La Vie Velominatus: Ritual

My shoes go on left, then right, then left strap, right strap, left buckle, right buckle.

Along the lines of what Bruce Dickinson famously decreed while espousing the medical benefits of cowbell in the remedy of rare types of influenza, I put my shoes on one at a time – just like you. But after I’ve got my shoes on, I ooze fluidly harmonic articulation.

As Cyclists, we wield the mighty power of The V, yet lay victim to the nagging whispers of Doubt, from which the Anti-V draws its strength. We train our bodies, keep our machines in perfect order, and maintain a variety of kit for every type of weather, only to waver as this poison bleeds into our minds. We counter by seeking to control the uncontrollable through a strict adherence to ritual prior to and following each of our rides.

The ritual surrounding the ride is unique to each of us, and evolves over time, and perpetuates those actions which yielded better-then-usual rides. For instance, despite being right-handed, I slip into my shoes left first, and moving through a systematic process of buckling them up prior to each bike. I sit down on the front steps, pause for a moment to draw in a breath, slip out of my Adilettes, and slip into my shoes.

I start by arranging the tongue of first the left shoe, then the right. Then I secure the front velcro strap on the left before moving to do the same on the right. Once I’m satisfied that both straps are of precisely equal tension, I will move to tighten the left buckle, then the right until similarly satisfied of tension equality. Changing this process in any way, I’m convinced, would yield utter chaos.

Ritual goes far beyond how we put our shoes on; it reaches into the maintenance of our machines as well as their preparation for a ride as well as preparation of bidons and our kit. Bits of my ritual change based on whether I am riding from home or some other location, whether the ride is a big one or just a daily jaunt, or whether it is a formal event for which I have prepared carefully. Other things, however, remain fixed.

I always inflate the rear tire first, never the front. I’ll pull on the front and rear brakes to make sure the cables didn’t fall out overnight, and run through all the gears – listening for silence – even though I’ll have tuned it after arriving home last time if any tuning was required. When I pull on my kit, bibs go on first, socks second, under-vest third. Only at this point do I consider other elements such as whether I’m wearing arm and/or knee warmers, or which jersey to put on. Lastly, I’ll carefully inspect my toolkit prior to tucking it into my middle rear pocket.

I suppose that at the center of this lies a simple belief: in a world wherein much lies out of my control, I represent but a simple cell of a larger organism. I cannot say what influence these actions have, but if the past is any indication of the future, these actions have helped keep me happily pedaling my bike. To stop would be to tempt Fate itself.

Therefor, I wrap myself in ritual to control the uncontrollable. Vive la Vie Velominatus.

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75 Replies to “La Vie Velominatus: Ritual”

  1. Nice ritual.  Apparently mine is to prepare the bike for an early morning ride and then to get violently ill overnight.  Works for me. Great way to lose those extra kgs.
     

  2. Oh yes! Always followed rituals from all the sports I played growing up, to cycling these days, and beyond. Damn, I’m even the type to count things when I don’t have to, not in an out-of-my-mind way, but I will catch myself counting say the number of times I’ve pushed the pump down when inflating my tires before a ride.

    Nice one, Frank! Are those white or silver shoes? Hard to tell. And did the same size work as you work in Sidis?

    Ritual is awesome. It just makes life easier, makes my free time when I don’t have any that much better.

  3. Luckily for us the cameras were rolling…

    My undershirt goes on before my bibs – always.

    Bidons filled, or water filtered, then the bike leaves the man cave, then the bidons go on.

    The contents of my pockets rarely change, but how they are organized is always different. Always.

    I never eat breakfast before a morning training ride.

    Race warm ups are standardized for the length of the race. Oh, and I am a complete bag of nerves for any event that requires registration, no mater how trivial.

  4. Nice article and interesting ritual. I won’t bore everyone with mine, but I guess part of the whole deal is  rthat we have some many asprects of preparation for a ride that are the same (clothing, bike, essentials, food and drink) yet so many variables (length of ride, weather, solo v’s group) and that we are riding something that needs to be carefully maintained. The danger (and necessity of ritual) is that so much of it becomes second nature yet therein lies the danger in forgetting something. Calm, collected ritual is necessary as to do otherwise can jeopardize the quality of the whole experience.

  5. I’m a recent convert to la Vie Velominatus, currently living in France and working as an au pair. I’m on a limited budget but I managed to purchase a 1984 Peugeot PH-LS on the French version of craigslist. Everyone in my cycling group (40-something French men) laughs at my toe clips setup and I’m considering the switch to clipless pedals so I can further my quest for the Magnificent Stroke as well as have another sacrament to add to my ritual.

    This is my current setup: 1984 Peugeot PH-LS

    Should I heed their advice? What are some budget priced pedals that are reliable and good for novice cyclists like myself?

  6. @zeitzmar

    I’m a recent convert to la Vie Velominatus, currently living in France and working as an au pair. I’m on a limited budget but I managed to purchase a 1984 Peugeot PH-LS on the French version of craigslist. Everyone in my cycling group (40-something French men) laughs at my toe clips setup and I’m considering the switch to clipless pedals so I can further my quest for the Magnificent Stroke as well as have another sacrament to add to my ritual.

    This is my current setup: 1984 Peugeot PH-LS

    Should I heed their advice? What are some budget priced pedals that are reliable and good for novice cyclists like myself?

    Sweet – you need a pair of bright red Look Carbons…

  7. Don’t know if I’m the only one, but I never fully tighten the straps on my shoes until after I’m on the bike.  So I guess that’s my ritual.

  8. @zeitzmar Welcome! I noticed on your profile you went to school in Iowa, where’d you go? My wife is an Iowan and I went to grad school there.  Anyway, the bike looks sharp as is, but I will say clipless pedals are fantastic and worth a try.  You can find budget pedals like low end Shimano for around 50 usd. But I’d poke around your bike shop, do some tryouts if possible, and find what works for you.

  9. Off topic: @frank, @the Engine: lucky Bont owners! They look wicked sexy! 

    As always Frank thanks for posting! I’m too new to have fully developed my rituals, I guess. I asked my wife if she noticed any and she just shrugged…..oh well.

     

  10. It wasn’t until reading this that I realized I have a complete lack of ritual. Which is probably why I always forget something.

  11. A piece of video gear I bought came with a free bag, just large enough for helmet, shoes, gloves, white rag, and a few cowbells.

    There’s even a pocket in the back that holds a few race numbers for the various local leagues.

    It took me a few weeks to trust my “night before the race” ritual, but now it helps me sleep better the night before and relax the morning of.

    My only other ritual happens right after the race. One bidon has water, the other a scoop of protein powder. Pour them together and chug it.

  12. Too many OCD-like rituals for me, or at least that’s what I’m told by those around me. They just don’t get it, but to Frank’s point… yes… it matters, and yes it’s necessary.

    I like to point out from time to time, that I’m repetitive or ritualistic as a means to an end. That end is to achieve a state of involuntary action, much like the act of breathing or blinking. The more unconscious the mundane actions of preparation become, the more cognitive devotion I’ll have at my disposal for the practical application of Rule #5.

    Makes sense to me…

  13. I am constantly bemused by my ritual. It genuinely pisses me off to take so long to get ready for a Ride. Thus, as you have alluded, it is important to place the accouterments near the place they will be needed next: helmet, gloves, hat, shoes, eyewear etc near the door, near the bike. Everything in it’s place, properly maintained. Time is a commodity, not to be wasted in time off the bike. Work is merely something one must do between Rides.

    I have actually counted the minimum number of clothing articles needed for a ride: 11. Add a toolkit and cell phone (the latter a required safety device) and you hit the door.

    Ah, I love the smell of chamois cream and sunscreen in the morning. Smells like…victory.

  14. I am frequently referred to as “Captain F*ck-around”, on account of the time it seems to take me to get my sh*t together before a ride.  I’d like to think this is because of the tme it takes me to observe all of those important pre-ride rituals.  But as the term is liberally applied to me in most other areas of my life, including by people I never ride with, I think it may have more to do with a distinct lack of ritual.  Still, I admire the weird combination of brutal efficiency and Zen calm which emanates from those more ritualistic than me. 

  15. My complete and total lack of ritual is my ritual. I never actually though about it till I read this. Thinking about it, I do get ready (bibs, embro, , HRM, base layer, jersey, socks blah blah) in some kind of order though. But really the act of getting kit on is just a means to an end. To go turn over the pedals. The only time I ever really think about it is when pinning on race numbers. Then I take special care.

  16. @graham d.m. Thanks! The bike had been sitting in this guy’s garage in a small village near where I live. I guess it was his son’s but my French is shitty enough that I didn’t really understand what he was saying.

    I went to school at Grinnell College (in Grinnell, IA), halfway between DSM and IA City. I miss the rolling hills and long rides of my Iowa summer, especially because the part of France that I’m in is very hilly and the streets are a lot more narrow and winding. Ah well. Guess that just means it’s time for Rule #5.

    As for the pedals, there are a lot of Look style pedals here, I think they’re almost more common than Shimano. Are they any good? I think my Cycling Sensei was a proponent of Speedplays, but I understand those are more pricey.

  17. @zeitzmar

    @graham d.m. Thanks! The bike had been sitting in this guy’s garage in a small village near where I live. I guess it was his son’s but my French is shitty enough that I didn’t really understand what he was saying.

    I went to school at Grinnell College (in Grinnell, IA), halfway between DSM and IA City. I miss the rolling hills and long rides of my Iowa summer, especially because the part of France that I’m in is very hilly and the streets are a lot more narrow and winding. Ah well. Guess that just means it’s time for Rule #5.

    As for the pedals, there are a lot of Look style pedals here, I think they’re almost more common than Shimano. Are they any good? I think my Cycling Sensei was a proponent of Speedplays, but I understand those are more pricey.

    I had a very similar Peugot 25 years ago and it was the first steed that I put my trusty red Look Carbons on.

  18. I suspect many rituals are very similar, just a matter of order and location..which items in which pockets.  Interesting the way you put your shoes on…I am always right shoe then left, right tighten then left..I always deliberately over tighten both so that can then micro adjust back down to the perfect tension.  Somehow I know I cannot get it right during the tightening phase so this is the only way that works.  I never undo or adjust the front two velcro straps, just the main ratchet.  If the front straps were ever altered by anyone the sky would probably fall on my head and I would turn in to a blubbering mess.

    Also interested as to which side you unclip from?  I always unclip on the left…I am right handed…but I notice a lot of right handers tell me they unclip on the right side….go figure?

  19. @zeitzmar

    @graham d.m. Thanks! The bike had been sitting in this guy’s garage in a small village near where I live. I guess it was his son’s but my French is shitty enough that I didn’t really understand what he was saying.

    I went to school at Grinnell College (in Grinnell, IA), halfway between DSM and IA City. I miss the rolling hills and long rides of my Iowa summer, especially because the part of France that I’m in is very hilly and the streets are a lot more narrow and winding. Ah well. Guess that just means it’s time for Rule #5.

    As for the pedals, there are a lot of Look style pedals here, I think they’re almost more common than Shimano. Are they any good? I think my Cycling Sensei was a proponent of Speedplays, but I understand those are more pricey.

    If you are going to start down this road I advise a glance in to the Gear section of the site there was a recent article in Reverence on Speedplays…converted me and I will never look back!

  20. @Deakus

    @zeitzmar

    @graham d.m. Thanks! The bike had been sitting in this guy’s garage in a small village near where I live. I guess it was his son’s but my French is shitty enough that I didn’t really understand what he was saying.

    I went to school at Grinnell College (in Grinnell, IA), halfway between DSM and IA City. I miss the rolling hills and long rides of my Iowa summer, especially because the part of France that I’m in is very hilly and the streets are a lot more narrow and winding. Ah well. Guess that just means it’s time for Rule #5.

    As for the pedals, there are a lot of Look style pedals here, I think they’re almost more common than Shimano. Are they any good? I think my Cycling Sensei was a proponent of Speedplays, but I understand those are more pricey.

    If you are going to start down this road I advise a glance in to the Gear section of the site there was a recent article in Reverence on Speedplays…converted me and I will never look back!

    No sorry it is under Articles : Reverence : Speedplay Pedals : August 8 2012..

  21. I am organised but not ritualistic –  I submit there is a difference.

    For example I put my shoes and socks at the bottom of the stairs near the door so that by making them the last thing to put on I reduce the possibility of falling  (marble and tile floors). That’s organisation.

    If I cared what order I put them on and felt some benefit from doing it, or anxiety from not doing it, that would be ritual.

    Same with my other stuff. I set it out in much the same places before a ride, but that’s so that I can check I have everything and minimise faffing about going back for stuff. That’s just being organised.

    Ritualistic behaviour to me is things like the number of times Rafa Nadal bounces the ball when serving, or a goal kicker who clasps his hands together and carries out other non-essential actions before an attempt (Jamie Seward in Rugby League, or Johnny Wilkinson in Rugby Union for example). The intention is to make the act automatic but also to provide cues for focus.

    This is  Wilkinson talking about the way he cups his hands before his run up, from The Guardian.

    “The hands, he said, are like a barrier erected against the outside world, helping him to cut out the tens of thousands of opposing fans who are likely to set up a barrage of whistles and jeers in an attempt to disturb his intense concentration. “As I got more into kicking,” he said, “I became more involved in looking at other aspects, and one area I looked at was focusing from the inside, slowing down the breathing, relaxation, ‘centring’, which is a way of channeling my power and energy from my core, just behind my navel, down my left leg and into my left foot to get that explosive power. When I was doing this, the position with the hands happened to be the one I adopted. Look at pictures from 1998, and you will see my hands are further apart. Each year they have gradually got closer. For whatever reason, it has become a very strong position for me.” ”

    He doesn’t really know why or how it works, but it does, which could be argued as the essence of ritual.

  22. Focus on what you can control.  Mise-en-place.  Pre-flight.  Whatever you call it, these things are important.  I’ve never been out for a ride without doing these things, and the thought of what could happen if I did terrify me.  With every ride completed (with rituals) this fear just increases.

    p.s. Frank, where are your Fizik shoes, you brand whore?  If you are going to be the online presence of their Global media campaign for ‘preferred contact point supplier’ (and I quote!), this kind of faux-pas is going to get you in trouble

  23. I had never seen the Cowbell sketch before….I have spent the morning pissing my pants and playing it on loop…..pure Genius!

  24. @Oli

    I think at the centre of this is actually some severe OCD.

    It’s only OCD if he does the exact same in reverse at the end of the ride……1-2-3….1-2-3….1-2-3….

  25. @ChrisO

    I am organised but not ritualistic –  I submit there is a difference.

    For example I put my shoes and socks at the bottom of the stairs near the door so that by making them the last thing to put on I reduce the possibility of falling  (marble and tile floors). That’s organisation.

    If I cared what order I put them on and felt some benefit from doing it, or anxiety from not doing it, that would be ritual.

    Same with my other stuff. I set it out in much the same places before a ride, but that’s so that I can check I have everything and minimise faffing about going back for stuff. That’s just being organised.

    Ritualistic behaviour to me is things like the number of times Rafa Nadal bounces the ball when serving, or a goal kicker who clasps his hands together and carries out other non-essential actions before an attempt (Jamie Seward in Rugby League, or Johnny Wilkinson in Rugby Union for example). The intention is to make the act automatic but also to provide cues for focus.

    This is  Wilkinson talking about the way he cups his hands before his run up, from The Guardian.

    “The hands, he said, are like a barrier erected against the outside world, helping him to cut out the tens of thousands of opposing fans who are likely to set up a barrage of whistles and jeers in an attempt to disturb his intense concentration. “As I got more into kicking,” he said, “I became more involved in looking at other aspects, and one area I looked at was focusing from the inside, slowing down the breathing, relaxation, ‘centring’, which is a way of channeling my power and energy from my core, just behind my navel, down my left leg and into my left foot to get that explosive power. When I was doing this, the position with the hands happened to be the one I adopted. Look at pictures from 1998, and you will see my hands are further apart. Each year they have gradually got closer. For whatever reason, it has become a very strong position for me.” ”

    He doesn’t really know why or how it works, but it does, which could be argued as the essence of ritual.

    I call it routine. Mine is a post-routine coming immediately after the ride. Wash the helmet and eyewear. Wipe off the controls, bar tape, stem and top tube. And bottom bracket. Wipe down the saddle. Oil and clean the drive train to be ready for the next effort. Throw the kit in the wash within 10 minutes of coming thru the door. Bike and most all else is ready to go.

  26. Nice article, but you lost me at ‘Adilettes’.  Seriously though, I too find the pre ride ritual to be integral to the ride.  If I’m rushed, I always feel off kilter for quite a few kms if not the entire ride.

  27. Speaking of photos – I have an (internet) acquaintance that is somewhat of an icon that lives in Hollywood.  He does this cool thing called “Photo by” where he walks up to movie stars and has THEM take a picture of him.  He’s also an avid cyclist – he recently rode from San Francisco to L.A.. on his fixie – so there are lots of pictures of him taken by various cycling giants like Jens and Cippo.  Check it out here.

  28. @graham d.m.

    @zeitzmar Welcome! I noticed on your profile you went to school in Iowa, where’d you go? My wife is an Iowan and I went to grad school there.  Anyway, the bike looks sharp as is, but I will say clipless pedals are fantastic and worth a try.  You can find budget pedals like low end Shimano for around 50 usd. But I’d poke around your bike shop, do some tryouts if possible, and find what works for you.

    My wife is also from Iowa.  From Beaman in the middle of Iowa.  Explains why we are planning our summer holidays on heading back from London to do RAGBRAI next year. 

  29. @Cyclops

    Speaking of photos – I have an (internet) acquaintance that is somewhat of an icon that lives in Hollywood.  He does this cool thing called “Photo by” where he walks up to movie stars and has THEM take a picture of him.  He’s also an avid cyclist – he recently rode from San Francisco to L.A.. on his fixie – so there are lots of pictures of him taken by various cycling giants like Jens and Cippo.  Check it out here.

    I think this is great and I suspect the “celebs” likely get a kick out of it because your buddy’s not asking for a photo with them (that’ll end up god knows where) but putting a twist on what must be a rather tiresome aspect of their lives.

  30. @zeitzmar

    I’m a recent convert to la Vie Velominatus, currently living in France and working as an au pair. I’m on a limited budget but I managed to purchase a 1984 Peugeot PH-LS on the French version of craigslist. Everyone in my cycling group (40-something French men) laughs at my toe clips setup and I’m considering the switch to clipless pedals so I can further my quest for the Magnificent Stroke as well as have another sacrament to add to my ritual.

    This is my current setup: 1984 Peugeot PH-LS

    Should I heed their advice? What are some budget priced pedals that are reliable and good for novice cyclists like myself?

    Welcome to the fold! I think some new pedals, a new saddle and bar tape and a wee bit of fitting advice and you’ll be in very good shape. The bike looks great and in good nick for its age. It’s not what you’ve got, but what you do with it that counts.

  31. I’m much like G’Phant in that my nickname should be Captain F’ Around. My friends have other names for me which aren’t neArly as cool. Due to the lack of any true ritual or method for getting ready, I am a hot mess trying to get on the road. if I’m doing a Special ride I may pull out a certain kit the night before but usually it’s grabbing stuff out of a drawer in the dark and maybe looking like I was dressed by a color blind soigneur which requires that I have to repeatedly go back to said drawer and probably wake up the Velomama (it’s early- she’ll go back to sleep).GPS & phone charged? … maybe. grab some breakfast and put a snack in my pocket for the road…. or did I leave it on the counter again? Once I make out of the house & to the bike room all bets are off as to when I will leave. Carefully pump each tire to proper pressure ,give each wheel a spin to make sure my wheels haven’t somehow out of true overnight, check for any tire damage then squeeze each brake lever  few times. ready yet? I may decide to do some quick (relatively) adjustment or wipe down my frame if deemed too dirty. A quick look at the time and I’m pretty sure I can catch the group if I really haul ass… and if I dont catch them  it will still be a great day  because I’m on my bike. VLVV!

  32. I find all of this quite comforting, I’m not drifting into some sort of age/drink related dementia/OCD hybrid. I’ve never really given this much thought before whilst there is a definite pattern to my preparation, it’s based in a natural order of doing things (and the improved chance of leaving the house with everything that organisation ensures) rather than a need to religiously follow a process fearing the consequences of not doing so.

    My bike is always in the same place in my study (much to Mrs Chris’ annoyance) as is my pump so I always approach my bike from the same direction to get it ready. Most of my rides are early in the morning before the family are up so I don’t want to be banging around at that end of the house getting ready but the neighbours walk their dogs early and can see into the kitchen so a certain level of decorum is called for.

    If for some reason the process is interrupted and the order is changed, it doesn’t screw with my mind and niggle for the rest of the ride.

  33. Most of my group rides start at the same time work ends, so my pre-ride ritual is to frantically stuff food into my mouth while pulling on my cycling gear in precisely the wrong order, and finally sprinting out the door without remembering some critical item (water, usually).

    I think that I need a job that interferes less with my cycling.

  34. @ChrisO

    I am organised but not ritualistic –  I submit there is a difference.

    I agree with this for myself as well. I have specific spots in the house where I keep all my gear and generally go through getting ready in the same order each ride just because it makes sense, but nothing that “has” to be done in any specific way, such as one shoes before the other or whatever.

    The only thing I do exactly the same each ride is which jersey pockets all my gear goes into. Left pocket is for food, middle pocket is for repair kit, right pocket is for phone and some kleenex. Always the same order for this.

  35. @ChrisO@Chris@mcsqueak

    Same here.  Especially because, like Chris, I ride early a lot when the rest of the house is asleep.  If I have everything cued up properly, I can get dressed, have coffee & a small breakfast, fill my pockets, check tires and be off in about 25 minutes, and be quiet doing it.  In other words, I get all the fucking around done the night before, when it’s evening and I can enjoy the process with a beer in hand.

  36. @Ron

    Oh yes! Always followed rituals from all the sports I played growing up, to cycling these days, and beyond. Damn, I’m even the type to count things when I don’t have to, not in an out-of-my-mind way, but I will catch myself counting say the number of times I’ve pushed the pump down when inflating my tires before a ride.

    Nice one, Frank! Are those white or silver shoes? Hard to tell. And did the same size work as you work in Sidis?

    Ritual is awesome. It just makes life easier, makes my free time when I don’t have any that much better.

    When I was racing skis, I got incredibly ritualistic about how I prep’d my skis – counting how many times I scraped, brushed and polished the bases. Also superstitious – making sure never to touch the bases with my skin and so forth.

    When it came time to racing; all important races were done only in one set of lenses and gloves – the others were all cursed. And, of course, the prep ritual at the start gate was key. All very Casually Deliberate, but all very focussed on left foot right foot, tap the poles together, arrange shades, make sure hat is on right…

  37. I’m glad I read this post.  It’s made me realize that, while I am a manic OCD freak, I’m not in it alone! 

    Evertyhing has to be arranged the night before.  It’s in its proper place. 

  38. @Dan_R

    The contents of my pockets rarely change, but how they are organized is always different. Always.

    WHAT?? Insanity. Center pocket: pump on the right, tube/levers/patch kit in a baggie on the left, mini tool in the bottom, phone in a baggie behind the tube.

    Always. If its any different, I’ll be completely obsessed about it.

    @Oli

    I think at the centre of this is actually some severe OCD.

    *ahem*

    Actually have been diagnosed with this. Its not bad, though. I can stop any time. I just don’t want to.

  39. Holy OCD Batman. Strack is a twisted up Dutch Monkey but it’s gotten him this far and he really doesn’t have a choice in the matter, he was born that way. He probably did the same thing with his cross country ski racing prep. And his first grade school outfit.

    I am the anti-Strack. I’m organized but have no set routine, I don’t think. I like @Chris’s sentiment.

    it’s based in a natural order of doing things (and the improved chance of leaving the house with everything that organisation ensures) rather than a need to religiously follow a process fearing the consequences of not doing so.

    But I have learned over the years that I suck at thinking before these pre-dawn attacks. If I don’t get it squared away the night before something might not make it.

  40. @wiscot

    The danger (and necessity of ritual) is that so much of it becomes second nature yet therein lies the danger in forgetting something. Calm, collected ritual is necessary as to do otherwise can jeopardize the quality of the whole experience.

    Great point and absolutely agree. Having a process in place makes sure you don’t just zombie through and leave with your front skewer loose!

    @zeitzmar

    Beautiful – absolutely beautiful. Shoes and pedals make a huge difference, but the enjoyment of the ride is central to yourself, so only upgrade if you’ve got the cash and feel like it.

    That is a beautiful machine; part of me would want to see it keep the toe clips!

    @graham d.m.

    Off topic: @frank, @the Engine: lucky Bont owners! They look wicked sexy!

    As always Frank thanks for posting! I’m too new to have fully developed my rituals, I guess. I asked my wife if she noticed any and she just shrugged…..oh well.

    That’s not necessarily an indication that you don’t have a ritual…she just might not care enough to notice.

  41. @eightzero

    Work is merely something one must do between Rides.

    Brilliant.

    @G’phant

    I am frequently referred to as “Captain F*ck-around”, on account of the time it seems to take me to get my sh*t together before a ride. 

    Does anyone call you Mr. Needlessly Censors himself? Since when do we give a fuck about profanity around here? How else are we supposed to show our intelectual strength?

  42. @ChrisO

    I am organised but not ritualistic –  I submit there is a difference.

    For example I put my shoes and socks at the bottom of the stairs near the door so that by making them the last thing to put on I reduce the possibility of falling  (marble and tile floors). That’s organisation.

    If I cared what order I put them on and felt some benefit from doing it, or anxiety from not doing it, that would be ritual.

    There are three things here – process, ritual, and superstition. Process has to do with organization, ritual has to do with attaching more significance to the influence the process has on (relatively) unrelated events, and superstition means you are crazy.

    I use all three of them liberally.

    @Deakus

    Also interested as to which side you unclip from?  I always unclip on the left…I am right handed…but I notice a lot of right handers tell me they unclip on the right side….go figure?

    I dismount to the left (unclip on the right first). Which made the transition to CX easy.

  43. The first rule of OCD is you deny you are OCD and call it organization.

    @frank “I always inflate the rear tire first, never the front”

    Cracked me up.  I’m a front first, never rear, but didn’t realize that aspect until now.

  44. Yup – I’ve got OCD too – although it doesn’t make me tidy around the house.

    Here’s a thing though – we’re infested with House Elves.

    Do you ever need to get ready for a ride at V Past The Hour get all your kit together, put it on in the correct order and just so (I always fill my bidons and leave them right in front of the door I’m about to go out so that I can’t forget them – or if I do I’ll break an ankle to remind me the next time) and then discover that the House Elves have got your arm warmers/the socks that go with your jersey/your black cap?

    Do you then spend an hour sweating, swearing and shouting at people until you work out that the Elves wrapped the missing item carefully in your underpants and hid them in your pants drawer next to the CO2 cartouches that you have to buy every time you can’t find one?

    What I want to know @Frank is how you eradicate (or possibly educate) the little bastards so that your kit is always exactly where it should be?

  45. @roadslave525

    p.s. Frank, where are your fi’zi:k shoes, you brand whore?  If you are going to be the online presence of their Global media campaign for ‘preferred contact point supplier’ (and I quote!), this kind of faux-pas is going to get you in trouble

    Ha! If you recall I’ve never ridden them as they didn’t work for me. The other Keepers are all about them, though, and absolutely love them.

    They are, quite simply, the most beautiful shoes anywhere, but when they don’t work, they don’t work…and in the end we always have to seek out the best products for each of us individually.

  46. @frank

    @roadslave525

    p.s. Frank, where are your fi’zi:k shoes, you brand whore?  If you are going to be the online presence of their Global media campaign for ‘preferred contact point supplier’ (and I quote!), this kind of faux-pas is going to get you in trouble

    Ha! If you recall I’ve never ridden them as they didn’t work for me. The other Keepers are all about them, though, and absolutely love them.

    They are, quite simply, the most beautiful shoes anywhere, but when they don’t work, they don’t work…

    And they don’t char as well as Bonts…

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