New Rules

The Rules – They were never expected to become this well known. Nor was the list ever going to get this long or be taken this seriously. The Rules were first suggested as a few basic guidelines just to keep some basic civility and decorum on the road. But we took it too far (as we do everything) and now The Rules somehow define the Velominati, the inverse of intention. I use the communal ‘we’ as all Velominati share some responsibility in this.

In the spirit of a new year and spring cleaning, we have ourselves a Rules overhaul, with some New Rules to get excited about. Rule #38, #47, #79 and #81, we forget what those were, but we are moving on. For the official stone tablet version, refer to The Rules page.

  • Rule #38 – Don’t leapfrog. Don’t ride back into a group that just passed you and ruin their pace, the pace that you couldn’t keep or you wouldn’t have been passed in the first place, and especially if you’ve been passed by women. Deal with it. You’ve been chicked, get used to it. There are a lot of badass women cyclists and they are going to pass your ass. @Jen gave us this Rule, suggested from personal experience and “getting chicked” is in the lexicon.
  • Rule #47 – Drink Tripels, don’t ride triples.  Brett was rightly offended by someone on our facebook page suggesting “kicking back with a Corona”. Everyone should be offended by this, even people who come from the land of that other great amber embarrassment, Fosters. I’m told they export it only, there should be a Rule about that. Thirty years ago we were all excited in the USA about the massive oil cans of this exotic Fosters, except you couldn’t chill it cold enough to not taste it and there was even more of it to be gagged down. Enough! Quality beer is a recovery drink. It makes you a better cyclist. OK, that’s a stretch, a happier cyclist then.
  • Rule #79 – Fight for your town lines.  From our good mate @Rob; “I was out yesterday to start the serious training for the 200 on 100. Met up with a group that were strong but have no race experience. We passed through at least five town lines and one double-point town/county line (nearby is my all time favorite triple – state/county/town). There should be a Rule that says something like “Town lines must be contested or at least faked if you’re not into it”. Every time we went through without sprinting, it was like, what a waste – this is boring! And I’m not even saying I would have won any.” When @Rob speaks, I listen, especially when sprinting is the subject. And yes, he would have won most of those sprints. I miss those rides: mindlessly rolling along when from behind, someone opens up a huge handlebar throwing sprint for a town line that everyone else is too dumb to realize is right up the road. Trash talking ensues, it’s all a way to pass the k’s, amuse each other and hone your sprint. Or nervously clicking ergo shifters so people close by hear and think you are preparing for the big shift and sprint as the town line approaches, forcing someone to do something as the ergo-clicker does nothing but rides along with a dumb grin on his face.
  • Rule #81 – Don’t talk it up.  Cruel but fair, tempting as it is to talk about one’s most recent road rash to one’s cycling buddies but really, if you are still riding, how bad could it have been? And it was probably your own fault so better to keep quiet. @MarkyMark gave us this gem then he disappeared. MarkyMark come back, you’re famous now.
  • Rule #88 – Don’t surge. A rule concerning the mechanics of group riding: when in a paceline, ride the tempo, before you tire, pull off, slow enough to drift to the back as the line ride through. It’s not rocket science, impress people by keeping the pace, not upping the speed when you get to the front. Thanks to John Perry, Sydney Cycling Club for Rule #88.

So there you have it, a slew of new Rules for you to meditate on, discuss amongst yourselves, and of course, Obey.

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263 Replies to “New Rules”

  1. @wedger
    Murphys, Murphys, Murphys!!! Not that I cannot understand – indeed, the only thing I can understand about Murphys is that you can’t get it anymore

    Why would you drink a pint of stout that looks like Guinness, but tastes like sugar has been added and has no texture, and lacks that “drink lakes of the stuff” bitterness that only comes in a pint of Guinness!!! Yada yada yada

    @Chris
    Man alive – are you suggesting that stuff that is hand pumped out of the cask, and is flat immediately, served at room temperature, and has the taste that can only be achieved by minesweeping the day after a student party, usually drinking the stuff behind the sofa or TV set…..yada yada yada – fizzy stuff in a bottle out of the fridge for me – agreed we ought to drink the local brew in Belgium, but then I am concerned in that I wouldn’t recognise a public health warning written in Flemish….

  2. @Oli
    You know that they say God (the other one) invented Guinness to stop the Irish taking over the world…

  3. @Dr C
    Heathen! Whether or not an ale is flat, stale and at the wrong temperature are all controlled by the skill of the guy in charge of the cellar. If he’s a clown you can have it the way you describe it but if he knows his shit then it’ll be far from it. The liveliness and taste varies a lot regionally and the reason that beer is kept in a cellar is because of the ability to maintain a constant temperature all year round.

    I quite like a bit of the chemically stuff but it’s more of a means to an end than something to savour.

    Public health warnings are to be treated with disdain regardless of the language. They’re for the increasingly large portion of the population that doesn’t possess enough common sense to ensure their survival or prevent their becoming a burden on the public purse.

  4. @Oli

    You’re a bit of an Old Colonialist, aren’t you @Dr C? Veering at times almost towards xenophobia…

    I do seem to be, indeed – if you can be xenophobic about beer??

    @Chris
    Sounds like I’ve been drinking in the wrong places – I shall have to sign up for a re-education in the matter – good excuse anyway – will you be running a British Old Colonial Cogal in the Autumn??

  5. @Dr C

    Now there’s an idea, the BOCC! But to be properly colonial about it shouldn’t we do it somewhere out with British waters? Somewhere a bit warmer, maybe? How about this, although it might be best to reverse the direction so that we get the climbing out of the way and finish on the flat?

    Not sure about the availability of fine real ale – John Smiths doesn’t count!

  6. Just enjoyed a pint of something called 99 red baboons. Actually I didn’t so much enjoy it as suffer it, principly because of the amount and variety of red burgundy and chicken tossed down my pie hole last night. In other news, my mum just discovered some Oakley Frogskins that I had when I was about 14. They are dark like freaking welding goggles. No wonder I used to crash so much.

  7. @Dr C
    To say that we owned Spain might be a bit inaccurate and inflammatory so it might be best to say that we borrowed large parts of it for the Peninsular Wars against the small French chap. Officially, we never quite got round to giving Gib* back and unofficially we’ve also still got the rest of the coast which is why you can get a decent fry up and a pint of best bitter (gassy cold shit rather than real ale) despite it being 40C outside.

    Obviously, wars are expensive, messy and if you lose you don’t want to have the winner stood in your smashed up front room leering at your wife, much easier to start an argument at a friends place. Also, war was considered to be good sport back then so why not combine it with decent weather, a few beers and exotic food – the origin of today’s lads tour with their associated alcoholic carnage and poor behaviour.

    We must have owned Portugal at some point, most of the port houses are of British origin.

    *Try finding that place on a Spanish map!

  8. @Joe

    Just enjoyed a pint of something called 99 red baboons.

    I usually can’t stand it when someone posts song lyrics, but I just can’t resist:

    (sung to the tune of Nena’s 99 Luftballoons):

    You and I, and a lot of dead primates.
    Look at those darn dirty dead apes.
    All of them lying on the ground.
    All of them have just dropped dead.

    All of those primates, lying dead.
    Their blood is oozing on my carpet.
    I look down the hall and see that
    Ninety-nine dead baboons lay there.

    Ninety-nine dead baboons.
    Stinking up my perfect home.
    Somebody open up a window.
    Get rid of those apes for pete’s sake.

    Those apes were full of life.
    Then all of them just died.
    Oh my oh my oh my.
    Ninety-nine dead baboons lay there.

    Ninety-nine deceased primates.
    Ninety-nine funerals to attend.
    Their blood oozes on the carpet.
    And I can’t stand that rancid smell.

    This is horrid, this isn’t right.
    Get those apes out of my sight.
    I look in the hall and am shocked.
    As ninety-nine dead baboons lay there.

    Ninety-nine dead primates.
    Stinking up my perfect house.
    I can’t stand their smell.
    Or the blood on the carpet.

    Trying to clean up this disgusting mess.
    Stubborn blood stain won’t come off.
    As Ninety-nine dead baboons lay there.
    Ninety-nine dead baboons lay there

    Ninety-nine apes in here.
    Every one a dead baboon.
    It’s such a mess, what a pity.
    They belong in jungles, not a city.

    If I could just get rid of them.
    Those darn dirty stinking apes.
    All of those rotten dead baboons.
    I’d be much happier you know.

  9. @The Oracle
    is that an exact translation – always wondered what she was yacking on about, with her hairy armpits and all

    @Joe
    not sure I could enjoy a drink called 99 Red Baboons, as all I can picture is that ghastly thing they do when they turn their bums inside out

    @Chris
    maybe we should try to attack and take over Portugal some time – lovely people and great climate, and loads of cheap flights – I believe their Navy isn’t that strong at the moment too

  10. @Dr C
    Have a word with Angela and little Nicolas and they probably do you a deal on Portugal, Spain and Greece. Fiver for the three of them together.

    How about we hold off on planning a cogal until the Keeper’s Tour and we can ease the process with some mental lubrication. We’re bound to come up with something awesome if we cast aside issues of practicality and affordability!

  11. @The Oracle

    @Dr C
    that’s Dr. Demento’s … ahem … liberal interpretation.

    Man, knew I was among like minded folks around here. Love Dr. Demento but cannot seem to find it anymore.

  12. @Joe

    my mum just discovered some Oakley Frogskins that I had when I was about 14. They are dark like freaking welding goggles. No wonder I used to crash so much.

    Ha! Man that is funny, I remember those Frogskins. You may have been nearly blind but you looked cool.

  13. Rule #79 might be the tipping point for my looking into prescription eyewear for the bike. I see fine; I’m not a danger to others. But I sure as shit am not going to be the first one to jump for fear it turns out””on closer inspection””to be some road direction or other and not a town line…

  14. @Steampunk

    Rule #79 might be the tipping point for my looking into prescription eyewear for the bike. I see fine; I’m not a danger to others. But I sure as shit am not going to be the first one to jump for fear it turns out””on closer inspection””to be some road direction or other and not a town line…

    Ah, but you don’t win a town-line sprint by reading the sign. You win it by knowing where it is. And then not sucking. Both equally important.

  15. @The Oracle

    @sthilzy
    For me, it’s usually “Dead puppies… aren’t much fun.”

    “Fish heads, fish heads, rollypolly fish heads….”

  16. @Buck Rogers

    @The Oracle

    @sthilzyFor me, it’s usually “Dead puppies… aren’t much fun.”

    “Fish heads, fish heads, rollypolly fish heads….”

    Said fishheads are definitely not Rule #56 compliant:

    Roly poly fish heads are never seen
    Drinking cappucino in Italian restaurants,
    With oriental women.

    We’ve now officially co-opted this thread with utter ridiculousness. Vive Vendredi!

  17. @936adl

    Like this one you mean…

    Absolutely lovely!
    Personally I make do with a retro La Vie Claire shirt….

    A La Vie Claire jersey is retro? Damn. I guess it’s time to nudge the VMH for new kit.

  18. As we kick up for the 2012 VSP, we noticed another Rule was missing. As such, we present you with Rule #89:

    Rule #89 // Pronounce it Correctly.
    All races shall be referred to by the name given in its country of origin, and care shall be taken to pronounce the name as well as possible. For Belgian Races, it is preferable to choose the name given in its region of origin, though it is at the speaker’s discretion to use either the Flemish or Wallonian pronunciation. This principle shall also be extended to apply to riders’ names, bicycle and component marquees, and cycling accoutrements.

  19. @frank
    Is it possible to add this to say that races should be named in the language of their country of origin – a ‘tour de..’ should only happen in a francophone nation.
    And surely nicknames should be included too – ‘l’enfer du Nord’ rather than ‘Hell of the North’.

  20. I just noticed the new prohibition of lycra whilst mountain biking. Absurd! I’m all for the CX skinsuit mandate, but baggies during an XC race is ridiculous.

  21. @Bean

    I just noticed the new prohibition of lycra whilst mountain biking. Absurd! I’m all for the CX skinsuit mandate, but baggies during an XC race is ridiculous.

    This is not a new prohibition – in fact its one of the older Rules. I don’t think the Rule applies to MTB Racese but only recreational pot-smoking/mountain biking kind of stuff that 99.9% of MTBers do.

    *dons flame-retardent suit*

    Joking aside, I agree the Rule should be go under consideration for amendment to clarify the oversight. Brett, our resident serious MTBer will need to weigh in, though since my MTB is from 1991 and gets laughed at every time I post a picture of it.

    @Tuvelo

    @frank
    Is it possible to add this to say that races should be named in the language of their country of origin – a ‘tour de..’ should only happen in a francophone nation.
    And surely nicknames should be included too – ‘l’enfer du Nord’ rather than ‘Hell of the North’.

    Ha, like the Tour de Trump? Good one.

  22. @frank

    @Bean

    I just noticed the new prohibition of lycra whilst mountain biking. Absurd! I’m all for the CX skinsuit mandate, but baggies during an XC race is ridiculous.

    This is not a new prohibition – in fact its one of the older Rules. I don’t think the Rule applies to MTB Racese but only recreational pot-smoking/mountain biking kind of stuff that 99.9% of MTBers do.
    *dons flame-retardent suit*
    Joking aside, I agree the Rule should be go under consideration for amendment to clarify the oversight. Brett, our resident serious MTBer will need to weigh in, though since my MTB is from 1991 and gets laughed at every time I post a picture of it.
    @Tuvelo

    @frank
    Is it possible to add this to say that races should be named in the language of their country of origin – a ‘tour de..’ should only happen in a francophone nation.
    And surely nicknames should be included too – ‘l’enfer du Nord’ rather than ‘Hell of the North’.

    Ha, like the Tour de Trump? Good one.

    I think Tour de Trump is correctly pronounced Tour de Asshole

  23. @frank

    As we kick up for the 2012 VSP, we noticed another Rule was missing. As such, we present you with Rule #89:
    Rule #89 // Pronounce it Correctly.All races shall be referred to by the name given in its country of origin, and care shall be taken to pronounce the name as well as possible. For Belgian Races, it is preferable to choose the name given in its region of origin, though it is at the speaker’s discretion to use either the Flemish or Wallonian pronunciation. This principle shall also be extended to apply to riders’ names, bicycle and component marquees, and cycling accoutrements.

    I think I’ll have to consign myself to Rule #89 noncompliance at the outset.

  24. @frank

    @Chris, @Joe
    Thats settled then: bring along some of your favorites, I’ll bring along some of mine to Keeper’ Tour. We’ll settle this.

    We need to get back to ten rules…

  25. @Bean

    I just noticed the new prohibition of lycra whilst mountain biking. Absurd! I’m all for the CX skinsuit mandate, but baggies during an XC race is ridiculous.

    Indeed, it’s common sense and doesn’t really need to be stated. If you’re racing XC, lycra up. If you’re trail riding, keep that shit under baggies. And never mix baggies with a race jersey, or bibs with a loose fit top.

    Common sense, people of dirt.

  26. @The Oracle

    @frank

    As we kick up for the 2012 VSP, we noticed another Rule was missing. As such, we present you with Rule #89:
    Rule #89 // Pronounce it Correctly.All races shall be referred to by the name given in its country of origin, and care shall be taken to pronounce the name as well as possible. For Belgian Races, it is preferable to choose the name given in its region of origin, though it is at the speaker’s discretion to use either the Flemish or Wallonian pronunciation. This principle shall also be extended to apply to riders’ names, bicycle and component marquees, and cycling accoutrements.

    I think I’ll have to consign myself to Rule #89 noncompliance at the outset.

    “Care shall be taken to pronounce the name as well as possible.” – That doesn’t mean you have to get it right. But show respect for the name and do your best. Its not the “Tour Day FRANSE” – it’s the “Tour duh Frahnce”. Things of that nature.

    @Jarvis
    I think you’re missing the point of The Rules…

  27. My friend Dan just flew to England yesterday from Houston, Texas and experienced first hand how it feels to ride on the left side of the road. He also mentioned a possible rulle ADDITION: Rule Number ?: “Always stay on the native’s wheel”. What is your take on this?

  28. Can we have a rule about blowing the nose and clearing the throat (also known as snot rockets and spitting). I vowed never to do these things (I am a lady after all) but now do them all the time, several times a ride. Snot rocket was the first thing I tauight my son after he joined the club …

  29. @isobel

    Can we have a rule about blowing the nose and clearing the throat (also known as snot rockets and spitting). I vowed never to do these things (I am a lady after all) but now do them all the time, several times a ride. Snot rocket was the first thing I tauight my son after he joined the club …

    While no rule for this exists, there is an article on etiquette; http://www.velominati.com/general/spitting-image/

  30. @louielouie62 If I’m taken on a ride in a place I’m not familiar with, I find it rude to take the lead without having asked. I was recently treated to several beautiful rides around Frankfurt by some pretty powerful locals, and only sometimes – when the route was clearly “just go straight” – did it feel appropriate to do some work at the front. Mind you, we weren’t hammering it with a brisk, but not an uncomfortable pace, so whenever the roads were quiet, we rode two abreast – but not more than a wheel in front of your guide.

  31. @louielouie62

    @tessar

    That happened during the Seattle Cogal. We’d be at a stop, @eightzero would give us directions, while not being disrespectful, we’d get sidetracked in conversation and whatnot. As such a small contingent  of us would hammer off the front, rip past turns and get wildly off route; usually meaning we’d have to descend and/ or re-climb to find our way back. Probably added a extra 10K or more doing that.

  32. Over here in Scotland we define Rule #79 as a HABBLE. On approaching a village or regional boundary the cry of HABBLE or HABBLE TO THE MARK is called out. All bunch members must then contast the impromptue sprint.

  33. Rule V must be pretty close to entering the next dictionary update.

    I was looking at some FB chat for a cycle group in Dubai. Very much a starting group aimed at beginners and newbies.

    They had a timed training event (as opposed to a race) last week and one person, who said she had never cycled more than 40km before, referred to the need to Rule #5 and harden up, then someone responded to her saying he had only been cycling for 5 weeks and also need to apply Rule #5.

    As far as I’m aware they aren’t sending copies of The Rules to everyone who joins. Half of them are still on MTBs and the other half wouldn’t know what the Velominati are.

    Somehow the Rules and Rule #5 in particular has reached a fairly general consciousness.

  34. ChrisO – That’s rather incredible. Funny how things begin to seep out little by little and before you know it they’re everywhere. The good thing is that I’m a Velominatus and like this growth of the spirit. I grow more and more baffled by pop culture because though I’m not so old, I honestly have no idea what’s going on these days. Probably because I don’t own a t.v. And I don’t follow popular sports. Or music. Oh well, not complaining, I’m just more and more confused when I do a fly-by on Tha Happs and realize I’m lost…and then, that I don’t care.

    Then again, whenever I join a group ride even the fast folks on nice bikes are in violation of countless Rules, so I guess  you can be aware but still not heed the call.

  35. @ChrisO

    Rule V must be pretty close to entering the next dictionary update.

    I was looking at some FB chat for a cycle group in Dubai. Very much a starting group aimed at beginners and newbies.

    They had a timed training event (as opposed to a race) last week and one person, who said she had never cycled more than 40km before, referred to the need to Rule #5 and harden up, then someone responded to her saying he had only been cycling for 5 weeks and also need to apply Rule #5.

    As far as I’m aware they aren’t sending copies of The Rules to everyone who joins. Half of them are still on MTBs and the other half wouldn’t know what the Velominati are.

    Somehow the Rules and Rule #5 in particular has reached a fairly general consciousness.

    Hearts and minds, ChrisO, hearts and minds.

  36. If any of you haven’t read Pynchon’s “V” and are prepared for a cross-disciplinary, sport/lit, entirely coincidental ne’er-the-twain-shall-meet broadening of the mind-horizon (“this has nothing to do with cycling but on a meta-meta level, sort of everything to do with my attitude to cycling”), I recommend it heartily.

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