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

    @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…

  2. @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.

  3. @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.

  4. @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.

  5. @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.

  6. @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…

  7. @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.

  8. @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.

  9. @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.

  10. @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

  11. @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!

  12. @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.

  13. @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 ?

  14. 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?

  15. @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

  16. @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.

  17. @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.

  18. @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.

  19. @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.

  20. @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.

  21. You live in paradise.

  22. @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.

  23. 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..!

  24. 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. :)

  25. @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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