Tuesday, October 7, 2014

towards "the rules" for amateur non-racing cyclists

Readers will be aware of the Velominati Rules, about which I have mixed feelings. . Below are some thoughts towards some "rules" for amateur, non-racing cyclists. I'm opening them for discussion towards additions, deletions, and edits. What do you think?
  1. If it ain’t fun, don’t bother.
  2. Cash spent on your bike and accessories < miles in your legs.
  3. In case it needs to be specified, lightest and latest equipment also < miles in your legs.
  4. Notwithstanding rules 2 & 3, get good equipment.
  5. Harden the f--- up.
    This rule is kept as rule 5 in homage to the Velominati. In general they are a bunch of racers and pseudo-racers over-obsessed with style, but on this, they’re right.
  6. Yes, there is a contradiction between rule one and rule five. Life is full of contradictions. Light is both a wave and a particle. It can’t be, but it’s so.
  7. Learn enough about your equipment that you have an idea what maintenance might need to be done, and what might go wrong.
  8. Ride your own ride. Be master and commander of your bike. You don't need to do stuff that is scary or uncomfortable just because others do.
  9. If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Also in homage to the Velominati, this rule is kept as rule 9.
  10. Yes, there is also a contradiction between rules 8 & 9. See rule 6. 
  11. Respect the other rider’s bike. It may be the best he or she can afford. The kind of riding that rider prefers may differ from your preference. Or – and you may not be eager to find this out – the other rider may be able, on that bike, to outdo you on yours.
  12. Learn what works for your body: nutrition, training, other exercise, weight, distances, and so on. Rules 1, 5, 7, 8, and 9 will come into more clarity as you are able to grow in this rule.
  13. If you ride enough, and pay enough attention to equipment, or races, or riding styles, or fitness, or something, there will be something about which you will be a complete nutball. It’s OK. Learn what it is, and try to manage it.
    There may be more than one thing. Be careful; there’s not a clear distinction between enthusiast and fanatic. One person can have six cats and be a cat lover; another can have four and be a crazy cat lady.
  14. They’re fun, but charity rides are not an efficient way of raising money. (Edit 10/11/14: In a future edition, this will read, "They're fun, but charity rides are an inefficient means of raising money."
  15. As long as your other responsibilities (financial, familial, social...) are maintained, "because you love it" is a perfectly acceptable reason to buy a bike, or bike toys.
I expect to include edits, changes, additions, and deletions in subsequent posts. Feel free to comment, email me, or speak to me when you  see me in person about these. Final acceptances and refusals will be at the pleasure of the editorial staff of this blog.


  1. Would you be able to provide some numerical proof for rule #14? As an organizer for a charity that raises much of its money from an annual bike ride, I would certainly like to see what my options are.

  2. OK, I just got the numbers from the last two years for our Ride for McBride scholarship charity. Most of our donations -- very nearly all this year -- are from the ride itself, from the registration fee and extra donations given by riders when they register. We are a small charity that is entirely run by volunteers. We raise enough money each year to keep the scholarship going. For us, a charity ride is a very efficient way of bringing in donations. Rule #14 needs an asterisk.

  3. I presume you're talking about the Ride for McBride, which was set up as a ride, and which has apparently purposely been kept small. For other charities, I note that among entities that depend on charitable funding that are not specifically bicycle-related (such as churches, agencies like American Cancer Society, NPR, and others), none uses cycling as a major source of funds. The Tour de Cure is no exception: in 2008, the American Diabetes Association budget was $101 million, of which it got $16 million from the various rides on the Tour de Cure.

  4. Velominati rules #10 and #12 are valid, too. Oh, yeah, and #20 ;)

    1. Velominati rule 12 will probably show up as an addition to rule 15 in a future edition. As for Velominati rules 10 & 20, they are contradicted by rule 1 and supported by rule 5. Do we need to be more explicit? I welcome your discussion.

    2. I don't think that your rule 1 contradicts Velominati rules 10 and 20. Can you have fun while suffering ;)

    3. "Can you have fun while suffering ;)"

      Paul, were you raised Catholic?