You don't Look this Fantastic by being sensible all the time.

Of Course, But Maybe

Of Course, But Maybe

by / / 86 posts

I’m a naturally loud and weird person who expresses excitement through volume. Also, alcohol is supposed to be a depressant, but it doesn’t appear to work for me; all it does is make me happier (and louder) – until I have a little too much at which point I get weirder (a too-happy, too-loud kind of weird). But being a happy person also means you must be a little bit stupid; if you’re smart and paying attention you should be a bit pissed off at something.

Happiness is easier to find if you don’t sweat the nuances of your convictions, something most religious people have already discovered. As soon as you start peeling back the onion on your principles, you’re just going to find things that don’t line up; things that don’t line up invariably lead to questions, questions lead to thinking and suddenly what started off as a simple belief is starting to look an awful lot like work. From this perspective, atheists have it easy; there are no layers when the answer to every question is, “Life’s not fair, deal with it.”

On the other hand, its a lot of fun trying to find balance within contradictions, which is true for my chosen religion, Rule Holism. Some of The Rules build on each other, while others appear to be in conflict. But The Rules lie at the beginning of The Path to La Vie Velominatus, not at the end; learning to balance them against one another and to welcome them all into your life as a Velominatus is a never-ending struggle waged between form and function as we continue along The Path towards transcension.

These struggles are characterized by those things we know are right and those things we want to be true, something dubbed Of Course, but Maybe by Louis C.K. Here are a handful of examples that I regularly flirt with.

  1. It is very important to watch our diet over the holiday season. Of course. Weight is much easier gained than lost, an effect amplified with age. Of course, we should use restraint and not eat and drink too much over Christmas, especially as we enter the winter months and our inclination is to put on weight like a hibernating bear. Of course. But maybe gaining weight just before we start preparing in earnest for next year is a great way to gain fitness, using gravity assisted resistance training to build strength. Of course, putting enough weight on in December to cause adult-onset diabetes is a stupidly dangerous idea. Of course. But maybe its the only way to really get strong for next year.
  2. Whenever we go out riding, we should bring plenty of food and water to make sure we don’t get dehydrated or suffer la fringale. Of course. But maybe, becoming severely dehydrated effectively raises your hematocrit and being malnourished is a great way to lose weight – both of which would make us better climbers. Of course its dangerous and counter-productive to lose weight this way and we should really improve our climbing by training and dieting properly. But maybe not eating or drinking on one ride is easier than changing dietary habits and eating sensibly.
  3. Cycling is a lifelong undertaking, the practice of which is extended immeasurably by retaining the function of your knees. It therefore follows that to ride a compact is to spare your knees and will extend your ability to ride into old age. Of course – of course; it is reasonable to try and save the knees. But maybe boasting about scaling the neighborhood leg breaker in the 53×17 will intimidate your foes into submission and forever cast you into local legend as The Big Ring Badass. Risking your knees for bragging rights would be foolhardy. But maybe entering the local folklore is worth it.
  4. Whenever we are riding in dark or otherwise dangerous conditions, we should wear high-visibility clothing and employ the use of flashers and lights to make us stand out more to surrounding traffic. Of course; it would be foolish to risk our lives for the sake of fashion. But maybe all that hi-vis clothing just makes you more of a target. Maybe wearing something yellow awakens an ancient impulse in drivers to crowd anything offensively ugly. Of course, we should make ourselves as visible as possible, but maybe getting hit wearing a YJA is just a Traffic Fashion Nudge.
  5. We should always ride wearing a helmet. Of course. Riding without a helmet is foolish and flies in the face of reason. But maybe riding without a helmet, with the wind in your hair (assuming you have hair) or a cycling cap rakishly perched atop your head as you power up a brutal climb is worth the risk of a brain injury. Of course that would be reckless, but maybe we’re not really using our brains anyway.

It goes without saying that with the exception of the Helmet bullet, the Maybe invariably wins out.

// Breaking The Rules // Etiquette // Folklore // La Vie Velominatus // Look Pro // Tradition

  1. Loves me this article, and all y’all in your own little ways. You’re the friends you never knew you were.

    See, it’s a lonely existence, this insular world of Beers. Never quite feeling like you fit, or that others ‘get’ what you write. That you shed riders while the true hardmen still disappear around the corner. Riding solo in the tree lined lanes with only a hyperactive devil on your shoulder for company. Attempts at dry humour, tinfoil hat theorising, oversharing of unresearched heresay, laying down a big effort on the keys only to be summarily ignored. Is it because the post, and by inference Beers as an internet construct, sucked? Or, my preference, it is because each post is as close to literary and philosophical perfection, no reply could parallel.

    What I do know, is that having a phrase in the lexicon, and to have it used in my very own giddy grown man as teenager type stars in your eyes moment, has validated all of what I have attempted, achieved, and failed at here. Goals my friends, goals.

    This, I can show my children, and my children’s children.

    Merry fucking Christmas to you all!

  2. @wiscot

    @withoutanyhills

    I am wondering, as I try to follow the rules, which ones are the most important for me to stick too? Or is it a case of once one is broken you may as well give up?

    Welcome! They’re all kinda important but the goal is to adhere, or to aspire to adhere, to as many as possible. Never give up, just find your comfort level.

    For example: I live in SE Wisconsin. Weather has been awful lately but Saturday looks like low 30s before snow comes in. A Rule #5 and #9 ride is on the cards.

    On the other hand, I violate #24 and count rides in miles, not kilometers,. #28 is nonsense – socks should always be white. #31 I use an EPMS because I have a deep-seated aversion to overloading jersey pockets stemming from childhood trauma of seeing wool and acrylic jerseys streched past the saddle because of too much shit in the rear pockets. I use the smallest possible EPMS I can cram my stuff into. Oh, and Rule #90 – try getting up some of the nasty wee hills ariound here in the big ring. Good luck with that.

    Other than that, I think I’m pretty compliant and ride with a clear conscience!

    wiscot, apropos of nothing, your Scottish has been showing a lot in recent comments.  I like it.  It makes me think of Scotty from Star Trek (old school Scotty, not the new guy, even though old school Scotty was not Scottish, but Canadian). 

    ‘Cause, you know, that’s the only exposure to the Scottish people that this insulated Midwestern boy ever had.

  3. @Harminator

    @Frank It looks like you might be right about nobody reading the article. Ergo,

    Of course this is a community of Cycling disciples of the Highest Order. But Maybe…

    Dammit.  How’d you get ahold of one of my “selfies”?

  4. @Optimiste

    “The Rules lie at the beginning of The Path to La Vie Velominatus, not at the end; learning to balance them against one another and to welcome them all into your life as a Velominatus is a never-ending struggle waged between form and function as we continue along The Path towards transcension.”

    THIS! Inspired and inspiring. Would The Keepers consider adding it (or some variation) to the top of The Rules page?

    Part of it came from Keeper Jim in his typical sort of concise summation. But that’s a great suggestion to add it to The Rules to help set the tone; it might reduce how much hate mail we get.

    We discussed this at Cogclave today. We got distracted and bitched about our Rule-related hate mail instead of deciding on whether or not to add it. Stay tuned.

  5. @Mike_P

    If there’s one thing that being part of this community has lead me to, it’s to a state of really thinking far more self-critically about all aspects of my cycling life. For that I thank you.

    Thank you for that; on the flip side, this community has brought me to taking that same behavior and applying it to my life in general – not just Cycling. And for that, I thank YOU.

  6. @Barracuda

    Its a constant battle – Garmin on/Garmin Off, EPMS off / Lezyne Caddy Sack on

    Does not compute. Well, there’s a flicker when the Garmin part comes up, but as for the EMPS, the processor overloads.

  7. @Bill Chris

    #5 Spot on!!!

    Was on a ride with the wife a bit ago and had a nasty fall due to a hidden pot hole due to leaves. I hate wearing a helmet, and when ever she is involved of course I wear a helmet. Her first comment “thank god you had a helmet on”, my response “I didn’t hit my head”, as I bled from half my body and my tyre quickly deflated. I hate hearing I told you so…

    Speaking of helmets and CAPS how about that V-Cap!

    We are working on the design! This is a delicate process which accelerates with the application of alcohol until so much alcohol has been applied that all the good work gets undone. Two steps forward and all that.

    Soon.

    @ChrissyOne

    Jesus, were you drunk when you wrote this? Of course. I have tremendous respect for that.
    We need to have a drink some time. This can happen. It should be simple to arrange. I’m usually drinking. In fact I’m drinking right now.
    Thank you for making me laugh.

    No comment, except to say that when one returns home from a particularly stressful day and fixes himself a martini to unwind, one should remember that said day was sufficiently stressful to prohibit eating lunch.

    Luckily, I finished the draft before starting on the wine.

  8. @ChrisO

    Three out of five for me.

    It was a quiz, right?

    I don’t even really get it, but it made me laugh for the first time in a few days. +1 badge to you, mate.

    (I laugh at a lot of jokes I don’t get or didn’t understand.)

    @withoutanyhills

    I am wondering, as I try to follow the rules, which ones are the most important for me to stick too? Or is it a case of once one is broken you may as well give up?

    @wiscot

    @withoutanyhills

    I am wondering, as I try to follow the rules, which ones are the most important for me to stick too? Or is it a case of once one is broken you may as well give up?

    Welcome! They’re all kinda important but the goal is to adhere, or to aspire to adhere, to as many as possible. Never give up, just find your comfort level.

    For example: I live in SE Wisconsin. Weather has been awful lately but Saturday looks like low 30s before snow comes in. A Rule #5 and #9 ride is on the cards.

    On the other hand, I violate #24 and count rides in miles, not kilometers,. #28 is nonsense – socks should always be white. #31 I use an EPMS because I have a deep-seated aversion to overloading jersey pockets stemming from childhood trauma of seeing wool and acrylic jerseys streched past the saddle because of too much shit in the rear pockets. I use the smallest possible EPMS I can cram my stuff into. Oh, and Rule #90 – try getting up some of the nasty wee hills ariound here in the big ring. Good luck with that.

    Other than that, I think I’m pretty compliant and ride with a clear conscience!

    Jesus, you two. Two words, Masturbation Principle.

    For fucks sake.

    The noob is forgiven on account of ignorance (welcome, @withoutanyhills) – but you? Et tu, Wiscote? 

    I’m hoping you can make the trip out to one of the book signing events we’re brainstorming for the US release so I can smack some sense into you about that EPMS.

  9. @Mike_P

    @withoutanyhills

    I am wondering, as I try to follow the rules, which ones are the most important for me to stick too? Or is it a case of once one is broken you may as well give up?

    As Capt Barbossa said “the code is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules”. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl !

    You, sir, are a scholar and a gentleman. Perhaps one of the most under-rated movie series. Well, the fourth one sucked, but the first three are fantastic. Johnny Depp is the kind of demented fuck that makes me laugh like someone just told a potty joke and I’m still six.

  10. @Buck Rogers

    Fuck me, looks like I picked a bad week to start reading the articles.

    Awesome pic, though! big Mig is just perfect there.

    Those cranks? 182.5mm. I shit you not.

  11. @marko

    Yikes. I almost pulled the trigger on two of these as my brain didn’t process three places in front of the decimal.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NOS-COCA-COLA-TOUR-DE-FRANCE-LARGE-WATER-BOTTLE-BIDON-MADE-BY-TA-IN-FRANCE-/271317657221?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f2bcae685

    They’re big bidons anyway. Worthless.

    @meursault

    @withoutanyhills

    I am wondering, as I try to follow the rules, which ones are the most important for me to stick too? Or is it a case of once one is broken you may as well give up?

    All of them. But remember Grasshopper, the rules are the path. Tread carefully.

    Finally.

    @unversio

    @withoutanyhills

    I am wondering, as I try to follow the rules, which ones are the most important for me to stick too? Or is it a case of once one is broken you may as well give up?

    Use a shock collar.

    HA! Perfect!

  12. Say what you will about big bidon. I’m not refilling my small one with ditch water 50 km from nowhere.

  13. @marko

    I thought I knew you, man…

  14. @frank

    @Barracuda

    Its a constant battle – Garmin on/Garmin Off, EPMS off / Lezyne Caddy Sack on

    Does not compute. Well, there’s a flicker when the Garmin part comes up, but as for the EMPS, the processor overloads.

    Sadly @frank it was my failed attempt at sarcasm, obviously did not work !

    Ill now go back to sitting in the corner

  15. @marko

    Yikes. I almost pulled the trigger on two of these as my brain didn’t process three places in front of the decimal.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NOS-COCA-COLA-TOUR-DE-FRANCE-LARGE-WATER-BOTTLE-BIDON-MADE-BY-TA-IN-FRANCE-/271317657221?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f2bcae685

    What you need is a local second hand store that has no idea what they’re selling…

    http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/#comment-287754

  16. @Mikael Liddy

    Hey you guys, google image “coca cola bidon” and look what pops up in the number 2 slot.

  17. @withoutanyhills

    @VeloSix

    @withoutanyhills

    I am wondering, as I try to follow the rules, which ones are the most important for me to stick too? Or is it a case of once one is broken you may as well give up?

    Well, I adhere to the Masturbation Principle

    Care to explain?

    Study the Lexicon

  18. @marko

    Hey you guys, google image “coca cola bidon” and look what pops up in the number 2 slot.

    What do you think I used to make sure what I was looking at was the real thing (pun intended)?

  19. @brett

    @marko

    I thought I knew you, man…

    Some of the most genuine “can we still be besties” arguments Marko and I have had have centered on bidon size and color.  Quite literally, the bottle has nearly torn us apart.

  20. @frank

    @brett

    @marko

    I thought I knew you, man…

    Some of the most genuine “can we still be besties” arguments Marko and I have had have centered on bidon size and color. Quite literally, the bottle has nearly torn us apart.

    One day, one day, that 750ml bidon will bump Marko’s top tube or seat tube as he is reaches for it during a race — then the hulking bidon will be laying in the road as he continues with no water at all.

  21. @Beers  it is because each post is as close to literary and philosophical perfection, no reply could parallel.

    Meursault nods approvingly.

  22. @VeloSix Got ya – it’s a good job I ride alone in that case then.

  23. @frank

    @Mike_P

    @withoutanyhills

    I am wondering, as I try to follow the rules, which ones are the most important for me to stick too? Or is it a case of once one is broken you may as well give up?

    As Capt Barbossa said “the code is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules”. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl !

    You, sir, are a scholar and a gentleman. Perhaps one of the most under-rated movie series. Well, the fourth one sucked, but the first three are fantastic. Johnny Depp is the kind of demented fuck that makes me laugh like someone just told a potty joke and I’m still six.

    “Why is the rum always gone…”

  24. I was just explaining to a pal last night, over Old Fashioneds, how alcohol, though a depressant, gives me more energy, not less.

    Very intrigued by #4 here. It both opens a door, then slams it shut. Ya might wanna get that bright jersey, but ya might get a real serious backhand across the mouth. Hmm.

  25. Ha, the Boonen photo pops up! That is really damn awesome. And, one of those things that makes me feel very small, but part of something very big.

    How many people have searched “Coca Cola bidon.” About 72, world-wide. But heck, I’m pretty familiar with that photo and I “know” the guy who snapped it. That’s damn cool.

  26. @Ron

    I was just explaining to a pal last night, over Old Fashioneds, how alcohol, though a depressant, gives me more energy, not less.

    Very intrigued by #4 here. It both opens a door, then slams it shut. Ya might wanna get that bright jersey, but ya might get a real serious backhand across the mouth. Hmm.

    Alcohol generally charges me up.  Turns me angry face into a happy face, makes me louder, happier and I laugh at everything.

    However, I confident there is a DHT (Depressant Hydration Threshold) or “K-C2H6O Max” (the rate at which your Kidneys can filter Charismatic Poison from your blood) where I am perpetually in the research phase of defining said threshold…

    So far, I have determined, it is the precise moment at which the energizing effect of Post-Ride Recovery Drinks  immediately ceases, and the depressant effect take hold.  Symptoms are as follows;  nothing is funny anymore, everything is too loud, you must hold onto something to keep everything else from moving, and precise mapping of the nearest fluid receptacles begins to take place.

  27. @The Pressure lol, I can’t remember which one it is in, but there is a scene where Elizabeth turns up and Jack says quickly, “Hide the rum”. Superb movies.

  28. @VeloSix

    @Ron

    I was just explaining to a pal last night, over Old Fashioneds, how alcohol, though a depressant, gives me more energy, not less.

    Very intrigued by #4 here. It both opens a door, then slams it shut. Ya might wanna get that bright jersey, but ya might get a real serious backhand across the mouth. Hmm.

    Alcohol generally charges me up. Turns me angry face into a happy face, makes me louder, happier and I laugh at everything.

    However, I confident there is a DHT (Depressant Hydration Threshold) or “K-C2H6O Max” (the rate at which your Kidneys can filter Charismatic Poison from your blood) where I am perpetually in the research phase of defining said threshold…

    So far, I have determined, it is the precise moment at which the energizing effect of Post-Ride Recovery Drinks immediately ceases, and the depressant effect take hold. Symptoms are as follows; nothing is funny anymore, everything is too loud, you must hold onto something to keep everything else from moving, and precise mapping of the nearest fluid receptacles begins to take place.

    Otherwise defined as the moment when perception moves from long distance road cycling to track cycling.

  29. @Ron

    Ha, the Boonen photo pops up! That is really damn awesome. And, one of those things that makes me feel very small, but part of something very big.

    How many people have searched “Coca Cola bidon.” About 72, world-wide. But heck, I’m pretty familiar with that photo and I “know” the guy who snapped it. That’s damn cool.

    Best Tommeke photo in existence.  But did one of the Keeprs Tour guys take it?   I thought it was a pro photo from the race?

  30. @frank

    @Buck Rogers

    Fuck me, looks like I picked a bad week to start reading the articles.

    Awesome pic, though! big Mig is just perfect there.

    Those cranks? 182.5mm. I shit you not.

    Fuckin’ BigMig … that Dude can roll, man.

  31. @Buck Rogers

    @Ron

    Ha, the Boonen photo pops up! That is really damn awesome. And, one of those things that makes me feel very small, but part of something very big.

    How many people have searched “Coca Cola bidon.” About 72, world-wide. But heck, I’m pretty familiar with that photo and I “know” the guy who snapped it. That’s damn cool.

    Best Tommeke photo in existence. But did one of the Keeprs Tour guys take it? I thought it was a pro photo from the race?

    You are correct; that is a Pro photo. This is the photo I took that poor ol’ Ron got confused with.

  32. Fantastic article as usual. Of course. Maybe.

  33. @Teocalli

    @VeloSix

    @Ron

    I was just explaining to a pal last night, over Old Fashioneds, how alcohol, though a depressant, gives me more energy, not less.

    Very intrigued by #4 here. It both opens a door, then slams it shut. Ya might wanna get that bright jersey, but ya might get a real serious backhand across the mouth. Hmm.

    Alcohol generally charges me up. Turns me angry face into a happy face, makes me louder, happier and I laugh at everything.

    However, I confident there is a DHT (Depressant Hydration Threshold) or “K-C2H6O Max” (the rate at which your Kidneys can filter Charismatic Poison from your blood) where I am perpetually in the research phase of defining said threshold…

    So far, I have determined, it is the precise moment at which the energizing effect of Post-Ride Recovery Drinks immediately ceases, and the depressant effect take hold. Symptoms are as follows; nothing is funny anymore, everything is too loud, you must hold onto something to keep everything else from moving, and precise mapping of the nearest fluid receptacles begins to take place.

    Otherwise defined as the moment when perception moves from long distance road cycling to track cycling.

    Of course, everything is going around in circles, but maybe….. I’ve just exceeded my K-C2H6O Max

  34. @meursault “…problems arose, ensued, were overcome”

  35. God that was a good post. Frank you’re a rare talent.

  36. @frank

    @Buck Rogers

    @Ron

    Ha, the Boonen photo pops up! That is really damn awesome. And, one of those things that makes me feel very small, but part of something very big.

    How many people have searched “Coca Cola bidon.” About 72, world-wide. But heck, I’m pretty familiar with that photo and I “know” the guy who snapped it. That’s damn cool.

    Best Tommeke photo in existence. But did one of the Keeprs Tour guys take it? I thought it was a pro photo from the race?

    You are correct; that is a Pro photo. This is the photo I took that poor ol’ Ron got confused with.

    Holy fuck! I better start payin’ attention ’round here before I fuck it up worse.

    I like both photos, PRO or NeoPRO! Makes me wanna toss a Bidon across the room.

  37. @Ron

    I was just explaining to a pal last night, over Old Fashioneds, how alcohol, though a depressant, gives me more energy, not less.

    Very intrigued by #4 here. It both opens a door, then slams it shut. Ya might wanna get that bright jersey, but ya might get a real serious backhand across the mouth. Hmm.

    I think chemically speaking booze is a depressant and it is physically impossible that it gives you more energy – even though I feel the same way.

    I am guessing that with ultra high-energy people, we have learned to amp our energy down a bit, but the alcohol lowers our inhibitions so we forget to play it as cool as we normally do – resulting in a net gain in energy. But its still less energy than if we’d let ourselves rock as hard as we want to all the time.

  38. @The Pressure

    @meursault “…problems arose, ensued, were overcome”

    +1!

    @James

    God that was a good post. Frank you’re a rare talent.

    That’s a terrifying thought, but on the other hand, I’m not sure it would be good if there were like me around. Those in close contact with me would agree. Anyway, thanks for the compliment.

  39. @frank Yeah, or the calories they pack into the booze to make it taste good, like the sugars that are still in beer, a lot of the crap in the flavoured drinks to make them look good, the fact you’re sitting on your arse talking shit and rehydrating.

  40. @minion Living in Australia has made you a mean little man.

  41. This is what Straya does to KiwisI looked like Brad Pitt before

  42. @minion

    This is what Straya does to KiwisI looked like Brad Pitt before

    Is that Froomie’s Stava avatar?

  43. Late to the article. Not only is it a great piece, but quite timely. I awoke to celebrate the solstice. Back to hibernating now.

  44. @frank

    I am guessing that with ultra high-energy people, we have learned to amp our energy down a bit, but the alcohol lowers our inhibitions so we forget to play it as cool as we normally do – resulting in a net gain in energy. But its still less energy than if we’d let ourselves rock as hard as we want to all the time.

    Indeed, inebriation starts at the higher order thought processes and works its way down the various systems of the body, from the complex/behavioural to the simple/automatic. As you suggest, the first to alter will be the thought or habits managing your behaviour,  so as you say you lose your inhibitions and get louder. You could say you actually become more like yourself, as you are less reserved and more likely to act from the heart, rather than the brain. Intoxication gradually works its way down, interrupting the smooth operation of simple activities like walking, looking straight, or talking. Until you get to the base systems, lose conciousness and shit yourself, which I have known several people to do on occassion…

  45. @minion

    This is what Straya does to KiwisI looked like Brad Pitt before

    Wasted 10mins of my time watching some famous online US Trainer opine that his strava didn’t run properly and so he is sure he would have got a KOM, but missed out. Boo fucking hoo, and proof that Stravaphrenic riders are not isolated to any particular country..

  46. @VeloSix

    @minion

    This is what Straya does to KiwisI looked like Brad Pitt before

    Is that Froomie’s Stava avatar?

    I thought an avatar didn’t have to a selfie?

  47. I’ve been away from digital devices for two weeks. Did I miss anything?

  48. Not too much, Uran has gone to OPQS, I only saw this on his Instagram.

  49. @marko

    Yikes. I almost pulled the trigger on two of these as my brain didn’t process three places in front of the decimal.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NOS-COCA-COLA-TOUR-DE-FRANCE-LARGE-WATER-BOTTLE-BIDON-MADE-BY-TA-IN-FRANCE-/271317657221?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f2bcae685

    I was thinking that someone would have to be doing coke to knowingly, intentionally purchase a bidon for $130.00… and then I noticed that is a “sale” price, and it is regularly $150!  I’m glad the reality sunk in before you pulled the trigger!

  50. @Ron

    I like both photos, PRO or NeoPRO! Makes me wanna toss a Bidon across the room.

    Ron = Tom Steels’ pseudonym?

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