Maui Pavé   photo by Strack

Insight on Rule #34

Insight on Rule #34

by / / 70 posts

Rule #34-Mountain bike shoes have their place-on a mountain bike.

During our very recent Cogal I gained some on-the-road insight on Rule #34. We were on a part of the route I have never ridden on a bike and had no memory of. The pavement was pavé, Maui-style. Somewhere deep down below the surface of the road was primordial road, patched with only scoopfuls of asphalt over the years until the surface is completely dimpled with mango sized mounds of road. This was good and expected. The Roubaix technique of big charinring (ahemmm, errrr, 50 tooth), powering along, keeping the weight on the pedals and handlebars had us making good progress through some of Maui’s most remote country. And it was raining and there was cow manure to ride over…almost Northern France.

I came around a bend and hit a steep berg. The tilted road kept curving right so it was impossible to know when it ended but it couldn’t end soon enough for me. I was quickly in the worst of straits: out of gears, out of the saddle and fully gassed with no end in sight. There were still two people behind me that had to be looking to get by; they could not possibly be going slower. I was unintentionally weaving over the pavé as my complete focus was on keeping the bike up and not hitting a hole or a bump big enough to stop me dead.

Totally redlined on a climb that has no immediate end in sight, these are the worst and best times for a cyclists. If you let your back wheel slip, you stop and the foot goes down, unacceptable. If you just say basta, pull on your brakes and put down your feet, that is worse. I assume all cyclists feel this way. If you are on the Koppenberg someone better have blocked your way. No one gets off halfway up that and says, nah, I’d rather walk. If I have a heart attack trying to ride up something horrible, that might be better than the alternative.

“He wasn’t the brightest, but he didn’t put his foot down”.

It is the best time for a cyclists simply because given all alternatives, there are none, it’s Rule #5. No need to think, better not to think, just keep it going up.

If I did put my foot down on a shiny, wet, steep berg, what then? I have speedplay cleats and those aren’t getting me anywhere if I’m not on a bike. No cleat covers that day so I would be laying down my sweet steed, sitting on this hill while I take my shoes off? That is not going to happen.

The only way my putting a foot down that would not end in a bad nickname for life would be if I was wearing mtb shoes. No one needs that temptation. Looking past the obvious reasons for Rule #34: the mtb shoe-cleat connection is sloppy, mtb shoes look lame on road riders and we are riders, not walkers is the cruel temptation to put a foot down and push the bike up to the top of a hill. This is something no one needs in their time of need.

 

// Breaking The Rules // Defining Moments

  1. @snoov

    This summer we’ll be in France staying at a chalet within riding distance of Alp d’Huez so we’ll be seeing that stage for sure.

    Damn you! We will need full reports. I’m thinking Alp d’Huez is somehow doable, long but doable. Not that I have ever seen it in person. If in doubt, Rule #V.

  2. @Deakus

    It is quite an interesting point. Which is worse, to be caught by an unsuspecting wall that will have you thinking you are about to cough up a lung….or…..to know that the wall is coming up and the terror that strikes in to your soul as The Anti-Vstalks up, starts breathing hot sweat on the back of your neck and whispers in your ear “turn around, it is so much easier in the other direction”

    Somehow I’m happier with the hill I know than the one I don’t, mostly because I have to know when it ends. The open-ended hill I find demoralizing because I’m afraid I can’t hack it.

  3. @CanuckChuck

    I find it’s such a great feeling to go back and conquer a piece of tarmac that defeated you before. And I get the same pre-climb jitters at he base, but knowing you’ve done it before is such a huge mental advantage that I’ve never failed to climb something I’ve climbed before.

    Oh yes. That is progress. Killing a climb that has defeated you, it’s the best. If you make it up once then you are good forever.

  4. @VeloVita

    Great, great, simply great article! Some (fools be they) may doubt the Rules at times, but there are solid reasons behind them and this illustrates that point beautifully. Well done Gianni!

    Bless you my son. Glad you enjoyed the suffering. Full Cogal may be pulled together by next Sunday. A wild ride that I don’t need to do again for quite some time unless I find a drug more effective than espresso.

  5. I accept Rule #34 on proper road bikes and proper road bike rides but I do have a bike which is equipped with MTB pedals. It was the bike that I used for audax rides and you do often have to be able to walk and get places without feeling like you’ve got two ice cubes strapped to your feet.

    I would also add an associated piece of advice I was given, which is that there is no hill so steep you can’t walk up it. Again, not something that we should defile our Bianchis, Ridleys and Pinarellos with but when you’re on a 300 or a 600 with your finest steel there are times it really doesn’t matter how you get up. Horses for courses.

  6. Wow. A moon rover would be a more appropriate vehicle for that road! Great photo.

    I recall myself climbing a 27% slope on a road with holes 10 cm wide and 30 cm deep (there were potholes and the ground below was then totally washed away by rain). And what Gianni wrote is exactly what I was thinking at that time: “just don’t get off the bike, walking will be even more painful than climbing on the bike”.

    THIS is the moment you understand what pain is and how much your state of mind and motivation can do for your performance. And this is the moment you realise how much happiness can result from moments of pain and exhaustion. This is what cycling is all about!

    Great entry, Gianni! Thanks a lot.

  7. @ChrisO You must mean there’s no paved road you can’t walk up?

    I’ve never had a mountain bike and always avoided them so I’m not sure what a mountain bike pedal would be (SPDs?).  I have a pair of SPDs on my CX bike which I swap with pedals from my BMX (Shmano DX clones by GT) if I’m popping into town or just nipping out on an errand which doesn’t warrant getting all the gear on.  I admit I don’t look fantastic at these times but I console myself with the knowledge that any time on a bike is good for the legs.

    @Gianni

    @snoov

    This summer we’ll be in France staying at a chalet within riding distance of Alp d’Huez so we’ll be seeing that stage for sure.

    Damn you! We will need full reports. I’m thinking Alp d’Huez is somehow doable, long but doable. Not that I have ever seen it in person. If in doubt, Rule #V.

    Absolutely!  Expect pictures from Dutch corner and if there’s any way to get my hands on a V-flag …

  8. @ChrisO

    I accept Rule #34 on proper road bikes and proper road bike rides but I do have a bike which is equipped with MTB pedals. It was the bike that I used for audax rides and you do often have to be able to walk and get places without feeling like you’ve got two ice cubes strapped to your feet.

    I would also add an associated piece of advice I was given, which is that there is no hill so steep you can’t walk up it. Again, not something that we should defile our Bianchis, Ridleys and Pinarellos with but when you’re on a 300 or a 600 with your finest steel there are times it really doesn’t matter how you get up. Horses for courses.

    Good work, ChrisO! You’ve opened up a slight angle on this Rule that I was a bit hesitant to enter myself. I have three proper road bikes with matching pedal systems so I can jump on any of them and go. However, I also have a more modest road bike I use for different applications than just strictly road riding & it’s my rain road bike. I have it set up with the same pedal system as my CX bike. This allows me to use my CX shoes in foul weather & also hit the trails for an hour then swap bikes and hit the road for an hour, if desired. This can be a fun thing to do on weekends, especially if lacking motivation for whatever reason.

    I support Rule #34 fully, but if you’ve got N+1+1+1, might as well toss a bit of variety in there, or lest be tempted to consider, in dark moments, an N-1 move…

  9. My n and n+1 roadbikes are fitted with SPD pedals, the CX bike w/ mtb pedals, and my single speed with MKS Gr-9 pedals & toe clips (no straps).  If I feel like hammering some V w/ the SS I will trade pedals for SPD.  The SS is generally for on campus use hence the need to wear conventional shoes.  Like Gianni, i would much prefer a coronary blowout to walking up a climb. I have pushed my HR to 97% of max, but thankfully have the ability to drop it reasonably in a short time.  I will confess that the only time I find it acceptable to bail out is on an MTB climb, especially when I am riding my 1×9 and simply run out of gears. 

    Looking at upper 60’s here in East TN (although the roads are wet).  

    Ride hard, ride fast, ride often, and…..have fun!

  10. jeez, when I glanced a the pic at the top of the article I thought, wow, a Scottish road ! Then I read on. Nice one !

  11. @Gotta Ride Today

    SPD is the mountain bike pedal interface, do you mean SPD-SL (3-bolt)?

  12. I once got off and walked what turned out to be less then a hundred metres, I lost count of the number of bends when scaling my nemesis that I thought I was known here near the top.

    I felt like such a loser and put in an extra 45km to punish myself for being such a pussy. With hindsight I should have coasted back down to ascend it again and teach myself not to be such a weak prick.

    It was a valuable lesson learnt, never again will I get off and take the easy way up.

    It’s the blackout moments when I am are deep in the pain cave and about to cry off that I learn the most about myself, it is exactly what makes cycling so fucking beautiful.

  13. @SimonH

    I once got off and walked what turned out to be less then a hundred metres, I lost count of the number of bends when scaling my nemesis that I thought I was known here near the top.

    I felt like such a loser and put in an extra 45km to punish myself for being such a pussy. With hindsight I should have coasted back down to ascend it again and teach myself not to be such a weak prick.

    It was a valuable lesson learnt, never again will I get off and take the easy way up.

    It’s the blackout moments when I am are deep in the pain cave and about to cry off that I learn the most about myself, it is exactly what makes cycling so fucking beautiful.

    Hey I’ve done that too. Stalled and taken a rest on a bend that turned out to be the last one before it all levelled out the other side of the trees.

  14. @Wojtek G

    Wow. A moon rover would be a more appropriate vehicle for that road! Great photo.

    I recall myself climbing a 27% slope on a road with holes 10 cm wide and 30 cm deep (there were potholes and the ground below was then totally washed away by rain). And what Gianni wrote is exactly what I was thinking at that time: “just don’t get off the bike, walking will be even more painful than climbing on the bike”.

    THIS is the moment you understand what pain is and how much your state of mind and motivation can do for your performance. And this is the moment you realise how much happiness can result from moments of pain and exhaustion. This is what cycling is all about!

    Great entry, Gianni! Thanks a lot.

    First off…beautiful avatar. And you just distilled my ranting into a few beautiful lines. Thank you.

  15. @strathlubnaig

    jeez, when I glanced a the pic at the top of the article I thought, wow, a Scottish road ! Then I read on. Nice one !

    If it had been Scotland there would have been a cozy pub in a few miles with duck pie and pints and I would have gone in there and never come out.  So I’m not sure if that would be better or not.

  16. Great photo!  Chasing the rainbow…

  17. @Gianni

    Is it even an option to ask if you did in fact put the foot down?  Totally aside the point, of course.  A cliffhanger if I ever read one…

  18. That is the way to sum up what it means to evoke the “V” !  The manner in which we just ride and conquer  what ever is around the next corner , just beautiful and in the rain no less. All weather is good weather.

  19. @strathlubnaig

    jeez, when I glanced a the pic at the top of the article I thought, wow, a Scottish road ! Then I read on. Nice one !

    After the Scottish Cogal at Callander I can understand why you feel this way but it taught me that the roads around where I live are mostly in great condition (not as smooth as mainland Europe though).  Hope to have the next Cogal around here so you can check them out, sometimes when the sun is out it can feel like the French countryside and we grin for miles.  I think it’s possibly because you’re much closer to Glasgow so there’s a lot more traffic churning them up.

  20. @Gianni

    @strathlubnaig

    jeez, when I glanced a the pic at the top of the article I thought, wow, a Scottish road ! Then I read on. Nice one !

    If it had been Scotland there would have been a cozy pub in a few miles with duck pie and pints and I would have gone in there and never come out. So I’m not sure if that would be better or not.

    Duck pie? Can you deep fry that?

  21. @snoov

    @strathlubnaig

    jeez, when I glanced a the pic at the top of the article I thought, wow, a Scottish road ! Then I read on. Nice one !

    After the Scottish Cogal at Callander I can understand why you feel this way but it taught me that the roads around where I live are mostly in great condition (not as smooth as mainland Europe though). Hope to have the next Cogal around here so you can check them out, sometimes when the sun is out it can feel like the French countryside and we grin for miles. I think it’s possibly because you’re much closer to Glasgow so there’s a lot more traffic churning them up.

    Well this morning we also have about 10cm of snow lying so maybe our mountain influenced weather can do the roads in more too, that and shite local authorities who canny be arsed doing a proper repair job. Look forward to the next “Cogal Ecosse Est”

  22. @strathlubnaig

    @snoov

    @strathlubnaig

    jeez, when I glanced a the pic at the top of the article I thought, wow, a Scottish road ! Then I read on. Nice one !

    After the Scottish Cogal at Callander I can understand why you feel this way but it taught me that the roads around where I live are mostly in great condition (not as smooth as mainland Europe though). Hope to have the next Cogal around here so you can check them out, sometimes when the sun is out it can feel like the French countryside and we grin for miles. I think it’s possibly because you’re much closer to Glasgow so there’s a lot more traffic churning them up.

    Well this morning we also have about 10cm of snow lying so maybe our mountain influenced weather can do the roads in more too, that and shite local authorities who canny be arsed doing a proper repair job. Look forward to the next “Cogal Ecosse Est”

    I’m going swimming…

  23. @the Engine

    @strathlubnaig

    @snoov

    @strathlubnaig

    jeez, when I glanced a the pic at the top of the article I thought, wow, a Scottish road ! Then I read on. Nice one !

    After the Scottish Cogal at Callander I can understand why you feel this way but it taught me that the roads around where I live are mostly in great condition (not as smooth as mainland Europe though). Hope to have the next Cogal around here so you can check them out, sometimes when the sun is out it can feel like the French countryside and we grin for miles. I think it’s possibly because you’re much closer to Glasgow so there’s a lot more traffic churning them up.

    Well this morning we also have about 10cm of snow lying so maybe our mountain influenced weather can do the roads in more too, that and shite local authorities who canny be arsed doing a proper repair job. Look forward to the next “Cogal Ecosse Est”

    I’m going swimming…

    Er…I sincerely hope this exercise is not also going to end in a run!  Personally I am going to go chop some wood, this will fill me with a desire to smash the pedals on the turbo this afternoon!

  24. @the Engine Around christmas on of the Dundee Wheelers ended up in a waist deep puddle, I don’t think I’ve seen rain like it in my life, except over in the states, everything’s bigger in the states even the raindrops.

  25. @Deakus

    @the Engine

    @strathlubnaig

    @snoov

    @strathlubnaig

    jeez, when I glanced a the pic at the top of the article I thought, wow, a Scottish road ! Then I read on. Nice one !

    After the Scottish Cogal at Callander I can understand why you feel this way but it taught me that the roads around where I live are mostly in great condition (not as smooth as mainland Europe though). Hope to have the next Cogal around here so you can check them out, sometimes when the sun is out it can feel like the French countryside and we grin for miles. I think it’s possibly because you’re much closer to Glasgow so there’s a lot more traffic churning them up.

    Well this morning we also have about 10cm of snow lying so maybe our mountain influenced weather can do the roads in more too, that and shite local authorities who canny be arsed doing a proper repair job. Look forward to the next “Cogal Ecosse Est”

    I’m going swimming…

    Er…I sincerely hope this exercise is not also going to end in a run! Personally I am going to go chop some wood, this will fill me with a desire to smash the pedals on the turbo this afternoon!

    I can swim to a better standard than “not drowning” and when the sleet is hammering down and what passes for roads round here are slick with slush its a little better that being on “The Bastard Piece of Shit” or turbo as you so quaintly call it. That or observe Rule #5 I suppose.

  26. @snoov

    @the Engine Around christmas on of the Dundee Wheelers ended up in a waist deep puddle, I don’t think I’ve seen rain like it in my life, except over in the states, everything’s bigger in the states even the raindrops.

    I had a 100m long axle deep “puddle” (loch really) on New Years Day over here…

  27. @the Engine

    ….. Stalled and taken a rest on a bend that turned out to be the last one before it all levelled out the other side of the trees.

    Stalled on a climb momentarily where the Garmin went on autopause. Was still able to take a breath and stand on the pedal to keep going. Hit the ground hard yesterday as I went over a rain slick wooden bridge. I think I am ok although my shoulder is a bit still. Although shaken up, with the bike ok there was no choice but to Rule #5 and continue on.

  28. @Gotta Ride Today

    @the Engine

    ….. Stalled and taken a rest on a bend that turned out to be the last one before it all levelled out the other side of the trees.

    Stalled on a climb momentarily where the Garmin went on autopause. Was still able to take a breath and stand on the pedal to keep going. Hit the ground hard yesterday as I went over a rain slick wooden bridge. I think I am ok although my shoulder is a bit still. Although shaken up, with the bike ok there was no choice but to Rule #5 and continue on.

    Through experimentation I’ve discovered that falling off when stationary is less painful than falling off when moving.

    Generally.

  29. @strathlubnaig

    @snoov

    @strathlubnaig

    jeez, when I glanced a the pic at the top of the article I thought, wow, a Scottish road ! Then I read on. Nice one !

    After the Scottish Cogal at Callander I can understand why you feel this way but it taught me that the roads around where I live are mostly in great condition (not as smooth as mainland Europe though). Hope to have the next Cogal around here so you can check them out, sometimes when the sun is out it can feel like the French countryside and we grin for miles. I think it’s possibly because you’re much closer to Glasgow so there’s a lot more traffic churning them up.

    Well this morning we also have about 10cm of snow lying so maybe our mountain influenced weather can do the roads in more too, that and shite local authorities who canny be arsed doing a proper repair job. Look forward to the next “Cogal Ecosse Est”

    Out this AM, was snowing a bit at Blair, walked the dogs and it had went off so headed out half way round snowed, then snowed some more. Only about 0 (centigrade for your US residents) so warm enough to be falling as rain and snow.Got home and into shower and the pain in the toes was bad as they warmed up,must invest in a set of overshoes.

    Better than the work of the devil that is lurking in the shed though! Save that for weekday evenings.

    PS only managed about 45k and took me 2 hrs so a long way to go yet.

  30. @Velosophe

    @Gianni

    Is it even an option to ask if you did in fact put the foot down? Totally aside the point, of course. A cliffhanger if I ever read one…

    Yes it is an option to ask and no I didn’t put a foot down. But I felt like I burned the whole pack of matches at once when I was 1/3rd the way through a ride I had doubts about finishing. I am the world’s worst/slowest climber.

  31. @Gianni

    @Velosophe

    @Gianni

    Is it even an option to ask if you did in fact put the foot down? Totally aside the point, of course. A cliffhanger if I ever read one…

    Yes it is an option to ask and no I didn’t put a foot down. But I felt like I burned the whole pack of matches at once when I was 1/3rd the way through a ride I had doubts about finishing. I am the world’s worst/slowest climber.

    Not while I’m alive you aren’t…

  32. @the Engine

    @Gotta Ride Today

    @the Engine

    ….. Stalled and taken a rest on a bend that turned out to be the last one before it all levelled out the other side of the trees.

    Stalled on a climb momentarily where the Garmin went on autopause. Was still able to take a breath and stand on the pedal to keep going. Hit the ground hard yesterday as I went over a rain slick wooden bridge. I think I am ok although my shoulder is a bit still. Although shaken up, with the bike ok there was no choice but to Rule #5 and continue on.

    Through experimentation I’ve discovered that falling off when stationary is less painful than falling off when moving.

    Generally.

    If you must fall off, fall to Port.

  33. @the _farmer

    @strathlubnaig

    @snoov

    @strathlubnaig

    jeez, when I glanced a the pic at the top of the article I thought, wow, a Scottish road ! Then I read on. Nice one !

    After the Scottish Cogal at Callander I can understand why you feel this way but it taught me that the roads around where I live are mostly in great condition (not as smooth as mainland Europe though). Hope to have the next Cogal around here so you can check them out, sometimes when the sun is out it can feel like the French countryside and we grin for miles. I think it’s possibly because you’re much closer to Glasgow so there’s a lot more traffic churning them up.

    Well this morning we also have about 10cm of snow lying so maybe our mountain influenced weather can do the roads in more too, that and shite local authorities who canny be arsed doing a proper repair job. Look forward to the next “Cogal Ecosse Est”

    Out this AM, was snowing a bit at Blair, walked the dogs and it had went off so headed out half way round snowed, then snowed some more. Only about 0 (centigrade for your US residents) so warm enough to be falling as rain and snow.Got home and into shower and the pain in the toes was bad as they warmed up,must invest in a set of overshoes.

    Better than the work of the devil that is lurking in the shed though! Save that for weekday evenings.

    PS only managed about 45k and took me 2 hrs so a long way to go yet.

    Well I managed 6km run in the snowy woods. I passed a guy on his bike out on a back road near here while driving back from Edinburgh airport early today, he looked like he was toiling to stay upright on the snow, so I wimped out and went running instead. Good effort to you lad.

  34. @strathlubnaig

    I am training to do the Etape Caledonia and the Trossachs Ton (can anyone spell midlife crisis!) so the torture had to start sometime, spent 20 years not cycling and got back into it in the summer (so called). Only two weeks of torture then I get a week of to go snowboarding though, I will also have to have a word with my coach about fitting in time for this IF we get enough snow in Alba.

  35. @the_farmer

    @strathlubnaig

    I am training to do the Etape Caledonia and the Trossachs Ton (can anyone spell midlife crisis!) so the torture had to start sometime, spent 20 years not cycling and got back into it in the summer (so called). Only two weeks of torture then I get a week of to go snowboarding though, I will also have to have a word with my coach about fitting in time for this IF we get enough snow in Alba.

    See you on the Cogal that @smoov is organising then

  36. @the_farmer

    @strathlubnaig

    I am training to do the Etape Caledonia and the Trossachs Ton (can anyone spell midlife crisis!) so the torture had to start sometime, spent 20 years not cycling and got back into it in the summer (so called). Only two weeks of torture then I get a week of to go snowboarding though, I will also have to have a word with my coach about fitting in time for this IF we get enough snow in Alba.

    I can spell it….P..O..R..S..C..H..E

    You know what the emoticon is, so I will not debase myself by using it!

  37. @Deakus

    @the_farmer

    @strathlubnaig

    I am training to do the Etape Caledonia and the Trossachs Ton (can anyone spell midlife crisis!) so the torture had to start sometime, spent 20 years not cycling and got back into it in the summer (so called). Only two weeks of torture then I get a week of to go snowboarding though, I will also have to have a word with my coach about fitting in time for this IF we get enough snow in Alba.

    I can spell it….P..O..R..S..C..H..E

    You know what the emoticon is, so I will not debase myself by using it!

    Then you’ve got that Rule #25 problem. Spend the money on a bike old chap – you know you want to.

  38. @the Engine

    @the_farmer

    @strathlubnaig

    I am training to do the Etape Caledonia and the Trossachs Ton (can anyone spell midlife crisis!) so the torture had to start sometime, spent 20 years not cycling and got back into it in the summer (so called). Only two weeks of torture then I get a week of to go snowboarding though, I will also have to have a word with my coach about fitting in time for this IF we get enough snow in Alba.

    See you on the Cogal that @smoov is organising then

    Can I request that the Cogal Ecosse Est dates are put up for discussion so that I can juggle my offshore hitches to suit ?

  39. I propose sometime in late May to June, the best time of the year lately.  Starting in the West End of Dundee riding up to Aboyne stop at a cafe for refuelling and back again.  It’s about 180km with around 1000m climbing over the Cairn ‘o’ Mount from both sides.  I’ll have to find a cafe in Aboyne first, then the recovery beverages should be easy.

    Also propose moving this to the Scottish Cogal Article so as not to hijack this thread.

    Thoughts?

  40. @Gianni

    @CanuckChuck

    I find it’s such a great feeling to go back and conquer a piece of tarmac that defeated you before. And I get the same pre-climb jitters at he base, but knowing you’ve done it before is such a huge mental advantage that I’ve never failed to climb something I’ve climbed before.

    Oh yes. That is progress. Killing a climb that has defeated you, it’s the best. If you make it up once then you are good forever.

    Correct ….  couple of local climbs have been my nemesis on two occasions ….lately been going up them quite comfortably and finding myself giving a wry smile at the top and a self congratulations accompanied by a ” fuck you, hill !” comment out load to no-one in particular …..   maybe the cattle in the paddock and the kangaroo in the bushes and the magpie on the tree appreciated my efforts..

    its as if the climb is an entity unto its own … and you are the dragon slayer …..   game on next time too, I say ……….  to be continued

  41. @snoov

    I propose sometime in late May to June, the best time of the year lately. Starting in the West End of Dundee riding up to Aboyne stop at a cafe for refuelling and back again. It’s about 180km with around 1000m climbing over the Cairn ‘o’ Mount from both sides. I’ll have to find a cafe in Aboyne first, then the recovery beverages should be easy.

    Also propose moving this to the Scottish Cogal Article so as not to hijack this thread.

    Thoughts?

    Yup – see you on the Scottish Cogal Article – BTW the Trossachs Ton is the 16th of June but otherwise I’m good.

  42. @the Engine
    At the moment I have what you guys may disparagingly call a BIke Shaped Object from Halfords. Actually a good bike for the money, I am still at the stage that eating less chocolate is better bang for bucks than buying something light. Tried getting a 2nd hand bike but no sensible ones about. Once I get in shape I fancy something a bit better and lighter but that is a wee bit away, need something that can handle the farm road when heading off, got a good set of Bontrager tyres on it now and haven’t had a problem with punctures since.

  43. @the_farmer

    @the Engine
    At the moment I have what you guys may disparagingly call a BIke Shaped Object from Halfords. Actually a good bike for the money, I am still at the stage that eating less chocolate is better bang for bucks than buying something light. Tried getting a 2nd hand bike but no sensible ones about. Once I get in shape I fancy something a bit better and lighter but that is a wee bit away, need something that can handle the farm road when heading off, got a good set of Bontrager tyres on it now and haven’t had a problem with punctures since.

    The world’s best feeling is riding a Bike Shaped Object or Set of Welded Gas Pipes away from douches on Carbones. You can’t lose – get dropped blame the bike; keep up feel superior; get ahead know how the Prophet must have felt.

    So long as you look pro and fantastic which is surprisingly easy to do once you get into it.

  44. @the Engine

    Oh I look pro ok, what with my YJA and flashy flashy rear light, I nearly succumbed to an EPMS until I discovered how much fits in the pooches on my cycling sark, pump, tube, levers, phone, fried mars bar, phone, wallet. Bit tight in there for a white pudding supper though! Just need to find a way to stop the Irn Bru fizzing up on the rougher roads.

    As for dropping the douches, that is my aim, I did think a future effort could be made on a 3 speed raleigh chopper.

  45. @the_farmer

    @the Engine

    Oh I look pro ok, what with my YJA and flashy flashy rear light, I nearly succumbed to an EPMS until I discovered how much fits in the pooches on my cycling sark, pump, tube, levers, phone, fried mars bar, phone, wallet. Bit tight in there for a white pudding supper though! Just need to find a way to stop the Irn Bru fizzing up on the rougher roads.

    As for dropping the douches, that is my aim, I did think a future effort could be made on a 3 speed raleigh chopper.

    Ah the joys – in winter I hitch my plaid up carefully so it doesn’t get caught in the chain and open out the adjustment on my helmet so that I can get my bunnet under it. Obviously in summer I dispense with the plaid.

    It won’t happen but may I commend “Cycling Sark” to the Lexicon.

  46. You live in paradise.

  47. @Marko You’re talking about Scotland obviously.  I’ve been to Hawai’i and the weather was rubbish, not to mention that I couldn’t wear my 5mm wetsuit when surfing as the water was far too hot.  I was miserable for the whole five weeks.

  48. Gents, having read this article and reviewed Rule: 34 I totally agree NO! MTB shoes on a Road Bike although they have their obvious benefits when walking. But what about the Crank Bros Eggbeater pedals they are apparently designed with the MTB in mind, they are a work of art, fairly lightweight, great value, easy to get in and out of and virtually bombproof.

    Would it be bad form to use these on a road bike?

    For sure they are rather too well designed for a Mud Skipper..!

  49. Going up one 25%+ hill my Garmin kept auto-pausing for going too slow, but I was still on the bike – but only just. Have since adjusted the settings as it is too demoralising when your legs are burning to have that snippy little Garmin reminding you what a weak prick you are. :)

  50. @GrahamL    That’s another reason why I don’t have a Garmin. If butterflies resting on your spokes is not bad enough, having your Garmin constantly ask if one is still riding or resting when climbing. Nay good.

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