Book review: The Rules

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McNamara
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Location: Dallas, TX

by McNamara

I first came across the infamous 95 Rules of the Velominati while surfing the web a few years ago. I thought there was a good bunch of humor in them but also a sense of respect for tradition and etiquette that many road cyclists can appreciate. Last year for Christmas my dad sent me a copy of The Rules, the definitive hardbound book about the eponymous regulations. This post isn't so much a review of that book as a jumping off point for a discussion of roadie etiquette, aesthetic, and mindset.

The book begins with a forward by Greg LeMond himself, then goes into the actual Rules. As they were written in the order thought of, they are not presented in the book in numerical order. Rather they are grouped into subject categories: "The Disciple," "The Ride," "The Bike," "The Aesthete," and "The Hardmen." Each section has a preface, and each Rule is expounded upon greatly. Plenty of self-effacing anecdotes and - sometimes ridiculous but funny - explanations of why The Rules just are what they are. I recommend it.

As a dedicated roadie I found myself agreeing with a great many of The Rules, and often pointing out in a good-natured way when someone nearby is breaking one. But as it turns out, I'm a bit of a hypocrite. I decided to count up the ones I serially violate, and it is no less than ten! That's over 10% of The Rules. I have my reasons, of course...

I'm curious to know what kind of exposure you folks have had to these Rules. Had you even heard of them? (Google it!) Do you take them deadly serious, with a grain of salt, or purposely flaunt them? Me, I think they're a great guideline for road cyclists and we can each interpret them how we wish. I'll continue to violate #50, for example, as beards just look badass. On me, at least.

glam2deaf
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by glam2deaf

The rules are for people who talk about strava in public.

McNamara
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Location: Dallas, TX

by McNamara

Ha ha! Sounds like you're not a fan. Each to his own. But after reading the book, I can tell you the Velominati are adamantly opposed to Strava anyway. A quick quote, referencing the use of smart phones and sophisticated GPS units on bikes: "...and guess what? You still suck. Now log on to Strava and make it public."

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ManekiNico
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Location: Ottawa, ON

by ManekiNico

Pretty familiar, I'd say…
Image


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Mom: He was very sickly until he started riding around on that bicycle.
Dad: Yeah... well... now his body’s fine, but his mind is gone.

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Calnago
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by Calnago

I thought The Rules were just common sense :wink:
I was building bikes long before I read The Rules, but have to say, if you follow The Rules, you'll likely end up with a pretty nice looking bike.
And if you do break some of The Rules, at least know why you did so you can casually throw it in the The Rule Enforcer's face with indisputably sound reasoning that makes editing The Rules seem quite appropriate.
By the way, anyone know when The Rules actually began its existence?
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

McNamara
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Location: Dallas, TX

by McNamara

It was 5AM on May 5, 555 B.C. atop Mount Velomis.

Actually, that's a good question. I'd guess they are fairly recent; I hadn't heard of them until a few years ago.

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ManekiNico
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by ManekiNico

Calnago wrote:By the way, anyone know when The Rules actually began its existence?

Good question.

Earliest post to reference The Rules on the Velominati website is dated September 2009. Its author, Brett Kennedy, is credited as the “unwitting instigator of The Rules”.

The Rules post itself isn’t dated, but the first comment is dated January 2010, so that gives you an approximate timeline.

Obey The Rules!
Mom: He was very sickly until he started riding around on that bicycle.
Dad: Yeah... well... now his body’s fine, but his mind is gone.

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Calnago
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by Calnago

Thanks, that sounds about right, but I kinda like McNamara's answer best: 5AM on May 5, 555 B.C. atop Mount Velomis.
I think we should just adopt that as the official beginning of time, and, The Rules.
:beerchug:
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

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ManekiNico
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Location: Ottawa, ON

by ManekiNico

I concur. @McNamara’s answer is certainly more fun. :thumbup:

Mount Velomis has to be hors catégorie, right?
Mom: He was very sickly until he started riding around on that bicycle.
Dad: Yeah... well... now his body’s fine, but his mind is gone.

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Calnago
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by Calnago

Of course, hors catégorie! And so it is written. The Rules began 5am, May 5th, 555 B.C. atop Mount Velomis.
Source: McNamara's Manifesto.
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

chipomarc
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:56 pm

by chipomarc

Trouble is many of the rules are based on a pro's bike in race day condition.
The pros don't ride or keep their training bikes in that form when training at home.

Vagabond
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Location: The Washingtons: DC and the state

by Vagabond

The rules are fun. I enjoy logging onto velominati and reading the articles. Although as a fan I must admit I don't always obey. I think white shorts are great especially in the heat and I find ever increasing sock heights silly. I'm proud to pedal Defeet Speede ankle socks!
Colnago e Campagnolo

McNamara
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Location: Dallas, TX

by McNamara

Manifesto...I like that. :beerchug:

I break some of the rules frequently. Except for races and short rides I typically use a saddle bag for a second spare tube and CO2. I have a beard. I eat food during training rides under four hours. My car is worth more than my bike. My tan lines aren't razor sharp, since my jerseys all have different sleeve lengths. If I draw race number 13, I won't turn it upside down, because 13 is actually my lucky number. Don't tell the Velominati, though. :wink:

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Calnago
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by Calnago

Ha! Fair enough, I'm with ya.
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

mattr
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Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

I had a friend who kept posting the rules on my Facebook feed. Along with such gems like "have you heard of Hinault, wow he was really good at cycling." And far far worse.

As i say, i had a friend like that.

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