The New V-estament

The Prophet prescribes some tablets.

During the birth of The Rules, just like the Big Bang, there was a flurry of new activity, too much expanding and not enough contracting; certainly not enough thinking. It’s hard to keep the throttle back when divining the Word of Merckx in real time. The interweb tubes whistled with new Rules shuttling back and forth, beers consumed, genius conferred, make it so, make it so. We were young, carefree, we would live forever.

Now, with a small bit of introspection and a looming book deadline, the Keepers are actually re-reading these things. Yes, some should go, some should be mashed together, and thanks to our brilliant community, some new ones should go in. For example, Rule #48 and Rule #49 – both about saddle position and not even addressing height.

“Hey I got another one, keep your saddle level.”

“Ha ha ha! Yeah, can you believe people ride with the nose way up or way down? People are such dicks.”

“Oh, Oh, Oh, I got another one, slide your saddle back, can you believe how people ride with their saddle way forward?”

In a less beer-fueled world, those might have become one Rule, dealing with two connected yet dissimilar concepts. Now they will become one Rule, both addressing saddle position.

Rule #48 // Saddles must be level and pushed back.

The seating area of a saddle is to be visually level, with the base measurement made using a spirit level. Based on subtleties of saddle design and requirements of comfort, the saddle may then be pitched slightly forward or backward to reach a position that offers stability, power, and comfort. If the tilt of the saddle exceeds two degrees, you need to go get one of those saddles with springs and a thick gel pad because you are obviously a big pussy.

The midpoint of the saddle as measured from tip to tail shall fall well behind and may not be positioned forward of the line made by extending the seat tube through the top of the saddle. (Also see Rule #44 and Rule #48.)

This opens up Rule #49. Lord Merckx has decreed that all the Rules don’t switch one position if one is eradicated or subsumed. That would confound the universe and force one of Lord Merckx’s minions to write a lot of code. And that minion is the only minion capable of code writing because the other minions are dumb fucks.

Rule #49 // Keep the rubber side down.

It is totally unacceptable to deliberately turn one’s steed upside down for any reason under any circumstances. Besides the risk of scratching the saddle, levers and stem, it is unprofessional and a disgrace to your loyal steed. The risk of the bike falling over is increased, wheel removal/replacement is made more difficult and your bidons will leak. The only reason a bicycle should ever be in an upside down position is during mid-rotation while crashing. This Rule also applies to upside down saddle-mount roof bars. (Thanks to Donnie Bugno.)

This wise bit of advise comes from Donnie ‘Donnie Bugno’ Wiley. Donnie sagely added “I take this so seriously I am unable to offer any assistance or slow down no matter how much distress the rider may be in.” Donnie is wise. He is one of us.

Similarly to the above stated Rules, we have Rules #21 and #23 pertaining to cold weather gear and shoe covers. If memory serves us correctly, or not, someone back in the early days (it was surely one of the five of us who were the only ones reading the site at the time) asked what the fuck Hincapie was doing wearing shoe covers all the time. Regardless of how pro George ALWAYS looked otherwise, there had to be a Rule in there somewhere about shoe covers. Since we only had 22 Rules at the time, Rule #23 was decreed. But since hindsight is 20/20 it is time to redact Rules #21 and #23 into one Rule. Therefore:

Rule #21 // Cold weather gear is for cold weather.

Knickers, vests, arm warmers, shoe covers, and caps beneath your helmet can all make you look like a hardman, when the weather warrants their use. If it isn’t wet or cold, save your Flandrian Best for Flemish weather.

So what of the space vacated by the shoe covers in Rule #23, you ask? Well, we’re filling that space with what we’re calling “the Tuck Rule”.

Rule #23 // Tuck only after reaching Escape Velocity.

You may only employ the aerodynamic tuck after you have spun out your 53 x 11; the tuck is to be engaged only when your legs can no longer keep up. Your legs make you go fast, and trying to keep your fat ass out of the wind only serves to keep you from slowing down once you reach escape velocity. Thus, the tuck is only to be employed to prevent you slowing down when your legs have wrung the top end out of your block. Tucking prematurely while descending is the antithesis of Casually Deliberate. For more on riding fast downhill see Rule #64 and Rule #85.

But we’re not finished there, no siree… A couple of other Rules needing to be combined are 18 and 19, pertaining to sensible choice of kit for road, mountain biking and cyclocross racing. Basically, don’t mix that shit up.

Rule #18 // Know what to wear. Don’t suffer kit confusion.

No baggy shorts and jerseys while riding the road bike. No lycra when riding the mountain bike (unless racing XC). Skin suits only for cyclocross.

Which leaves Rule #19 open. The Keepers have experienced the annoying practice of riders joining groups unannounced at an increasing rate of late. This brought about a Rule suggestion being raised in the Boardroom, and a timely post by community member @specialk reinforced our own beliefs that a little common courtesy goes a long way. We are not against riders joining a group, but you wouldn’t walk into a restaurant, sit down at an occupied table and start eating, so why just latch onto a stranger’s wheel and claim a free lunch?

Rule #19 // Introduce Yourself.

If you deem it appropriate to join a group of riders who are not part of an open group ride and who are not your mates, it is customary and courteous to announce your presence. Introduce yourself and ask if you may join the group. If you have been passed by a group, wait for an invitation, introduce yourself, or let them go. The silent joiner is viewed as ill-mannered and Anti-V. Conversely, the joiner who can’t shut their cakehole is no better and should be dropped from the group at first opportunity. (Thanks to specialk)

And so we have spoken. And the disciples shall digest these new Rules, and they shall Obey. Prophet V.V

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235 Replies to “The New V-estament”

  1. Question :  When does the obligation switch from “the group behind” to the previously “group in front” on a ride when the pace is similar but positions change for a number of reasons. i.e. does the first group who was behind have to go through the intricacies of introductions even though they end up in front, vice versa, the group that was in front but now is behind but still keeping pace … are they then obliged to go through the introduction phase ………

    My brain hurts …..

  2. The only thing I’ll disagree with in Rule #49 is that, in fact, you have to LAND rubber side down. When one is engaged in slopestyle or freeride, the rubber is allowed to be up, sideways, or any combination thereof as long as the landing is rubber side down. This facilitates proper trick technique and administering the V to people who otherwise would think it’s easy to manipulate a 40 pound dual suspension bicycle into physics-defying insanity.

  3. Merckx Moses brought down a Campagnolo Commandment to teach his people how they must shift!

  4. @unversio Brilliant…I just has a picture in my mind of a desert full of Israelites on turbo trainers praising The Prophet with chants of “Gruppo, Gruppo, Gruppo”!

    I must go call the Monty Python crew….there is definitely a film in this somewhere!

  5. Oh dear, more rules for me to break.  Keeping the rubber side down when on the move, is of course, the Prime Directive.

    ‘Oweverrrr, I’m a Velominatus Flippitatus when changing wheels or cleaning my bike.  I’m buggered if I can get a rear wheel in and out of the derailleur while it’s rubber side down.  My domestique will always place his jacket on the ground to protect the bike.

    Given that I’m now n=6 (DS MTB, beater utility bike, roadie, TT, trackie and beach cruiser), I’m inclined to be a bit blase about my rule adherence.

    On Rule #23, how do you reach Terminal Velocity, which I suspect was the speed originally intended, without a decent tuck.  A tuck is what gets you there.  Where is teh coolth in sitting up like a whiny bitch instead of tucking and reaching a fearsome speed.

    A physicist may not be able to explain how we ride our bikes, but after teaching a young adult last year, who could not balance on a bike to save herself, I had to work it out.  It’s quite simple really.  Initially, she could not even coast in a straight line for 10m.  She would just fall sideways while on the move.  Having been able to ride for as long as I remember, this confused me.  I had to mess about at slow speed for a bit to work out what was going on.

    Consider for a moment a motorbike turn, which exaggerated the process.  You lean or fall into a turn.  Well, to stay upright on a bike, you literally steer into the fall then correct.  After a short while,the process resolves into a less visible series of smaller falls, requiring smaller turns and corrections.  As soon as I coached her to steer into the fall, the falling stopped.

  6. @Marcus

    I find it quite cool when there are say just you and 2 or 3 mates riding along and you have been hammering for a while, especially in say windy conditions – you stop at lights and find 20 riders on your wheel. Even better if they are blowing hard.

    Like Marcus I don’t really understand the objections to people sitting on. The only ones that really annoy me are those who sit on and then sprint off from the lights like a maniac but slow down almost immediately so I have to pass them again in a few hundred meters.

  7. @MartinD Perhaps you should read what peoples objections are, then you could understand them. Even though I don’t necessarily agree with them I seem to be capable of understanding why some people don’t mind, so surely it doesn’t take much to understand why some people do mind?

  8. I’m with Marcus on the wheel-sucker thing.  If I’m riding solo, and someone wants to suck my wheel, it does not hurt me.  I don’t feel a need to change speed.

    I’m more bothered by people riding past in the opposite direction who don’t return my nod.  Sometimes that pisses me off enough to think, bugger it, I’m giving up on the nod.  But then I think, what if the next rider is new, and I ride past without a friendly wave or nod ?  They will think I’m a cotho and wonder why brothers on the road are not more friendly.  Granted, I grew up in a rural area, where it’s traditional for passing drivers to give each other a “farmers wave”.

    There is a Rule for thought.  Thou shalt always acknowledge another rider.  Ignoring other riders is not cool, especially if they have offered a greeting, and suggests that your head is too far up your arse.

    I reckon you could do with a few more rules about getting along and being gracious to other riders, and a few less about being condescending anal snobs.

  9. @Ken Ho Good for you, mate. Take one viewpoint and dismiss it as being “condescending anal snobs” then insist that total strangers have to acknowledge each other just because they happen to share the same mode of transport – superb logic there.

    As I have repeatedly stressed, if you don’t mind silent wheelsuckers then jolly good for you. I, and others, do so how about you stop being an anal condescending snob and try and understand that we don’t all have to think like you?

  10. @Oli

    @Ken Ho Good for you, mate. Take one viewpoint and dismiss it as being “condescending anal snobs” then insist that total strangers have to acknowledge each other just because they happen to share the same mode of transport – superb logic there.

    As I have repeatedly stressed, if you don’t mind silent wheelsuckers then jolly good for you. I, and others, do so how about you stop being an anal condescending snob and try and understand that we don’t all have to think like you?

    Dude, not sure if you are on the rumbo tonight or what.

    Rules like “you seat must be in the exact position I prefer” are condescending and snobby, and that’s just one example.  Honestly, when I first read the Rules, I thought the fashionista ones were a big piss-take on the people who take themselves way too seriously.   You know, the kind of people who buy all the gear and sit around looking great, but are as useless as a chocolate teapot at the actual past-time or sport.  They say that cycling is the new golf, and ain’t that the truth.

    Shoot me for thinking that we are all brothers on the road.  I know that is a delusion.  You are right.  Just because people use the same mode of transport does not mean they have anything else in common.  That much is plain.

  11. @Ken Ho You’re still being condescending, but I apologise for the misunderstanding – I thought you were saying that not wanting strangers sniffing my arse without even giving me a wink meant that I was a snob.

    Most of the Rules are a half serious and half pisstake, and it seems to depend on random factors as to when they are fun or not.

    In the spirit of full disclosure, I too am a chronic waver. Even when I’m repeatedly ignored my hand shoots up in a reflex I totally can’t control.

    Totally clean and sober too, thanks for asking.

  12. @Oli

    I too am a chronic waver. Even when I’m repeatedly ignored my hand shoots up in a reflex I totally can’t control.

    Chronic nodder here…sometimes I think I am getting repetitive strain injury.  To those who nod back, I get a little pleasure…even the moutain bikers!  To those who do not nod back, it depends on my mood and how much I am suffering.  I either think “Rude fucker…I have just expended valuable energy that I really could have done with recognising you and affirming my respect for you being on the road on two wheels.”  If I am training properly then I just think “Maybe they were suffering more than me and could not raise their head”….

    Either way I never wave….this would be dangerous, to take my hands off the bars it tantamount to committing hari kiri!

  13. @Ken Ho

    I’m with Marcus on the wheel-sucker thing. If I’m riding solo, and someone wants to suck my wheel, it does not hurt me. I don’t feel a need to change speed.

    I’m more bothered by people riding past in the opposite direction who don’t return my nod. Sometimes that pisses me off enough to think, bugger it, I’m giving up on the nod. But then I think, what if the next rider is new, and I ride past without a friendly wave or nod ? They will think I’m a COTHO and wonder why brothers on the road are not more friendly. Granted, I grew up in a rural area, where it’s traditional for passing drivers to give each other a “farmers wave”.

    There is a Rule for thought. Thou shalt always acknowledge another rider. Ignoring other riders is not cool, especially if they have offered a greeting, and suggests that your head is too far up your arse.

    I reckon you could do with a few more rules about getting along and being gracious to other riders, and a few less about being condescending anal snobs.

    Hey Ken. The Rule that precipitated the “silent wheelsucker” thread is titled “Introduce Yourself”. I’d say this is pretty much spot on for “being gracious to other riders” or always acknowledging another rider”. As Brett pointed out earlier, tow or don’t tow, suck or don’t suck as you prefer. Just communicate. This is like a nod only better. Does it matter which direction the other rider is going?

  14. Reasons why I don’t give or reciprocate waves:

    I’m fucked.

    I can’t be fucked.

    I’m descending at terminal or escape velocity (whatever the fuck that is).

    Stick, hole, rut, glass, gravel, roadkill, etc in the line.

    Recumbent.

    In my small mind, I’m Nibbles, tapping out the rhythm for Count Basso, low on the Zoncolan in the 2010 Giro.

    I’m a wanker.

    You look like a wanker.

    All of the above.

  15. I should clarify: I nod, wave & acknowledge other riders a lot. Point is, there’s both good and dumb reasons when I don’t.

    If you’re hoping for a constant response, Rule #5. Its not all about you.

  16. @harminator All valid reasons of course but never forget, when you are going up Alpe d’huez or the local equivalent  a casually deliberate wave to someone descending can do much to put your buddys under psychological pressure.

    Fucked I might be am but I always try to look like the attack might come any time.

  17. @Adrian

    @harminator

    Damn you Adrian. You’ve ruined the moment!

    Actually quite glad if you choose not to wave, I remember “Something about Mary”

    It’s like doping in the 90’s.

    98% admit it. The remaining 2% are liars.

  18. @harminator

    @Adrian

    @harminator

    Damn you Adrian. You’ve ruined the moment!

    Actually quite glad if you choose not to wave, I remember “Something about Mary”

    It’s like doping in the 90″²s.

    98% admit it. The remaining 2% are liars.

    Or Valverde’s ……Potato…Potato

  19. Members of our cycling club were at the LBS last night cleaning up “Charity Bikes” to be given to needy kids at Christmas.  As a reward for our efforts we were allowed to “warranty” a Raleigh carbon frame.  I’m the guy in yellow.

  20. YES! I’ve got one year to get the Bugetatus balanced for skinsuit funds! And twelve months to peak for the body to be honed down to svelte V-suit shape! I can do it, & in one year I might have built up my off-road skills enough to justify wearing such a race suit. As it stands, I’ve got the Guns from the road, but having done very little off-road riding, my handling ain’t so good & I am not good at gauging what my tires/me can handle when cornering in mud, gravel or sand. Only one way to find out!

    Came across this Giro highlights set & I thought it was pretty awesome. Good recap & some fitting music, I think, for how amazing the riding is in such a Tour. Also, brings back some memories of bits n pieces I forgot. Pozzivivo going off the front like a mini-rocket! That dude in the neon from Farnese Vini…crashes and wins the stage AFTER getting caught by Purito. Impressive.

    Also, um…reaffirmed respect for Cavendish. He puts his nose in there, which takes serious nerve. Then he navigates some serious madness, which takes serious skill. And  he gets fucking run over & comes back to get right back into the mix. And wins. HardMan for sure.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwDTFBsdtWw&feature=related

  21. And I also somehow completely missed the Maglia Rosa getting sucked into the rear caliper of Bauer’s bike…the horror!

  22. @Ron That dude in the neon from Farnese Vini was Matteo Rabbotini. I think that stage might be my racing highlight of the year.

     

  23. @Ron Riding off-road trails or gravel, or even full MTB did wonders for my handling. I still turn corners as fast as a delivery truck but I’m much more confident in deep mud and off camber.

  24. @Marcus

    @Souleur the gyroscopic effect is what makes it easier to balance on the rollers the faster you go?

    indeed, thats what they say
    its interesting the addition of forward motion though adds another dimension and inertia to the whole equation that throws the whole consideration into a frenzy
    i just accept it happens and let the nerds in analytics figure it out
    heading to island hop for a week w/the family in the warm sun and chase Sandy, will post the calcuations next week when i get back that I found that is actually funny

  25. @motor city

    @Ron That dude in the neon from Farnese Vini was Matteo Rabbotini. I think that stage might be my racing highlight of the year.

    Yeah, one of my top moments as well.  I was watching sporza and listening to the commentators just made my whole week.  They were almost as awesome as Rabbotini!

    Not sure if the link is the sporza commentated one as I am at work and cannot open youtube here.  But, if it is not, youtube the sporza version and listen to the call.  Just awesome passion.  Got to love Italians!

  26. @motor city

    @Ron That dude in the neon from Farnese Vini was Matteo Rabbotini. I think that stage might be my racing highlight of the year.

    Indeed.  The only other finale I got as excited about this year was Iljo Keisse’s win at Stage 7 of the Tour of Turkey when he crashed coming through the last corner, remounted and realised his chain was off, put the chain back on and still managed to hold off the charging peloton by a whisker.  Certainly not as prestigious or Rule V worthy as Rabbotini’s win though.

  27. @Ken Ho

    I’m with Marcus on the wheel-sucker thing. If I’m riding solo, and someone wants to suck my wheel, it does not hurt me. I don’t feel a need to change speed.

    I’m more bothered by people riding past in the opposite direction who don’t return my nod. Sometimes that pisses me off enough to think, bugger it, I’m giving up on the nod. But then I think, what if the next rider is new, and I ride past without a friendly wave or nod ? They will think I’m a COTHO and wonder why brothers on the road are not more friendly. Granted, I grew up in a rural area, where it’s traditional for passing drivers to give each other a “farmers wave”.

    There is a Rule for thought. Thou shalt always acknowledge another rider. Ignoring other riders is not cool, especially if they have offered a greeting, and suggests that your head is too far up your arse.

    I reckon you could do with a few more rules about getting along and being gracious to other riders, and a few less about being condescending anal snobs.

    Just try to prepare, for if the Rule Enforcers would come knocking on your door (sorta like Cheap Trick’s Dream Police) — “they’re the judge and jury all in one.”

  28. Deakus – glad I could be of help! Glad you enjoyed it. I think the music & editing are great. Really love how dramatic it gets when the Big Pink gets caught.

    motor city – Right! Forgot his name. I guess I’m not the only one thinking that ride was pretty impressive!

    VeloVita – Oh yes, almost forgot that cold-as-ice chain fix from Iljo!

    G’rilla – my cx riding has definitely improved my overall handling skills and I feel much better on the road. My off-road skills are still coming along but when I race I think that’s the biggest factor holding me back from placing higher. But, only one way to get better – keep truckin’!

  29. Wheel suckers sitting in don’t bother me because they’re getting a free ride or for some reason that I’m working harder… for me, it’s a safety issue. You just don’t know if you’ve got a legit cyclist on your wheel or some mid-life crisis carbon craplet who’s going to half wheel you as soon as you reach an corner or who’s going to rear-end you at the next stoplight. With an unannounced wheel sucker, I don’t know they’re on my ass so I’m not going to be signaling my stops or pointing out debris and it just poses a safety hazard. I’m a bit leery of anyone on my wheel who either doesn’t race or doesn’t ride with me regularly enough for me to have a confidence level in their abilities to not wreck us both.

     

    As for physics… they can and do explain how and why bicycles work. The idea that it’s a mystery how we stay upright is just an urban legend. It’s mostly down to centripetal force… for the mathmaticaly minded, here’s a decent read on the physics http://www.pedalmagic.com/Physics.htm

  30. with all due respect, #23 is stupid. what about solo ride and headwind (yes, i do get that a lot)

    sorry keepers, but i will tuck in any time i god damn please.

  31. I nearly partook of a #32 transgression yesterday.  I didn’t end up using a camelbak but was contemplating it’s use.  Thought I better get some clarification.  The details were.  34 degrees celsius, 100km ride on gravel on a cyclocross bike with a single bidon cage.  The dilemma was that I hadn’t been on this rail trail here in Australia (Ballarat) before so was unaware as to whether there would be frequent water stops.  I didn’t end up breaking the rule and was adhering to all others (black knicks, cultivating tan lines, sock length, road helmet etc) but what are your thoughts?  Usually there is no drama following rules but this one nearly got me yesterday.

     

    My theory is

  32. @Mclennan

    I nearly partook of a #32 transgression yesterday. I didn’t end up using a camelbak but was contemplating it’s use. Thought I better get some clarification. The details were. 34 degrees celsius, 100km ride on gravel on a cyclocross bike with a single bidon cage. The dilemma was that I hadn’t been on this rail trail here in Australia (Ballarat) before so was unaware as to whether there would be frequent water stops. I didn’t end up breaking the rule and was adhering to all others (black knicks, cultivating tan lines, sock length, road helmet etc) but what are your thoughts? Usually there is no drama following rules but this one nearly got me yesterday.

    My theory is

    I would say that dying of dehydration to adhere to the rules does not make you a hardman….it just makes you stupid…..however there is a rule (and now that I have started typing I can’t look it up) about announcing rule breaches….something about the masturbation principle?

  33. @Deakus I wasn’t actually serious, just having a bit of fun.  Suggesting I am stupid is a bit harsh I would have thought.  For your information you can always open another internet window if you wanted to look something up but being stupid I dont know how I know that.

  34. @Mclennan

    @Deakus I wasn’t actually serious, just having a bit of fun. Suggesting I am stupid is a bit harsh I would have thought. For your information you can always open another internet window if you wanted to look something up but being stupid I dont know how I know that.

    My tongue was firmly in my cheek, no offense intended…I normally use the ever frowned upon emoticons but decided to be more compliant this time…my mistake ;)

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