Paterberg

Paterberg

Guest Article- Number Crunching

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@Bea contributed this Guesty with the note below excerpted. 

I know The Rules since before I started riding a bike. I mocked my cyclist-friend, asked him why he didn’t do triathlon and he answered with “Rule #42” and sent me the link to the website. Too bad I got that email while watching students during their exam, I read all 95 of The Rules and laughed out loud.

If people read The Rules, laugh out loud and get back on a bike, our group of Cyclists is doing something right.

VLVV, Gianni

My dear Friend

Since I went ‘cycling’ three times, I thought it would be a good idea to read The Rules again. And while I can’t say I’m not breaking any of them, I’m definitely not breaking a lot of them…

Ok, I don’t own three bikes, but for the 1.5 I do have, saddle, tires and handlebars are matched black. Even the hole in the saddle is black. And my (real cycling!) shorts are black too. I also follow Rule #24 to the letter and the same goes for Rule #89. There are some problems with Rule #7, #27 and #37, ok, the tanlines are razor sharp (read non-existent, except for my watch-tanline), but the invisible eyewear, sleeveless jerseys and ankle-length socks…

You forgot to tell me about Rule #40, but I’ll keep it in mind for next time. And every Rule talking about saddles and handlebars which is not about their color is broken. But I do win points for my (not so perfectly) shaven legs and my perfectly regulated facial hair. I have no livestrong wristband, I drink in moderation (might have something to do with the absence of cages (which is according to Rule #78, (and sometimes it takes just that bit longer, but still, no Rule is broken)), my ‘kit’ (clothes I guess) is clean and there are no stickers (not even a ‘weer een auto minder’ sign) nor race numbers. I have no idea what aerobars are, but unless they are childseats, baskets or padded saddles I guess it is safe to say they are not on my bike and the same goes for washer-nuts and valve-stem caps.

I don’t know what my helmet is, but it is definitely not a mountainbike helmet and my shoes are no mountainbike shoes. Admittedly they are no road cycling shoes either, but there is no rule about cycling with road cycling shoes (except that you can’t walk with them (Rule #69), which I don’t).

Admittedly, I break Rule #11, but maybe, for once, (and yes, by calling this I break #1, #2 and #3 too) it’s possible to see past that? I try to teach the whole family Rule #77 and that should count for something. No?

All rules about interaction with other people I’m perfectly ok with (eg #86, #87, #81, #71, #67, #19), I just don’t interact. However, that might turn me into a jackass (Rule #43), but by the look onto other people’s faces, I’m a funny jackass…)

Groetjes,

Bea.

The email above I wrote two years ago. A friend had taken me cycling for an hour on holiday. I came home, pulled on 12 year old black shorts (I still don’t know where they came from), took my bike out (a 30kg city bike with a basket and a childseat) and started riding. That first ride I did 25km, averaged 23km/h and almost died.

We are almost 17000kms further and things have changed a lot, I have changed a lot. Obvious things, like the extra bikes, kit and tanlines. I know what aerobars are, have my Big Crash (Rule #81 applies), First Race, new mantras (no halfwheeling, no gaps, hold your line) and unpadded white saddles (ssssht, handlebartape is still black). I’ve learned to survive the cobblestones and reached the top of De Paterberg (Am I making you all jealous yet?).

But the big change in me comes from the less obvious things. Sunrise and getting lost, meeting cyclist at 6AM (with a proper introduction), Rule #5 and Rule #9, almost dying, big bunches (which start on time), fighting the man with the hammer to get home, only myself as company (I can’t seem to get enough of me), huge encouragements, smells and sounds and views.

No idea when one goes from merely riding a bike to being a Cyclist. But I’m on my way and I love every minute of it.

// Guest Article // The Rules

  1. Great bea! That last paragraph is nipple lube. I prefer *schlauchreifenkitt!* though. Small appreciations become big rewards. *Races are won and lost over very small differences* Gonna read this one again. Thnx

  2. I have no idea either, Bea, but it sounds like you’re there, kid. Welcome.

  3. @universo

    You’re welcome!

    @litvi

    kid? I’m going to take that as a compliment… Thank you for the welcome! But I’m not sure I ever want to arrive…

  4. Definitely a great read and possibly a bit apropos as I only saw this article a day or two ago:

    http://cyclingtips.com/2016/03/no-garmin-no-rules-a-reminder-to-ride-without-structure/

    Makes me a bit sad but I think the only ones who truly have a “problem” with the Rules are the truly uninitiated who take it all at face value.

    Still almost wish we could replace the word “Rules” with the word “Reverence” as it feels closer to home around here, at least to me.

  5. Great article, @bea. Reminds me of when I started getting serious about cycling 6 years ago. I sensed the cultural aspects of the sport and was desperate for information on what to do to become more part of it. This site and The Rules came to my rescue.

    I think I shared this insight in some other post on here, but it might be worth repeating that I came to the conclusion the that Rules are more predictive than prescriptive or proscriptive. What I mean is most of the rules were predicting what I’d unconsciously be doing a little down the road as I delved deeper and deeper into the culture rather than telling me specifically what to do or not to do.

    For example, when I started, I had a saddlebag (handy place for my tools), a computer on the stem (need to know your speed, right?), the handlebars were tilted up (better for my back), but after about a year, and especially after join the local club, my bike was stripped down, bars levelled, stem (almost) slammed, urban biker helmut ditched (complete w/ visor) and replaced with a proper road helmut, cycling specific sunnies ordered, etc, etc.

    I remember the decisive evening in the shower when my daughter’s pink razor was staring me in the face. The moment that I grabbed it, lathered up and did the deed was the moment I changed from merely riding a bike to being a Cyclist. And, like you, I’m also loving every minute of it.

  6. The rules serve as a lighthouse, showing the way for the lost and providing a marker for the unguided. I truly don’t even remember how i came across the rules and Velominati, but between the strong literary writings of @frank, and the general jackassery that pursues it…this place is addicting. And who knows where i would be if i didn’t latch on to something so positive (generally speaking) with the sport.

    @Buck Rogers, i think for those of us who are have experienced and rely on a bit of structure, the “Rules” are an eye catcher, i know they were for me. The Rules may not be the most correct name, i mean if your a fan of the sport and an avid amateur then there not so much rules as a check list for things you already do. Either way, Rules Reverence or Jackassery, they are definitely Genius.

  7. @freddy

    I remember the decisive evening in the shower when my daughter’s pink razor was staring me in the face. The moment that I grabbed it, lathered up and did the deed was the moment I changed from merely riding a bike to being a Cyclist. And, like you, I’m also loving every minute of it.

    I sometimes wonder how and when a guy decides to shave his legs. Never thought they would use pink razors for the job though.

  8. @bea

    @freddy

    I remember the decisive evening in the shower when my daughter’s pink razor was staring me in the face. The moment that I grabbed it, lathered up and did the deed was the moment I changed from merely riding a bike to being a Cyclist. And, like you, I’m also loving every minute of it.

    I sometimes wonder how and when a guy decides to shave his legs. Never thought they would use pink razors for the job though.

    The bigger question though is did you tell your daughter and what was her reaction?

  9. @Teocalli, @freddy, I only have a husband who refuses to shave and sons who are too young to shave. But if one of them ever decides to be rule-compliant, they’re going to have to buy their own razor!

    Would be funny though if they decided to, we can swap stories about the best way…

  10. @bea

    @Teocalli, @freddy, I only have a husband who refuses to shave and sons who are too young to shave. But if one of them ever decides to be rule-compliant, they’re going to have to buy their own razor!

    Would be funny though if they decided to, we can swap stories about the best way…

    Sounds like a guest article right there!

  11. @bea

    @freddy

    I remember the decisive evening in the shower when my daughter’s pink razor was staring me in the face. The moment that I grabbed it, lathered up and did the deed was the moment I changed from merely riding a bike to being a Cyclist. And, like you, I’m also loving every minute of it.

    I sometimes wonder how and when a guy decides to shave his legs. Never thought they would use pink razors for the job though.

    Oh no, women’s razors are the best for leg-shaving.

    My wife has a model called Venus made by Gillette I think which has a big wide head so you get good coverage and it’s in the middle of a sort of soapy block, so you don’t need to use any foam or gel.

    Brilliant.

  12. Women’s razors are just last year’s male models with the grey/blue swapped out for pink with a few bucks added to the price!

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/12/22/women-really-do-pay-more-for-razors-and-almost-everything-else/

  13. @Cooper

    Women’s razors are just last year’s male models with the grey/blue swapped out for pink with a few bucks added to the price!

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/12/22/women-really-do-pay-more-for-razors-and-almost-everything-else/

    My wife is using a German stainless-steel razor with Japanese titanium-coated blades… in pink?

    Who knew?

    Surely nobody here uses cartridge razors. The male-grooming equivalent of a pie-plate and reflectors.

  14. @Teocalli

    @bea

    @Teocalli, @freddy, I only have a husband who refuses to shave and sons who are too young to shave. But if one of them ever decides to be rule-compliant, they’re going to have to buy their own razor!

    Would be funny though if they decided to, we can swap stories about the best way…

    Sounds like a guest article right there!

    We’ll do it together, you tell the male side, I do the women’s perspective.

    But be warned, my side is very short, women have very good (and apparently very expensive) Venus Gilette razors which get the job done in less than 2 minutes.
    I’m sure guys have cultivated a much more elaborate ritual… At least, it should be, after all the talking and thinking that precedes it…

  15. @bea

    @Teocalli

    @bea

    @Teocalli, @freddy, I only have a husband who refuses to shave and sons who are too young to shave. But if one of them ever decides to be rule-compliant, they’re going to have to buy their own razor!

    Would be funny though if they decided to, we can swap stories about the best way…

    Sounds like a guest article right there!

    We’ll do it together, you tell the male side, I do the women’s perspective.

    But be warned, my side is very short, women have very good (and apparently very expensive) Venus Gilette razors which get the job done in less than 2 minutes.
    I’m sure guys have cultivated a much more elaborate ritual… At least, it should be, after all the talking and thinking that precedes it…

    Ha Ha! Touché

  16. Excellently written!

    *THAT* is what this is about. An existing cyclist gives you your first “hit” which only gets you hooked. I like to see the rules as a history lesson in the culture of cycling. Anybody who scoffs at the rules surely has no sense of humor.

  17. If my maths serves, I think @Bea and I started our paths to becoming Cyclists at about the same time. Maybe a few months apart.

    Lovely article! VLVV!

  18. @bea

    @Teocalli, @freddy, I only have a husband who refuses to shave and sons who are too young to shave. But if one of them ever decides to be rule-compliant, they’re going to have to buy their own razor!

    Would be funny though if they decided to, we can swap stories about the best way…

    My first leg shaving involved my father’s single-blade Gilette razor, his shaving brush, and lots of cuts over my bony knees. Thirty five years on, I use my wife’s Venus Gilette razors (I suppose they are mine as well since California is a Community Property state) and my still bony knees have never had it so good.

    I enjoyed your article immensely!

  19. @Teocalli

    @bea

    @freddy

    I remember the decisive evening in the shower when my daughter’s pink razor was staring me in the face. The moment that I grabbed it, lathered up and did the deed was the moment I changed from merely riding a bike to being a Cyclist. And, like you, I’m also loving every minute of it.

    I sometimes wonder how and when a guy decides to shave his legs. Never thought they would use pink razors for the job though.

    The bigger question though is did you tell your daughter and what was her reaction?

    It looks like my “decisive evening in the shower” story found some common ground. To answer you question, @bea, I didn’t tell my daughter that I used her pink razor for my initial leg shave ’cause I knew what the reaction would be: A look of horror mixed with disgust followed by, “Daddy, please don’t touch my razor ever again.”

  20. @bea

    I sometimes wonder how and when a guy decides to shave his legs. Never thought they would use pink razors for the job though.

    Easy: after you find out about the Rules, you want to be compliant. I discovered the Rules when I was looking for a new helmet and I found an article about someone mentioning that a certain helmet would violate Rule #37 with a link to Them. I laughed but also was embarrassed about my socklength, blue bib colour, EPMS, framepump, 750ml bidon, valve-stem caps, washer nuts, aero skewer position and Wookie-fur. And btw, the Gilette Venus razors also come in blue…

  21. Since this has already been hijacked, or focused, on leg shaving, I must say I go the RDV way: Electric, as in l’Enfer du Nord, though I don’t do it on the bed. Not quite as smooth, but easy to maintain and never a cut. Do it while you watch TV!

  22. @Joe Cline

    Since this has already been hijacked, or focused, on leg shaving, I must say I go the RDV way: Electric, as in l’Enfer du Nord, though I don’t do it on the bed. Not quite as smooth, but easy to maintain and never a cut. Do it while you watch TV!

    This, I proudly prep my guns with my electric shaver, imagining I’m RDV at the start of Sunday in Hell.

    Blades and my skin don’t seen to get on.

  23. @mulebeatsdrums

    If my maths serves, I think @Bea and I started our paths to becoming Cyclists at about the same time. Maybe a few months apart.

    Lovely article! VLVV!

    27th of april 2014: the glorious day I got my roadbike (but I had been playing with my ‘normal’ bike first and then a mtb in the months before that)

  24. Guys, Dollar Store. Two (2) six blade razors for a buck. Blue OR pink. You pays your money and you makes your choice. Always remember to dry the razor afterwards.

  25. Excellent article bea! Your sense of humor toward cycling and the rules is spot on.

    Before long you’ll be searching for a copy of The Rider by Krabbe to read, participating in the VSP here and regularly visiting http://www.steephill.tv for racing results.

  26. @Buck Rogers, @justindcady, @mulebeatsdrums, @bovary1031, @EdwinJames Thanks!

    @EdwinJames I am participating in the VSP. The whole 2 points already… My punishment probably for not visiting steephill.tv enough…

    I don’t think The Rules should be taken seriously and I can’t believe they were written in earnest. There obviously was a lot of chimay blue and whiskey involved in the writing process. But toghether with that chimay blue and wiskey came a lot of truth and a great website. As @hudson puts it, they are a lighthouse, a very funny, addictive lighthouse indeed, but nontheless, not following it’s guidance is at your own risk… And then you end-up like me, still wearing socks which are way too short…

  27. Awesome! I can still recall my early path through these stages. While I spent a lot of time and energy learning the ropes when coming up, now riding bicycles in indivisible from my daily life. Had friends in town this weekend and didn’t ride at all on Sunday. Commuting to work this morning I just thought, “Damn, I love the feeling of riding a bicycle!” So much fun.

    Love the “lighthouse” analogy. Very good!

  28. @EdwinJames

    am pretty sure that @bea will read De Renner in its original language.

    Krabbe’s name turns up too often on this site, ‘t is about time we solicit his commentary. Did @frank ever get any feedback from the Prophet on the Rules?

  29. @Ron

    Awesome! I can still recall my early path through these stages. While I spent a lot of time and energy learning the ropes when coming up, now riding bicycles in indivisible from my daily life. Had friends in town this weekend and didn’t ride at all on Sunday. Commuting to work this morning I just thought, “Damn, I love the feeling of riding a bicycle!” So much fun.

    Love the “lighthouse” analogy. Very good!

    So that makes Frank Chief Lighthouse Keeper then? Standing alone atop his beam-throwing turret daring all the fixies and recumbents to run aground upon his rocks while the rule-compliant are guided to calmer, safer waters. Great analogy!

  30. And the ladder to the top is fashioned out of old tri bars, from former try-ers who’ve seen the light and taken them off.

  31. @Ron

    And the ladder to the top is fashioned out of old tri bars, from former try-ers who’ve seen the light and taken them off.

    And the light is not electric, but is in fact a bonfire of YJAs and oversized EPMSs. The siren who draws them to their death upon the rocks is a bearded lady with hairy legs, wearing a Brooklyn cap with BB30 bearings in her earlobes and tattoos in swahili that theoretically say “May the road always slope downhill and the wind be at your back” but in fact says “I am a douche of the highest order.”

  32. @bea

    I don’t think The Rules should be taken seriously and I can’t believe they were written in earnest.

    Agreed, they are most definitely meant to be regarded as tongue-in-cheek, and yet on every re-reading of them, I can’t disagree with them. Even the ones I don’t follow.

  33. @bea

    @mulebeatsdrums

    If my maths serves, I think @Bea and I started our paths to becoming Cyclists at about the same time. Maybe a few months apart.

    Lovely article! VLVV!

    27th of april 2014: the glorious day I got my roadbike (but I had been playing with my ‘normal’ bike first and then a mtb in the months before that)

    My first proper drop-bar road bike (which I still use for commuting and Nine rides) feel into my possession in September 2013. Before that I’d only ever had MTBs, but nearly always ridden on the road. The result—given that I lived in hilly Hampshire (the original one, not the New one)—was that I would be spinning out the smallest ratio on slight upward graidents, and biggest ratio on the downhills and not going all that fast in either case.

  34. @mulebeatsdrums

    My first proper drop-bar road bike (which I still use for commuting and Nine rides) feel into my possession in September 2013. Before that I’d only ever had MTBs, but nearly always ridden on the road. The result—given that I lived in hilly Hampshire (the original one, not the New one)—was that I would be spinning out the smallest ratio on slight upward graidents, and biggest ratio on the downhills and not going all that fast in either case.

    After trying out with my normal bike, I started with buying a mtb in november 2013. I went off road as much as possible, but we don’t live an in ‘off road’ kind of place, so I mostly used in on road. After initially staying on the flat road in the area, I eventually ventured out to the cobbles and the hills. While I wasn’t the fastest, I figured it wasn’t all that bad and I had no idea where all the fuss came from.
    And then I got my road bike. No suspension and a very very very different gearing…

    I’ve only been to the New Hampshire, also hilly and a great place to cycle!

  35. Since this thread Google Ads seems to be throwing me adds for Razors………….

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