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La Vie Velominatus: A Rule #25 Reasoned Decision

La Vie Velominatus: A Rule #25 Reasoned Decision

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There was no clear indication that Rick’s car had actually come to a complete stop. It wasn’t that the car hadn’t stopped its forward trajectory – it had – it was just that the car hadn’t actually stopped moving. Long after the vehicle had come to rest in what could only be considered a legitimate parking spot by the most liberal of reasoning, bits and pieces kept clanking about, seeming almost to defy the laws of perpetual motion.

I was more familiar with his car than I wished I was. For one thing, the cafeteria tray on the passenger side that covered the hole between the wheel well and interior was not nearly as effective as Rick supposed, though to be fair, it was hard to discern that particular draft from the various other drafts whipping about the cabin. For another, I was uncomfortable with how the entire contraption shook when it accelerated beyond walking speed. This shaking did not prevent him from punching well beyond the freeway speed limit, usually with one hand on the wheel and somewhere between zero and two eyes on the road.

Once the car had shimmied to rest, Rick climbed out with his usual happy grin and motioned towards the pristine, full suspension mountain bike perched atop the rack affixed to the roof of his car. Without so much of a hint of justification, he pronounced a phrase that stuck with me and eventually evolved into Rule #25: “Hey, the bike’s always gotta be worth more than the car, right?”

This was Rick’s typical flavor of genius: simple and concise, irrefutable in its logic. The car exists only to carry us to The Ride. Beyond that, all it does is suck money away from The Bike. The first cars I owned fell comfortably into this way of thinking, though I was never able to afford the rack required to actually get the bikes on the roof of the car. It was on that technicality, then, with my bikes shoved inside instead of atop my car, that I went merrily along my way knowing the vehicles I drove were only minimally siphoning money from my bicycle fund.

Rule #25 has been a challenge ever since we sold our fun little beater car and bought a nice car. After a few years of wrestling with what to do about our negative Car to Bike Value Ratio (CBVR), I came to the conclusion that we needed to buy another crappy car and use that one to drive out to our riding destinations. After a while, the crappy car sucked so much more than the nice car that we never drove it, so we sold the crappy car and bought a second nice car. Now we were really in deep water from a negative CBVR perspective, if not from the perspective of enjoying locomotion or safety.

The solution, of course, is rather simple. Within the next year, we’ll own both cars, which means they must be nearly worthless as otherwise neither the bank nor the car dealership would allow such a thing as “ownership” to happen. Barring that, owning a nice car simply dictates that one is to buy more and better bikes. This also requires, of course, a rather significant ancillary investment into roof racks for your vehicle if you don’t have any welding or nunchuck skills that you can use to fashion your own.

Just remember that a happy bike is a bike that gets ridden; there is nothing sadder than a loyal steed who sits unused in the basement.

// Accessories and Gear // Defining Moments // La Vie Velominatus // The Rules // Tradition

  1. It was a dark and stormy night, er, umm, day…  …as Frank is putting Cyclops’ $10,000 bike on the roof rack of his Range Roamer…

    Cyclops: I hate having my bike outside the vehicle.

    Frank:  Really?  That’s weird.

    Moments later His Fronkness proceeds to run Cyclops’ LOOK 586 R-Light Limited Edition (#28 of 200) into a low hanging branch.   Luckily the French are more adept at building bikes than cars as the LOOK came away unscathed.  This is why I always drive to races myself and never carpool.  THE BIKE GOES IN THE CAR!!!

  2. @wiscot

    Hey, nothing ghetto about the blanket between two bikes!

    Well, it’s sort of lame that I’ve never bothered to purchase a rack of any sort, but as the only cyclist in my family (girlfriend and cat sadly don’t indulge in our obsession) I’ve never needed it before then.

  3. Rule #25 is easy for me. I don’t own a car & the VMH’s is a handed-down Camry, thus both two main road bikes & my cross bike are worth a lot more than the car. But, the car is in incredible shape & if cared for should allow a few more bikes to be added to the stable before a new auto.

    One of the very few wedding gifts we received last year that was at all exciting for me was a Thule XTR tray carrier rack. Nicer than a roof rack, especially for a guy on the shorter side, but damn, $400 and they don’t include stainless/rust protected bolts & nuts? I’m pretty let down for that money. I think Thule is living on their reputation. Aside from the rust issue, one of the arms didn’t work (they did replace it) and it’s heavy as fuck. Why do I need a 25 kg rack to carry a 7 kg bicycle?

  4. @Tartan1749 They should have used a wooden bike. Maybe something in Bamboo to accent the wooden car.

  5. The rule is irrefutable but misunderstood.  People seem to think they should drive a heap of shit but this is simply wrong….you should drive a very expensive car but……a much more expensive bike, thus complying with the rule and being completely awesome!!!

    This may not however be consistent with your earnings, but who said bank robbery had no cause or reason!

  6. @lordmoos3 I could be incorrect, but I don’t think the new-ish Aero 8’s have a wooden chassis like their original counterparts.

  7. @Tartan1749

    @lordmoos3 I could be incorrect, but I don’t think the new-ish Aero 8′s have a wooden chassis like their original counterparts.

    But then, that’s not the Aero 8 – doh!

  8. @lordmoos3

    @Tartan1749 They should have used a wooden bike. Maybe something in Bamboo to accent the wooden car.

    But then it wooden go…

  9. @Deakus

    The rule is irrefutable but misunderstood. People seem to think they should drive a heap of shit but this is simply wrong….you should drive a very expensive car but……a much more expensive bike, thus complying with the rule and being completely awesome!!!

    This may not however be consistent with your earnings, but who said bank robbery had no cause or reason!

    Wisdom!

  10. @Mikael Liddy

    I’ve a feeling we’re definitely in negative CBVR territory but I think the two go together pretty nicely…

    Rule #25a; the computer on top of your bike should be worth less than your bike. Ideally, it should be worth so little that it does not exist.

  11. @Deakus

    The rule is irrefutable but misunderstood. People seem to think they should drive a heap of shit but this is simply wrong….you should drive a very expensive car but……a much more expensive bike, thus complying with the rule and being completely awesome!!!

    This may not however be consistent with your earnings, but who said bank robbery had no cause or reason!

    This is absolutely right. Despite Rick’s example, the point is that your income should be disproportionately appropriated to the bike, not other things. It really boils down to Rule #4 in the end.

  12. @Tartan1749

    Ultimate car rack? At least Morgan was thoughtful enough to use a steel steed

    Morgan @ Geneva Auto Show

    A SS with an EPMS and flat bar? Fuck that. The only thing worth saving on that bike are the tires.

    The car, on the other hand, is fantastic.

  13. @frank

    @Tartan1749

    Ultimate car rack? At least Morgan was thoughtful enough to use a steel steed

    Morgan @ Geneva Auto Show

    A SS with an EPMS and flat bar? Fuck that. The only thing worth saving on that bike are the tires.

    The car, on the other hand, is fantastic.

    Looks like a Morgan Plus 8.  I lived in Malvern where the factory is for 10years…handcrafted frames from Ash…stunning!

  14. @RedRanger

    @frank build a set up like I got in my trooper. it was super cheap, keeps the bike standing up and it keeps it inside.

    I do use a fork mount inside the Rover, which I love because it keeps bikes dry and safe inside. Circumstances do prohibit its use, though, as we have 200 pounds of dog that we like like to car around with us, and our weekend camping trips usually result in loads of gear being carted around.

    @RedRanger

    I am fully Rule #25 compliant since bike #1 cost more than 133% the value of my truck. As such I make sure all my bikes ride in style with this very ingenious set up that cost me less than a night at the bar.

    The Niner is longer than the C’dale so I need to put her in like so,

    That’s pretty rad though.

    Of course, my seat pin has to come out in order to fit. Grrr.

  15. @Steampunk

    @MorganFreeman

    I’m with you on this one. I’d definitely want to add a rider to this Rule that acknowledges that whenever possible, the bike should ride inside the car.

    Its a good point. Ideally, there would be children or wives on the roof, with bikes and pets inside.

  16. The last trip we took with our ’63 Airstream last fall, I backed it into the driveway (as normal), unloaded the bike off the roof rack, disconnected the trailer and ran to the store before commencing proper unloading. Why do any of you care? I left the keys for the roof rack, trailer hitch lock, and bike tray (all on the same ring, not connected to my car key chain) on the rear bumper. Gone forever. I have $1000 roof rack/ bake tray/ basket thingy that’s unusable dead weight on the roof now. Bike goes in the car till I sort out a new key.

  17. @DrewG

    Does non-ownership of a car mean +100% CBVR or is it like dividing by zero?

    No, you only get a divide by zero error when there are no bikes involved. With no car, you still have a zero CBVR, which is actually the perfect value for the CBVR. When I say negative ratio, its misleading, or wrong, or both, or neither.

    You can’t have a negative ratio with two positive numbers; what you’re after is to get as close to zero as possible, mathematically speaking.

  18. @frank

    Of course, my seat pin has to come out in order to fit. Grrr.

    Is that the reason that the Campy Candy Van has the bubble?

  19. @ChrisO

    There’s not a lot about my Pajero Sport that I like (nor dislike, I’m just intensely neutral) other than the fact that it can fit my bike in the back, seats folded, without having to take off a wheel.

    The only other plus point is off-road ability, which I don’t use a lot but enough to be glad of it.

    The only thing not to like is that “Pajero” means wanker in Spanish, which is why they change the name for sale in Spain…

  20. Both of my current bikes out-value my vehicle. I bought a Chevy Blazer new back in 1998 and am still driving it today. The Blazer is the vehicle that gets me around with the bikes so I think I am well within Rule #25 guidelines. However, I do have an E60 M5 in the garage that completely ruins the CBVR of the household. ;)

    -Dinan

  21. My car 2001 Ford Taurus wagon 200k miles and on its last leg. My ride 1987 Trek 400 Elance with plenty of life left. The Trek rides a lot smoother and way more quietly than the Ford, so I think I am following Rule #25 even though they may be worth about the same.

  22. I know that this is an old thread, but I missed it before. Great story!

    Anyhow, a green 2005 Scion Xb with a manual gearbox (Painfully slow and dorky looking) and 195,000km on the odometer carries my Glorious Steel Waterford R-33 in the back seat with the front wheel removed. No roof rack yet since I’d hate to spend that money on the car, but if carrying the bike inside the car counts, then it’s definitely Rule 25 compliant.

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