Rule #43

I wonder if Rule #43 should be sublimated on our bibs too. It might be my most favorite Rule. Don’t be a jackass. But if you absolutely must be a jackass, be a funny jackass. Always remember, we’re all brothers and sisters on the road.

As a Keeper on the Velominati site, it irritates me that the Velominati are known mostly for The Rules. While we didn’t invent them nor were we the first to list them, our proselytizing has made us synonymous with The Rules. I would hate for us to be known as the exclusive Cyclists rather than the funny Cyclists.

Frank started this site to write about and discuss the beauty of cycling; The Rules were never part of the plan. If someone wants to start something Rules-wise with me, they better hand me the list because I don’t know them. I might possibly have been a more religious person if it all weren’t so deadly serious. And yes, my inability to take things seriously has been brought up too often, usually at annual performance reviews. But I grew up with the daily option of nuclear annihilation hanging over my head. Us kids all started to talk like French philosophers, at eight years old, smoking cigarettes and asking, mon dieu, what iz ze point of life, eh? Our local cub scout pack just fell apart after a few months… really, earning patches to sew on our uniforms? It made no sense to us young nihilists. Zere is no patch for digging an impromptu bomb shelter? Ahh, fuck it, let’s go out into the woods and smoke more cigarettes.

While I occasionally worry about The Rules smothering all other things Velominati, that worry is always quickly buried by the funny back and forth on the site. While some cycling sites are heavily moderated or troll filled, Velominati seems to thrive on the uncensored winding up. We realize arguing about riding one’s bike could make us all seem like jackasses, but at least we are funny jackasses. Long live Rule #43.

And to prove my point, if I had one… this.

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83 Replies to “Rule #43”

  1. A friend of mine who travels a lot had someone sitting next to him on a plane recognize him from a charity bike ride he and I do once a year. She recounted the encouragement he had given her about her finishing the ride. And she recalled me as the guy who gave her shit about having reflectors on her bike and having a mismatched kit (good naturedly though).

    He and I have a rule where we encourage anyone out exercising (even if they’re doing something stupid like running). They get a lot of thumb’s up and waves- that sort of stuff. But if we get in close with these folks and have a chat, sometimes they just gotta know how to go about things the right way, especially if a bike is involved. Thank Merckx for the codification of the rules.

     

  2. @Barracuda

    @Gianni What rules ?

    Apparently it’s that wee tab at the top between the Gear and the Lexicon. Me? I just come for the comments and pictures.

  3. @gianni perhaps we should have a rule requiring us to all head off to the woods for a sneaky fag when it all gets too serious…

  4. @wiscot

    @Barracuda

    @Gianni What rules ?

    Apparently it’s that wee tab at the top between the Gear and the Lexicon. Me? I just come for the comments and pictures.

    I cant read so it’s the pictures for me.

  5. I have always thought the Rules should slightly restructured and the current 43 moved to 42. After all as well all know…42 is the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. The current 43 seems to fit that very well as far as I am concerned!

     

  6. @chris

    @gianni perhaps we should have a rule requiring us to all head off to the woods for a sneaky fag when it all gets too serious…

    I’ve always been a fan of drinking in the woods instead of smoking, but to each his own.

    But smoking in the woods better look Goddamn Fantastic.

  7. In terms of the original post, what’s the ruling on good natured ribbing of tri geeks?

  8. I find a lot of similarities between the Velominatus and another group, completely unrelated, that I identify with; the Dudeism movement. If you don’t know it, do a google.

    In both cases there seems to be a perception that in spite of everything that either is truly about, unless you are following the rules or doctrine you’re not doing it right. And also in both cases, the true ethos can be summed up as just taking it easy. In the non-pedaling sense. But really, the only person who gives a sh*te about the rules is an aging, Vietnam vet tasked with caring for his ex-wife’s dog.

    To get back to my point, the whole idea of just taking it easy really is what it is all about. Rule #6. Don’t overthink things. Just let things be as they are. And if you get hung up on something, let the rules/doctrine/cannon be your guide. They are simply guide posts. Or Dan Henrys,

  9. @Stephen

    On a related note, this past weekend’s Strade Bianche validated one of Greg LeMan’s rules from the Foreward. His Rule #10: The race is never over until the finish line.

    I was yelling at the screen for the kid to find one last drop in the tank, but when Faboo and the defending champ are chasing you down there isn’t much hope.

  10. Tales keep popping up around the internet of supposed Rules based jackass-ism; of people using the Rules to be exclusionary and elitist. Yet never first hand accounts. It’s as if there’s a reactionary streak that WANTS this to be the case, who just don’t get it.

  11. The rules could all be reduced to the following two:

    ‘You shall love your bike with all your heart, with all your soul and your mind and love your fellow velominatus as yourself’

    Although don’t be a jackass still seems more elegant

     

     

  12. @Owen

    Good point, and did you notice what Faboo did just after the finish? A flagrant violation of Rule #49. But then again, he being Spartacus and all, that probably means this rule should be redefined. So much for the rules…

  13. @Clank

    The rules could all be reduced to the following two:

    ‘You shall love your bike with all your heart, with all your soul and your mind and love your fellow velominatus as yourself’

    Although don’t be a jackass still seems more elegant

    I see what you did there, we will call it “Gianni 22:37-38”.

  14. @Owen

    In terms of the original post, what’s the ruling on good natured ribbing of tri geeks?

    If a tryathlete feels the ribbin’ it will end up nasty. They really are a most serious bunch trying hard not to be about their sports.

  15. I know I know… badges, rules, whatev… I just couldn’t help but think of this good ol’ good ol’ when I read the article. Uhhhh, did I just admit to reading an article ? Before posting ? Cheers all

  16. @Slowtrane

    @Owen

    Good point, and did you notice what Faboo did just after the finish? A flagrant violation of Rule #49. But then again, he being Spartacus and all, that probably means this rule should be redefined. So much for the rules…

    Just because the pros sometimes don’t follow the Rules doesn’t mean the Rules are wrong. It often prove the point of the Rule, like when Wiggo was told to pick up his bike after smashing the Hour he looked really embarrassed and awkward about it.

    It looks shit, no-one should do it, even Cancellar.

  17. The bite in one’s behavior should be in direct proportion with the amount of time you spend together.  Long time teammates and competitors?  Talk the trash.  Lapping a novice rider at a charity event?  Be polite, encouraging, and set a quiet example.

    One group comes to mind that I don’t ride with due to violations of Rule #43 and the above corollary, even though not directed at me.  Worst was an insult shouted at a farmer passing by on a tractor.

  18. @RobSandy

    @Slowtrane

    @Owen

    Good point, and did you notice what Faboo did just after the finish? A flagrant violation of Rule #49. But then again, he being Spartacus and all, that probably means this rule should be redefined. So much for the rules…

    Just because the pros sometimes don’t follow the Rules doesn’t mean the Rules are wrong. It often prove the point of the Rule, like when Wiggo was told to pick up his bike after smashing the Hour he looked really embarrassed and awkward about it.

    It looks shit, no-one should do it, even Cancellar.

    Not so much shit as preposterous, I think. Wonder where the urge to do that comes from. Is it copying musicians who tend to do that with their instruments (trumpet players mainly, piano players less so)?

  19. Fine piece of musing there, Gianni. Personally, as I get older, I find myself striving (and occasionally succeeding) to take things LESS seriously. If, as you say, your inability to take things seriously is brought up a bit too often, you’re doing it right. Feel free to inform your antagonists that a tall, opinionated, Dutch cyclist said so… (They may get it wrong after all, and think you’re referring to Frank)

  20. @Ulf

    @Owen

    In terms of the original post, what’s the ruling on good natured ribbing of tri geeks?

    If a tryathlete feels the ribbin’ it will end up nasty. They really are a most serious bunch trying hard not to be about their sports.

    A sense of humor is not an ingredient in that lot of folks. Thankfully, I haven’t met many but…it’s amazing how little they’ve known about bikes and riding them despite owning a very $$ one.

  21. Gianni – I’d ventured that anyone who is the slightest bit inclined to read, consider, and comprehend the Rules was already following their own (or their small group’s) set of them, whether codified or simply existing in the mind.

    Growing up, the way my friends and I stayed entertained and lively was to come up with rules about all sorts of largely meaningless shite. Some of it had meaning, other stuff was just plain BS. But, it provided us with a method to have fun, to hold one another accountable, and, most importantly, to issue demerits. That then led us to a hierarchy of painful enforcement for accumulated demerits.

    And, of course, the beauty of the Rules is finding a community of folks who give a shit, whether about bikes or style or aesthetics or language. Or leading a healthy life. Or treating their bodies right. Or sleeping & eating right. Or freeing their minds daily so they can succeed at work. Or just cycling to be happy. Sure, we shouldn’t take life too seriously, especially if we are living on Easy Street. But, for me, why bother getting out of bed if you don’t deeply care about things? Part of the cancer of too many idiots having hand-held computers is that no one gives a shit anymore, in my experience. All sorts of behavior that would have recently provoked serious reactions is now overlooked. Yawn, I have another text to read/reply.

    Anyway, I like the Rules and I have a whole set of rules I follow on my own, because I have standards and give a shit. From using phones at inappropriate times to wearing your pajamas to the grocery store, most Americans need MORE rules. People now spend so much of their lives in a virtual world that nobody will stand up and say something when someone is out of line in daily life. It’s weird. Overly vocal online, but total timidity in daily life. (and I won’t go there…but I seriously think the threat of goddamn concealed weapons has made people very reluctant to say Excuse me, will you please not do that?)

    I’m never a jerk to folks riding bikes. But, I like the Rules and espouse them by living them. VLVV.

     

  22. @Slowtrane

    @RobSandy

    @Slowtrane

    @Owen

    Good point, and did you notice what Faboo did just after the finish? A flagrant violation of Rule #49. But then again, he being Spartacus and all, that probably means this rule should be redefined. So much for the rules…

    Just because the pros sometimes don’t follow the Rules doesn’t mean the Rules are wrong. It often prove the point of the Rule, like when Wiggo was told to pick up his bike after smashing the Hour he looked really embarrassed and awkward about it.

    It looks shit, no-one should do it, even Cancellar.

    Not so much shit as preposterous, I think. Wonder where the urge to do that comes from. Is it copying musicians who tend to do that with their instruments (trumpet players mainly, piano players less so)?

    I’m going to give Sparty a pass on this one. It’s his last season, a race he loves, it was pure emotion. He hasn’t done it in the past and hopefully not again.

  23. @Dave

    The bite in one’s behavior should be in direct proportion with the amount of time you spend together. Long time teammates and competitors? Talk the trash. Lapping a novice rider at a charity event? Be polite, encouraging, and set a quiet example.

    One group comes to mind that I don’t ride with due to violations of Rule #43 and the above corollary, even though not directed at me. Worst was an insult shouted at a farmer passing by on a tractor.

    Wow! Yelling insults at a farmer? Seriously? If I ever rode with anyone that did that, it would be the last time. That’s 100% unacceptable unless the farmewr was trying to run you off the road with some big ass piece of equipment. I take the friendly, cheery wave approach and often I’m the one responding to the initial wave from a motorist, person in their yard, farmer, etc.

  24. @Ron

    My educashun taught me the two key rules.

    1.  If you break the rules, don’t get caught.

    2.  If you get caught, take your punishment without complaining.

  25. “I first became aware of it Mandrake during the physical act of love…”

    Tremendous.

  26. …whew. I was afraid to open Velominati after writing that post for fear of the dreaded ‘no comments’ after being posted for a day. Bless you all. Father Gianni

  27. @Slowtrane

    @Owen

    Good point, and did you notice what Faboo did just after the finish? A flagrant violation of Rule #49. But then again, he being Spartacus and all, that probably means this rule should be redefined. So much for the rules…

    Sparty bought off a lot of violations when he used a chair to knock the cap off a beer bottle, then drain it after winning The Ronde in 2014. What a man.

  28. @Gianni

    …whew. I was afraid to open Velominati after writing that post for fear of the dreaded ‘no comments’ after being posted for a day. Bless you all. Father Gianni

    With this lot? You were really worried?

  29. @Neil

    “I first became aware of it Mandrake during the physical act of love…”

    Tremendous.

    This movie has so many funny lines in it and that is one of them. Mandrake/Peter Sellers absorbing that madman’s story, it’s pure genius. I have probably put too many links to Dr Strangelove on this site but Frank loves the movie too so I’m safe.

  30. @ErikdR

    Fine piece of musing there, Gianni. Personally, as I get older, I find myself striving (and occasionally succeeding) to take things LESS seriously. If, as you say, your inability to take things seriously is brought up a bit too often, you’re doing it right. Feel free to inform your antagonists that a tall, opinionated, Dutch cyclist said so… (They may get it wrong after all, and think you’re referring to Frank)

    The jury is still out on my ‘taking things less seriously’ has been a good idea. It’s no way to build a career unless one is a comedian, which I’m not. And yes, I’ll tell people my tall opinionated Dutch cycling friends back me up on this. That should end most discussions.

  31. @Teocalli

    @Ron

    My educashun taught me the two key rules.

    1. If you break the rules, don’t get caught.

    2. If you get caught, take your punishment without complaining.

    That keeps things simple! Nice way to go about things.

  32. @wiscot

    More old school rules right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgMYKNoCXFs

    And remember kids: “Riding without holding the handlebars is about as clever as giving a balloon to a hedgehog”

    Hell, that was awesome!

    As for Gianni’s ramblings … Spot on.  Too often if someone sees me in the V kit and they are cyclists, they go off on how the site is so stupid and Nazi, etc.  All they know are “The Rules” and they hate them and the idea of them.

    Of course, less than 1% have actually hung around the site, checked out a few articles and realized that at its heart, it is all about reverence for the bike and the history of this glorious sport.

    No I am not a complete heretic, I am not going all Martin Luther in the 16th century, but it does seem like a good idea to somehow propagate the true mission of the site; the love of the bike and other Velominatus, and get pass the Rules-centric thoughts.

    So go forth and spread the V, not The Rules, eh?

  33. @Gianni

    @Neil

    “I first became aware of it Mandrake during the physical act of love…”

    Tremendous.

    This movie has so many funny lines in it and that is one of them. Mandrake/Peter Sellers absorbing that madman’s story, it’s pure genius. I have probably put too many links to Dr Strangelove on this site but Frank loves the movie too so I’m safe.

    Yes!  This movie is pure-fuckin-genius.  I own it and I have been debating how old the velominippers have to be before I can show it to them and have them appreciate it.  content be damned, not worried about that, I just do not want to show it to them and have them go, “Ah, that was boring,weird shit” and not GET the movie.  Brilliant stuff!

  34. @Ron

    @Teocalli

    @Ron

    My educashun taught me the two key rules.

    1. If you break the rules, don’t get caught.

    2. If you get caught, take your punishment without complaining.

    That keeps things simple! Nice way to go about things.

    I think your #2 point should be sent to Maria Sharapova! It’s one thing getting busted, but when the governing body give your repeated notices 4 months before something goes on the banned list and you and your entourage all fail to pay attention, then you get what you deserve. Maybe she thought she was too big to fail, too pretty to dump. Must be a lot of tennis players scanning that list right now.

  35. @Buck Rogers

    @wiscot

    More old school rules right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgMYKNoCXFs

    And remember kids: “Riding without holding the handlebars is about as clever as giving a balloon to a hedgehog”

    Hell, that was awesome!

    As for Gianni’s ramblings … Spot on. Too often if someone sees me in the V kit and they are cyclists, they go off on how the site is so stupid and Nazi, etc. All they know are “The Rules” and they hate them and the idea of them.

    Of course, less than 1% have actually hung around the site, checked out a few articles and realized that at its heart, it is all about reverence for the bike and the history of this glorious sport.

    No I am not a complete heretic, I am not going all Martin Luther in the 16th century, but it does seem like a good idea to somehow propagate the true mission of the site; the love of the bike and other Velominatus, and get pass the Rules-centric thoughts.

    So go forth and spread the V, not The Rules, eh?

    Hear hear! You’re right, the uninitiated hear “Velominati” and think Rule Nazis. You’d think you had to take some kind of oath to be allowed to register or something.

    Without rules you have chaos and anarchy. That applies to all aspects of life and not just the bike. I think it’s quite simple: the rules just help you become a better cyclist and, by extension, a better person.

  36. @wiscot

    @Buck Rogers

    @wiscot

    More old school rules right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgMYKNoCXFs

    And remember kids: “Riding without holding the handlebars is about as clever as giving a balloon to a hedgehog”

    Hell, that was awesome!

    As for Gianni’s ramblings … Spot on. Too often if someone sees me in the V kit and they are cyclists, they go off on how the site is so stupid and Nazi, etc. All they know are “The Rules” and they hate them and the idea of them.

    Of course, less than 1% have actually hung around the site, checked out a few articles and realized that at its heart, it is all about reverence for the bike and the history of this glorious sport.

    No I am not a complete heretic, I am not going all Martin Luther in the 16th century, but it does seem like a good idea to somehow propagate the true mission of the site; the love of the bike and other Velominatus, and get pass the Rules-centric thoughts.

    So go forth and spread the V, not The Rules, eh?

    Hear hear! You’re right, the uninitiated hear “Velominati” and think Rule Nazis. You’d think you had to take some kind of oath to be allowed to register or something.

    Without rules you have chaos and anarchy. That applies to all aspects of life and not just the bike. I think it’s quite simple: the rules just help you become a better cyclist and, by extension, a better person.

    without the Bible…

  37. @wiscot

    @Ron

    @Teocalli

    @Ron

    My educashun taught me the two key rules.

    1. If you break the rules, don’t get caught.

    2. If you get caught, take your punishment without complaining.

    That keeps things simple! Nice way to go about things.

    I think your #2 point should be sent to Maria Sharapova! It’s one thing getting busted, but when the governing body give your repeated notices 4 months before something goes on the banned list and you and your entourage all fail to pay attention, then you get what you deserve. Maybe she thought she was too big to fail, too pretty to dump. Must be a lot of tennis players scanning that list right now.

    Hey, c’mon…a drug given to soldiers in Afghanistan to help with fight/walking at elevation…what good would that do someone sprinting around a tennis court?

    And, the walking HGH borg Serena has come to her defense, even pointing out her courage in admitting it!

    Maybe we can get tennis to replace cycling as the dirtiest sport in the mind of the public?

  38. @Ron

    @wiscot

    @Ron

    @Teocalli

    @Ron

    My educashun taught me the two key rules.

    1. If you break the rules, don’t get caught.

    2. If you get caught, take your punishment without complaining.

    That keeps things simple! Nice way to go about things.

    I think your #2 point should be sent to Maria Sharapova! It’s one thing getting busted, but when the governing body give your repeated notices 4 months before something goes on the banned list and you and your entourage all fail to pay attention, then you get what you deserve. Maybe she thought she was too big to fail, too pretty to dump. Must be a lot of tennis players scanning that list right now.

    Hey, c’mon…a drug given to soldiers in Afghanistan to help with fight/walking at elevation…what good would that do someone sprinting around a tennis court?

    And, the walking HGH borg Serena has come to her defense, even pointing out her courage in admitting it!

    Maybe we can get tennis to replace cycling as the dirtiest sport in the mind of the public?

    I’ve give the grunting Russian one brownie point for not denying it. Part of her defense is that she didn’t open the attachment with the new list of banned drugs. As someone said, when you have someone like Sharapova who makes so much money and had trainers, managers, agents etc on her payroll and doing nicely, don’t you think someone might pay attention to make sure the gravy train was legal? Incompetence, arrogance, stupidity, take your pick. Her career is over I think but she’s set for life.

    Apparently there were a few tennis players implicated in Operation Puerto, but that all got hushed up. Cycling has a bad rap because it actually tests. Football, baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis and on and on. If they tested the athletes from these sports as often and as extensively as cyclists, there would be hell to pay and they’d be bringing in ringers from the lower leagues to fill the spots left vacant by people serving bans. .

  39. I too have read of riders criticising others with the Rules. I know most of my bunch have read them at some time or another, and most know them, but like fight club, no one talks about them, but everyone complies implicitly. Because it is the natural order of things, not because they want to follow the rules.

    I think of it this way though, if I’m walking down the street in my regular clothes, and someone I have never met comes up to me and chastises me for breaking some kind of rule I have never heard of. Fuck them, they are a total jackass. Save it for your mates I reckon.

    I just use them to hurl abuse about his sock height being an insult to my buddy as he passes me on a hill, don’t even mention a rule number, because who cares about a rule number, except V.

    Its for a laugh after all, innit.

  40. @chris

    @gianni perhaps we should have a rule requiring us to all head off to the woods for a sneaky fag when it all gets too serious…

    That doesn’t sound right when read in American English.

  41. @frank

    @chris

    @gianni perhaps we should have a rule requiring us to all head off to the woods for a sneaky fag when it all gets too serious…

    That doesn’t sound right when read in American English.

    ‘Smokin’ a fag’ even less so. Two nations divided by a common language…

  42. @Neil

    @frank

    @chris

    @gianni perhaps we should have a rule requiring us to all head off to the woods for a sneaky fag when it all gets too serious…

    That doesn’t sound right when read in American English.

    ‘Smokin’ a fag’ even less so. Two nations divided by a common language…

    and of course there is bumming a fag………

  43. Have you ever read Calvin and Hobbes?? Their game, ‘Calvinball’ is all about making weird rules on the spot and they have FUN doing it! What does that mean for us? just enjoy doing what you love and embrace the V your own way (without getting caught, of course)

  44. @Stephen

    But really, the only person who gives a sh*te about the rules is an aging, Vietnam vet tasked with caring for his ex-wife’s dog.

    Please explain. Is this a literary reference I should know and don’t because I’m an illiterate Rouler reading cycling droogy?

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