New Rules

New Rules

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The Rules – They were never expected to become this well known. Nor was the list ever going to get this long or be taken this seriously. The Rules were first suggested as a few basic guidelines just to keep some basic civility and decorum on the road. But we took it too far (as we do everything) and now The Rules somehow define the Velominati, the inverse of intention. I use the communal ‘we’ as all Velominati share some responsibility in this.

In the spirit of a new year and spring cleaning, we have ourselves a Rules overhaul, with some New Rules to get excited about. Rule #38, #47, #79 and #81, we forget what those were, but we are moving on. For the official stone tablet version, refer to The Rules page.

  • Rule #38 – Don’t leapfrog. Don’t ride back into a group that just passed you and ruin their pace, the pace that you couldn’t keep or you wouldn’t have been passed in the first place, and especially if you’ve been passed by women. Deal with it. You’ve been chicked, get used to it. There are a lot of badass women cyclists and they are going to pass your ass. @Jen gave us this Rule, suggested from personal experience and “getting chicked” is in the lexicon.
  • Rule #47 – Drink Tripels, don’t ride triples.  Brett was rightly offended by someone on our facebook page suggesting “kicking back with a Corona”. Everyone should be offended by this, even people who come from the land of that other great amber embarrassment, Fosters. I’m told they export it only, there should be a Rule about that. Thirty years ago we were all excited in the USA about the massive oil cans of this exotic Fosters, except you couldn’t chill it cold enough to not taste it and there was even more of it to be gagged down. Enough! Quality beer is a recovery drink. It makes you a better cyclist. OK, that’s a stretch, a happier cyclist then.
  • Rule #79 – Fight for your town lines.  From our good mate @Rob; “I was out yesterday to start the serious training for the 200 on 100. Met up with a group that were strong but have no race experience. We passed through at least five town lines and one double-point town/county line (nearby is my all time favorite triple – state/county/town). There should be a Rule that says something like “Town lines must be contested or at least faked if you’re not into it”. Every time we went through without sprinting, it was like, what a waste – this is boring! And I’m not even saying I would have won any.” When @Rob speaks, I listen, especially when sprinting is the subject. And yes, he would have won most of those sprints. I miss those rides: mindlessly rolling along when from behind, someone opens up a huge handlebar throwing sprint for a town line that everyone else is too dumb to realize is right up the road. Trash talking ensues, it’s all a way to pass the k’s, amuse each other and hone your sprint. Or nervously clicking ergo shifters so people close by hear and think you are preparing for the big shift and sprint as the town line approaches, forcing someone to do something as the ergo-clicker does nothing but rides along with a dumb grin on his face.
  • Rule #81 – Don’t talk it up.  Cruel but fair, tempting as it is to talk about one’s most recent road rash to one’s cycling buddies but really, if you are still riding, how bad could it have been? And it was probably your own fault so better to keep quiet. @MarkyMark gave us this gem then he disappeared. MarkyMark come back, you’re famous now.
  • Rule #88 – Don’t surge. A rule concerning the mechanics of group riding: when in a paceline, ride the tempo, before you tire, pull off, slow enough to drift to the back as the line ride through. It’s not rocket science, impress people by keeping the pace, not upping the speed when you get to the front. Thanks to John Perry, Sydney Cycling Club for Rule #88.

So there you have it, a slew of new Rules for you to meditate on, discuss amongst yourselves, and of course, Obey.

// The Rules

  1. @The Oracle

    @frank

    As we kick up for the 2012 VSP, we noticed another Rule was missing. As such, we present you with Rule #89:
    Rule #89 // Pronounce it Correctly.All races shall be referred to by the name given in its country of origin, and care shall be taken to pronounce the name as well as possible. For Belgian Races, it is preferable to choose the name given in its region of origin, though it is at the speaker’s discretion to use either the Flemish or Wallonian pronunciation. This principle shall also be extended to apply to riders’ names, bicycle and component marquees, and cycling accoutrements.

    I think I’ll have to consign myself to Rule #89 noncompliance at the outset.

    “Care shall be taken to pronounce the name as well as possible.” – That doesn’t mean you have to get it right. But show respect for the name and do your best. Its not the “Tour Day FRANSE” – it’s the “Tour duh Frahnce”. Things of that nature.

    @Jarvis
    I think you’re missing the point of The Rules…

  2. @frank
    In addition I will say that there’s always something special and different,to me at least, about watching for example Giro d’Italia on RAI 3,RAI SPORT or Ronde Van Vlaanderen on Sporza or NOS.Today for example I picked up this on France 3

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xonlyh_44eme-tour-du-haut-var-matin-etape-1-samedi-18-02-2012_tv?start=40

  3. @frank

    you know that I have long argued that some of The Rules miss the point…

  4. @brett

    Common sense, people of dirt.

    Common sense? But what of Rule #37?

  5. My friend Dan just flew to England yesterday from Houston, Texas and experienced first hand how it feels to ride on the left side of the road. He also mentioned a possible rulle ADDITION: Rule Number ?: “Always stay on the native’s wheel”. What is your take on this?

  6. Can we have a rule about blowing the nose and clearing the throat (also known as snot rockets and spitting). I vowed never to do these things (I am a lady after all) but now do them all the time, several times a ride. Snot rocket was the first thing I tauight my son after he joined the club …

  7. @isobel

    Can we have a rule about blowing the nose and clearing the throat (also known as snot rockets and spitting). I vowed never to do these things (I am a lady after all) but now do them all the time, several times a ride. Snot rocket was the first thing I tauight my son after he joined the club …

    While no rule for this exists, there is an article on etiquette; http://www.velominati.com/general/spitting-image/

  8. @louielouie62 If I’m taken on a ride in a place I’m not familiar with, I find it rude to take the lead without having asked. I was recently treated to several beautiful rides around Frankfurt by some pretty powerful locals, and only sometimes – when the route was clearly “just go straight” – did it feel appropriate to do some work at the front. Mind you, we weren’t hammering it with a brisk, but not an uncomfortable pace, so whenever the roads were quiet, we rode two abreast – but not more than a wheel in front of your guide.

  9. @louielouie62

    @tessar

    That happened during the Seattle Cogal. We’d be at a stop, @eightzero would give us directions, while not being disrespectful, we’d get sidetracked in conversation and whatnot. As such a small contingent  of us would hammer off the front, rip past turns and get wildly off route; usually meaning we’d have to descend and/ or re-climb to find our way back. Probably added a extra 10K or more doing that.

  10. Over here in Scotland we define Rule #79 as a HABBLE. On approaching a village or regional boundary the cry of HABBLE or HABBLE TO THE MARK is called out. All bunch members must then contast the impromptue sprint.

  11. Rule V must be pretty close to entering the next dictionary update.

    I was looking at some FB chat for a cycle group in Dubai. Very much a starting group aimed at beginners and newbies.

    They had a timed training event (as opposed to a race) last week and one person, who said she had never cycled more than 40km before, referred to the need to Rule #5 and harden up, then someone responded to her saying he had only been cycling for 5 weeks and also need to apply Rule #5.

    As far as I’m aware they aren’t sending copies of The Rules to everyone who joins. Half of them are still on MTBs and the other half wouldn’t know what the Velominati are.

    Somehow the Rules and Rule #5 in particular has reached a fairly general consciousness.

  12. ChrisO – That’s rather incredible. Funny how things begin to seep out little by little and before you know it they’re everywhere. The good thing is that I’m a Velominatus and like this growth of the spirit. I grow more and more baffled by pop culture because though I’m not so old, I honestly have no idea what’s going on these days. Probably because I don’t own a t.v. And I don’t follow popular sports. Or music. Oh well, not complaining, I’m just more and more confused when I do a fly-by on Tha Happs and realize I’m lost…and then, that I don’t care.

    Then again, whenever I join a group ride even the fast folks on nice bikes are in violation of countless Rules, so I guess  you can be aware but still not heed the call.

  13. @ChrisO

    Rule V must be pretty close to entering the next dictionary update.

    I was looking at some FB chat for a cycle group in Dubai. Very much a starting group aimed at beginners and newbies.

    They had a timed training event (as opposed to a race) last week and one person, who said she had never cycled more than 40km before, referred to the need to Rule #5 and harden up, then someone responded to her saying he had only been cycling for 5 weeks and also need to apply Rule #5.

    As far as I’m aware they aren’t sending copies of The Rules to everyone who joins. Half of them are still on MTBs and the other half wouldn’t know what the Velominati are.

    Somehow the Rules and Rule #5 in particular has reached a fairly general consciousness.

    Hearts and minds, ChrisO, hearts and minds.

  14. If any of you haven’t read Pynchon’s “V” and are prepared for a cross-disciplinary, sport/lit, entirely coincidental ne’er-the-twain-shall-meet broadening of the mind-horizon (“this has nothing to do with cycling but on a meta-meta level, sort of everything to do with my attitude to cycling”), I recommend it heartily.

  15. I am dismayed at the sight of cyclists who have dismounted on a hill and are walking their bikes. There must surely be a rule against this abomination, asides from the quite obvious breach of Rule #5. May I respectfully suggest a rule:

    A cyclist should never, ever, dismount on a hill to walk, no matter how steep it is or how hard it gets (see Rule #5). The only exceptions to this rule are if you have been involved in an accident and your injuries are serious enough to prohibit your continuation, or if your dodgy doctor has given you a bad blood bag. In either case it is permissible to walk until such time as an ambulance arrives.

    cheers,

    The Tinman

  16. @The Tinman

    I am dismayed at the sight of cyclists who have dismounted on a hill and are walking their bikes. There must surely be a rule against this abomination, asides from the quite obvious breach of Rule #5. May I respectfully suggest a rule:

    A cyclist should never, ever, dismount on a hill to walk, no matter how steep it is or how hard it gets (see Rule #5). The only exceptions to this rule are if you have been involved in an accident and your injuries are serious enough to prohibit your continuation, or if your dodgy doctor has given you a bad blood bag. In either case it is permissible to walk until such time as an ambulance arrives.

    cheers,

    The Tinman

    Having been caught bang to rights by a magazine photographer walking up a 30%er post tyre traction loss I’m conflicted here. I think if it was “keep going until traction gives out on your rear tyre or you lose consciousness” then I’d be happy. Obviously not walking up hills is an accepted guideline but where does that leave you if you’re racing up the Koppenberg and everyone in front falls off (although clearly the idea is to make sure that there’s no one in front of you when you get to the Koppenberg)?

  17. @The Tinman You should run this little theory of yours by this guy first.

    See how far it gets. It happens. Yes, it’s obviously not ideal but it happens, tyre slippage, CX dismounts, over-congestion on the koppenberg. I think I understand the spirit of your suggestion but Rule #5 is already taken. Having been the victim of being bumped on the Koppenberg and then tipping over trying to recover from a slip I can say it is a shitty feeling but sometimes unavoidable.

  18. @The Tinman

    I am dismayed at the sight of cyclists who have dismounted on a hill and are walking their bikes. There must surely be a rule against this abomination, asides from the quite obvious breach of Rule #5. May I respectfully suggest a rule:

    A cyclist should never, ever, dismount on a hill to walk, no matter how steep it is or how hard it gets (see Rule #5). The only exceptions to this rule are if you have been involved in an accident and your injuries are serious enough to prohibit your continuation, or if your dodgy doctor has given you a bad blood bag. In either case it is permissible to walk until such time as an ambulance arrives.

    cheers,

    The Tinman

    Nay nay and thrice nay!  If memory serves correctly there are some incrimating photographs of Keepers attendees on the Koppenburg from last year and if the text were to be believed much of it was not due to lack of V but merely rear wheel slip on gradients so steep as to make it impossible to remount once you have lost traction.  Those who have attended Hardknock Pass here in the UK will possibly also atest to this phenomenon.

  19. @Deakus

    @The Tinman

    I am dismayed at the sight of cyclists who have dismounted on a hill and are walking their bikes. There must surely be a rule against this abomination, asides from the quite obvious breach of Rule #5. May I respectfully suggest a rule:

    A cyclist should never, ever, dismount on a hill to walk, no matter how steep it is or how hard it gets (see Rule #5). The only exceptions to this rule are if you have been involved in an accident and your injuries are serious enough to prohibit your continuation, or if your dodgy doctor has given you a bad blood bag. In either case it is permissible to walk until such time as an ambulance arrives.

    cheers,

    The Tinman

    Nay nay and thrice nay! If memory serves correctly there are some incrimating photographs of Keepers attendees on the Koppenburg from last year and if the text were to be believed much of it was not due to lack of V but merely rear wheel slip on gradients so steep as to make it impossible to remount once you have lost traction. Those who have attended Hardknock Pass here in the UK will possibly also atest to this phenomenon.

    Never been to Hardknock but Hardknott was bloody awful – hence current attempt to lose large amounts of body weight.

  20. @the Engine

    @Deakus

    @The Tinman

    I am dismayed at the sight of cyclists who have dismounted on a hill and are walking their bikes. There must surely be a rule against this abomination, asides from the quite obvious breach of Rule #5. May I respectfully suggest a rule:

    A cyclist should never, ever, dismount on a hill to walk, no matter how steep it is or how hard it gets (see Rule #5). The only exceptions to this rule are if you have been involved in an accident and your injuries are serious enough to prohibit your continuation, or if your dodgy doctor has given you a bad blood bag. In either case it is permissible to walk until such time as an ambulance arrives.

    cheers,

    The Tinman

    Nay nay and thrice nay! If memory serves correctly there are some incrimating photographs of Keepers attendees on the Koppenburg from last year and if the text were to be believed much of it was not due to lack of V but merely rear wheel slip on gradients so steep as to make it impossible to remount once you have lost traction. Those who have attended Hardknock Pass here in the UK will possibly also atest to this phenomenon.

    Never been to Hardknock but Hardknott was bloody awful – hence current attempt to lose large amounts of body weight.

    Fingers and brain not sinking correctly today!!  Well corrected!

  21. @Deakus

    @the Engine

    @Deakus

    @The Tinman

    I am dismayed at the sight of cyclists who have dismounted on a hill and are walking their bikes. There must surely be a rule against this abomination, asides from the quite obvious breach of Rule #5. May I respectfully suggest a rule:

    A cyclist should never, ever, dismount on a hill to walk, no matter how steep it is or how hard it gets (see Rule #5). The only exceptions to this rule are if you have been involved in an accident and your injuries are serious enough to prohibit your continuation, or if your dodgy doctor has given you a bad blood bag. In either case it is permissible to walk until such time as an ambulance arrives.

    cheers,

    The Tinman

    Nay nay and thrice nay! If memory serves correctly there are some incrimating photographs of Keepers attendees on the Koppenburg from last year and if the text were to be believed much of it was not due to lack of V but merely rear wheel slip on gradients so steep as to make it impossible to remount once you have lost traction. Those who have attended Hardknock Pass here in the UK will possibly also atest to this phenomenon.

    Never been to Hardknock but Hardknott was bloody awful – hence current attempt to lose large amounts of body weight.

    Fingers and brain not sinking correctly today!! Well corrected!

    I’m such a pedant I make @Minion look happy-go-lucky

  22. @Deakus And did you mean “syncing” or was that just a cracking gag?

  23. @the Engine

    @Deakus And did you mean “syncing” or was that just a cracking gag?

    I am not that witty….I type fast but my fingers work a bit like abdoujaparovs elbows in a sprint!

  24. @Deakus

    @the Engine

    @Deakus And did you mean “syncing” or was that just a cracking gag?

    I am not that witty….I type fast but my fingers work a bit like abdoujaparovs elbows in a sprint!

    Now THAT is a Velominati worthy analogy!

  25. @Deakus

    @the Engine

    @Deakus And did you mean “syncing” or was that just a cracking gag?

    I am not that witty….I type fast but my fingers work a bit like abdoujaparovs elbows in a sprint!

    Sheesh, don’t put your eye out!

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