On Rule #9: Love the Work

On Rule #9: Love the Work

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Fitness. The rhythm, the feeling of precision in our movement, the sensations of The Ride. The temptation of knowing we might in some way control our suffering even as we push harder in spite of the searing pain in our legs and lungs. The notion that through suffering, we might learn something rudimentary about ourselves – that we might find a kind of salvation.

Cycling, like Art, is based on the elementary notion that through focussed study, we might better understand ourselves. But to describe Cycling as a an Art does it an injustice. An artist, they say, suffers because they must. A Cyclist, I suggest, suffers because we choose to.

This element of choice, what psychologists refer to as the locus of control, is part of what allows us to feel pleasure through suffering. Through this choice unfolds an avenue of personal discovery by which we uncover the very nature of ourselvesLike Michelangelo wielding his hammer to chip away fragments of stone that obscure a great sculpture, we turn our pedals to chip away at our form, eventually revealing our true selves as a manifestation of hard work, determination, and dedication to our craft.

Having chosen this path, we quickly find that riding a bicycle on warm, dry roads through sunny boulevards is the realm of the recreational cyclist. As winter approaches, the days get shorter and the weather worse. Form tempts us to greater things, but leaves us quickly despite our best intentions. Its taste lingers long upon the tongue and urges us to gain more. Even as life gets in the way, we cannot afford many days away from our craft before we find ourselves struggling to reclaim lost fitness.

To find form in the first place, and to maintain it in the second, is a simple matter of riding your bicycle a lot. This simple task asks of us, however, a year-round commitment to throwing our leg over a toptube in heat, cold, wind, rain, or sleet, lest we spend months fighting to reclaim last year’s lost condition.

But with riding in bad weather is revealed a hidden secret. It is in the rain and the cold, when all the seductive elements of riding a bicycle have vanished, that we are truly able to ensconce ourselves in the elemental qualities of riding a bicycle. Good weather and beautiful scenery, after all, are distractions from the work. Without them, we have only those elements that we ourselves bring to The Ride: the rhythm, harmony between rider and machine, our suffering, and our thoughts. As the rain pours down and all but the most devoted stay indoors, we pull on extra clothing and submit into the deluge.

We are the Few, we are the Committed. We are those who understand that riding in bad weather means you’re a badass, period.

// La Vie Velominatus // The Rules // Tradition

  1. @Chris
    Nice! Of course, what were you doing driving her to school?

  2. @Steampunk

    Her school is about half way round my 90km loop but while her average speed is good for her age and the pseudo mountain bike that she has, we’d be getting up early enough to do most of the route in the dark and I’m not a fan of the idea of that route in the dark during the week when it’s pretty busy.

    In a couple of years time, if she’s into it and has the right bike, absolutely. She’d need V-kit though.

  3. @Chris
    Baby wipes as @Oli mentioned, then when in the shower wash the guns with dish soap. But really the burn when the water hits the residual embro in the post ride shower is all part of the package, isn’t it?

  4. @Chris
    LOL, I see what you did there.

  5. @Buck Rogers

    wow good for you. nobody cares you braggart karma whore

  6. @ph
    Braggart whore? BR brags without charging a cent, just like we all do here without ill intent.
    You however are just a couple of letters short of being a phuckphace.

  7. ph, I find your comment a bit acerbic. :)

    As for a braggart karma whore, well, I’ll take all the karma I can get and the whores, well, I’ll leave that one untouched.

    Braggart, though, … perhaps, but my point was that I have seen some crazy ass Aussies and love working with them in crazy ass situations. Too much fun. They totally take life one day at a time and do not take anything to seriously, in any situation, in my experience. Makes it all that much easier.

    Now calm the fuck down and go ride your bike (reminds me of the “Good Morning Vietnam” line from Robin Williams about the guy being the man in most need of a blow job).

  8. @all
    In response to a question I noticed on Twitter:

    @velominati Dear Keepers, at what temperature does Rule #9 kick in. Its 40 in SC, does it count?

    This is always a good question and just in case its still ambiguous: Rule #9 conditions are different from each climate, but in a generic sense Rule #9 conditions are any conditions where the weather makes the ride appreciably more difficult and under which someone with better judgement wouldn’t venture out on their bike…be it hot, cold, wet, icy, or windy.

    That said, I don’t think there is an environment outside of the desert where 40 degrees F in dry weather is a Rule #9 condition – you need rain in such weather to make it meet the limits!

  9. @frank

    Withi regards to temperature guidelines when considering Rule #9 rides. If Rule #24 is also given due consideration, should the we not be talking in degs C and not F?

  10. However, I confidently classify tonight’s ride fully Rule #9 compliant due to the ludicrously windy conditions!

  11. Good rule of thumb, if people, including other cyclists, don’t think you are fucking crazy riding in said weather then the Rule #9 threshold has not been met.

  12. @ph
    Rule #43 violation… If you are going to be a jackass, be a funny jackass, not just a plain jackass.

  13. Another Rule #9 ride last night. Average temp below Zero.

    As much as I like to embrace #9 I won’t be sorry when it warms up a little!

  14. Agony with despair — all me. Snapped left clavicle from chasing Hells Bells for The Devil thru a turnabout on the race course today — a hard hit. Off the course, on my back, the attending official(s) heard a very audible SNAP — 2 minute delayed SNAP !! Right there at the turnabout for next half hour (wearing matching Black sling) — held ice bag for 1 hour watching next race (drove to finish) — drove myself 2 hrs back home (right-handed) — endured next hour waiting on my wife, which included a half hour hail storm (weird) — debated getting X-rays for an obviously broken clavicle 5 minutes — 1 hour Urgent Care and then finally done (still wearing race kit w/ same matching Black sling). The race bike — The Sword — was not really damaged at all. Both tires flatted — 10 and 15 sec delayed flats (weird).

  15. Jeepers, that’s no good! Heal fast, bud.

  16. @Vin’cenza
    Sorry to hear about that. How long until you’re healed up?

    I don’t think it’s weird the tires went flat. If cycling is a sybiosis of rider and machine then perhaps it senses your pain and predicament, and feels a little deflated…

  17. @Vin’cenza
    Commiserations, Mate. Heal well.

  18. @Jonny
    Spotted a spelling mistake – sybiosis should actually be cybiosis. The word doesn’t exist but I’m inventing it as “a long term mutually beneficial relationship between a living organism and a machine, in this case cyclist and bicycle”

  19. @Vin’cenza
    Not good, speedy recovery Vin!

  20. @Vin’cenza
    Yikes! Heal well.

  21. @Vin’cenza

    Sorry to hear, bro. Heal quick.

  22. @Vin’cenza
    Uhh, dude. So sorry to hear that. Hopefully it doesn’t put your season back that much.

  23. @Vin’cenza
    Sorry to hear. Hope you heal soon. Glad to hear your rig is ok(rule 4)

  24. @marko

    @Vin’cenza
    Uhh, dude. So sorry to hear that. Hopefully it doesn’t put your season back that much.

    12 weeks I suppose. Planning to work on more graphic design aimed at cycling — I have some pet projects to thrive on.

  25. @Jonny

    @Vin’cenza
    Sorry to hear about that. How long until you’re healed up?

    I don’t think it’s weird the tires went flat. If cycling is a sybiosis of rider and machine then perhaps it senses your pain and predicament, and feels a little deflated…

    12 weeks to build new cycling goals — a paradigm shift.

  26. @RedRanger

    @Vin’cenza
    Sorry to hear. Hope you heal soon. Glad to hear your rig is ok(rule 4)

    Still wearing yesterday’s (race crash) base layer and left arm cover, I am already starting to ‘smell’ the ‘aspiration’ of more training and upgrades.

  27. @Vin’cenza
    Really sorry to hear that, Vin’cenza. 12 weeks because they won’t pin it?

  28. @xyxax

    @Vin’cenza
    Really sorry to hear that, Vin’cenza. 12 weeks because they won’t pin it?

    Right clavicle has 9″ steel flat bar from Jan 2010 crash — 12 weeks recovery. Trying to avoid any surgery this time and allow bones to stay aligned. Expecting 12 weeks recommended with or without metal repair.

  29. @Vin’cenza
    Well, that dodeca-sucks.

  30. @Vin’cenza IMHO (not personal experience) the recovery is quicker if you get a plate, but there are often complications. So If you can keep yourself in shape with indoor sports for 3 months, go for it. Otherwise enjoy knowing you’ll be peaking enough since you’re going to be properly training for awhile after you get back on the bike. You’ve earned it the hard way. Try not to be too well hydrated while you’re not riding though. Funny about the dying breath from your dual flats on The Sword. It will be resurrected again!!!

    Despite a little rain, today should have been the first day in my weeks ride rotation: To work and back today (12.5km each way) and tomorrow. I alternate bewtween cadence drills, and power (anaerobic). I mountain bike Wed’s AM (8.85km 366m of climbing), and Thurs night (18km, 314m climbing), taper Friday (work and back again. Then I should be ready to dish out The V to the “C Group” on Saturdays club ride.

    But… Despite my Velo-hemenant adherence to Rule #9, complete preparation of Bike #1, The kit, and my soul for a sub-9°C wet ride. I was turned back by none other than the sound of car tires sliding on wet pavement. I want to be a bad ass, but not road kill. I don’t even think wearing a YJA and/or judicious application of those stupid little LED lights like a hippie on the way to a critical mass would have made it any safer to commute on city streets around here. Oh Well. I’ll hit some hills after work. That’ll harden me up…

  31. @mtnbikerfred
    Good points and well delivered. Thanx mtnbikerfred. Went thru (2010) adding stainless steel on the right clavicle. No Holds Barred on the training advice! Will end up loving cycling even more.

  32. @Vin’cenza

    Agony with despair “” all me. Snapped left clavicle from chasing Hells Bells for The Devil thru a turnabout on the race course today “” a hard hit. Off the course, on my back, the attending official(s) heard a very audible SNAP “” 2 minute delayed SNAP !! Right there at the turnabout for next half hour (wearing matching Black sling) “” held ice bag for 1 hour watching next race (drove to finish) “” drove myself 2 hrs back home (right-handed) “” endured next hour waiting on my wife, which included a half hour hail storm (weird) “” debated getting X-rays for an obviously broken clavicle 5 minutes “” 1 hour Urgent Care and then finally done (still wearing race kit w/ same matching Black sling). The race bike “” The Sword “” was not really damaged at all. Both tires flatted “” 10 and 15 sec delayed flats (weird).

    Sorry to hear about all this, mate. Good to know the bike is well. Get back on the road soon!

  33. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    Working on it right now. Can I get helmets, helmets, and more ideas on helmets.

    See Frank and Marko are with Bell (photos).

    No Catlike !! And I recently tested a Giro Aeon.

  34. @Vin’cenza
    Man, that’s below average. I hope you heal up quickly and are back on the road well within the predicted 12 weeks.

    You should have plenty of time to study up to dominate the VSP, though. So you’ve got that working for you.

  35. @Flying Crowbar
    I simply want the best fucking helmet !! I need it on my desk by the end of the week — or you’re all FIRED !!

  36. @Vin’cenza
    That has a heavy dose of suck on it. Hope you get back on the right side of the bike soon.

  37. @Vin’cenza
    I can offer up a vintage 1999 GIRO MTN bike helmet. It is a lovely red, white and black. The pads are little more than dust held together with 10 year old sweat and it smells of rotten fish. I had planned on keeping it to ward off the evil spirits that linger in my house, but it is yours if you would like it.

  38. @Vin’cenza

    @Flying CrowbarI simply want the best fucking helmet !! I need it on my desk by the end of the week “” or you’re all FIRED !!

    Sir. My humble suggestion, sir. The LAS Istrion, sir. And please don’t fire me, sir. I can barely afford my bike addiction as it is, sir.

  39. @Monkeyscat
    Perhaps it is the evil spirit in your house. Thanx anyway. I too like Sauron, am searching for the ultimate helmet of power (drama here). Black !! And Jeff PM — you are safe.

  40. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    Top of the list — you are safe.

  41. @Vin’cenza
    I have a Rudy Project sterling. Pure tits!

  42. @RedRanger
    RR thanx — you are counted. Any reviews of Ekoi within the Velominati ??

  43. KASK offers a retention system design that appears to include a mini-helmet beneath the helmet.

    And also provides a World War II winter skull cap.

  44. As a newb to the V I am very interested in Rule #9. My farther understood it with a minimum of 1000 miles a month for winter training through the utter crap of the British weather. I like to think some of it has rubbed off on me, at 41 I still do not own a turbo trainer, preferring (almost enjoying) to peruse my feeble goals on the road.

  45. So I work as an au pair in a town just outside of Paris. Sometimes when the kids I take care of are rowdy, I suggest that we do some drawings. Naturally I draw velos because I’m shit at anything else, and the boys of course want to join me. The 6 year old I take care of recently produced this masterpiece, I must add without my direction (certainly not on the anatomy of the bike). I must add I was impressed with the innate presence of Rule #9 and the Dotty Jumper in his artwork. Maybe France is the country of the bike for a reason.

  46. @zeitzmar

    So I work as an au pair in a town just outside of Paris. Sometimes when the kids I take care of are rowdy, I suggest that we do some drawings. Naturally I draw velos because I’m shit at anything else, and the boys of course want to join me. The 6 year old I take care of recently produced this masterpiece, I must add without my direction (certainly not on the anatomy of the bike). I must add I was impressed with the innate presence of Rule #9 and the Dotty Jumper in his artwork. Maybe France is the country of the bike for a reason.

    Love the fact that he knows who Rapha are…..although he appears to have started to type some sort of spanish name afterwards….el…..

    Still the presence of the torrent of water on the left is very topical!

  47. @Deakus

    @zeitzmar

    So I work as an au pair in a town just outside of Paris. Sometimes when the kids I take care of are rowdy, I suggest that we do some drawings. Naturally I draw velos because I’m shit at anything else, and the boys of course want to join me. The 6 year old I take care of recently produced this masterpiece, I must add without my direction (certainly not on the anatomy of the bike). I must add I was impressed with the innate presence of Rule #9 and the Dotty Jumper in his artwork. Maybe France is the country of the bike for a reason.

    Love the fact that he knows who Rapha are…..although he appears to have started to type some sort of spanish name afterwards….el…..

    Still the presence of the torrent of water on the left is very topical!

    Being French, he’s referring to St Raphael (the aperitif) and the team they sponsored (50s?). They couldn’t use the full name because the TdF eschewed corporate sponsors. The current Rapha appropriated the name, logo and much of their image.

  48. @Deakus

    @pistard

    Actually that’s just his name. It would be funny if he were actually a 6-year old well of cycling knowledge.

  49. @pistard

    @Deakus

    @zeitzmar

    So I work as an au pair in a town just outside of Paris. Sometimes when the kids I take care of are rowdy, I suggest that we do some drawings. Naturally I draw velos because I’m shit at anything else, and the boys of course want to join me. The 6 year old I take care of recently produced this masterpiece, I must add without my direction (certainly not on the anatomy of the bike). I must add I was impressed with the innate presence of Rule #9 and the Dotty Jumper in his artwork. Maybe France is the country of the bike for a reason.

    Love the fact that he knows who Rapha are…..although he appears to have started to type some sort of spanish name afterwards….el…..

    Still the presence of the torrent of water on the left is very topical!

    Being French, he’s referring to St Raphael (the aperitif) and the team they sponsored (50s?). They couldn’t use the full name because the TdF eschewed corporate sponsors. The current Rapha appropriated the name, logo and much of their image.

    St Raphael is the patron saint of travellers…

  50. @the Engine

    and healers — doctors, nurses, pharmacists — thus the “medicinal” nature of the aperitif/elixir. Can’t find it here on the wet coast but it’s still very popular in Quebec.

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