New Rule: 52 (Plus a Guest Reverence)

Things are about to get serious…

With the writing of our first book supposedly well underway (but in reality being discussed ad-nauseum in the Boardroom rather than actually committed to text), The Rules have at least been getting some form of attention from The Keepers. When deciding which Rules each of us were to curate, no-one really had much idea what exactly was in there; ask me what Rule #64 is, and I’m giving you a blank stare.

So a list was drawn up, and we found some deadwood hiding away, dry and rotten and ready to be tossed into the fiery cauldron atop Mt Velomis. Yep, time for a burnin’. We get a good number of suggestions for new Rules weekly, some are pure gold, some warrant a sternly-worded rebuttal, but all are usually forgotten quickly as we are just too damned useless to actually commit them to the Canon Of Cycling Etiquette. Which is why this one comes from within our ranks; it’s easier than looking back through dozens of old emails.

Without further ado, we present the newest Rule, slotting in at #52, replacing one that if any of you can recall what it was, then you deserve accolades (or sympathy) for committing such nonsense to memory.

Rule #52 // Drink in Moderation.

Bidons are to be small in size. 500ml maximum, no extra large vessels are to be seen on one’s machine. Two cages can be mounted, but only one bidon on rides under two hours is to be employed. Said solo bidon must be placed in the downtube cage only. You may only ride with a bidon in the rear cage if you have a front bidon, or you just handed your front bidon to a fan at the roadside and you are too busy crushing everyone to move it forward until you take your next drink. Bidons should match each other and preferably your bike and/or kit. The obvious exception is the classic Coca-Cola bidon which by default matches any bike and/or kit due to its heritage. Coca-Cola should only be consumed flat and near the end of a long ride or all-day solo breakaway on the roads of France.

There you have it. Let the discussions/arguments/bitching begin.

In the meantime, nutcase Aussie/esteemed community member @harminator gives us his take on the humble (and definitely small) bidon.

Yours in Cycling,

Brett

REVERENCE: THE BIDON.

The history of cycling is punctuated by technological advancement. Some developments come in giant leaps while others evolve more slowly. Either way, the march of progress is well resourced and never tires. It seems like every second week there’s a new gadget, composite material or design innovation which is absolutely necessary. I mean who could possibly continue to exist without a laser-etched, co2-filled tyre lever forged from West Flandrian unobtanium. Right?

The bidon is the forgotten cousin in the technology family. Back in the day, transporting water away from its source was pure genius. We take it for granted now, but it’s the bidon that makes endurance bike riding possible. Without it we’d be limited to riding around tracks, beside streams or from the billabong to the waterhole. Just imagine the indignity of Moser slurping from a puddle Bear Grylls-style, or a Grand Tour with Evian mountain-top drinks breaks?

But for me, the real fascination of the bidon lies with two paradoxes. Regardez-vous:

The first relates to value. On the surface they seem absolutely critical. The team necessarily commits a couple of riders to work all day on the bottles: Drop back to the car, cram one in every available jersey space, toil back up to the bunch, distribute, repeat. But the bidon itself is worthless in comparison to its contents. To the Pro, it’s a glorified bar wrapper. Drink then discard. For the average Velominatus Budgetatus, the decadence is exhilarating. I can only imagine the moment in a young Pro’s life when he first gets to fling an empty to the side of the road. There must be no clearer sign that you’ve hit the big time.

Further, when the bidon gets tossed aside, it becomes infinitely valuable again. Spectators who go nuts for all the crap thrown out by the caravan have been known to trample their own ailing Grandmothers for the things. They salute as if they’ve won the fucking Stage when they souvenir a grotty piece of cheap plastic dripping with Belgian Toothpaste. In the world of the bike race spectator, the bidon is the ducks nuts.

The second paradox centres on its use. The bidon has become part of the glorious realm of cycling gamesmanship. A rider’s use of the bidon should not give anything away about his or her level of suffering. Many of us have felt the total demoralisation of inhaling wasps, trying to hold on to the group, when the rider in front takes a drink as if they’re sipping a Mojito by the pool. Don’t get played. It’s a standard show of strength and often all bluff. The bottle is probably empty. Conversely, if you’re about to expire from dehydration, it’s critical not to show it by guzzling lustily. You might as well announce that you’re suffering badly and that now would be a good time to attack.

In the world of the amateur group ride, the bidon can be a measuring stick for rider competency. You can tell a lot about a rider by the way they take a drink. When the new guy in the group keeps his eyes ahead, makes a clean pickup, drinks modestly, and re-cages surely, all the while observing Rule #59, you know they’ve got their shit together. But if they throw an empty to the side of the road, prepare to hang tough – things are be about to get very messy.

[dmalbum path=”/velominati.com/content/Photo Galleries/[email protected]/bidons/”/]

Related Posts

300 Replies to “New Rule: 52 (Plus a Guest Reverence)”

  1. @Leroy thanks too!

    I had to double check, yes, espresso. marvels me that people should get that wrong. The same people that sing, “excuse me while I kiss this guy,” I guess.

  2. @mxlmax to be honest I am, it’s part of a much larger pet hate of mine about the dumbing down of language.

  3. Or according to Cyclops, “espesso”.

    Preferably consumed from a manly New York steelworkers’ paper cup.

  4. Oh, and I need to get my money’s worth out of this signature for the next two days while it’s still true.

    – G’rilla, Top Ranked Team Velominati CX Racer in Washington State

  5. @mcsqueak

    @mxlmax

    @mcsqueak

    I love coffee and drink it nearly daily, but I can’t imagine guzzling it during a ride, not even a cold and wet one.

    I tried it (once). Took fresh coffee in a thermal 500ml bottle out on a cold ride that started at 29 degrees F. After 45min it was chilly, but took a sip despite my low anticipation. It sucked bad. Poured it out. Coffee is best served in the car before rolling out and same coffee almost as good at the end of a 4 hour ride (back in the car).

    Yeah I hate cold coffee, so there is that issue as well.

    I enjoy a little coffee before a ride, such as the small cup my Bialetti stovetop makes, or a doubleshot of eSpresso. Much more than that is liable to give me stomach issues later in the ride, I’ve found.

    Besides coffee. Last winter I did wear a Starbucks long sleeve jersey to cover my base layers. Starbucks’ green!

  6. @Mikael Liddy

    @mxlmax to be honest I am, it’s part of a much larger pet hate of mine about the dumbing down of language.

    That rational works so hate onward! Espresso. [Spro] Abbreviated espresso. Coined 2001 by Chris Baca a high ranked Barista in the United States. Used when referring to espresso or drinks with espresso as the primary ingredient. Mochas — not spro.

  7. @RedRanger But they are red Coca Cola bidons, so of course they are exempt from the Rule #52. And, they are small bidons, so…so much the better for those who ride in urban, non-arid terrain.

  8. @mxlmax

    @Mikael Liddy

    @mxlmax to be honest I am, it’s part of a much larger pet hate of mine about the dumbing down of language.

    That rational works so hate onward! Espresso. [Spro] Abbreviated espresso. Coined 2001 by Chris Baca a high ranked Barista in the United States. Used when referring to espresso or drinks with espresso as the primary ingredient. Mochas “” not spro.

    You fucking Yanks have no idea about coffee. Shhh

  9. @Mikael Liddy

    @frank bidons have been updated slightly since, this was the arrangement for yesterday morning’s ride that lasted just under 3hrs. Both were completely drained by the time I was done on what was a nothing more than a warm spring morning. The new Rapha bidons are 610 & 710ml versions of the Camelbak Podium Bottle

    Mikael, damn I was near you yesterday, you turning onto Magill Rd, me going to the Gorge along St Bernards. You were not kitted out but I recognise the bike now. We will cross paths properly soon.

    I’m 100% compliant here, 2 bottles, branded same as bike and colour matched. All good and who goes on less than 2hr rides, barely get warmed up.

  10. @Marcus

    @mxlmax

    @Mikael Liddy

    @mxlmax to be honest I am, it’s part of a much larger pet hate of mine about the dumbing down of language.

    That rational works so hate onward! Espresso. [Spro] Abbreviated espresso. Coined 2001 by Chris Baca a high ranked Barista in the United States. Used when referring to espresso or drinks with espresso as the primary ingredient. Mochas “” not spro.

    You fucking Yanks have no idea about coffee. Shhh

    If @Pedale were to say such a thing I might pay attention.

  11. @Mikael Liddy

    @frank bidons have been updated slightly since, this was the arrangement for yesterday morning’s ride that lasted just under 3hrs. Both were completely drained by the time I was done on what was a nothing more than a warm spring morning. The new Rapha bidons are 610 & 710ml versions of the Camelbak Podium Bottle

    Your new rig looks rad.  Don’t let it buck you off.

  12. Im going to live on the edge and take this one step further and take the second cage off all together, hence rendering Rule #52 impossible to violate.   The bike will look smoother that Jenna Jamieson

  13. I removed my EPMS a few days ago, the second bidon cage is next…. the feeling is one of Velominessence as I reach Velominightenment.

  14. Addition to the rule: Bidons and bidon-cages have to match! The exception being side-loading cages, which should match each other to load from the same side (and should, in general, only be employed by those riding frames size 51 or smaller, or risk being branded an incompetent wuss).

    We choose which rules to follow, and this is one I often ignore – sometimes Looking Pro takes a backseat to Training Properly (and racing properly). When the days reach 30c by 9am, I ride with two bidons even for a short hour. During a full-blown effort I take in around 700ml per hour, and I’d rather have a bit extra in case something happens.

    For longer rides, if I know I can refill, I ride with two matching 500ml bidons – sometimes clear gray cheapos, sometimes Tacx Assos-branded bottles. If it’s a long ride, potentially without time to stop and refill (or without watering-holes), all hell breaks loose: two 750ml bottles, and potentially another small one in the middle pocket.

    On my triathlon rig, obviously, speed takes precedence over the rules. That means saddle-mounted cages (holy mother of an EPMS!) and between-the-arms bottles. Can you see my bottles? Neither can the wind. That day, with wind, heat and a lengthened course, two bottles came in very handy (and coming in 5th in the overall classification, I wouldn’t hurry to change that). In accordance with Rule #78, however, I remove or add cages depending on the event distance. It could always be worse. In a race with aid-stations, yes, there’s nothing more Pro than dumping your bottle coming into the feed-zone.

    Now, to the point of actual bidons: Screw-top bidons only, if I have the choice. I have never, ever had a snap-top bidon that didn’t fail, leak or open completely at least once. I have screw-tops that lasted years, but even week-old snaptops failed me already. They’re usually alright if you gently suck the fluid out of them, but the design is inherently weak against the more pro way of squeezing the bottle with your hands. It’s come to the point where I only fill these bottles with water, and keep other drinks in screw-top bottles. A reverence piece could be written about Elite, Specialized or Camelbak bottles, while Tacx’ snap-tops deserve special irreverence.

    I have a pair of bottles I picked up at races that I keep, but they don’t match, and they’re too memorable for me to scuff them on the cages.

  15. @Pedale.Forchetta

    One of my oldest friend, that still manage to ride with us (he’s in his 70″²s), has usually in his jersey a very little bottle full of espresso heavily sweetened. I can say that if you are on the verge of bonking that ‘bomba’ really help to escape from the man with the hammer.

    Spot on that man, i picked up a similar habit from a friend about a decade ago. I used to rotate between highly sweetened turkish coffee, otherwise known as jet fuel or if it was really bloody cold i might even stretch to a hot bovril or horlicks. I would always put in my dads climbing hip flask. Its like a whisky flask but fully insulated to keep the contents warm and its about the same size.

  16. @Mikael Liddy

    @frank bidons have been updated slightly since, this was the arrangement for yesterday morning’s ride that lasted just under 3hrs. Both were completely drained by the time I was done on what was a nothing more than a warm spring morning. The new Rapha bidons are 610 & 710ml versions of the Camelbak Podium Bottle

    I think this version of the camelbak would really go well with your bike….

  17. @Adrian

    @Mikael Liddy

    @frank bidons have been updated slightly since, this was the arrangement for yesterday morning’s ride that lasted just under 3hrs. Both were completely drained by the time I was done on what was a nothing more than a warm spring morning. The new Rapha bidons are 610 & 710ml versions of the Camelbak Podium Bottle

    I think this version of the camelbak would really go well with your bike….

    Pink and Red….someone call the fashion police immediatey! (incidentally I am not questioning the fit for purposeness of the Podium…I use them, I love them!)

  18. @Pedale.Forchetta

    From an Italian point of view…

    Hope I am not treading on a real Italians toes but, in Italy Espresso refers to to the process and not the name of the beverage. If you order Caffe you get what we call an espresso. Lungo or Americano for large coffee plus hot water etc.

  19. @meursault you are right, but it’s a bit more complicated than that because of the large number of variations.

    Even if you ask simply for:  ‘un caffè’ the ‘barista’ will ask to you: espresso? Implying that you want a normal one and not a ‘ristretto’ or ‘lungo’ or ‘macchiato’ or ‘marocchino’ or ‘tazzotta’ or ‘deca’ or the best: l’espresso napoletano.

    Even a not so widespread language like the Italian is evolves.

  20. @Pedale.Forchetta

    @meursault you are right, but it’s a bit more complicated than that because of the large number of variations.

    Even if you ask simply for: ‘un caffè’ the ‘barista’ will ask to you: espresso? Implying that you want a normal one and not a ‘ristretto’ or ‘lungo’ or ‘macchiato’ or ‘marocchino’ or ‘tazzotta’ or ‘deca’ or the best: l’espresso napoletano.

    Even a not so widespread language like the Italian is evolves.

    @mersault….I think you opened a whole can of whoopass there!

  21. @wiscot There is one reason I would want to live in an earlier time — cycling was hard(er) then. And simple. Just ride.

  22. @unversio

    @wiscot There is one reason I would want to live in an earlier time “” cycling was hard(er) then. And simple. Just ride.

    And in black and white the colours of your Bidons were simply not an issue!

  23. @Deakus

    @unversio

    @wiscot There is one reason I would want to live in an earlier time “” cycling was hard(er) then. And simple. Just ride.

    And in black and white the colours of your Bidons were simply not an issue!

    Just imagine though riding 6 speed.

  24. @unversio One of his great stories was about his wife. She often teased him saying that at the arrive Bartali and Coppi were always fresh and rested, instead he was sweaty and distraught. What a couple, what a man.

  25. @Chris

    @Marcus absolutely spot on. Those people like that drip shit that they stew for hours on a hot plate. That or Starbucks bilge water

    Stop painting with your fucking Starbucks-dipped broad brushes, you fucking quacks. I hereby challenge anyone to find a better coffee location in the world than Phinney Ridge, Seattle. Between Seven Coffee Roasters and Herkimer, there is none better anywhere I’ve been. The coffee at Domestique in Dudnas Ontario was rather good, though, I have to admit.

    And for the record, Espresso ROAST is a scam; its over-roasted, burnt coffee. What you want for an espresso machine is an Espresso BLEND.

  26. @frank it may have been a generalisation, but it’s fairly accurate and hey, what would this place be without generalisations and jingoistic belittlement?

    Trying to rescue a nations reputation on the basis of two blocks worth of enlightenment, on the other hand is pathetic. The true measure is the look you’ll get from a local when you’re out in the sticks and ask for an espresso or cappuccino. Drive a couple of hours north of Sydney for example and they’ll be close to getting the banjos out.

    Italy, France and Spain pass the test and that’s about it. They’ll probably kill you with the strength in Spain though.

  27. @Deakus

    @Pedale.Forchetta

    @meursault you are right, but it’s a bit more complicated than that because of the large number of variations.

    Even if you ask simply for: ‘un caffè’ the ‘barista’ will ask to you: espresso? Implying that you want a normal one and not a ‘ristretto’ or ‘lungo’ or ‘macchiato’ or ‘marocchino’ or ‘tazzotta’ or ‘deca’ or the best: l’espresso napoletano.

    Even a not so widespread language like the Italian is evolves.

    @mersault….I think you opened a whole can of whoopass there!

    Agreed owned!

    Even a not so widespread language like the Italian is evolves.

    Also agreed. I did start learning the language for a holiday to Sicilia last year. can order some things in a restaurant, but still a long way to go.

  28. @Chris

    @frank it may have been a generalisation, but it’s fairly accurate and hey, what would this place be without generalisations and jingoistic belittlement?

    Trying to rescue a nations reputation on the basis of two blocks worth of enlightenment, on the other hand is pathetic. The true measure is the look you’ll get from a local when you’re out in the sticks and ask for an espresso or cappuccino. Drive a couple of hours north of Sydney for example and they’ll be close to getting the banjos out.

    Italy, France and Spain pass the test and that’s about it. They’ll probably kill you with the strength in Spain though.

    Classic.  I love it when Sydney-siders combine astronomy and religion.

    Now children, today we are going to learn that God put a little celestial pin through Sydney, and spun the rest of the Universe around it.  That’s how we know it’s in the centre.

  29. @Ken Ho

    @Chris

    @frank it may have been a generalisation, but it’s fairly accurate and hey, what would this place be without generalisations and jingoistic belittlement?

    Trying to rescue a nations reputation on the basis of two blocks worth of enlightenment, on the other hand is pathetic. The true measure is the look you’ll get from a local when you’re out in the sticks and ask for an espresso or cappuccino. Drive a couple of hours north of Sydney for example and they’ll be close to getting the banjos out.

    Italy, France and Spain pass the test and that’s about it. They’ll probably kill you with the strength in Spain though.

    Classic. I love it when Sydney-siders combine astronomy and religion.

    Now children, today we are going to learn that God put a little celestial pin through Sydney, and spun the rest of the Universe around it. That’s how we know it’s in the centre.

    But what about Melbourne?

  30. @Ken Ho Oh come on, the rest of Australia loves it. If it wasn’t for your cosmopolitan cousins in Sydney, you’d all be mistaken for Kiwi’s.

    Btw, I’m not a Sydney-sider, although I did live there for a few years.

  31. @Pedale.Forchetta

    @meursault you are right, but it’s a bit more complicated than that because of the large number of variations.

    Even if you ask simply for: ‘un caffè’ the ‘barista’ will ask to you: espresso? Implying that you want a normal one and not a ‘ristretto’ or ‘lungo’ or ‘macchiato’ or ‘marocchino’ or ‘tazzotta’ or ‘deca’ or the best: l’espresso napoletano.

    Even a not so widespread language like the Italian is evolves.

    l’espresso napoletano? I must know more.

  32. @itburns

    @frank

    This place is better and way more convenient:

    The Expobar with temp control? Damn you! The USA has so many terrible baristas a person has to brew at home. I keep hoping my old Estro Profi will explode so I can get some beast like that. But it won’t.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.