else is chatting with insouciance on the rollout far ahead of you.
Don’t believe that starting on time is important? Ask Pedro Delgado. In the 1989 Tour, he showed up 2:40 late to the opening prologue, accepted his fate and rocked as hard as he could. And lost the Tour, finishing third behind an aero-helmeted Greg Lemond, and a collapsed and crying Laurent Fignon.
It is worth mentioning that there is exactly one acceptable way to be late: Overtaking the leader of the group on the first significant hill in a casually deliberate display of the Five and Dime. If you can’t consistently do that, show up ready to roll, and roll when expected.
Discipline. Commitment. Punctuality. Three great tastes that taste great together.