Bikes leaning at the gite, waiting to hit the cobbles on Keepers Tour 2013.

La Vie Velominatus: Lean Properly

La Vie Velominatus: Lean Properly

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There are always at least two ways to accomplish any task: properly and improperly. Drinking beer from a glass, not the bottle; carrying a full umbrella instead of a miniature fold-up; stirring your gin martinis, not shaking them; wearing french cuffs with a suit, not button cuffs. The Velominatus, of course, is drawn towards doing things Properly, even when doing so comes at the expense of convenience.

While its true that doing something correctly may not always be the same as doing something the easy way, when it comes to the practice of leaning one’s bicycle against a wall, doing so properly is is maddeningly easy. Bicycles have wheels and wheels are what enable the mode of forward locomotion that brings us such pleasure. The fine print indicates, however, that these wheels are not biased towards forward motion. On the contrary, wheels are quite happy to roll in any direction they please, provided gravity or an external force provide ample reason to do so. And, despite being more than sturdy enough to bound down a cobbled farm track at high speed, bicycles are rather delicate things not suited for rolling off unsupervised. Derailleur hangers are easily bent, paintwork is easily scratched, and bar tape and saddles easily scuffed when wheels start unexpectedly rolling and steeds fall over.

For this reason, it is critical that one practices safe leaning:

  1. When leaning your loyal steed against a well, care must be taken to lean the bike by its saddle and by its inside hood. There are several reasons for this including the notion that neither the saddle (made of lightly padded leather) nor the hood (made of rubber) are as wont to slip as is the frame. Leaning it by the hood also ensures the front wheel is pointing parallel to the wall, not away from it, offering an additional bit of insurance against an errant roll-away. Should one be leaning their bicycle against something too low to make saddle contact, the rear wheel and hood makes for a viable alternate.
  2. Lean the machine with the mechanicals facing out. This will help avoid inadvertently crushing the derailleur against the wall and bending the rear derailleur hanger. That said, among Keepers polled, only one (who, in order to protect Brett’s identity, shall remain anonymous) made the case that keeping the mechs facing inward protects them from being brushed up against. Use your discretion here, but if leaning in, make sure ample space is left to prevent contact with the drivetrain and the wall.
  3. When leaning a group of bikes against the wall, lean them all in the same direction such that the front wheel of the bike to the left overlaps with the back wheel of the bike to the right. This allows for a compact stacking of machines, prevents tangling of bars or other forms of damage-inducing fraternization between bikes, and allows any of the bikes to be removed from its place in the line without moving adjacent machines. While point two allows for the choice of facing in or out, when leaning groups of bikes against the wall, care will be taken to lean them all in the same direction and in this case facing mechanicals out will help prevent accidentally catching a wheel in a derailleur.
  4. If leaning a bike against something smaller than a wall, the safest way to do so is to lean it only by the rear wheel, ensuring ample lean is given and that the orientation of the bicycle is chosen to minimize likelihood of the machine suddenly making a break for it. Leaning it against just the saddle is also an option should a stable leaning point be available. Under no circumstances is one to lean the bike by any part of the frame.
  5. If your bicycle should begin to fall or to move in any way, you are to drop whatever you are  doing and use your own or a nearby companion’s body to arrest the fall and prevent damage of any sort to the machine. You should be willing to sacrifice personal injury by way of means to this end. Be it your child or your bong, drop that thing and make haste to rescue your machine. Rule #4, fucktards.

Vive la Vie Velominatus.

// Etiquette // La Vie Velominatus // The Bikes

  1. @Chris ‘rsewipe. I meant four for £100. And I haven’t had a drink yet.

  2. @Chris

    Not slim enough though, it really sucks.

  3. @DerHoggz

    @Chris

    Not slim enough though, it really sucks.

    I’m assuming you’ve tried them, then?  Their extra slim fit is similar to Banana’s fitted shirts – slim enough for me (5’11”, 32/33″ waist, 160 lbs, and not muscular up top at all).  If you want slimmer, then you might as well wear a jersey instead and stuff some high calorie snacks in the rear pockets.  As Chris says, don’t buy them full price, but they offer deals all the time (I bought a shirt and got a free tie for $50).

  4. From where I’m standing, fashion “sense” these days seems to be a race to the bottom. The one nice thing is that it’s incredibly easy to look good because so many people dress like bums.

  5. @minion

    @Ron One thing about ISPs is that they increase the cost of freight considerably because you need to ship a bigger box. Had that with Fuji Track Pros in NZ for a couple years when the Al frames had ISPs, and they were too expensive to bring into the country. Matters less to companies like Look and Time, which might still do it, but for mass producers of frames, you need a more compelling argument for it.

    Never thought about this aspect. Thanks for the info!

    My housemate just brought home an unwanted bike rack. Oh boy, now I need to build my bike shed, can just have all the steeds lined up, one after the other. Talk about a good starter for a bike workshop! It allows you to lean your bike by the rear wheel against a vertical bar, while it also cups the wheel between two flat bars.

  6. @frank So is a MAVIC Tshirt.

  7. Curse your clip-art.

  8. @Tartan1749

    @DerHoggz

    @Chris

    Not slim enough though, it really sucks.

    I’m assuming you’ve tried them, then? Their extra slim fit is similar to Banana’s fitted shirts – slim enough for me (5’11″, 32/33″ waist, 160 lbs, and not muscular up top at all). If you want slimmer, then you might as well wear a jersey instead and stuff some high calorie snacks in the rear pockets. As Chris says, don’t buy them full price, but they offer deals all the time (I bought a shirt and got a free tie for $50).

    I haven’t tried them no, which makes my post seem rash perhaps.  The problem is I need a 15.5″ neck but their shirts in that size are meant for a much larger chest.  Even extra slim fit would have extra allowance on the chest size, so chances of it fitting are very “slim”.  Not even in the ballpark for tailoring probably.

  9. @frank one thing with the sweater though is that you’ll want a barrel/button cuff on your shirt to ensure you don’t end up stretching the sleeve ends of the sweater…

  10. @DerHoggz

    @Tartan1749

    @DerHoggz

    @Chris

    Not slim enough though, it really sucks.

    I’m assuming you’ve tried them, then? Their extra slim fit is similar to Banana’s fitted shirts – slim enough for me (5’11″, 32/33″ waist, 160 lbs, and not muscular up top at all). If you want slimmer, then you might as well wear a jersey instead and stuff some high calorie snacks in the rear pockets. As Chris says, don’t buy them full price, but they offer deals all the time (I bought a shirt and got a free tie for $50).

    I haven’t tried them no, which makes my post seem rash perhaps. The problem is I need a 15.5″ neck but their shirts in that size are meant for a much larger chest. Even extra slim fit would have extra allowance on the chest size, so chances of it fitting are very “slim”. Not even in the ballpark for tailoring probably.

    I’ve had Tyrwhitt shirts and also slim fit from Thomas Pink – the Pink ones are a little narrower and fitted I thik so maybe try them. It still won’t be the same as a tmade-to-measure shirt, however the TP slim-fit are the only off-the-peg shirts I can wear under a tailored suit.

    CT used to be really brilliant online – great deals and super-fast orders – but I stopped using them after their service fell away dramatically and I had a couple of frustrating experiences with ordered items not being available and so on. I must have been one of their fairly early online customers, I guess around 1999-2000, and in those days they outshone anything else in terms of online shopping experience. They seemed to change their whole philosophy and setup, I assume to meet bigger demand and expansion, which was a pity. The quality has always been good though.

  11. I only have to wear a suit to weddings, funerals and court appearances and I try to keep all three of these events to a bare minimum.

    So, I have nothing to add to this conversation other than the last time i bought a suit there was a fancy, well lit, octagonal mirrored changing room. I ended up spending more time admiring the guns from all angles than looking at the suit. They looked fabulous.

  12. @DerHoggz I’ve had success with Calvin Klein extra slim fit. I have a whole closet full of them.

    Not sure if they come in French cuffs but I like the idea.

  13. @frank

    @Flaccus

    I don’t have to tell anyone that no tie has been made that’s long enough for me to do a full windsor, though I’ve dabbled in them when wearing a sweater as the sweater masks the fact the the tie is basically a bib at that point.

    I find that with a cyclist’s build, a basic four-in-hand on a semi-narrow tie tied such that you have a dimple in the center gives a nice slender look with enough length (the tip of the tie goes to mid-buckle when *gasp* wearing a belt). When I was heavier, I always did a half windsor in order to make sure there was enough volume in the knot to make my neck look normal.

    @pistard

    Fantastic.

    Aces! The four-in-hand that is. As an officer, it was just non-symmetrical enough to be casually deliberate and drove the CSM nutter. A gentleman does not worry about the knot, just the label!

  14. @Nate

    @frank I run 42 cm Rotundos, not these hipster douchebag things:

    As a matter of simple geometry and gravity, I can’t set my bike against a vertical wall such that the saddle, inside hood and drivetrain all touch the wall.

    Of course I see your point about Doing it Right, but that does not account for outside forces, such as toddlers, earthquakes, and the like.

    It took a few days before I could muster enough “give a fuck” to snap these pictures of my bike leaning post-ride.

    Facing out, you’ll see that the frame is not far from the wall when leaning properly.

    Taken the other direction, its worse; the mech, even when shifted down to a low gear on the cluster, almost touches. Only a slight bit of inattention would result in smashing the mech against the wall.

  15. Guide for leaning on team car/bus or own car?

    Doing it right as per No.4?

    Right

    Wrong

  16. @sthilzy

    Figures those doping Rooskies would get it wrong. They probably saw the Big Board, too.

  17. @sthilzy one thing you shouldnt do re: leaning bikes against cars: when putting your bike in the car, dont remove your front wheel, lean it against rear car tyre then put bike in car. If you are stupid and dazed after a race, you run the risk of forgetting front wheel (because you are an inattentive fucker) and then running over it when departing. This dumb mistake cost me one Mavic wheel in the car park at Sandown a few years back.  

    Lucky my car’s diesel engine is so loud it drowned out the laughter from others in the car park.

  18. @frank

    @Nate

    @frank I run 42 cm Rotundos, not these hipster douchebag things:

    As a matter of simple geometry and gravity, I can’t set my bike against a vertical wall such that the saddle, inside hood and drivetrain all touch the wall.

    Of course I see your point about Doing it Right, but that does not account for outside forces, such as toddlers, earthquakes, and the like.

    It took a few days before I could muster enough “give a fuck” to snap these pictures of my bike leaning post-ride.

    Facing out, you’ll see that the frame is not far from the wall when leaning properly.

    Taken the other direction, its worse; the mech, even when shifted down to a low gear on the cluster, almost touches. Only a slight bit of inattention would result in smashing the mech against the wall.

    Thank Merckx you and the Keepers give enough of a fuck to keep all our standards up.

    Is that a fi'zi:k seat pin or did you just get one of their grommets and put it on someone else’s pin?

  19. @Nate

    Thank Merckx you and the Keepers give enough of a fuck to keep all our standards up.

    Is that a fi’zi:k seat pin or did you just get one of their grommets and put it on someone else’s pin?

    Back to the old FSA seat pin because I couldn’t get the damn shim to stop creaking. Blasted non-standard seat-pin diameter.

    On the other hand, note how clean the drivetrain is, even post-ride.

  20. @sthilzy

    Guide for leaning on team car/bus or own car?

    Doing it right as per No.4?

    this might have been his entire season’s salary (or all that he actually received).  fucking exergy.  that team got bent over

  21. @frank

    @Mike_P

    @Chris

    @strathlubnaig

    @ped

    @the Engine

    @Chris

    @DerHoggz

    I’m going to argue against French cuffs with a suit. Save them for black tie and the higher-ups of Wall Street. Looks out of place otherwise.

    Do you also keep lots of pens in your shirt pocket?

    It’s fine if you’re going to wear a shit suit but if you take a bit of pride and your suit isn’t made out of man made fibres then not sporting double cuffs is a bit like spending a fortune on a bike and heading out in trainers and running shorts or drinking a decent wine from a plastic cup.

    Correct – although you must remember not to show your cuffs…

    Around 1.5cm of finest linen cuff should show

    sorry lads, try this place http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/style

    Or here.

    This is a little dated but has some gems (as with cycling the basics are timeless) such as positioning of buttons for braces:

    I recommend that you follow my example and have the buttons for the braces on the outside of the trousers at the front and on the inside at the back. If, like me, you remove your jacket when driving, you will find that this arrangement spares the leather seat of your Royce.

    and zip flies:

    A zip is a nasty thing, redolent of cheap suitcases and brightly coloured tents. A bespoke suit should have a button fly.

    There is even a rules section.

    And if you are wearing your suit jacket, and it’s a 3 button single breasted, English worsted, bespoke suit, as all gentlemen should wear, never ever on any account fasten the third, or lowest button.

    All suit jackets should be double-vented as well. I take most of my sartorial advice from James Bond.

    And make sure you cut out/remove the few stitches put in the vents to keep them in place whilst hanging in a store or the like. Won’t matter how nice the suit is if you go out without removing that stitching.

  22. @girl

    @frank

    @Mike_P

    @Chris

    @strathlubnaig

    @ped

    @the Engine

    @Chris

    @DerHoggz

    I’m going to argue against French cuffs with a suit. Save them for black tie and the higher-ups of Wall Street. Looks out of place otherwise.

    Do you also keep lots of pens in your shirt pocket?

    It’s fine if you’re going to wear a shit suit but if you take a bit of pride and your suit isn’t made out of man made fibres then not sporting double cuffs is a bit like spending a fortune on a bike and heading out in trainers and running shorts or drinking a decent wine from a plastic cup.

    Correct – although you must remember not to show your cuffs…

    Around 1.5cm of finest linen cuff should show

    sorry lads, try this place http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/style

    Or here.

    This is a little dated but has some gems (as with cycling the basics are timeless) such as positioning of buttons for braces:

    I recommend that you follow my example and have the buttons for the braces on the outside of the trousers at the front and on the inside at the back. If, like me, you remove your jacket when driving, you will find that this arrangement spares the leather seat of your Royce.

    and zip flies:

    A zip is a nasty thing, redolent of cheap suitcases and brightly coloured tents. A bespoke suit should have a button fly.

    There is even a rules section.

    And if you are wearing your suit jacket, and it’s a 3 button single breasted, English worsted, bespoke suit, as all gentlemen should wear, never ever on any account fasten the third, or lowest button.

    All suit jackets should be double-vented as well. I take most of my sartorial advice from James Bond.

    And make sure you cut out/remove the few stitches put in the vents to keep them in place whilst hanging in a store or the like. Won’t matter how nice the suit is if you go out without removing that stitching.

    And don’t walk around with your fly open.

  23. My daughter Leah’s #1. Leaning properly.

  24. @frank At least Thor got your saddle and inside hood rule right (0:42).

  25. @freddy Brilliant clip.

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