Having a laugh. Photo: Pedale.Forchetta

La Vie Velominatus: Transcension

La Vie Velominatus: Transcension

by / / 43 posts

When it comes to Rule Compliance, we have at our disposal three viable options. The first is to Obey the Rules. That one is pretty straight-forward because we wrote them down for you and also went to the great length of writing a book on the subject, partly as a public service to those suffering from insomnia. But The Rules are full of apparent contradictions and paradoxes, so you will have to do some thinking, justifying, rationalizing and flailing about like you’re swinging a stick at a piñata or something. All equally. But if you’re willing to do that, you can be Rule Compliant. Oh, and you should ride your bike a lot and not be a giant sissy as often as you can manage.

The second option is to be an ultra stud/studette who is so comprehensively badass that no one gives two shits about The Rules or anything else except trying to figure out ways to make you notice them so they can tell their friends or take a selfie of you doing something else in the background and them grinning away like they accomplished something just by standing close to you. And in case you’re wondering, you’re not that badass. Not even close. So don’t even think about it. Except if you happen to be Eddy Merckx, Roger de Vlaeminck, Freddy Maertens, Bernard Hinault, Greg LeMond, or Jan Ullrich. Or a handful of dead guys like Coppi, Bobet, or Pantani but being dead is probably a Rule violation in itself. So this option is out, for most of us anyway.

That leaves the third option, which is found via the Masturbation Principle, assuming you’re not squaring up with Option 1 or Option 2. Its kind of like what I assume Catholic confession is about, except you don’t have to confess anything to anyone; instead you do whatever you like while pretending like you don’t and just hope no one sees you. And definitely don’t brag about it unless you’re in Las Vegas, in which case you’re just being creepy.

In summary:

Option 1: Don’t be a sissy, ride lots, and do whatever you need to be compliant.

Option 2: These aren’t the droids you’re looking for. Move along.

Option 3: Do your best and shut your pie hole about your violations.

But let’s go back to Option 2 for a minute. This is really where the subtlety in the whole mess is found; this is the gray space that I love so much. Rule Transcension is the True Way; The Rules are there to help us find our way along the path to transcension, but they lie at the beginning of it, not the end. The Apostles who helped forge The Rules knew nothing of them, of course; it was just The Way of Things. And most of the Pros who are Rule Compliant today are so without being aware that they even exist; just as the Apostles were, they are Rule Compliant because they are doing as those who before them did and recognize that ours is a civilized sport.

But it begs the question. Which current rider is most Rule Compliant? Who is the hardest and Looks most Fantastic?

Fabian Cancellara and David Millar are way up there, to start. They Look Fantastic enough both on and off the bike to each have featured in the Men’s Style-centric website, Mr. Porter. They look the business on the bike and, Fabian more so than David, deliver the goods when it comes down to the business of winning a race while still Looking Fantastic, today’s performance on the cobbles notwithstanding.

Marianne Vos and Lizzie Armitstead sit at the top of the list as well, the apparently irresistible temptation to wear white shorts notwithstanding. There have also been some flirtations with excessively long socks in the ladie’s bunch just as with the blokes, but these two stand proud among an impressively Rule-Compliant women’s peloton.

But if I had to name the most Rule Compliant rider in the peloton today, it has to be Big Tom Boonen. The man was poured out of pure V and cut with Rule #43. And just try to tell me you don’t want his legs.

// La Vie Velominatus // Look Pro // Nostalgia // The Rules // Tradition

  1. Were it not for his penchant of wearing those damn scarfie things (and “eating” tainted foodstuffs) Contador would be the man.

  2. Jan Ulrich, badass? Bad diet more like.

  3. Agreed on Tommeke. Fabs has the edge on Millar. The latter gets some of his dress sense from JV and that’s not always a good thing. The sainted Ms Vos can wear what she likes. The ladies get a pass on some clothing because, well, they’re ladies. Different rules apply.

    I have to say, a lot of the OPQS boys are very, very rule compliant. Think of Terpstra at PR this year. Nary a rule broken.

    Contador? Still wearing baseball caps. Nuff said. OPQS boys? They wear real caps.

  4. @Ccos I’m not sure about Bertie, his mid stage bike changes for gearing reasons rather than enforced mechanical issues have always struck me as being not entirely within the spirit of things even if not specific rule violations.

    @wiscot Totally agree on OPQS, they always seem to look outstanding on the bike, aero helmets excluded, and the rides speak for themselves.

    Millar gets my vote but I’m completely biased, he comes from my home town.

  5. @Triathlete

    Jan Ulrich, badass? Bad diet more like.

    There was nothing diet about his off season eating!

  6. So what you’re saying is I’m in the clear now?

  7. @Steampunk   Only if :-

    a) You have a couple of droids

    and more specifically

    b) you can persuade people that they are not the droids they are looking for.

    Otherwise I fear not (which is why I did “reply” and not “quote”…..)

  8. @Chris

    @Ccos I’m not sure about Bertie, his mid stage bike changes for gearing reasons rather than enforced mechanical issues have always struck me as being not entirely within the spirit of things even if not specific rule violations.

    And his ball caps, and his pistol shooty gestures and…

    Agree about Millar and OPQS. Stjin Devolder is worthy of consideration: ample supply of badassness and tree trunks for thighs.

  9. Tommeke and Faboo always look the balls, no question. Cancellara has the added compliance of generally observing Rule #47 immediately upon crushing his enemies and hearing the lamentations of their women,.

  10. Does Phinney’s hair and choice of pants color disqualify him from compliance in any way? Or does he get a pass in light of his current TT champion status?

  11. Roman Kreuziger has always looked classy drilling it at the head of the pelaton or on a mountain side. Nico Roche is 100% rule compliant on the bike, looks fantastic at all times. 

  12. All these pros are rule-compliant and look great when racing.  The key to compliance is what happens away from the races, when out training.  I’m not so sure you won’t see Zefal or Topeak frame pumps and a plethora of EPMS on the aforementioned pros’ bikes.

  13. By my way of thinking, the pros are all hardmen (Schleck the younger excepted) otherwise they would not be pros. Pros get a pass on any violations simply because they get paid to ride & we don’t. Being a pro is inherently transcendent. If you get popped for doping (the biggest rule violation of them all & the quintessence of anti-V), yes I’m looking at you Clenbutador, then all violations are charged, with interest

  14. Btw, Tommeke is the baddest motherfucker in the bunch. He’s so hard, he doesn’t even wear gloves when riding De Ronde & P-R. He should have a wallet like Jules in Pulp Fiction

  15. @Cogfather

    By my way of thinking, the pros are all hardmen (Schleck the younger excepted) otherwise they would not be pros. Pros get a pass on any violations simply because they get paid to ride & we don’t. Being a pro is inherently transcendent. If you get popped for doping (the biggest rule violation of them all & the quintessence of anti-V), yes I’m looking at you Clenbutador, then all violations are charged, with interest

    Fair enough. Phinney could ride my legs off, pink pants or not.

  16. @Owen

    Does Phinney’s hair and choice of pants color disqualify him from compliance in any way? Or does he get a pass in light of his current TT champion status?

    Phinney the Younger always looks like he has been momentarily separated from the rest of the members of a boy band. That much hair product is simply unnatural.

    I also point to the recent post Drink Properly which had the photo below. Sweet Jesus. What has been seen cannot be unseen. Seriously, is Phinney planning on laying down the V or auditioning to be a dancer for an upcoming Beyoncé video clip? (there should be a specific rule for this).

    Look pro: drink properly - Minnie Phinney takes a swig

  17. Nibali.

  18. @TheDon

    @Owen

    Does Phinney’s hair and choice of pants color disqualify him from compliance in any way? Or does he get a pass in light of his current TT champion status?

    Phinney the Younger always looks like he has been momentarily separated from the rest of the members of a boy band.

    image

    image

    For truly frightening levels of Phinney go here

  19. @TheDon

    @Owen

    Does Phinney’s hair and choice of pants color disqualify him from compliance in any way? Or does he get a pass in light of his current TT champion status?

    Phinney the Younger always looks like he has been momentarily separated from the rest of the members of a boy band. That much hair product is simply unnatural.

    I also point to the recent post Drink Properly which had the photo below. Sweet Jesus. What has been seen cannot be unseen. Seriously, is Phinney planning on laying down The V or auditioning to be a dancer for an upcoming Beyoncé video clip? (there should be a specific rule for this).

    That cracks me up big time, cheers… but seriously, when, not if,  this cat comes back from the nasty national’s accident and proceeds to kick some a** then he absolutely gets a pass no matter how much a boy band member or Beyonce dancer he cares to look like (that really is funny). The beauty of being young I guess, you can have some fun with looking shall we say a little modern (?) stylish (?) different (?), and it’s all good if ya back it up w/substance. This is a guy with (not just, that had, I’m thinking) realistic intentions of TT and Road Race Nat’l Champion combo! Stud. And after that race in Chattanooga? And from the latest news on recovery/rehab? And prospects for being back at it? I sure have to respect. I recall a stage he gutted out to end off the back while others abandoned, maybe was a two years ago in the Giro (?), that I thought rep’d true hard guy status.

  20. Frank, you just keep the hits on rolling…over pave, over tarmac, over mud. STRONG work! I love this.

    I pretty positive I have internalized the Rules and La Vie Velominatus. Just one peek at a bike, or a cyclist, and I can tell if that Dude Can Roll.

    With riding time winnowed of late, when I Roll, I want to Roll with Class. Thankfully, you sonofaguns have set me straight long enough that the Path is clear and plain. Thank you.

    I’m in a state of grace.

  21. Come on, that is so Lemond all over.

    @TheDon

    @Owen

  22. OK so I’m just a little bit biased, but I think my esteemed countryman is a contender. He does tranquilo, track, classics, stage races, Rules #5 and #9, gets results when he’s allowed to but otherwise gives it 100% in the team cause, and he thanks his fans for their support on a daily basis.

    Slideshow:

    Fullscreen:

  23. damn, can’t see any previous posts to read anything…

    Anyway, great article @Frank.  I have to agree, its hard to look any more fabulous than  Fabulous….er, I mean Fabian Cancellara.

    I’m also a big fan of #iamtedking, that guy can certainly turn the screws on the peloton when needed.  Plus I got to meet him in Chattanooga at USPro Nationals, and it only took a few moments being around the guy to realize, Ted is one hard motherfucker!  And he always looks badass when he’s on the rivet.

  24. This should probably be permanently linked to the Rules page — it’d save newcomers some time figuring things out.

    I also can’t read any other comments on the post; the ‘Loading Posts’ messages just stays there.

  25. Hmm, can’t see the posts here, and the red cog around the V doesn’ t spin either. Just me or is something up?

  26. @ron er, I’m going to have to hold my hand up for this one.  I think I might have broken it last night posting a gif thingy.

    Sorry Frank – I’ll go and do something very painful on the rollers in the morning to atone for it.

  27. As we are adherents to the Masturbation Principal, there can be no further replies to this post.

  28. @Ron     Glad it’s not just me

    @Chris   At least I’m  now not the last person to break a thread.

  29. @Ron nope you’re not the only one…all I see is this (and before Frank asks I’ve tried 3 different browsers & cleared caches on all 3).

  30. I think Frank killed the thread when I wrote that Geschke’s beard makes me hard.

  31. I can’t see anything either. Might have been my fault – I posted some pics of Geraint Thomas, and his excess of awesome might have crashed the thread. Sorry chaps.

  32. My biggest thing about the rules to that my bikes obey the rules cause Rule #4. For myself I do my best but I will never look pro. But the bikes in my stable need to look as dialed as possible at all times.

  33. hmm…posts not loading on phone or pc.  As far as the question of most rule compliant- what about Jensie?  He’s ugly as hell, but he’s so hard he makes the Mavic bike look resplendent …

  34. Chris, you wanker. I hope you’re satisfied that your gif of Phinney looking like a twat broke the internet.

    On the plus side, you did keep people from seeing that picture of Steamie’s fucking twat mustache.

    @Steampunk

    Jesus man. You fall under the summarized version of Option 2. Go shave that fucking thing off right the fuck now or you’re out of the club. I don’t know what club exactly, but its a cool one and you’ll be out of it.

  35. @frank

    Chris, you wanker. I hope you’re satisfied that your gif of Phinney looking like a twat broke the internet.

    On the plus side, you did keep people from seeing that picture of Steamie’s fucking twat mustache.

    @Steampunk

    Jesus man. You fall under the summarized version of Option 2. Go shave that fucking thing off right the fuck now or you’re out of the club. I don’t know what club exactly, but its a cool one and you’ll be out of it.

    @Chris  @Steampunk   I think that’s the equivalent of frog marched to the headmaster and having “three of the best” administered.

  36. Personally, I think Millar looks fairly silly dressed like he lives in the 60’s but atop a modern aero road bike. Put him on @Teocalli’s Butler and he’d look the business. Faboo’s layout is infinitely better (I’ll admit my bias since he’s my cycling man-crush).

  37. @Cogfather

    By my way of thinking, the pros are all hardmen (Schleck the younger excepted) otherwise they would not be pros. Pros get a pass on any violations simply because they get paid to ride & we don’t. Being a pro is inherently transcendent. If you get popped for doping (the biggest rule violation of them all & the quintessence of anti-V), yes I’m looking at you Clenbutador, then all violations are charged, with interest

    @Cogfather

    Btw, Tommeke is the baddest motherfucker in the bunch. He’s so hard, he doesn’t even wear gloves when riding De Ronde & P-R. He should have a wallet like Jules in Pulp Fiction

    So, Boonen gets a pass from you for the cocaine, then? Technically not doping (out of competition), but still…

  38. @Chris

    @TheDon

    @Owen

    Does Phinney’s hair and choice of pants color disqualify him from compliance in any way? Or does he get a pass in light of his current TT champion status?

    Phinney the Younger always looks like he has been momentarily separated from the rest of the members of a boy band.

    image

    image

    For truly frightening levels of Phinney go here

    In the interests of science, let’s see if Mini Phinney dancing like the creepy uncle at a wedding actually breaks something.

    @wilburrox That was last year’s Tirreno

  39. @KW  Yeah, I give him a pass on the nose candy. No way that helps you ride any better & it was not in competition. I love the Northern Classics & there are no harder men today than Spartacus & Tommeke. Much respect for those guys

  40. @Owen

    @Chris

    @TheDon

    @Owen

    Does Phinney’s hair and choice of pants color disqualify him from compliance in any way? Or does he get a pass in light of his current TT champion status?

    Phinney the Younger always looks like he has been momentarily separated from the rest of the members of a boy band.

    image

    image

    For truly frightening levels of Phinney go here

    In the interests of science, let’s see if Mini Phinney dancing like the creepy uncle at a wedding actually breaks something.

    @wilburrox That was last year’s Tirreno

    Is that the Mini-Phinney version of Prancercize? And is that a COTHO cockring he’s wearing?

  41. @therealpeel

    hmm…posts not loading on phone or pc. As far as the question of most rule compliant- what about Jensie? He’s ugly as hell, but he’s so hard he makes the Mavic bike look resplendent …

    I think he’s one who transcends The Rules.  As in: “The second option is to be an ultra stud/studette who is so comprehensively badass that no one gives two shits about The Rules or anything else. . .”

    In fact, that’s a kid’s bike he borrowed for 15km after crashing hard on a descent during stage 16 of the 2010 Tour.  Badass indeed.

  42. Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools.

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar