Not bad, but a bit fashionista roadie and American flavoured for my taste... here's my tweak;
The Rules (Corrected! With thanks to Velominati for the original set):
Rule 1: Obey the rules.
Rule 2: It is forbidden for someone familiar with the rules to knowingly assist another person to breach them.
Rule 3: No matter how good you think your reason is to knowingly breach the rules, it is never good enough.
Rule 4: It is absolutely, unequivocally, about the bike¹… If you are a sheep like fashionista. However if you wish to win anything other than the admiration of bubble headed fashion magazine readers, stop looking in the mirror and see rule 5. Anyone who says otherwise is obviously a cycling walt.²
Rule 5: Harden the fcuk up.
Rule 6: It is not about how cool you look, it is about legs, heart, lungs and head… but mainly head. Never, ever, ever, give up, if you do you have lost. If you need a role model read up on Tom Simpson.
Rule 7: Free your mind and your legs will follow.
Rule 8: Tan lines will happen, but let’s face it, in the UK they’ll mainly be weathering lines unless you’re a cycling walt¹ and only ride on sunny days. If you are worried about how sharp or otherwise they are, then see rules 5 and 6.
Rule 9: Saddles, bars and tyres³:
If they match that’s nice, it is nice to ride a good looking bike. If they don’t, see rule 6 stop worrying and get back to riding it. If it really bothers you, then change your tape/tyres/whatever. Black remains an excellent colour.³
Rule 10: If you are out riding in bad weather, it might mean you are “hard”, or more likely, you are in Scotland or other parts of Europe with a similar climate.
It really cannot count as “hard”, when you are sharing the road with mothers with children on the back, grannies cycling to pick up their pension etc.
To be truthful, if you are out riding in bad weather it suggests that you may be becoming a cyclist, and not a walt.² Well done.
Rule 11: It never gets easier, you just go faster. To put it another way, per Greg Henderson: “Training is like fighting with a gorilla. You don’t stop when you’re tired. You stop when the gorilla is tired.” 4
Rule 12: Hard though it is, the bike does not come first, family does. Bikes can (and should) be then replaced by nicer/better/shinier models.
Rule 13: The minimum number of bikes one should own is three. The correct number is n+1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned. This equation may also be re-written as s-1, where s is the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your partner.
Rule 14: Lycra shorts should be black, with the possible exception of side panels which may match the rest of the team kit. However when considering team kit bear in mind note ² and rule 16.
Rule 15: If you are lucky/good enough to wear Championship or race leader jerseys, refer to rule 14.
Rule 16: Championship and race leader jerseys must only be worn if you have won the relevant championship or led the race.
Rule 17: You should never wear team kit unless you are a member of that team, or an employee of the team/team sponsors (or otherwise receiving the kit free/at a discount). The only exception to this is if you are aged 12 year old or under. Otherwise refer to note ². You may wear club/association kit or similar if a member, and custom clothing for one off events is also admissible. Bear in mind however if designing one off or club kit that we can see what make of bicycle/groupset/wheels/etc you are using. Unless the manufacturer / sponsor is paying you to put their logo on your clothes you must not do it.
Rule 18: No road jerseys when riding off road. (If you ride cyclocross wear what you want, no-one will argue with anyone that mad)
Rule 19: No mountain jerseys or baggies when road racing, unless you are good enough to win anyway at which point it is very cool and has the additional advantage of annoying all the other riders. Whilst training/commuting/general riding however mountain jerseys, baggies, non cycling specific clothes etc are all good for improving your SCR5. For cyclocross see rule 18.
Rule 20: The remedies;
If your quads start to burn, shift forwards to use your hamstrings and calves.
If your calves or hamstrings start to burn, shift back to use your quads.
If everything burns and you want it to stop, see rules 5,6,7 and 11.
Rule 21: Tights, vests, arm warmers, shoe covers and caps beneath your helmet do not make you look hard, they make you look like an unemployed mime artist. However see rule 6 and congratulate yourself for enjoying riding in weather that justifies them.
Rule 22: Cycling caps can not be worn under helmets, no matter how hip you think you look. It looks ridiculous, and should result in public berating or beating. The only time it is acceptable to wear a cycling cap is while directly engaged in cycling activities, clad in cycling kit but not wearing a helmet. This includes activities taking place prior to and immediately after the ride such as machine tuning and tyre pumping. Also included are cafe appearances for pre-ride espressi and post-ride pub appearances for body-refueling ales (provided said pub has sunny, outdoor patio – do not stray inside a pub wearing kit or risk being ceremoniously beaten and arrested by any fashion police present). Under these conditions, having your cap skull-side tipped jauntily at a rakish angle is, one might say, de rigueur. All good things must be taken in measure, however, and as such it is critical that we let sanity and good taste prevail: as long as the first sip of the relevant caffeine or hop-based beverage is taken whilst beads of sweat, snow, or rain are still evident on one’s brow then it is legitimate for the cap to be worn. However, once all that remains in the cranial furrows is salt, it is then time to shower, throw on some suitable après-ride attire (a woollen Molteni Arcore training top circa ’73 comes to mind) and return to the bar, folded copy of pastel-coloured news publication in hand, ready for formal fluid replacement. It is also helpful if you are or appear to be a Giant of the Road, as demonstrated here, rather than a giant Marcel Marceau impersonator.
Rule 23: If it’s not cold or wet and you are still wearing shoe covers, see note ²
Rule 24: Speeds and distances shall always be referred to and calculated in kilometres. This includes while discussing cycling in the workplace with your non-cycling co-workers, serving to further mystify our sport in the web of their Neanderthalic cognitive capabilities. As the confused expression spreads across their faces, casually mention your shaved legs (unless you are a lady cyclist). All of cycling’s monuments are measured in the metric system and as such the English system is forbidden. The only exception to this rule is when discussing cycling with that particularly attractive young woman/man in accounts who will be impressed by the speed / distances you have ridden and will therefore fall into your arms and the nearest convenient cupboard upon discovering your awesome prowess.
Rule 25: The bikes on top of your car should be worth more than the car, or at least be relatively more expensive. The only exception to this is if you participate in a range of sports and the other sports equipment in/on the car is worth more than the bikes and the car.
Rule 26: There is definitely an “optimal” angle at which the pedals should be when photographing a bicycle. That angle depends on the photographers’ intent, however it is generally around the 30 degree mark. 90 and 180 degrees should be avoided.
Rule 27: Sock and short length should be like Goldilocks, not too long and not too short. No socks, is a no-no, as are those knee-length ones that should only be worn when dressed in female school uniform.
Rule 28: Socks may be any colour, white is old school, black is safe multicoloured shows imagination.
Rule 29: Saddle bags have no place in a road race, however help your SCR5. Whilst not in formal competition, they also help prevent you arriving at your destination with a revolting sweaty back should you have to carry any more than a banana and a credit card. Rucksacks/daysacks in any case may only be used on mountain bikes and are only acceptable on the road in extreme cases.
Rule 30: A pump should be mounted to your frame unless you are in a formal race. CO2 canisters are acceptable whilst racing or when you have a back-up vehicle following. Otherwise don’t expect us to stop and pump up your tyres for you when the CO2 fails to get the tyre past 0.7Bar (10psi) and you’re still 100km (62 miles) from home.
Rule 31: Spare tubes, multi tools and repair kits should be stored under the back of the saddle or in a converted bidon in a cage on the bike. Stuffing them into your jersey pockets makes you look like a walt and will injure you when you fall, which will make you look like a stupid walt. Training bikes should have full mudguards, a pump, possibly a rack and should be considerably heavier than your race bike. To train on your race bike is to train easy and that is weakness. See rules 5, 6, 11, 29 and 30. Remember; a heavy bike will hurt climbing, but pain is weakness leaving your body, once the weakness has gone you will be stronger. If in doubt of the wisdom of this rule, see rule 5.
Rule 32: Hydration packs are acceptable, even cool, on a mountain bike. On a road bike use the bottle cages, if they are insufficient, good, clearly you are hardening the fcuk up, get more fitted.
Rule 33: If you want to shave your legs, do it. (Though waxing is better). Don’t use cycling as an excuse, it’s the 21st century ffs. You don’t need an excuse, be yourself!
Rule 34: Road cleats have their place, on a road bike, in a road race, where every tiny advantage matters. In normal road use they are wasted and no-one is impressed when you walk into the newsagent/across the railway platform looking as though you’ve had an unfortunate accident with some laxatives and scratching the floor. Buy some MTB cleats/shoes and see rule 6
Rule 35: Road helmets on mountain bikes are like road tops on mountain bikes. Don’t do it, it is just wrong. If you are in full road kit on a full road bike then road helmets should be worn, any other time though wear what you like, a mountain bike helmet or a road helmet, or a road cap and enjoy the shade, no-one cares! If you are considering putting a roadie-type cap under your helmet however then slap yourself and see rule 22.
Rule 36: Eyewear shall be a cycling specific style, i.e. no Aviator or clip on covers for reading glasses.
Rule 37: The arms of the eyewear shall always be placed over the helmet straps if worn. No exceptions, no-one knows why, it’s just the way it is.
Rule 38: Tyres may be mounted with the label centred over the valve stem. (Pro teams do this so it’s faster to find the valve), it looks better in the photos. However remember rule 6 and note ²
Rule 39: Quick release angle on the front skewer shall be an upward angle which tightens just aft of the fork and the rear quick release shall tighten at an angle that bisects angle between the seat and chain stays. It is acceptable, however, to have the rear quick release tighten upward, just aft of the seat stay, when the construction of the frame or its dropouts will not allow the preferred positioning. For Time Trial bikes only, quick releases may be in the horizontal position facing towards the rear of the bike. This is for maximum aero effect.
Rule 40: A riders handlebars on their road bike should not be higher than their saddle.
Rule 41: There is no need to put a single 5mm spacer above the stem unless you are a walt. Re-read rules 4,5 and 6 immediately. Fit matters, pointless fashion is for bubbleheads.
Rule 42: Handlebars will be mounted parallel to the ground or angled slightly upward. While they may never be pointed down at all, they may be angled up slightly; allowed handlebar tilt is to be between 180 and 175 degrees with respect to the level road. The brake levers will preferably be mounted such that the end of the brake lever is even with the bottom of the bar. Modern bars, however, dictate that this may not always be possible, so tolerances are permitted within reason. Brake hoods should not approach anything near 45 degrees, as some riders with poor taste have been insisting on doing.
Rule 43: 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 about two degrees, you may need to go get one of those saddles with springs and a thick gel pad because you are obviously unusual.
Rule 44: 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 unless doing so provided proper fit and positioning for the rider. Ideally if this is the case a shorter stem/top tube/crankset should be sourced to ensure better fit.
Rule 45: Facial hair is the choice of the individual, however female riders may find that a full beard may attract uncomplimentary comment from those with poor manners.
Rule 46: Padding or body armour is for downhill mountain biking, not for the public highway.
Rule 47: Aerobars, tri-bars and similar should be fitted where useful/practical, only where specifically forbidden in race regulations should they be removed. Stop complaining, stretch those hamstrings, feel the extra speed and see rule 5. For similar reasons you should ride on the drops wherever possible unless touring.
Rule 48: If you are riding down a mountain, you must first have ridden up the mountain. It is forbidden to employ powered transportation simply for the cheap thrill of descending. The only exception to this is if you are doing intervals on Alpe d’Huez or the Plan de Corones and you park your car up top before doing 20 repeats of the climb.
Rule 49: No stickers on your bike unless they are the retro-reflective variety fitted to improve your safety at night and in poor conditions, thus allowing you to ride more. The only exception to this is if you have a bike with no makers decals (except the head tube badge) you may attach one, or a matching pair of discreet badges/stickers/decals. To maintain any sort of credibility they should not be immediately obvious, should be of a high standard of workmanship and ideally witty and/or ironic. If you wish to apply lots of stickers such as, “save the nukes”, “ban the whales”, “Hug a humvee” (or whatever other causes you support), then buy a 2CV and put them on that.
Rule 50: Avoid buying bikes, parts or accessories online. Going into your local shop, asking myriad inane questions, tying up the staff’s time, then going online to buy is akin to sleeping with your best friend’s wife/husband, then having a beer with their spouse afterwards. You may as well go into your local shop and spit in the owners face. Online is evil and will be the death of the bike shop. If you enter a shop with parts you have bought online and expect them to fit them, be prepared to be told to see your online seller for fitting and warranty help.
Rule 51: Road or race, hold your line. Car drivers only toot and rev to congratulate you on your speed anyway, it’s like the air-horns you hear spectators using on the big races.
Rule 52: Under no circumstances may a road-race bike saddle have more than 3mm of padding. Special allowances will be made for stage racing when physical pain caused by subcutaneous cysts and the like (“saddle sores”) are present. Under those conditions, up to 5mm of padding will be allowed – it should be noted that this exception is only temporary until the condition has passed or been excised, and if you are a hardman you would not change your saddle at all but instead just cut a hole in it to relieve pressure on your delicate derrière.
Rule 53: You shall not ride with earphones. Cycling is about getting outside and into the elements and you don’t need to be listening to Queen or Slayer in order to experience that. Immerse yourself in the rhythm and pain, not in whatever 80′s hair band you call “music”. See Rule 5 and ride your bike.
Rule 54: Cornering confidence generally increases with time and experience. This pattern continues until it falls sharply and suddenly.
Rule 55: Bicycles must adhere to the Principle of Silence and as such must be meticulously maintained. No squeaks, creaks, or chain noise allowed. Only the soothing hum of your tires upon the tarmac and the rhythm of your breathing may be audible when riding. When riding the Pave/cobbles/Edinburgh Roads, the sound of chain slap is acceptable. The Principle of Silence can be extended to say that if you are suffering such that your breathing begins to adversely effect the enjoyment of the other riders in a group, you are to summarily sit up and allow yourself to be dropped.
Rule 56: Mirrors are allowed on your (aptly named) Surly Big Dummy or your Surly Long Haul Trucker. Not on your road steed. Not on your Mountain bike. Not on your helmet. If someone familiar with The Rules has sold you such an abomination, return the mirror and demand a refund, plus interest and damages. Cunningly, your neck has been designed to allow you to turn your head to look behind, feel free to advise nearby car drivers as to the efficacy of the technique.
Rule 57: Do your time in the wind; nobody likes a wheel sucker. You might think you’re playing a smart tactical game by letting everyone else do the work while you sit on, but races (even Yellow Sign Sprints) are won through cooperation and spending time on the rivet, flogging yourself and taking risks. Riding wheels and jumping past at the end is one thing and one thing only: poor sportsmanship.
Rule 58: Rides are to be measured by the quality of their distance and never by distance alone. For climbing rides, distances should be referred to by the amount of vertical covered; flat and rolling rides should be referred to by their distance and average speed. For example, declaring “We rode 4km” would assert that 4000m were covered during the ride, with the distance being irrelevant. Conversely, a flat ride of 150km (93 miles)at 23kmph (14mph) is not something that should be discussed in an open forum unless touring and Rule 5 must be reviewed at once.
Rule 59: Cycling shoes and bicycles are both made for riding. Ergo, any walking conducted while wearing cycling shoes must be strictly limited. When taking a slash or filling bidons during a 200km (124 mile) ride (at 38kph, (24 mph), see Rule 68) one is to carefully stow one’s bicycle at the nearest point navigable by bike and walk the remaining distance. It is strictly prohibited that under any circumstances a cyclist should walk up a steep incline, with the obvious exception being when said incline is blocked by riders who crashed because you are on the Kopenberg. For clarification, see Rule 5.
Rule 60: The purpose of competing is to win. Any reference to not achieving this should be referred immediately to rule 5.
Rule 61: Know how to train properly and stick to your training plan. You may ignore other cyclists with whom you are not intentionally cycling, however remember that SCR5 is the ultimate form of competition and refer to rule 60. You may exempt yourself from an SCR challenge only when touring or travelling to a specific prior engagement which requires you to arrive without sweat drenched clothing.
Rule 62: Legs speak louder than words. Unless you routinely demonstrate your riding superiority and the smoothness of your stroke, refrain from discussing your power meter, heartrate, or any other riding data unless it is with a training companion or you are seeking advice from your betters.
Rule 63: Gear and brake cables should be cut to a tidy length, creating a perfect arc around the headtube and cross under the downtube. Right hand gear cable should go to the left hand cable guide and vice versa. The same principle should apply to all wires/cables/luggage straps etc. Everything must be neat and tidy. Flapping is the visual equivalent of rattling and should not be seen.
Rule 74: Cycle computers should be simple, small, preferably wireless and ideally mounted on the stem.
Rule 75: Race numbers are for races. Remove it from your frame before the next training ride because no matter how cool you think it looks, it does not look cool, unless you are in a race or have just minutes before completed a race, in which case it looks cool.
Rule 76: When not worn, helmets are to be clipped to the stem and draped over your handlebars thus.
Rule 77: Respect the earth. Do not throw your empty gel packets, energy bar wrappers or punctured tubes on the road or in the bush. Stuff them in your jersey pockets, and repair the tube when you get home.
Rule 78: Get out and ride. This rule has priority over all other rules. No-one may criticise you for breaking any of the above rules if you are riding and they are not. They are weak and should immediately be referred to rule 5 along with a short sharp admonishment to hold their counsel. (eg. “STFU and read rule 5” ;-) )
¹If you believe that then I should like you to arrange a short race, say two or three miles uphill, between you on your dream bike and oooh let’s say Bradley Wiggins on a BSO. Oh and you have to wager a years salary on your winning the race… now stop talking rot and refer to rule 6.
²”Walt”, from the literary character Walter Mitty;
Someone who pretends to be something they are not. EG. wearing a football shirt with “Beckham” on the back when that is not your name and you don’t play for the team whose shirt you are wearing, wearing Replica team kit with a pro riders names on it, or indeed your own if you are not a member of that team.
If you are over 12 years old then please don’t do it. If you must, then we have to assume you also drive a normal Subaru road car painted to look a little bit like a rally car, drink buckfast/thunderbird/cheap cider* from the bottle, wear Burberry patterned baseball caps when you are not on a bike and that your life is generally at a dead end. Please seek counselling now or kill yourself and end all our suffering.
*delete to suit regional tastes
³There is only one spelling of tyre. Anyone who spells it as “tire” is either American or illiterate. If you are the former, then don’t worry, it’s not your fault that your forefathers forgot how to spell, we love you guys anyway. If you are the latter then please get an education before inflicting your version of written English upon us all. (The same applies to “color” and colour)
4Famous quote by Greg LeMond, former hardman and current twatwaffle. (Incidentally, it does not matter how fast you go, but you may never give up.)
5 SCR, Silly Commuter Racing. The sport of gods and kings. See Google for further info.