Guest Article: The Ride Starts On Time. No Exceptions.

Guest Article: The Ride Starts On Time. No Exceptions.

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In light of the first North American Cogal (a Cogal is a gathering of Velominati just like a Cabal was a gathering of Illuminati); this Guest Article by community lurker @gmoosh seems apropos. Except that obviously every ride starts at V past the hour. In this spirit, we have added Rule #87.

Message from the Keepers to @gmoosh, it is precisely V past Awesome; time to stop lurking and start sharing more of your undeniable insight into la Vie Velominatus with the community. 

Yours in Cycling,

Frank

– 

Things that happen on time: Saturn V rocket launches. D-Day invasions. BBC time codes. Japanese Shinkansen. UCI time trials. Things that do not. Greyhound buses. Airline flights. Weddings. Work meetings.

There is an obvious, significant and qualitative difference between them. One class are demonstrable showcases of Rule #5. The other involve the mundane, forgettable and lamentable periods of time between such brilliance.

That is why the best rides, and, I would argue, every ride, should leave at exactly the stated time. If the ride is called for 7:30, it should leave at 7:30. Not 7:31. Not 7:29. Anyone arriving after the stated time of departure should see, far up the road, the Lycra-clad asses of Ones-Who-Take Riding-Seriously.

The upside of always leaving on time is considerable. Others will be late exactly once. You signal that the sanctity of this ride, like all rides, is not something with which you should muck. You demonstrate, not with words but with actions, your commitment. As a bonus, you make more time for post-ride espresso.

Conversely, if you’re not ready to roll at the announced time, you’re prove that in your feebly misplaced life, other things-sleeping, driving, talking to you spouse or even pumping your tires-are more important than The Ride. You are wrong. That’s why you are sprinting up the street like a domestique after a puncture, while everyone else is chatting with insouciance on the rollout far ahead of you.

Don’t believe that starting on time is important? Ask Pedro Delgado. In the 1989 Tour, he showed up 2:40 late to the opening prologue, accepted his fate and rocked as hard as he could. And lost the Tour, finishing third behind an aero-helmeted Greg Lemond, and a collapsed and crying Laurent Fignon.

It is worth mentioning that there is exactly one acceptable way to be late: Overtaking the leader of the group on the first significant hill in a casually deliberate display of the Five and Dime. If you can’t consistently do that, show up ready to roll, and roll when expected.

Discipline. Commitment. Punctuality. Three great tastes that taste great together.

// General // The Rules

  1. Punctuality is next to godliness.

    (nitpicking) I’m pretty sure the Illuminati were part of a “cabal” not a “cobal”.

  2. @Oli
    I suppose a regular group develops its own ethic but I think you’re missing the point. Late is late. It’s the thin end of the wedge. Tolerating it only encourages it. Ten riders waiting for one guy for V minutes is not totally acceptable. Nor does it make them control freaks.

    A margin for error only changes the time of departure.
    Its not that hard: take your V minute margin for error and put it in your schedule, not your group’s schedule.

  3. @Oli
    Amen. Gotta agree with the V minutes of grace… Best not to let group rides turn into military operations .

  4. @frank

    Dude, just cos I know you wouldn’t want the Awesome of the article to be spoiled, I’m pretty sure the Illuminati had Cabals…

  5. Screw that I’ve never been early for anything in my life. I am on time for rides but the V period of grace is something everyone has used at some point. The V period is for events that are outside your control, longer than that you’re unorganised adn keeping everyone waiting.

    @Joe

    . Group riding should contain an element of Shibui, spontaneous and healthy competition balanced by quietly self effacing contributions to the beauty of the overall aesthetic. Effortless effectiveness. blockquote>

    But on the other hand this is fucking gold. What I like about bike rides, and races is that they have a shambolic start that refines itself to a point: this doesn’t entirely agree with the quote, but the quote describes what you’re trying to achieve. The expression takes place on the ride, after the legs are warm and you’re an hour in. Then you’re in the money.

    Sure, be early if you want. Its the other end of the ride I’m interested in.

  6. This is a slippery one. I have people I ride with that if they say they are going to show and are late, there is a damn good reason – I wait. I have others that the dog regularly eats their V-work, are always late, and have only excuses the next day – I leave, but I have absolutely no problem riding solo. It’s the only way I’ll ever “win a stage”.

    Some pre-rides I find myself hoping no one shows because I’m in that “isolation might have a better chance of bringing la volupté”.

    Of course, my volupté isn’t the transcendent, extended grace of the Giants of the Road, it’s more like the awkward few seconds of Joey right before he was “OK”.

    That said, I’m definitely showing up an hour early to the Texas Cogal.

  7. @Mikael Liddy
    Been biting my tongue on this for several months…

  8. @Steampunk

    @Mikael LiddyBeen biting my tongue on this for several months…

    I think the “Cogal” works fine, but when he actually calls it a Cobal in the intro to the article then something must be said…

  9. Great first contribution! It resonates with me as my friend would always be late when we arranged to meet. Then I read somewhere that his tardiness was due to his feeling more important, for whatever reason. The article suggested giving him 15 minutes and then leaving, and he was often much later that that. It was before mobile/cell phones and he’d call me later and ask where I was. I told him I waited 15 minutes and thought he’d forgotten so went home. It only happened two or three times, then he was always punctual.

    Of course it was this particular friend I have to thank for getting me into road cycling, and in our growing group ride, you get a few mins leeway.

    One way I help myself be on time for the rides is organising my stuff after every ride. Except for stuff that might need to go in the washing machine, helmet, gloves, emergency supplies (in Lezyne case) etc. all go in the usual place. Chain gets a clean and lube. To speed up the warm up I have a quick shower pre-ride, get dressed, pump up tyres and I’m ready to rock, 20 mins tops. Also, I find being a couple of minutes early allows time for a few stretches.

  10. @minion
    @Oli
    @frank
    Thank you gentlemen for bringing some reality to this outpouring of zeal and selfproclamation – were I come from it’s okay to admit you are not perfect – agreed it is not good to be late, and it is a bit disrespectful, but it is also a bit aspirational at times

    – I’m almost afraid to turn up for a Cogal if arranged this side of the planet, in case I am 4 seconds late and you lot beat the fuck out of me with your C02 cannisters….

    @King Clydesdale
    Dude, you need to talk to your girlfriend a bit more before you move in together

    @gmoosh
    that said, fine article, respect +1

  11. @harminator
    I’m not missing anything at all, and I stand by what I said. SYNCHRONISE WATCHES!

  12. Ah, right, that’s where Cogal comes from. I thought it was just some Pacific North West crypto-hippy thing.

    Is it a cog-arl or a cog-l.

    And if it was wet would you wear cogoules (that might be a British joke).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cagoule

    @King Clydesdale Good luck with that one mate and let us know if the next gf is any better ;-) Take it from someone who’s been married 17 years, if you let shit like that wind you up then it’s best to keep everything in separate names.

    On the OP, my reading of the new Rule #87 is that one advertises the ride time at the top or bottom of the hour, and it starts at V past that time… which I believe is what Oli was saying and what many clubs practise. We’re talking about a few minutes, not half an hour.

    You can turn up on time, or early even, and have a pre-ride chat or espresso, or you can turn up in the interval between the advertised start and V-past and get straight to it.

    Works for everyone.

  13. Maybe another word for the Lexicon – don’t really know what it means, just slipped into ma heed

    Velominazi

  14. @Dr C
    You’re right, no one is perfect and I’d be lying if I said I was never late but for me this is all about the repeat offenders or those who don’t give a shit that everyone else is standing around doing waiting. Shit happens that might cause you to be late but not on a regular basis. I would hate the idea that, if I am late for whatever reason, people will waste their time waiting for me.

    Knowing that a ride leaves promptly at a particular time is important because if I am late, I know exactly how far behind them I am, I’d rather know for sure that if they left at the prescribed time and I’m ten minutes late, they’re long gone and the only way to catch them would be if there’s a short cut early on in the ride. if not then I’ll go and ride by myself.

  15. @Mikael Liddy

    @frank
    Dude, just cos I know you wouldn’t want the Awesome of the article to be spoiled, I’m pretty sure the Illuminati had Cabals…

    Right you are. Corrected. Since more than 50% of the information on the internet is now incorrect, I’m going to have to find a new way to do my spellchecking inside my allotted 7 second window.

  16. @ChrisO

    I’m embarrassed that our reputation as hippies has reached the Mid-East.

  17. @Chris

    Knowing that a ride leaves promptly at a particular time is important because if I am late, I know exactly how far behind them I am, I’d rather know for sure that if they left at the prescribed time and I’m ten minutes late, they’re long gone and the only way to catch them would be if there’s a short cut early on in the ride. if not then I’ll go and ride by myself.

    +1

  18. @all

    I think you need to get laid

  19. Thinking about Julia again aren’t ya

  20. @Marcus

    @all
    I think you need to get laid

    I don’t.
    But when I do, I always arrive first.

  21. @Mikael Liddy

    @frank
    Dude, just cos I know you wouldn’t want the Awesome of the article to be spoiled, I’m pretty sure the Illuminati had Cabals…

    @JimmmyMick

    Punctuality is next to godliness.
    (nitpicking) I’m pretty sure the Illuminati were part of a “cabal” not a “cobal”.

    @Steampunk

    @Mikael Liddy
    Been biting my tongue on this for several months…

    Have I responded to this yet? Funny thing is we spelled it right in the Lexi way back when we put that in there.

    Must remember the correct spelling from here on out, because that’s not cool.

  22. @itburns

    Of course, my volupté isn’t the transcendent, extended grace of the Giants of the Road, it’s more like the awkward few seconds of Joey right before he was “OK”.

    Absolutely solid gold. Badge goes to you this week.

  23. @ChrisO

    Is it a cog-arl or a cog-l.

    Cog-all. Or however the fuck you want to say it.

  24. @Dr C

    Maybe another word for the Lexicon – don’t really know what it means, just slipped into ma heed
    Velominazi

    @Marcus

    @all
    I think you need to get laid

    I think you mean to say we should all get late.

  25. @frank

    @itburns

    Of course, my volupté isn’t the transcendent, extended grace of the Giants of the Road, it’s more like the awkward few seconds of Joey right before he was “OK”.

    Absolutely solid gold. Badge goes to you this week.

    Must be karma (or is that bike-ma?) for becoming Rule #33 compliant on Saturday.

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