The New V-estament

The New V-estament

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During the birth of The Rules, just like the Big Bang, there was a flurry of new activity, too much expanding and not enough contracting; certainly not enough thinking. It’s hard to keep the throttle back when divining the Word of Merckx in real time. The interweb tubes whistled with new Rules shuttling back and forth, beers consumed, genius conferred, make it so, make it so. We were young, carefree, we would live forever.

Now, with a small bit of introspection and a looming book deadline, the Keepers are actually re-reading these things. Yes, some should go, some should be mashed together, and thanks to our brilliant community, some new ones should go in. For example, Rule #48 and Rule #49 – both about saddle position and not even addressing height.

“Hey I got another one, keep your saddle level.”

“Ha ha ha! Yeah, can you believe people ride with the nose way up or way down? People are such dicks.”

“Oh, Oh, Oh, I got another one, slide your saddle back, can you believe how people ride with their saddle way forward?”

In a less beer-fueled world, those might have become one Rule, dealing with two connected yet dissimilar concepts. Now they will become one Rule, both addressing saddle position.

Rule #48 // Saddles must be level and pushed back.

The seating area of a saddle is to be visually level, with the base measurement made using a spirit level. Based on subtleties of saddle design and requirements of comfort, the saddle may then be pitched slightly forward or backward to reach a position that offers stability, power, and comfort. If the tilt of the saddle exceeds two degrees, you need to go get one of those saddles with springs and a thick gel pad because you are obviously a big pussy.

The midpoint of the saddle as measured from tip to tail shall fall well behind and may not be positioned forward of the line made by extending the seat tube through the top of the saddle. (Also see Rule #44 and Rule #48.)

This opens up Rule #49. Lord Merckx has decreed that all the Rules don’t switch one position if one is eradicated or subsumed. That would confound the universe and force one of Lord Merckx’s minions to write a lot of code. And that minion is the only minion capable of code writing because the other minions are dumb fucks.

Rule #49 // Keep the rubber side down.

It is totally unacceptable to deliberately turn one’s steed upside down for any reason under any circumstances. Besides the risk of scratching the saddle, levers and stem, it is unprofessional and a disgrace to your loyal steed. The risk of the bike falling over is increased, wheel removal/replacement is made more difficult and your bidons will leak. The only reason a bicycle should ever be in an upside down position is during mid-rotation while crashing. This Rule also applies to upside down saddle-mount roof bars. (Thanks to Donnie Bugno.)

This wise bit of advise comes from Donnie ‘Donnie Bugno’ Wiley. Donnie sagely added “I take this so seriously I am unable to offer any assistance or slow down no matter how much distress the rider may be in.” Donnie is wise. He is one of us.

Similarly to the above stated Rules, we have Rules #21 and #23 pertaining to cold weather gear and shoe covers. If memory serves us correctly, or not, someone back in the early days (it was surely one of the five of us who were the only ones reading the site at the time) asked what the fuck Hincapie was doing wearing shoe covers all the time. Regardless of how pro George ALWAYS looked otherwise, there had to be a Rule in there somewhere about shoe covers. Since we only had 22 Rules at the time, Rule #23 was decreed. But since hindsight is 20/20 it is time to redact Rules #21 and #23 into one Rule. Therefore:

Rule #21 // Cold weather gear is for cold weather.

Knickers, vests, arm warmers, shoe covers, and caps beneath your helmet can all make you look like a hardman, when the weather warrants their use. If it isn’t wet or cold, save your Flandrian Best for Flemish weather.

So what of the space vacated by the shoe covers in Rule #23, you ask? Well, we’re filling that space with what we’re calling “the Tuck Rule”.

Rule #23 // Tuck only after reaching Escape Velocity.

You may only employ the aerodynamic tuck after you have spun out your 53 x 11; the tuck is to be engaged only when your legs can no longer keep up. Your legs make you go fast, and trying to keep your fat ass out of the wind only serves to keep you from slowing down once you reach escape velocity. Thus, the tuck is only to be employed to prevent you slowing down when your legs have wrung the top end out of your block. Tucking prematurely while descending is the antithesis of Casually Deliberate. For more on riding fast downhill see Rule #64 and Rule #85.

But we’re not finished there, no siree… A couple of other Rules needing to be combined are 18 and 19, pertaining to sensible choice of kit for road, mountain biking and cyclocross racing. Basically, don’t mix that shit up.

Rule #18 // Know what to wear. Don’t suffer kit confusion.

No baggy shorts and jerseys while riding the road bike. No lycra when riding the mountain bike (unless racing XC). Skin suits only for cyclocross.

Which leaves Rule #19 open. The Keepers have experienced the annoying practice of riders joining groups unannounced at an increasing rate of late. This brought about a Rule suggestion being raised in the Boardroom, and a timely post by community member @specialk reinforced our own beliefs that a little common courtesy goes a long way. We are not against riders joining a group, but you wouldn’t walk into a restaurant, sit down at an occupied table and start eating, so why just latch onto a stranger’s wheel and claim a free lunch?

Rule #19 // Introduce Yourself.

If you deem it appropriate to join a group of riders who are not part of an open group ride and who are not your mates, it is customary and courteous to announce your presence. Introduce yourself and ask if you may join the group. If you have been passed by a group, wait for an invitation, introduce yourself, or let them go. The silent joiner is viewed as ill-mannered and Anti-V. Conversely, the joiner who can’t shut their cakehole is no better and should be dropped from the group at first opportunity. (Thanks to specialk)

And so we have spoken. And the disciples shall digest these new Rules, and they shall Obey. Prophet V.V

// The Rules

  1. @mcsqueak

    @scaler911

    Just a warning @Mclennan: 99.99999% of the time we call each other all kinds of names around these parts. Just go back and read any shit between @minion (the sheepfucker) and @marcus (general all around ass-hat). It’s all in good fun.

    But if they sense any weakness, it’s ON. After over a year on the the site, hosting a Cogal, attending a Cogal and writing articles here, ask them what I’m best know for. Don’t worry, one of those bastards will bring it up soon enough since I’m poking at ‘em with a stick right now.

    Here’s one that’ll make your brain hurt:

    Oooo, my brain.

  2. @Deakus

    I normally use the ever frowned upon emoticons but decided to be more compliant this time…my mistake ;)

    Hey Captain Walker, you know the law against emoticons! Bust a deal, face the wheel. Two men enter, one man leaves.

  3. @mcsqueak

    @scaler911

    Just a warning @Mclennan: 99.99999% of the time we call each other all kinds of names around these parts. Just go back and read any shit between @minion (the sheepfucker) and @marcus (general all around ass-hat). It’s all in good fun.

    But if they sense any weakness, it’s ON. After over a year on the the site, hosting a Cogal, attending a Cogal and writing articles here, ask them what I’m best know for. Don’t worry, one of those bastards will bring it up soon enough since I’m poking at ‘em with a stick right now.

    Here’s one that’ll make your brain hurt:

    STOP IT FUCKER!!!!

  4. @scaler911

    @mcsqueak

    @scaler911

    Just a warning @Mclennan: 99.99999% of the time we call each other all kinds of names around these parts. Just go back and read any shit between @minion (the sheepfucker) and @marcus (general all around ass-hat). It’s all in good fun.

    But if they sense any weakness, it’s ON. After over a year on the the site, hosting a Cogal, attending a Cogal and writing articles here, ask them what I’m best know for. Don’t worry, one of those bastards will bring it up soon enough since I’m poking at ‘em with a stick right now.

    Here’s one that’ll make your brain hurt:

    STOP IT FUCKER!!!!

    I agree whole heartedly — stop it. Stop it now!

  5. @scaler911

    @mcsqueak

    @scaler911

    Just a warning @Mclennan: 99.99999% of the time we call each other all kinds of names around these parts. Just go back and read any shit between @minion (the sheepfucker) and @marcus (general all around ass-hat). It’s all in good fun.

    But if they sense any weakness, it’s ON. After over a year on the the site, hosting a Cogal, attending a Cogal and writing articles here, ask them what I’m best know for. Don’t worry, one of those bastards will bring it up soon enough since I’m poking at ‘em with a stick right now.

    Here’s one that’ll make your brain hurt:

    STOP IT FUCKER!!!!

    Yikes! You gents better cut this shit out before you break out the ‘man-scissors’!

  6. @unversio

    @scaler911

    @mcsqueak

    @scaler911

    Just a warning @Mclennan: 99.99999% of the time we call each other all kinds of names around these parts. Just go back and read any shit between @minion (the sheepfucker) and @marcus (general all around ass-hat). It’s all in good fun.

    But if they sense any weakness, it’s ON. After over a year on the the site, hosting a Cogal, attending a Cogal and writing articles here, ask them what I’m best know for. Don’t worry, one of those bastards will bring it up soon enough since I’m poking at ‘em with a stick right now.

    Here’s one that’ll make your brain hurt:

    STOP IT FUCKER!!!!

    I agree whole heartedly “” stop it. Stop it now!

    @scaler911

    @mcsqueak

    @scaler911

    Just a warning @Mclennan: 99.99999% of the time we call each other all kinds of names around these parts. Just go back and read any shit between @minion (the sheepfucker) and @marcus (general all around ass-hat). It’s all in good fun.

    But if they sense any weakness, it’s ON. After over a year on the the site, hosting a Cogal, attending aCogal and writing articles here, ask them what I’m best know for. Don’t worry, one of those bastards will bring it up soon enough since I’m poking at ‘em with a stick right now.

    Here’s one that’ll make your brain hurt:

    STOP IT FUCKER!!!!

    And stopping it now.

  7. @scaler911

    @mcsqueak

    @scaler911

    Just a warning @Mclennan: 99.99999% of the time we call each other all kinds of names around these parts. Just go back and read any shit between @minion (the sheepfucker) and @marcus (general all around ass-hat). It’s all in good fun.

    But if they sense any weakness, it’s ON. After over a year on the the site, hosting a Cogal, attending a Cogal and writing articles here, ask them what I’m best know for. Don’t worry, one of those bastards will bring it up soon enough since I’m poking at ‘em with a stick right now.

    Here’s one that’ll make your brain hurt:

    STOP IT FUCKER!!!!

    That picture’s gotta really confuse you. Ass of a chick, head of a dude. Let me know tomorrow when you figure out which it is.

  8. @Ken Ho

    I’m with Marcus on the wheel-sucker thing. If I’m riding solo, and someone wants to suck my wheel, it does not hurt me. I don’t feel a need to change speed.

    I’m more bothered by people riding past in the opposite direction who don’t return my nod. Sometimes that pisses me off enough to think, bugger it, I’m giving up on the nod. But then I think, what if the next rider is new, and I ride past without a friendly wave or nod ? They will think I’m a COTHO and wonder why brothers on the road are not more friendly. Granted, I grew up in a rural area, where it’s traditional for passing drivers to give each other a “farmers wave”.

    There is a Rule for thought. Thou shalt always acknowledge another rider. Ignoring other riders is not cool, especially if they have offered a greeting, and suggests that your head is too far up your arse.

    I reckon you could do with a few more rules about getting along and being gracious to other riders, and a few less about being condescending anal snobs.

    I always give either a farmers wave or a sharp nod if otherwise engaged to pretty much anyone on a bike, but to be honest there are legions of folk who dont reply or reciprocate and yes it does make you think ‘wanker’.

    I was thinking maybe my own personal rule for this will be Greet Other Riders Only On Rule #9 Days because they do have someting in common and are not just jumping on the ol’ cycling bandwagon, and they are clearly not wankers.

  9. @strathlubnaig

    When we had this whole exact conversation about 1-to-1.5 years ago I think JiPM summed up the way he and I acknowledge other riders best:  He said that he is like Forrest Gump waving to Lt Dan when docking his shrimp boat.  Of course, he also posted a youtube clip of that scene to accent the point which is beyind me.

    I give everyone a big wave, no matter what.  I just love being out there and love seeing others out there doing what I love.

    Speaking of “Farmers waves” I have noticed over the years that farmers on tractors seem to initiate waves to me a whole bunch while I am riding.  I wonder if there is not some sort of kinship with them, being outside, working in the fresh air, hopefully doing what they love (and mostly being way underpaid for the work they do). 

  10. @Buck Rogers

    I give everyone a big wave, no matter what. I just love being out there and love seeing others out there doing what I love.

    Same here. In this neck of the woods, the roads aren’t exactly flooded with cyclists (especially compared to the country roads and bike paths of the Netherlands), so whenever I see someone on a nice road bike going the other way, my wave is given almost automatically*. It’s usually not the full-blown Forest Gump salute, but rather, as I often ride with my hands on the brake-lever hoods, a friendly ‘lift of the left index finger’, combined with a slight tilting-back of the head, which I’ve developed to near perfection.

    I usually get a friendly wave in return (the Danes, in spite of their reputation as fierce, pillaging, plundering, skull-bashing Viking-types are,in fact, nice people, by and large) But as @straithlubnaig** puts it: on the very rare occasion when a waved-to rider pointedly ignores the greeting (particularly when said cyclist is clearly not in the process of laying down terrible amounts of the V and biting his/her own handlebars in half), I sometimes find myself wondering how they manage to be in such a foul mood while riding their bikes?

    * Off topic: I’ve never owned/piloted a motorcycle – but would anyone know if motorcyclists still, more or less consistently, wave at each other on the road? Or are there simply too many of them nowadays?

    ** what does that name/handle actually mean, by the way? Assuming you’re Scottish, and the name is Gaelic? Yes, I know – Google it. I’m a lazy sod…)

  11. just wanted to share my thoughts on the whole cx skinsuit argument.  apologies if this has been mentioned (i fell behind on page 5 here…), but the important differences in cx versus, say, road racing are: no need to carry anything, no need to stop and take a piss, no need to unzip your jersey all the way and cool off during a long col climb.  so there’s no pockets, limited zip options and no option to drop the bibs quickly to piss.  furthermore, road racing is like 90% reliant on slipstreaming.  cx is not.  a good chunk of the time, you’re fighting the wind yourself.  so super-tight fitting clothes make sense.

    still doesn’t change the fact that most of us will look terrible in a skinsuit, though.

  12. @ErikdR

    I live i rural Australia, so things might work differently here.  Motorbikes wave at each other a lot, but in western areas, it is still customary for car drivers to wave as they pass too.  I drive to a lot of remote locations for work, and there are often very few vehicles on the road, and it’s all still a bit old school.

    Ducati riders wave at each other a lot, but sometimes you get a surly one of those too.  Motorcyclists tend to identify strongly with their chosen marque, and tend to acknowledge  others of their tribe more.   I’m guilty of that, being an admitted wog-snob when it comes to performance gear.  Ducati, Campagnolo and Bianchi all the way for me.  My wife has an MV, so they get some love too.

    You can tell a farmer by the big hat and the dirt on the car.  A farmer would rarely waste water washing a car.  You get a lot of travelling baby-boomers these days though, with big flash 4WD/caravan combos, not too sure what they do.

    I like the Rule #9 idea.  Rule 9 riders should acknowledge each other, as should riders on big climbs.

  13. Just by way of a bump..on the whole Forest Gump Wave

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMse7XwZmoA

  14. Here’s one that’ll make your brain hurt:

    damn you sexy flanders.

  15. @Deakus

    Just by way of a bump..on the whole Forest Gump Wave

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMse7XwZmoA

    Yup, that is exactly what I was talking about!  Thanks for posting the clip!

  16. 1.   On the topic of Rule revisions, particularly in light of the revision of Rule #18, I propose that Rule #34 be redrafted to simply state that “off-road” pedals and shoes belong on a bike that is ridden “off-road” or simply done away with as its spirit is already encapsulated by Rule #18.  This would allow those of us that race cyclocross to remain rules compliant in outfitting them with Time ATACs/Eggbeaters/etc and wearing mountain shoes. If there are any objections, I’m willing to listen to your arguments only after you race in road shoes and pedals in muddy conditions and let me know how it goes.

    2.   Since the aesthetics of the machine are so important to the Velominatus (Rule #4, Rule #8, Rule #40, Rule #41, Rule #45 and Rule #74 come to mind) I’d like to hear the Keepers’ position on the concept of non-unified drivetrain componentry, i.e. ‘Shimergo’.   I’m guessing its a resounding ‘Fuck No!’ and yet after a quasi-in-depth review (I skimmed them before writing this) it appears the Rules by their letter would technically allow such an abomination. A Rule to the effect of ‘Pick your brand and stick to it’ is absent in written form although I’m sure it must certainly be there in spirit.

    I think its fair to say that the Velominatus limits himself/herself to either a Gruppo, Groupsan or Broset (If anyone is riding Mektronic, good for you).  Certainly accommodations must be made for non-‘Big 3′-branded components like cranks (since so many bikes come spec’d with FSA and others like Quarq/Rotor are available as aftermarket), and chains (with manufacturers like KMC).  Cassettes are another that can be interchanged in my book (since the direct compatibility of SRAM and Shimano in this area means that a ‘BroSan’ rear mech/cassette is fairly commonplace).  That said, it is my fervent belief that the brand unity of the shifter, derailleurs, hub-type trinity should never be deviated from.  I don’t care if a Campag-Shimano configuration can be made to work with a Jtek Shiftmate; I don’t care if its cheaper.  Even for the Velominatus Budgetatus, of which I am certainly one, a line must be drawn – I draw that line at ‘Shimergo’

  17. @VeloVita

    I’ve raised point 2 before and been roundly shouted down.  The reasoning was that although current fashion is to run a complete groupset, it has not always been this way and back in the Golden Days before STI and the like, it was in fact common if not de rigeur to pick the best of different manufacturers’ wares.

  18. @Nate

    Then we need to petition to be reheard –  that was pre-STI when you’d pick up your chainrings from TA and your simplex derailleur, etc.  It was all friction shifting so there were no compatibility issues to overcome and there were certain companies that excelled in certain areas but perhaps didn’t offer components in the others.  I think that argument is outdated and no longer relevant since the advent of the groupset.  Are the Keepers really going to argue that its ok if I roll up on a bike with Campag shifters because their ergonomics are the best, and Shimano mechs, cassette and hub with a Jtek rear derailleur cable tumor simply because it works well? Or rather does the Velominatus carefully determine which of each of the Big 3’s strongsuits it most values and then accepts that brand’s potential shortcomings?

  19. @VeloVita

    @Nate

    Then we need to petition to be reheard – that was pre-STI when you’d pick up your chainrings from TA and your simplex derailleur, etc. It was all friction shifting so there were no compatibility issues to overcome and there were certain companies that excelled in certain areas but perhaps didn’t offer components in the others. I think that argument is outdated and no longer relevant since the advent of the groupset. Are the Keepers really going to argue that its ok if I roll up on a bike with Campag shifters because their ergonomics are the best, and Shimano mechs, cassette and hub with a Jtek rear derailleur cable tumor simply because it works well? Or rather does the Velominatus carefully determine which of each of the Big 3″²s strongsuits it most values and then accepts that brand’s potential shortcomings?

    Anyone turning up like that would be roundly thrashed with their own chain and have the offending cassette stamped in to their forehead to form a rather nice red cog emblem!

  20. @Deakus I’m sure we’ve been here before, it’s like wearing adidas socks with nike runners/sneakers/trainers (pick your dialect) No No No No. Same brand, right through. And for me that includes Brake Calipers and Cranks. It gets interesting when you get to pedals, shoes and socks….. is that where we hit the “don’t overmatch kit button?”. Got to stop now, brain hurting, OCD meter in the red and about to blow….

    Incidentally what is a “rear derailleur cable tumor “?

  21. @Giles I still admire the choice Marko made to mount TRP brakes on his BMC. TRP makes goooood brakes and brake levers. No TRP cranksets though.

  22. @Giles

    Incidentally what is a “rear derailleur cable tumor “?

    Its my derogatory term for one of these

  23. @Giles I may or may not have decided against a ripping special on some Look Keo’s purely because I felt matching Time shoes to Look pedals wasn’t right…

  24. @VeloVita I think it’s in the spirit of cyclocross to ride a mutt.

    ‘Cross bikes were traditionally pieced together from whatever spare parts you had lying around.

    If you have a full matching ‘cross bike, you need to rip at least one part off and replace it with another brand. Ideally something older like 9 or 8 speed.

    I hear that @nvvelominati had one Shimano shifter in front and one SRAM. Maybe that’s taking it a bit too far.

  25. Completely unrelated, I’m finding this exchange to be hilarious:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/attnkatdaley/status/268580652042035200

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