Guest Article- When Is a Sticker Not a Sticker?

We are presently in the calm eye of the Spring Classics typhoon. Last weekend the Ronde blew through leaving more questions than answers and now this Sunday, blowing in the opposite French direction with just as much power, Paris-Roubaix. Between storms let us gather our inner cyclist and meditate upon our ancient scrolls of The Rules. These scrolls were found deep in a pain cave, above the River Merckx, by, wait for it, a shepherd, no, a peripatetic innertube repair person.

@Blacktoolpower asks for enlightenment on a question as old as the bike itself.  

FFS, Gianni

Every code, every philosophy, has its wrinkles; little contradictions and ambiguities that need solving, fudging, or avoiding with fancy logical footwork.

When The Keepers sit in their robes in the Velominati Star Chamber (they do that, right?) debating whether a ristretto coffee is allowed under Rule #56 or if listening to The Cycling Podcast with one earphone on a long steady ride round the park really contravenes Rule #62, they’re enacting cycling’s equivalent of the great debate in The Name of the Rose. That was the Dominicans versus the Franciscans on the motion “Did Christ, or did He not, own the clothes that He wore?” (translation: who’s more holy, the fatcats or the hobos? You don’t need a vatican tour to figure out who won). These small questions have far reaching implications.

So, here’s one for the Keepers: does appropriate support for my Local Bike Shop (Rule #58) allow me to contravene its adjacent Rule (#57 – No Stickers)?

The first time I had my beautiful titanium Enigma serviced by the always reliable, always friendly London Cycle Workshop, they put a cheeky green sticker on the down tube, saying “maintained with LCW”. Did I ask them to do it? No. Did the green match anything on my … excuse me titanium coloured bike? No. I took it off.

But when I returned a few weeks afterwards, to get my bike in top condition for the Dragon Ride – a hideously long cyclosportive in Wales – they checked everything, tightened some bearings, tuned the mech, pronounced it perfect … and didn’t charge me a penny.

I didn’t take off the sticker that time. Partly out of gratitude, partly because that “with” in the sticker’s wording (rather than “by”) struck me as appropriately respectful.

A bike shop that checks your machine for free and does other generous things like taking the time to explain the thread-count on Vittoria Open Corsas without ever trying to sell them to you and giving you maintenance tips that will result in less income for them … is a noble and life-affirming institution and worth bending a rule for, no?

I await the verdict …

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55 Replies to “Guest Article- When Is a Sticker Not a Sticker?”

  1. Wait a minute… When did this become a car repair blog. Thought I typed the address correctly. Now, to find the velominati site again…

  2. @therealpeel

    Wait a minute… When did this become a car repair blog. Thought I typed the address correctly. Now, to find the velominati site again…

    There’s no harm in discussing car maintenance on here. Surely a true velominatus, or certainly a true velominatus budgetatus, would rather do his own motor maintenance (within reason and respecting his limitations of course) and spend the resultant savings on shiny things of a cycling nature?

  3. @Chris

    @therealpeel

    Wait a minute… When did this become a car repair blog. Thought I typed the address correctly. Now, to find the velominati site again…

    There’s no harm in discussing car maintenance on here. Surely a true velominatus, or certainly a true velominatus budgetatus, would rather do his own motor maintenance (within reason and respecting his limitations of course) and spend the resultant savings on shiny things of a cycling nature?

    Maybe, but then again taking the time to fix the car is time spent not riding or doing the other things that prevent one from riding. All the baubles mean naught when of they remain unused.

  4. @therealpeel

    @Chris

    @therealpeel

    Wait a minute… When did this become a car repair blog. Thought I typed the address correctly. Now, to find the velominati site again…

    There’s no harm in discussing car maintenance on here. Surely a true velominatus, or certainly a true velominatus budgetatus, would rather do his own motor maintenance (within reason and respecting his limitations of course) and spend the resultant savings on shiny things of a cycling nature?

    Maybe, but then again taking the time to fix the car is time spent not riding or doing the other things that prevent one from riding. All the baubles mean naught when of they remain unused.

    My point is that a good mechanic for a car is not unlike a good one for a bike.  They keep you moving and minimise the need for unfortunate domestic repair situations.   I do no car maintenance myself because I have a great mechanic.  My bike situation is almost but not quite as good.   That’s all.

  5. We must take the reality check.

    However much pain it will cause.

    A decal is a multi layered icon, printed on to an adhesive base and requires skill to apply.

    Praise to the Airfix kit.

     

    A cycle maintainer, how ever skilled, will have taken the left hand path to efficiency. It will be a peel and stick ….Sticker !!!!

    The rules apply….

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