There are two sets of rules that are talked about commonly in cycling circles. The first, everyone should know and follow. They are road rules. This post isn’t about road rules, it is about “The Rules”, as posted at Velominati, Keepers of the Cog.
I don’t have the time or inclination to break down everyone of their 91 rules. The fact that there are 91 shows just how ridiculous it actually is. Now, I hear the people screaming, “hey, they are just a bit of fun!” and I agree. However, there are a subset of cyclists that seem to live by them. Bagging the crap out of others for not following them. These elitist tools seem to think that just because they look pro, means they ride pro. Sure, some of them do, but there are just as many that don’t. I rode past one yesterday. Head to toe in GreenEDGE gear, wobbling all over a country road sitting on 25kph. I sat on his wheel for a while so I could get a better look, then I rode up besides him for a chat. When he saw me, he upped the ante. WTF, I was just trying to be social. I edged back in behind him. He was really going now, 27kph. I waited for about 3 minutes then rode up besides him again. He was working hard.
“G’day mate, hows things?” I asked. Between breaths he explained he was out on a 25km ride and he was pushing to get his average speed up. “Want to get on my wheel and we can sit on 30 along here?” was my next question. The look I got, as if to say I couldn’t keep up that pace. Then the clanger, “What’s with the bar tape?” he asked.
I had just replaced my bar tape the day before and apparently I had broken a rule! I explained that the old tape had torn and I replaced it with orange. Apparently white is the choice of colour for pros. I wonder if he has read the rules. I had had enough, and judging by his breathing, so had he, so I gently hit the gas and left him behind.
It isn’t the first time I have had people mention the rules, and I am just a tad miffed about it. The way I see it, there aren’t enough people out riding bikes. For people new to the sport, it is enough to buy a bike let alone the fancy gear that goes with it. It isn’t cheap. I have slowly gone from some fairly basic riding gear, to now owning some reasonable quality gear and loads of accessories to make cycling more enjoyable. Leg and arm warmers, water proof gloves, rain jackets, merino base layers, the list goes on. Most of these have been on special online, so they aren’t all colour coordinated or Rapha gear. But it doesn’t make me less of a cyclist. I’m no Eddie Merckx, but that has nothing to do with my gear.
So I say bugger “the Rules”. Wear what you want. Just get out there and ride. And if you are one of those people that look like you belong in the pro peloton, I am happy for you, just don’t tell me I am breaking any rules, unless they are road rules!
Please feel free to comment. I would love to hear if I am the only person that gets pissed off by the Rules Police.