Breaking the Rules: Thumb-Hard; Finger-Easy

Breaking the Rules: Thumb-Hard; Finger-Easy

by / / 69 posts

The Rules are a living thing; a set of truths that have been captured but which do not represent a comprehensive record.  They speak to whole larger than any of us and thus will never be complete. Indeed, we will always need to read between the lines of – to feel – The Rules in our pursuit of them.

Take, for example, Rule #57: No stickers.  Simple, logical. Obviously, this is aimed at stickers applied after-market by a consumer attempting to self-identify with a group of some kind.  Frame decals and safety stickers applied by the manufacturer are obviously not in violation, while, on the other hand, if one were to put a label on your handlebars that reminded you how what the various levers do when shifting, that probably falls into the “Maybe Not” category and should never need to be recorded in the Canon.

When plodding around town, my eye always seeks out bicycles and I make quick, almost subconscious assessments of how compliant the various bikes are with The Rules.  When I find sufficiently egregious violations, I generally snap a picture of it, just in case I need it in the future for court hearings and such.

This particular violation was seen while a Velominati Scouting Team (consisting of Jim, John, myself and various friends and family) were out doing a test-ride of equipment prior to our Big Ride on Saturday.  I took these photos for the bike’s violation of Rule #44 Rule #45, Rule #48, Rule #49, Rule #57, and Rule #61. Surprisingly, there was adherence to one of the more subtle Rules, Rule #40, but I’m guessing that was by some sort of freak accident, since the owner of this bike can not possibly have been attuned to it.

Upon closer inspection of the handlebars lurked a perfect example of why The Rules will never be a comprehensive Study Guide to cycling’s canon of etiquette, for this violation should never need to be explicitly documented within it’s texts, a Velominatus should “feel” it:

These particular stickers prod at the psychology of the bike’s owner: Thumb Hard, Finger Easy. (There might also be a moral lesson hidden within the meaning of those stickers, but I’m not smart enough to grasp it.)  I’m almost impressed by the fact that both stickers have it right despite the insistence of those damn Italian developers of the Campy Ergo levers to make both levers work the opposite way.  I can only imagine how many iterations it took to get the labels right.  Further, the bold, white font does nothing to the label’s subtlety; this is the work of an individual making a public declaration of their inability to absorb the workings of a simple mechanical device.

The only explanation I can come up with is that this bike belongs to a compulsive labeler; I can only imagine what other stickers this person has surrounded himself with to clarify the obvious.

// General

  1. Geof, actually bells and reflectors are required by law. We have to fit them to bikes we sell.

    I also run a bell on my commuter bike, it’s much better to give a ding-a-ling when coming up behind them in Mt Vic tunnel than yelling out “rider” 6 times and have them spin around startled and fall into you path. Maybe if they had mirrors this wouldn’t happen…

  2. Oh yeah, you’ll love this… my bell mounts on the pivot bolt on my, wait for it, secondary brake levers! Ok, it’s a Tricross SS, so cross bikes are allowed to run them… really, they are!

  3. @brett
    Thank you, Brettt, for not including bells on the two bikes I have bought from you in the last three years. Probably almost makes us even on the whole frame-mounted pump and mirror thing …

  4. @Geof A rule against bar-mounted bells?!? That would be like a rule against strapping a bento box on your frame. If it’s come to that, there’s no hope. Chaos will reign.

    I actually had a bell on my bike, for use on the big bike trail where I’m from. For those who looked like they knew what they were doing and were holding their line, I’d ring it just a bit and quickly, once. For Freds, I’d ring it twice, fairly loudly. For those weaving all over like drunks, I’d ring it frantically for about 5 to 10 seconds. What I found was that for those who knew what they were doing it was not necessary; for those who did not, they had no idea where I was or where I would pass and would often turn into me. I took it off.

    Now I say nothing at all when I pass, on the left, on the right, in the dirt, wherever, and at 30 kmph or 50 kmph. Only twice a year, on average, does this result in confrontation. There are many, it seems, who believe that one of the highest rules of etiquette in cycling is to say, “On your left” when you pass. Some of them get hotly pissed if you do not and will start swearing at you. Sometimes I slow down. I’ve been in long, drawn out arguments, lasting 5 miles or more, with such folks.

  5. Geof :

    @brett
    Thank you, Brettt, for not including bells on the two bikes I have bought from you in the last three years. Probably almost makes us even on the whole frame-mounted pump and mirror thing …

    No, it doesn’t! Not even fucking close!

  6. @david Too true about the “on your left”. There should be something like an air horn for the stupid and they are all pretty much stupid on bike paths. A universal sound like the one that will be needed when electric cars inhabit the world would be great. Like the old cards in the spokes when we were kids or hey what about a recording of a loud motor like a Harley??

    @brett Image please?

    I run a bell on my commuter and it is very handy in crowded places – I especially like it when I am in the NYC intersection last, all the cars have gone through and I am going like a bat out of hell but the wave of peds starts to close because (if they look at all) I am just a bike so they feel they can walk in front of me – the bell reminds them to look and when they realize that I am not going to stop and it might hurt to get pasted by a bike going fast… by the way this is with the light still green.

  7. @all
    All this talk about reflectors and bells gave me nightmares last night, you assholes. I dreamt I had reflectors in my Zipps and I couldn’t take them out! HORROR!

  8. brett :I also run a bell on my commuter bike, it’s much better to give a ding-a-ling when coming up behind them in Mt Vic tunnel than yelling out “rider” 6 times and have them spin around startled and fall into you path. Maybe if they had mirrors this wouldn’t happen…

    Oh, Jesus, no! I’m not about to advocate that we should have a rule about bells, but you want just a small bell with hammer that goes “ping.” None of this “ding-a-ling” or “brrring” bullshit. Your bell should only offer one quick and not-too-annoying syllable.

    @frank
    I thought all Cervelos came with bells, reflectors, and saddle bags.

  9. Even though I bike commute nearly daily – no reflectors or bell for me – just can’t do it. Never gonna happen. I do mount up a blinking light on the seatpost for winter use though.

    Most of my commute is on the Burke-Gilman Trail, a very used trail – cyclists, runners, walkers, skaters, etc. I do get sick of saying “On your left” a few zillion times a week, and I see people actually react better when they hear a bike bell – strange as that may seem.

    This guy I commute with often seems to have the best solution. He says “Ding Ding” as we come on people – like a human bike bell. Some people smile or laugh, then get out of the way.

  10. Dan O :This guy I commute with often seems to have the best solution. He says “Ding Ding” as we come on people – like a human bike bell. Some people smile or laugh, then get out of the way.

    Ha! When he was quite little, my son would bellow “HONK!” on our local rail trail. I always thought that was kind of funny.

  11. @Dan O When I stop and argue with those who get upset when I don’t say “On your left”, the point that most cools them down is this. “Put yourself in my position. I’m going to be out here for two or three hours and I’ll pass 50 people. Saying “on your left” all day is tiring and distracting.” It works, sometimes.

  12. @david
    That’s pretty weak. You poor dear. HTFU!

  13. Looking again, more carefully, we also have a Rule #35 breach, too. It’s hard to notice unless you look at the shadow, but that definitely looks like a visor on the helmet.

  14. @Steampunk What’s this? A comrade calling me out? I’m just training properly, my mind completely focused on maintaining the most awesome pace for three hours. Are you sure you know how to train properly?

  15. @david

    I’m going to be out here for two or three hours and I’ll pass 50 people. Saying “on your left” all day is tiring and distracting.”

    More or less distracting than stopping to argue with people?

    I’ve never had anyone get upset with me. Or maybe they have but I didn’t notice because I Train Properly and am Nearly Peaking and left them in my carbon dust! Suckers!

  16. @Steampunk
    Don’t worry mate, it’s a hammer-type dinger!

  17. @frank No, seriously, there’s a large number of cyclists out there who think failing to say “on your left” is a grave breach of cycling etiquette and get highly pissed. And, it’s not limited to my big, fat, well used bike trail. I’ve seen it in different regions. Of course, you have to stop when you hear the mumbling and grumbing after you go buy, or else you won’t be able to appreciate their pain. I’ve also had these conversations when I’m stopped at a red light, and they come back up to me. I haven’t pinned down the psychosis yet. (i) Some of them are just startled, and they don’t like it. I say, “I was startled too when I first started driving and someone blew by me at 90 mph. But, I got over it quickly.” That reply doesn’t go over so well. (ii) Some of them are into rules. They start cycling and they learn that you are supposed to do that. They think, I believe, “How courteous and respectful we cyclists are to each other, unlike the rest of the a-holes in the world. We have a code, an ordered system of behavior, and I’m so proud to partake in it.” And, then, when you violate their expectations, they panic, perhaps. Obey the rules! Or else the world will fall apart. Or, maybe unconsciously their pride in adhering to the rules is threatened by willful breaches of the code. (iii) There is the general ire that most feel when you perceive someone is making an exception for himself by violating the standard rules and conventions. “Who do you think you are? Do you think you are so special you don’t have to follow the rules everyone else does?” I get this when the person has an attitude to racers. (iv) Some of them mask a deeper psychosis by convincing themselves that the reason you do it is because it’s the safe thing to do. It’s dangerous to not say on your left as you pass. This one is easy to counter. I hit on this one two months ago. I say, “Well, in your case, I saw you were holding your line and riding smoothly, There was no danger.” This leaves them with no reply at all. “But I’m not a skilled cyclist, really! I’m a dangerous rider!” Hehe.

    I’m still working on the diagnosis. It’s a curiosity of mine, as a student of human behavior.

  18. @brett Yes, the hammer-type dinger is the one. That’s the same model I had, I believe. And, you can really flip that bad boy up and down quickly and make huge, obnoxious racket with it. (This is useful when confronting drunks on bikes.)

  19. @brett
    Okay. It was just the way you wrote “ding-a-ling,” which had me worried. I have my same bell on the right, though. I’m not sure this is more or less correct (I know, I know: it really doesn’t matter).

  20. @Steampunk
    You must have read that with his Aussie accent turned on. “Ding-a-ling” is Australian for “Beer”.

    @brett
    I think that bell looks absolutely awesome mounted like that. I did a similar rig with a little flasher light on my stem for my rain bike. Radness. Well done, mate.

  21. @Steampunk That is true Velominati eagle eye shit there!! Much impressed!

  22. As this is clearly a commuter bike, the fenders, rack, helmet visor and flat pedals shouldn’t be considered in violation of any Rules. The stack height, well that’s probably a bit extreme no matter what the bike is. The stickers though, pure anathema.

    But Frank, excusing safety stickers on a frame? Sacrilege! They should be the first thing to go on any new bike…

  23. @brett

    @frank

    Here we go. Trying to set up Rules, which primarily have their source in the history and traditions of European road racing, for all of cyclists, is ridiculous. Any sane commuter should violate many Rules with no compunction whatsover. Come on, which is it? Rules for all cyclists? That would be a boring list. Or, Rules for racers? There’s a good deal of confusion amongst the Velominati about this, exemplified rather plainly by the tension between frank and brett on this strange bike. A commuter should have a saddlebag, frame-mounted pump of whatever brand best fits the frame, yellow vest of authority, etc., and a helmet visor, fendors, rack, and stack height of whatever height best suits him, if they work for the commuter. Honestly, what norms or standards should apply to commuters??? The Rules???

  24. frank :@all
    All this talk about reflectors and bells gave me nightmares last night, you assholes. I dreamt I had reflectors in my Zipps and I couldn’t take them out! HORROR!

    And +1 to what David says above.

    It is 2 different worlds and personally I try not to mix them, no team kit on the commuter, no bells on the racing machine. There does have to be some overlap if you are a hard man on a budget i.e. the winter commute bike can be the winter training bike.

    Although I have real respect for the day in day out commuter (my best friend has commuted for 30 years on shit heavy bikes) commuting, bike paths and bells should only be mentioned in brief on these pages.

    Come to think of it I am not sure why David is being such a passive aggressive because he is jeopardizing his hard man status by training on a bike path – it is the rare bike path that will have the right conditions (no peds/commuters) to do proper training?

  25. @david

    The Rules do NOT “primarily have their source in the history and traditions of European road racing”. They were made up in my garage, posted about here, then grew into what they are now. They have nothing to do with racing, they were brought about from me and my friend Johnny Klink having a basic sense of good taste and aesthetics when it came to our, and our friends’, bikes. Road and mountain. Probably more mountain, to be honest. That some of them can be applied to racing (or training, or just riding, which is what we do the most) is more coincidence than consideration. If you are looking for Euro Pro-wannabe type rules, look at this list (which is not taking itself fully seriously, either).

    The Rules, this blog, riding bikes, they are all about one thing; fun. Me and Klink didn’t really care that our mates’ bike was covered in string and tape, we still rode with him (and had fun ribbing him about it). I don’t care that Geof has a helmet mirror, I’ll still ride with him and have fun (while still ribbing him about it). I don’t care if Frank rides a fucking Cervelo, I look forward to riding with him, having a drink with him, and having a lot of fun. Coz he gets it.

    Don’t lose sight of why we ride.

    And for your consideration, my commuter bike, in all its’ sadlle-bagged, belled, fendered, flashing lighted glory…

  26. Brett, that is a grand machine, love the set up – fixed or single?

    I have to think about the last 3 posts, Davids, mine and your reply, which you sent after. Being a newbie and not seeing the development of the Rules I see them as representing a more race oriented direction (with tongue firmly in cheek). More later as I am late for the morning ride.

  27. @Rob
    It has fixed and freewheel, currently running freewheel as I commute home through a section of a former World Cup XC course (on Mt Victoria here in Welly, where Cadel took his first major win). I’ll be riding it a a ‘cross race in a couple of weeks, and more than likely at the SSWC in October (unless sense prevails and I opt for my SS MTB…)

  28. @brett

    This bike in many ways represents the perfect ride. It’s roots are clearly apparent, surely one not familiar with the rules or cycling in general would look at it and say ‘road bike’ even though it’s technically not. This bike has a wonderful mating of form and function, form certainly following function with a certain elegance. The asthete of this bike is undeniable. This bike has utility and can be used to still put the hurt on some peeps.

    This is one of those bikes where if you have one or one like it in your stable and someone puts the proverbial gun to your head and says “pick one and give me the rest or else” you’d probably put this one near the top of the list.

  29. @Rob Well, I definitely don’t claim hardman status. I’ve achieved it on a bike rarely and briefly and never for any significant wins. In the made up world of the Cognoscenti and Rule Holists, created by men drinking beer, I do represent sometimes seriously and sometimes with tongue in cheek loyalty to Rule #5 before worrying about Rules about what coffee one can and cannot drink after a ride.

    The trail I ride is big and wide with divided lanes, and ProTour teams ride on it when they’re in town for the ToC. During the week, you can train on it as fast as you like. On the weekends in the spring and summer, you can’t. It’s too crowded.

  30. @brett Like I said, mixed messages. I came on this site, oh at about the end of April. Hardman this, Hardman that, all of them road racers. Article after article on European road racing in one way or another. And, I loved it. Virtually nothing on mountain biking, let alone mountain bike competition, nor any other school or tribe of cycling. Super Prestige: a road racing prediction game. On and on. Further, the rules are definitely road-racer centric. Arguably, 10, 14, 15, 17, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 40, 42, 50, 54, 61, 67, 70, and 75, if not others, derive from the particular style and etiquette of road racers. And, it turns out that road racers actually follow virtually all of the rules. Non-road racers do not, and in fact the vast majority of them have no idea there is an informal style and etiquette out there. We usually call them Freds.

    I mean, really, you have a rule, Rule #33, requiring shaved legs!! Shaving one’s legs is a tribal ritual for road racers. Well, for amateur road racers it is simply a bizarre tribal ritual, while at least for the pro road racer there is a point to it. It makes messages easier for the soigner and for the rider.

    So, whatever the original source of the Rules, they and this site definitely come across as catering to the interests of road racers. Of course that’s fine with me.

    Given some of your remarks, brett, it seems I obviously do not have control of the impression my writing gives about me. Sometimes I play at being harsh and serious as part of my role as a founder of Rule #5 fundamentalism, a role I was given by the way. I take this site to be about fun. But for it to be fun, it has to be taken seriously at least in a facetious kind of way. You can’t have fun with a set of Rules which deign to express the truths of the etiquette of the sport of cycling if at some level you don’t take them seriously. That may just be in conversation posting while drinking beer or in actual riding. To be fun, one should at least feel there is something at stake in adopting a rule or not. I think so at any rate. Maybe I’m wrong.

    Y’all can move the site in the direction you wish. It’s your site. I’ll not make a fuss about it. But, as a site devoted to the interests of road racers, and with a set of fun Rules that attempt to mark out the style and etiquette of a road racing culture, informed by the history and traditions of the sport, the site is fun and unique. If we took the Rules to just state the tastes of two guys in a garage, or four Keepers for that matter, then, I offer, the Rules would just be boring.

    So, here’s my two cents on the site. Don’t let it slip into a site on a general cycling culture or style. There just is no general cycling culture or style distinct enough or interesting enough to set up Rules for and have fun arguing about them.

    At any rate, brett, some of your articles on the history of road cycling I’ve enjoyed the most. You know more about that history than I do. Please don’t start writing about mountain bike races or the proper Embrocations a cyclist should employ after an enjoyable ride around the park.

    “The Rules, this blog, riding bikes, they are all about one thing; fun.”

    The Rules are about fun, the site is about fun. I get that. But, no, cycling is not about one thing: fun. That’s lame, man. Harden the fuck up. You’re a Keeper for Christ’s sake.

    And, sometimes I actually do seriously consult the Rules on style.

  31. And, sometimes I actually do seriously consult the Rules on style.

    Oh, for crying out loud: HTFU!

  32. @david

    I agree totally with pretty much everything you’ve said there, it seems you do get it.

    Of course the site is primarily road based, and a lot of it racing and its traditions. There have been MTB posts too, and some stuff on fixie culture and commuting. We take our cycling seriously for sure, we consult and employ most of The Rules, but we also know that when it all comes down to it, we just like riding bikes. I think we’ll all agree on that.

    This site won’t, and I don’t think it is, slip into mediocrity or ‘general cycling culture’, if by that you mean a YJA/Critical Mass/recumbent-riding tome. But we will cover the odd MTB topic, or anything we deem fit to grace this site that is interesting and entertaining. For Christ’s sake, this is the 50th comment on a post about a commuter bike with stickers on the bars, many more than my post on Ugrumov, which I’m sure sits more easily with your ideals of what the site is about. So that proves that our readers have a wide and varied interest in cycling, and are entertained by aspects other than racing, tradition and rules.

    Stick with us mate, we’ll continue to serve up plenty of hardmen, lots of cobbles, leg-searing alpine climbs and vials full of EPO. Because we love all of that shit, and we have fun seeing you guys disect every last word to the nth degree.

  33. @brett
    Spot on, mate. On everything.

    @david
    I hear you, man. The site is about cycling. And if there’s anything that doesn’t need Rules, it’s mountain bike, commuting, etc. But it’s fucking fun to tease some stranger’s bike for putting stickers on his bars in order to make riding his bike more sensible to him/her. Of course, tongue firmly in cheek.

    The Rules are about road cycling because that’s where the history is. That’s where the culture is. It exists no where else but in the world of road racing and riding.

    My heart and my focus will never leave the road, whether I’m writing about Dutch Bikes, drinking beer, or watching the US take a heartbreaking defeat in the World Cup. Of course, that last one won’t grace these pages.

    Don’t worry, mate. We’ve got your back.

  34. Just so I’m not misunderstood. About every serious road cyclist I know is interested in other aspects of cycling. Reports on good rides. Mountain bike stuff. Cross stuff. Nonroad equipment–well, maybe not that. Scratch that one. One of the most interesting articles I’ve come across is Frank’s piece on the super-stylized fixie bikes.

  35. @frank

    @david

    So I’m reading Frank’s reply, the part about cycling culture existing and being steeped in road cycling, and the first thing that pops into my head is “yeah but fixie culture is picking up steam quick man” and then I read david’s response. That’s why I like it here. There are things that tie us all together and others where we might find ourselves parting company. But in the end, and I think I speak for most everyone here, the true passion comes down do throwing your sac over the top tube of your finest road steed, growing out your side burns (okay that’s maybe just me), and going down the road as hard as you can with images of RdV (insert favorite classic rider of your own if you wish) in your head.

  36. @david
    Comment #48: Amen

    and as a footnote. In amongst plumbing/fitting out the re-built workshop and waiting/preparing for my kids to arrive I’m trying to be constructive. Time will tell if I have enough time to succeed.

  37. All – Good one.

    Who would think that wanking little stickers would lead to this love fest?

  38. @Rob

    And therein lies (or is it lays, Beth, because I have no fucking clue) the gift that the thumb hard, finger easy rider gave the Velominati eventhough this anonymous cyclist was the butt of some ridicule. Thanks thumb hard finger easy guy/gal, whomever you be.

  39. From what I’ve seen, Marko is right. The fixie culture is spreading like, . . . cancer? gentle ivy? It’s going on what, 8 or 10 years in cities like NY and SF? I’m still not sure what to make of them, whether to be hostile or embrace them as cyclists.

  40. @david
    Probably dangerous to over-generalize. Again: the rider not the ride. Riding a fixie is an excellent way to work on one’s stroke, after all. I don’t have one, and it’s way, way down on any priority/budget list, but a few around here have caught my eye.

  41. I agree with that. Track bikes, after all, are fixed gear bikes. (No mention of track racing on this site? I love it. Always want to do it. But, no near velodrome.) Fixie’s though, are riders with a certain style on highly stylized fixed gear bikes. It’s them I am unsure, ambivalent about.

  42. Me thinks they don’t give a toss about us and good on them for that. There is a whole new culture of fixie skidder skate board trick bike tattoo folks who are urban cool kids and a velominatus is just part of the corporate oiled machine. They might be the future?

  43. @Rob
    In that way, fixies can, CAN, be punk. That is something I can respect. But there’s a huge difference between finding and old steel lugged Flandria frame in someone’s basement and scavenging, bartering, and adding components slowly vs. buying the out of the box color-coded Masi. Talk to an old school messenger from the 80’s and my guess is you’ll get some opinions on the current fad.

    But, this is a tangent. To the point as Steampunk says, rider not the ride, and I appreciate Thumb hard finger easy guy/gal for spurring this conversation.

  44. Fuck, rob. That is too heavy. “They might be the future?” “A velominatus is just part of the corporate oiled machine.” I think one of the reasons the fixies are not just a fad, but are something more permanent, is that a certain kind of social/political ethos is backing up the movement. God help us, the little bastards are turning cycling into an ideology. It’s a clear violation of Rule #57, for Christ’s sake.

  45. @Marko In a way I was not clear I meant the “real” fixie riders, the ones who live the bike. They are the ones I see in NYC and London (strangely Paris had many fewer) and they are complete individuals, as are their bikes. In NYC I see them getting together for different reasons that have to do with social protest – hunger, naked bike, BP (now) and moonlight ride through Central Park.

    The last I stumbled on when I was in the city in the spring on the first really warm night. I had just done 2 laps of the park on my fixed folding commuter so I was in mufti so to speak. As I was leaving the park at Columbus circle at 9:45 pm I couldn’t help notice about 150 bikes. It was quite a sight and there was not one bike that followed the Rules. So stopping and asking was told it was the monthly moonlight ride. I went with it and at 5 mph we circled the whole park (about 5-6 miles). It was one of the more fun things I have done on a bike… There was a kid pulling a little trailer with a sound system. Every one had the flashy lights so this long, long caterpillar of red and white lights blinked through the spring night 2 and 3 abreast. The ride went on footpaths up down and around and past many things I had never seen before. Cops just ignored us but peds were enchanted. The group feeling was mellow in the extreme.

    Its these urban kids, and alternative living folks that I see as the spear head of a bike culture that is more about your anti establishment politics than what your bike looks like.

    The other group, those 20 somethings living in the city riding the off-the-shelf hipster, never tighten the toe straps cause it will scuff your hipster shoes, bikes are a joke. But at least they are on a bike and they might figure it out someday… ?? So yes it is about the rider and a third group in the city is that old school bike messenger with skid skills that blow me away. I have been behind three in the past year that were doing stuff brakeless that took the breath away!

    @david That is the point they flaunt the Rules and the bike is just a vehicle (pun intended) to a greater cause. The feeling I get from most of them is that if I showed up at an event on a machine that followed the Rules with my kit on I would be just part of the problem.

  46. @Rob

    Oh you were crystal clear to me man. I was really just reiterating/dwelling on your point. Believe me, not for one second did I think a man with your cycling asthete not understand the nuances of fixie culture. Cool image of the central park ride.

    On a somewhat related note, I’ve really enjoyed articles in recent months in fish wraps and online about the burgeoning race scene in Africa. Those dudes are Rule #5 exemplified. Riding rigged together bikes of all vintages with mixed gruppos and building a grass roots race scene that I can only imagine is akin to turn of the century and reconstruction post war race days in Europe. Very cool and the only Rule being strictly followed is 5, any others that are complied with are strictly by accident.

  47. First I’d like to say that I just found this site yesterday via BigRingRiding.com. Unbeknown to me I have been a follower of The Rules for the last 15 years.

    I decided to start catching up on the site by reading the older posts, this one was the first i clicked. Upon the site loading I could not help but laugh out loud hysterically on the sight of the first image. Why? Because I once worked for company/shop that produced those bikes. I in fact, had a hand in sending many of bikes like that one out the door. I hope that doesn’t put me in violation of Rule #2 or #3, because I was under orders and my livelihood (paycheck) were at stake. Plus its been many years since then and I have strictly abided by all rules outside of the workplace.

    Nonetheless, eventually in that personal hell, I grew numb to the “sit-up-and-beg” position as it came to be known. Then those ridiculous stickers came along. They were funny for the obvious non-bike related reasons, but silly for their intended purpose.

  48. Oh, and you can thank the adherence to Rule #40 to me. That was/is my standard protocol on all bikes. In addition to the stated rule, aligning the label this way makes it easier to track where the flat is on the tire or tube, once the tube has been removed. Using it as a reference point.

  49. @Gillis
    The “sit up and beg position”! Liking that.

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