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  • Shane Pavonetti

    Preach on, brutha. I would rather clean my glasses so I dont crash and take down the back half of the 4/5 field than worry about getting them in the right position relative to my helmet straps when I put them back on.

    • CyclingCraze

      Sir, bikers need more rules. Not less. Rules are to be obeyed, free thinking is discouraged. As a consequence sometimes it’s necessary to crash and take down innocent racers behind you. It’s not your fault if their $10,000 bike falls apart because you obeyed the rules. RULE #3,577: Suck it up biker boy.
      To increase obedience I got the OBEY clothing company to market their OBEY logo on jerseys and shorts. And for rule breakers it’s available in a strait jacket.

      • Ashok Captain


  • Sharon MacLean Leary


  • Chapeau sir! I agree whole heartedly (ok, maybe saying that saddle and bar-tape coordination should be ignored is a reach, but the rest is spot on)

  • To understand the rules you just need a healthy and possibly sinister sense of humor. It’s a joke.
    But I would say that it’s unfair to blame the founders for the lack of character from some douche cyclists.

    • Greg

      True. It was originally satire, making fun of cyclists. I wouldn’t blame the satire for the underlying tendency for roadies to go full douche.

      • Allez Rouleur

        Yes, and if anyone bothered to participate in the Community AT ALL they’d realize a “roadie” and a Velominatus are completely different. Nothing alike. Nobody likes roadies, hence the pejorative. Peter doesn’t understand this crucial difference.

        • Bmstar77

          I like roadies.

          • Allez Rouleur

            I like roadies too! I like just about everyone on a bike (not dangerous/lawless folks). I simply meant I’m not into comparing power data…I’d rather talk bikes, fun routes, etc.

          • Scott No Mates

            Most girls go for the band members….whatever rings tour bell. ;)

        • Michael G-V

          In their defence Yanks don’t understand satire or irony for that matter ;)

          • QuodEratDemonstrandum

            I refer you to Stephen Fry’s excellent diatribe on this topic:

            “if there is one misapprehension about Americans that annoys me more than any other, it is the lofty claim, usually made by the most dim-witted and wit-free Britons, that America is an — ho-ho — “irony free zone”. Let it be established here, this day, that no one, on pain of being designated fifty types of watery twat, ever dare repeat that feeble, ignorant, self-satisfied canard ever ever again. Americans are no more irony illiterate than Britons or anyone else and the repeated assertion (and it is no more than an assertion not a demonstrable provable fact) is no more than a pathetic symbol of a certain kind of Briton’s flabby need to convince themselves of their sophisticated superiority over the average American. Now, don’t feel bad about the fact that you, dear listener/reader have, at some point in the past been guilty of repeating and transmitting this feeble myth, we all have. It’s lazy, easy and gives us a warm glow. My war on the lie begins now, and is not retrospective, so you need not feel ashamed. Only promise never to repeat it. Actually, even if you think it’s true, have the grace to recognise that such a clunking, tedious, oft-repeated cliché is so dull and well-worn that it almost doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not, it’s just plain tedious and only bar-stool bores and dull-witted gibbons would ever think it worth trotting out. Besides, it is ugly, graceless and rude.” ; )


    • Allez Rouleur

      Thank you, Francisco! The Community the Founders have fostered is incredible. Sure, people have their opinions, but NO ONE involved is in any way some elitist jerk. To blame them is misguided.

      I’ve been involved for years and the Velominati have only fostered my love, joy, and reverence for all things bicycle related. They Community has provided me with an immense service, free of charge, and one I’m incredible grateful for. So, to see someone denigrate and blame what they’ve accomplished makes me downright angry.

      • Chris

        No, you’re wrong. This cycling website says that cycling website is ruining cycling. Can’t you see? RUINING CYCLING??!!

      • Lee Price

        They are elitist jerks . whether it pisses you off or not . I’m glad you’ve found belonging , that it a good feeling . peace

  • Seth Adams

    It comes down to this: Are you on the bike and are you enjoying it? If you can answer Yes, then that’s all that matters.

    I do like the rules, but I take them 100% tongue in cheek, and like you, do follow quite a few of them, but in no way should anyone denegrate any other rider for them. Run a stop sign or a light at an intersection? Split Lanes? Take a full lane when you can easily and safely take the right? You and I may have an issue then, but not over the Rules.

    • Allez Rouleur

      And this is why I’m baffled, and annoyed, by this piece. I live in an area with a healthy road, cross, mtn. bike scene. Never, ever have I witnessed someone giving someone else a hard time over sock length or bar tape/saddle coordination. That’s just comical. It simply doesn’t happen.

      Peter is making up a mythical world and blaming some folks in an internet Community. Only if you live in some odd place are cyclists being dicks to other people on bikes. Maybe that is the LA scene, as I very personally think huge conurbations reduce humans to a rat race of one-upsman ship, where you strive to the coolest _______ so you can stand out.

      In my world, I follow the Rules because I want to and yet…I’m on the board of our city’s bike advocacy group and do my best to get everyone, from roadies to folks with DUIs, on a bike.

      Go ahead and try to find one selfish jerk in the Community, I dare you.

      • rudyard ganuelas

        Hear, hear. I once rode with a velominati guy. Once was enough. I haven’t found another velominati, but there are douches in the bunch, just not velominati.
        I’d like to join the velominati, but my love of ankle socks prevent me from doing so.

        • ?ack Dennis?n

          Work in the industry. Hell hath no fury like the Director who saw me riding to work in a National Champions jersey.

      • ericobrien

        By and large, people who ride bikes are awesome. But there is a small population of roadies (and I prefer road racing as an activity) who are just awful to newcomers and “Freds.” I’ve met and raced with them in both Norcal and in the Midwest. They don’t tease people about sock height or saddle color–they just ignore or shun everyone who doesn’t seem to “fit” in.

        The only way to counter that attitude is to crush jerks in races and ALSO treat beginners and others with a lot of courtesy. But you only get to lead by example if you’re off the front.

        Of course, three of these guys have since been banned for doping in master’s races, but that’s another story….

  • Allez Rouleur

    Dear me. My calendar reads March 6, not April 1. You’re looking at this all wrong, Peter. First and foremost, the Velominati are a community of enthusiasts. To view them as anything otherwise is problematic.

    Allow me to speak for myself. I love bicycles. I love the feeling I get from riding them. I love talking about riding and bikes with other enthusiasts. I ride to work, I ride to the grocery, and I ride in full kit on a race bike. I also won’t say more than Hello to a fellow cyclist, or “Do you nee a hand” if they’re stopped and have a puncture, or “Be careful, there is glass on the trail ahead.” To think, because we have tastes and opinions and aesthetic beliefs, that we’re anti-cyclist is misguided.

    You’re blaming a Community of enthusiasts for keeping people out of the sport?! Good lord. Who should be blame for the lack of participation in squash? Sychronized swimming? Log rolling? Goddamn, why not ask elected officials for more protected bike lanes, better infrastructure, a ban on cell phone usage while driving? You’re blaming bike lovers for keeping people off of bikes? That is purely unconscionable.

    We’re a bunch of folks from around the world having fun conversing in an online Community. Blaming us? C’mon now. You’re creating a problem that doesn’t exist. Get off of Twitter. Get out of LA. And go ride your bike.

    • Samaway

      No, Peter is not blaming the Velominati but the “subculture” that uses The Rules as a basis for excluding other riders.

  • Bertrude


    • Allez Rouleur

      Good god. Yeah, let’s reduce an active online Community to one part of their efforts and then smear them. Nice work.

      Incredibly stupid!

      • Bertrude

        Humourless nerk, you’re not a seppo any chance? They don’t need to be smeared, the ‘rules’ with a few exceptions are ludicrous. We’re not pros.

        • Allez Rouleur

          Absolutely no clue what you’re saying.

          • Bertrude

            You need to consult a website

          • Sascha

            Seppo = Septic Tank = Yank ;)

        • calvin

          I figured it out! Bertrude is a Muggle and he/she doesn’t like Americans and Nazis! I consulted a website…

  • Kinetic

    Completely agree with your thoughts on “the rules”. Get out on your bike, be safe and have fun – that’s all that matters. Anything else is pompous BS.

  • HMRoth

    Wise comments but let’s never disregard the fun, wisdom and myriad of uses of HTFU.

    • ebbe

      One such use was when a friend said “Nah, I don’t need to bring a spare inner tube for this gravel ride, because HTFU!” Guess who had to use two of mine within 35k.
      Another was when a friend said “One energy bar should be enough for 120k, because HTFU!” Guess who asked if I had any energy bars left after 80k.
      And I can go on and on with these kinds of examples… Maybe I should have given them a heartfelt HTFU then ;-)

      • Allez Rouleur

        And this is precisely the point. Because someone misinterprets what you say, Peter thinks he can smear them. Rule V is NOT an admonition to act stupidly (don’t care tools to repair a puncture), so to blame the Founders for the choices of an individual is wrong.

        Anyone with critical thinking skills can interpret it as, “Push yourself. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish when you overcome self-doubt.” Thinking thin rubber tires are indestructible is *just* slightly different than that.

        • ebbe

          That’s why I honestly see this whole article as a call not to be a dick about “the rules”, and nothing else. Certainly not as an attack on your community

  • John Regions

    I didn’t realize anyone took that list seriously.


    • Allez Rouleur

      Not quite, so try again. I think, if you ever spent some time there, you’d realize the Community is comprised of some serious individualists with very definitive ideas. Couldn’t be further from that label, but if it makes you feel better, toss it around.

  • Allez Rouleur

    And, I find it comical that this piece is posted here. Umm…Bikes of the Bunch? Are you showing $800 used aluminum bikes with 105? Nah. You’re putting up $10,000 custom carbon bikes with e-shifting. So, to point fingers at another group as being elitist is just laughable. Come off it. That is how the modern world works. There is a niche for everything, a community for everyone.

    The Velominati are not the Beach Cruiser Advocacy Group. They’re a group of seasoned cyclists with a love for bikes, racing, aesthetics, style.

    • Legstrong

      Chill out man. It’s only Monday.

      It is a commentary aka opinion. Not an article.

      • Allez Rouleur

        Fair enough, but I vigorously disagree with this opinion. And, if you knew me, you’d realize I have a long history of not being able to chill out. Well known in the Community Peter has decided to smear.

        • Anon N + 1

          If an individual is offended by someone smearing the velominati community, that individual should zip his/her lip and obey Rule 5.

          • Allez Rouleur

            I wouldn’t go that far, but for someone to seek on an online community and then say/think/blame a bunch of strangers for keeping them out of a sport? That’s crazy. If you are putting that much value into an online forum, you have bigger issues you need to resolve.

    • calvin

      Exactly…PFlax forgot where his hot takez is being published

    • Steak

      Hi Allez – not sure what to say beyond that I hear what you’re saying. And I don’t think I was taking aim at your community. And that for a devotee of a supposedly toungue in cheek resource, you’re pretty touch.
      Peter Flax

    • Michele

      Who created and are the keepers of a bunch of rules from which they now gain commercially from. See alliance with Rouleur.

    • Mike

      The fact that you have to differentiate yourself as a ‘seasoned cyclist’ is, in my opinion, supporting the thrust of this very article. It is that sense of entitlement that might just be putting people off getting into the sporting side of cycling. Style and aesthetics is also open to opinion and interpretation.

      • Allez Rouleur

        In all areas of life, from work to sport to music to fishing, the longer you’ve been at it, the more likely you are to have some accrued knowledge and skill. That’s all I was imply by stating that I’ve been riding a bike daily since 2002. I’m sure you could agree that years of practice to something will give you some skills a novice lacks.

        Also, I find it strange you think a disperse group of folks discussing things on the internet is going to discourage new participation. Doubtful. Also, MOST sports have a barrier of entry. To name a few: golf and the country club fees, sailing and the need for a boat or money to rent one, snow skiing and the amount of money it takes to buy/rent the great and pay for a lift ticket.

        Again, the active Community members are enthusiastic about cycling in all forms; the Rules and a lot of the chatter just happens to be on subset of what we’re interested in.

        Also, again…I volunteer a good deal of time to my local cycling advocacy group and would never, ever try to keep someone off a bike. In fact, I have spent YEARS working to make my city better for anyone and everyone on a bike.

        • Mike

          I’ve also been riding daily since 2002 (yes, I was an Armstrong groupie…) so, by your logic, our views are equally valid? As a number of people have pointed out it’s not online forum chat that is the barrier to new entrants to the sport, but the fact that road cycling is inherently elitist and the Rules, by their nature, perpetuate that.

          Why must we create a barrier to entry in cycling? I got into cycling specifically because it isn’t like golf, sailing, skiing etc……

          Perhaps you think it’s doubtful that it would reduce participation because the ‘community’ which you associate with actively excludes/discourages involvement from people with a different viewpoint (such as those who consider riding a beach cruiser as an equally valid form of exercise/fun as riding a high-end racing bike with matching bits…..)?

          • Allez Rouleur

            When the Rules include “Don’t be a jerk” and also when the most important Rule is essentially “Push yourself beyond what you think is possible” I don’t see it as being elitist at all.

            Also, there are rules and standards in all sports. Tennis – a lot of white clothing and the fans don’t talk/move during points. Elitist?

            • Mike

              Errr….. yes (both in it’s current form and from it’s inception)! This view is also shared by Boris Becker, Judy Murray, and other prominent personalities in tennis.

        • Earl Hoffman

          I’ve been riding a bike daily since 1986. Still get the brush-off by “seasoned cyclists” and, in particular, Cervelo riders, for whom my kit or my steed doesn’t pass inspection. Of course, most of those riders don’t keep up, and at 6’0″ 220# (100kg), I have both quads and biceps of greater circumference than their waists so they at least have the sense not to say anything negative within earshot.

          • Allez Rouleur

            Earl, that’s a shame. I do all sorts of riding, from commuting in street clothes to racing. I’m never dismissive of other cyclists. Even though I live in a pretty heavy cycling area, there still are far fewer than motorists. I do my best to be a good ambassador for the sport.

            Keep on truckin’!

            • Earl Hoffman


              I too do a lot of riding that falls outside “road racing” and the Velominati rules. I cycle everywhere I possibly can, for whatever reason I happen to be out. I have a Croozer cargo trailer for grocery getting. I have a bike trailer I built that carries the three kayaks for myself and my twin sons to the local lakes (3 – 50lb kayaks on a 60lb trailer — good for building those quads, but on the local hills you might have to get out of the top ring occasionally). And in the past year, I built an enclosed camper trailer (6’L x 4’H x 30″W) that weighs in at ~100 lbs, with solar panel, battery, and interior/exterior lighting. I do get appreciative comments from passing cyclists when I’m climbing a 5% grade pulling one of these. I enjoy so much more than the relentless pursuit of top speed and racing, as my present stable of 7 bikes (only two roadies) attests.

          • winkybiker

            You would strike people who say anything negative? Because you are big?

            • Earl Hoffman

              Didn’t say that because I don’t do that. More specifically, I appreciate the intimidation factor. I can hold my own in a verbal dispute, but those tend not to happen because the people who you can tell really want to say something don’t.

              • winkybiker

                You sound like a bully.

                • Earl Hoffman

                  I’m not. Nor am I required to justify myself to you.

  • Legstrong

    Unfortunately, I encountered more and more people who took “the rules” too seriously. I recently broke my collarbone, I decided to take a break to recover and also for not being able to ride safely. Someone preached that I should HTFU. He quoted me a passage from the rule book. SMH. I only abide to one set of rules, racer rules. Does it make you fast? Is it safe? If pros don’t do it then don’t.

    Then there is this rule #21 – Cold weather gear is for cold weather. I saw this more often than other ridiculous rules even to cat 1 racers. People still ride with naked legs even when it’s below 60F. One interesting fact that I found out not too long ago is pros wear knee warmers (leg warmers are prohibited) below 70F (per VN podcast). Cold weather will damage leg muscles. The reason why we don’t feel the cold is due to the legs are less sensitive to cold (ability to feel it) compared to other parts or extremities. Wear your warmers people!

    • ecuadorthree

      How much to wrap up is 100% personal comfort and what you’re used to. If I followed your rules I’d be saoking wet with sweat. My general reference point is if the majority of the ride will be 4C/40F or colder I’ll cover my legs but not if, say I’m doing a very long climb where it’s 2C at the top but 14C in the valley. It doesn’t slow me down and certainly doesn’t ‘damage my muscles’. It’s not that your legs don’t feel the cold, it’s that they’re generating huge amounts of heat because you’re cycling.

      I do wear thick gloves and socks below 9-10C because once my hands and feet get cold they stay cold. It depends what you’re acclimatised to. Where I live there were only 12 days last year where the highest temperature of the day exceeded 21C/70F. I’m sure where you are is slightly different.

      Anyone telling you to HTFU after breaking your collarbone is an idiot though.

      • Legstrong


        Well, you should invest sometime and listen to the podcast.

        It doesn’t matter where I ride, temperature is temperature. Temperature affect muscles. Pro coaches, team doctors and pro riders preach on this matter. Pretty sure these guys know what they are talking about.

        • ecuadorthree

          They skip straight from a general explanation of muscle movement at the molecular level to “wear warmers below this completely arbitrary temperature”. It’s just guesswork. If it works for them, or for you, then great. If it’s so important, why have no other sports figured it out? Footballers play through the European winter in shorts with no spike in knee injuries.

      • winkybiker

        I’m with you. Leg warmers at 60F (that’s about 15 degrees in the civilised world) is simply not an option for me. I’d die of sweat. I’m in full summer kit at 15 degrees. Legs get covered below about 5C (or ~40 degrees in Trumpistan).

      • Phoebe Yang

        For anyone who would say HTFU, I would just point out their padded bike shorts…

    • Superpilot

      Nah they can wear leg warmers dude, they are all over Paris Nice and the early Belgian races this year. I agree about the legs feeling the cold less, wore knee warmers at 5deg c, had chilblains on my shins after that.. It is personal though, some people just don’t worry about it, and that’s fine. Some locals say “below 15 degrees protect your knees” and while that is a little high for me, it is catchy though :)

      • Legstrong

        True. I had quoted the podcast on the leg warmer prohibition until I saw the actual race pics. Their (VN podcast) reasoning was due to leg compression sleeves/socks rule.

        15°C is a reasonable limit IMO. I start wearing the warmers at 60-65°F (15-18°C)

    • Wily_Quixote

      You take medical or sports physiology advice from a group of people obsessed about sock length?

      I’d like to see the epdemiology on cold air ruining athletes’ bodies…

      • Legstrong

        Huh? Velonews obsessed with sock length? I guess??? They review bike related stuffs. What a bunch of freds… TERRIBLE!

        Clearly you don’t read or try to listen the podcast. Dr. Andy Pruitt, who is just happened to be a foremost experts on bike fit and cycling injuries, then there is a coach who happened to study sport physiology, coach pro riders and the host of the podcast not enough for you? Also pro riders who have 24/7 access to their team doctors not enough for you?

        • Wily_Quixote

          Andy pruitt is not a physician and even if he was it doesn’t prevent him from being wrong.

          There is not an overwhelming body of evidence linking cold air with knee injury.

          So, no, it isn’t enough for me.

  • Bobolini

    Caring too much about others’ opinions has always been a societal trap. So of course Rule #5 is the only rule that matters…

  • David9482

    Agreed – Velominati rules suck!

  • Wil

    Fair article. I’ve ridden my bike with Frank and he seems a decent enough bloke. I got the general impression that they’re poking fun at themselves as much as anyone else and that it’s all done with a slightly ironic overtone. To this end, I’ve read the column he does in Cyclist and for the most part they come across as simply enthusiastic – keeper of the rules IS nonsense and I don’t think they pretend it’s anything else.

    I can remember getting a bollocking off the old hand on the club run for not shaving my legs. This was long before ‘the rules’ was a thing and probably delivered in a manner far harsher than anyone would deliver now when quoting ‘the rules’. That’s not to say bollocking someone is ‘right’, just that it happened before and would still happen now if this list didn’t exist.

    Frankly anyone berating someone for not wearing the right gear (in a serious manner) needs to have a word with themselves. The likelihood is that the bloke on your clubrun in the ron hill tracksters running clips and straps has probably done 200km’s in the week and could smash anyone on their carbon bikes to bits. Cycling is in fashion at the moment and the same blokes that would point and laugh at the golf club car park because you’re driving a ford are probably the same ones who point and laugh because you’re on a planet x. The problem is theirs…

    • Allez Rouleur

      And, THAT is the point. Nobody who truly loves cycling AND spends their time in an online cycling Community would EVER discourage someone from riding their bike. That is why this commentary is such BS.

      Yeah, it’s the Velominati’s fault more folks in the U.S. don’t ride bikes. Not the cell phone manufacturers. Not the monster truck manufacturers. Not the malt liquor manufacturers. Not the politicians refusing to build roads with bike-ped users in mind. Nah, it’s the fault of some dudes on the internet.

      • Wil

        Hmmm – having been at a race at the weekend there are some elements to what is being said above. Whilst not directly the result of ‘the rules’ there is a certain clique of people who can make the racing environment quite unwelcoming to outsiders or newbies – which is a great shame as racing is bloody good fun and people should want to do it without feeling that their going to be criticized for what they’re riding or what brand bib tights they’re wearing. Certainly the stand-off’ish ones at the weekend had the MAPP caps worn at the correct angle, socks the correct length and appropriate Oakleys in the latest design. It doesn’t help that Cat 4 is now faster than the Cat 3’s were five years ago but that’s a different argument…

        I think the article is directed more towards the ‘rule enforcers’ than the ‘rule keepers’. You know, the saddo’s who would be telling you your football team is shit and theirs is better, or the ones who laugh because your running trainers are from Sports direct and not the trendy running boutique place.

        I’m pretty sure one of the rules is ‘don’t be a dick’….quite apt I think…

        • Allez Rouleur

          Wil – I respect your views and opinion. I just haven’t seen or experienced that sort of callousness in cycling ever. I’m sure it exists, as it does with everything, but I just have not encountered it. That is why I’m so defensive about a group of amateurs on the internet sharing views, opinions, tales, and history. I can email a stranger around the world and the guy will send me a piece of gear he isn’t using, free of charge. And tell me how to make it work. And thank ME for contacting him.

          In all honesty, if you’re a serious cyclist, you’re spending too much energy pedaling your bike and don’t have enough left to a be a dick to strangers.

  • David9482

    Further, I agree with the author here, most of the rules are stupid and prejudice any new riders. The Code should have 3-5 rules, tops, and they should all focus on riding safe and hard (oh, and helping out new riders where possible). Cycling has long been way too good at excluding people to the point of pushing them away from our sport. This needs to change.


    • ebbe

      The new “cycling tips” (not rules, to prevent fundamentalism)

      1) Obey traffic laws
      2) Be totally self-sufficient
      3) Help others enjoy cycling


      • David9482

        1) On a group ride, ride on the front as much as you can – this isn’t the Tour
        2) This isn’t the Tour, so obey traffic laws
        3) This isn’t the Tour, so help others – give them a draft when possible, never drive the group into the gutter, put on fenders when the roads get messy
        4) This isn’t the Tour, so don’t be a wanker
        5) This isn’t the Tour, so carry your own spares and tools (in pockets or saddle bags)
        6) This isn’t the Tour, so leave high profile wheels at home!

        • Cody Jung

          7) This isn’t the Tour, so don’t attack too early.
          8) This isn’t the Tour, so don’t drop anyone.
          9) This isn’t the Tour, so bring your motor.

      • David9482

        Good start! I added a few, I couldn’t get this under 6 rules, but maybe number 4 should cover all of 4-6. I really think Rule 4 is crucial and covers a lot!

  • Allez Rouleur

    “But that’s what it’s like in 2017. Cyclists telling other cyclists they’re doing it wrong. At a moment in time in which outsiders of many kinds face exclusion or prejudice in our society, this kind of behavior is embarrassingly off-key.”

    Wait. Are you actually comparing a bunch of dudes sharing opinions in an online Community to something such as building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, deporting people on work visas, or telling people which bathroom to use? Really?!

    If so, you’re absolutely living in a world of “alternative facts.” I honestly never thought I’d see real-world insanity (the U.S. President smearing all Mexicans as rapists) and aesthetic opinions on bicycles cross paths. No wonder Frank ignored your request.

    Again, I’m confused why this was actually put up on this site and really confused because it’s not April 1.

    • Stewie Griffin

      Someone has a clear case of sand in vag!na

      • Allez Rouleur

        Grow up.

        • Stewie Griffin

          Don’t be butthurt because someone’s opinion differs from your befriended community. This is not a communist , Turkish or Trumpian forum. It’s a commentary piece, the author has the right to put this up. Don’t be the little screamer shouting at everyone you disagree with the poster, try an adult response without going full troll or full retard. Good luck.

          • Allez Rouleur

            Let’s see, friend.

            Sand. Vagina. Butthurt. Troll. Retard.

            And I’m the one who needs to be more “adult”? Stunning.

            • Stewie Griffin

              I merely adapt my vocabulary to whom it is directed. But you are right, golden rule #1 of the interwebs : do not feed the troll.

            • Michele

              Rule No V

              I’m hardcore; I even used the Roman Numeral!

          • calvin

            Full troll LOL. Allez Rouleur you should go half troll next time. That way Stewie can go half adult with you and leave the sand out of the vag! The comments section rocks!

            • Wily_Quixote

              Yes, ‘sand in the vagina’ and’ butthurt’ are two of the most excellent comments I have read in a long time, a certain air of juvenality (I admit) but formidable putdowns just the same.

              Bravo, Stewie.

    • To be honest, I was going to make the same link (the current US Prez and cycling), but in response to people being surprised that others took the rules seriously… ie if people can take Trump (and other populist politicians like him, eg Hanson in Australia), seriously, then it’s not so much of a stretch for people to take the Rules seriously, and beat others over the head for them…

  • iantthomas

    You had me until the bit about the VeloNews podcast. I’ll agree that taking The Rules at all seriously is absurd. That being said, The VN podcast stated that not wearing legwarmers is stupid not for fashion, but to prevent injury. It’s fine if you disagree, but this article–I think purposefully–misstates their reasoning in order to fit its point. Anyway, wear whatever you want, but being under-dressed for a chilly ride is dumb, not tough.

  • Cody Jung

    Maybe, just maybe… The rules offend those who don’t follow them? I know that they are largely made in jest, but some of the rules are functional, both in utility and aesthetic. I think the main gripe against these rules stems from Western society’s growing belief that everything ought to be allowed. That you aren’t wrong as long as you’re doing what you want. I say that standards are a good thing. Standards make a sport a sport. Thats why FIFA isn’t having any issues with a new wave of footballers asking to use their hands during play. That’s why the ball is still round. I’m going on and on, but sometimes it seems as if this sport (with its technical advancements) is heading away from what it is. I’m getting sick of the arms race. But maybe I’m wrong. Let’s just get it over with and put motors in all of our bikes now!

    • Allez Rouleur

      Precisely the point, which many have missed. Standards! Just like you wear a suit to a wedding, there are certain standards for everything. That is what The Rules boil down to – not putting a gate around the sport, not discouraging others, but saying…look, there are certain standards. And, here are the standards we’ve come to believe in following our XX years of cycling. It is beyond me how any sane adult could misconstrue them as anything else.

      • Cody Jung

        That’s why UCI rules don’t bother me that much. They make our sport, a sport. If you’re going to say you hate dopers, and then show up to the bunch ride on an e-bike, wearing a sleeveless yellow jersey and your helmet backwards, and then not take some advice, well then… yikes.

      • Bob

        It’s perfectly natural that some people take great pride in preparing their bicycle(s) for a ride, while some don’t gain any pleasure at all from a quick wipe of the chain. Some immerse themselves in the history and the traditions, some just throw on some gear and go ride. The standards we set ourselves are our own. Nothing wrong with some standards in my opinion. What I do object to however is a those who seek to create division, to deride anothers perspective. In that respect I find the article rather negative.

      • Nathan

        So are the rules mere satire, or are they upholding standards? You really should get your story straight, and perhaps lay off the cool aid. Your posts suggest Velominati are some sort of cult.. ‘The Community’? Which would be fine if you thought it was just satire….. but you clearly do not. Oh, and far to disturbingly earnest to be a troll.

      • Wily_Quixote

        standards – well that’s the problem then, isn’t it? When people move from etiquette (or safety tips) to standards then all sorts of pompous wankery ensues.

        The rules ought to be taken tongue in cheek except where they discuss cycling etiquette.

        Any earnest commentary or discussion of ‘standards’ beyond what is necessary for safety in a bunch ought to be treated with the contempt that it deserves.

        • ShawnBot

          Good name, by the way.

      • Michele

        Do you know who the keeper of the Wedding attaire rules are?

        I’m going to one in a couple of mouths. Would love to know if what I’m wearing complies or not.

        • Allez Rouleur

          Go for a suit and necktie, I’d say.

    • Superpilot

      I think from reading the article, it is not the rules themselves, it is some riders taking them too seriously and using them to marginalize and taunt other riders, when for the benefit of the sport/hobby/active transport mode/advocation aspect they should be encouraging and assisting instead.

  • John Hughes

    Despite the importance of rules#5 & #9, one must remember the extremely important role played by rule #43. It’s crucial to remember that we are all brothers and sisters in the road. Don’t use The Rules to be shitty to fellow riders…unless they are friends of course, then beat them over the head with them :-)

    • jules

      sometimes the rules are on point and need to be enforced though. take the example of a friend’s brother who took up cycling and rode down Melb’s Beach Road in a genuine-replica yellow jersey. I still crack up in stitches when he recounts the abuse and mocking that the received for it :)

      • Wily_Quixote

        yeah… it is curious, i enjoy the Rules as a tongue in cheek exercise and find it pretty funny but I abhor the elitism referred to in this article.


        I like to pretend that it doesn’t matter what one wears when one rides but every time I see a maillot jaune or world champion jersey or complete team kit or ‘tights + short sleeves’ combo, or white knicks I have a discreet little vomit into my mouth.

        …I think that there must be some fundamental meta-rules that transcend irony or the velomanati and wearing an unearned maillot jaune is one of them.

        • jules

          I think it’s pretty simple. Everyone has their opinions and judges others based on their own criteria. But common courtesy is to keep it to yourself and not mock or exclude that person based on such narrow criteria.

          Unless they’re wearing a yellow jersey of course.

  • Alexander Korotkov

    The rules are supposed to be a fun joke. I think you missed that part

    • I think he got it… it was his concern that others took them seriously.

  • NEcyclist88

    They’re not so much rules as they are signs of obsessive compulsive disorder. If you actually care whether or not another rider has matching bar tape/saddle, then you should probably see a therapist.

  • Christel

    I wholeheartedly agree with you Peter. Your article is speaking to me. I consider myself the minority group you referenced in the article. I’ve been trying to get more folks within my community to join the cycling movement. You hit the nail on the head when you brought up the intimidation factor. Between getting the right bike, the right gears, the right colors, riding like a champ, folks are discouraged to even get started.
    All the above take the fun out of cycling.

  • jogo

    Someone has finally said it in print. Thank-you! I couldn’t agree more. To much snobbery goes on in cycling.

  • calvin

    @PeterFlax by writing this article you are literally doing the exact same thing as the Velominati cofounders that you’re criticizing: which is to be very vocal about your cycling habits (i.e. don’t follow “the Rules”, open your mind and shut your mouth), and rip on people who don’t share in your view (in this case the Velominati and their “empirically stupid” rules).

    Also, isn’t there a whiff of hypocrisy when, if you scroll to the bottom of this article, the related posts are “six tips for wearing a cycling cap properly” and “How to look good on the bike: nine style tips from Brian Holm”?!

    • DaveRides

      Read the Brian Holm one, it’s a good laugh.

    • cnm

      This is exactly what I was thinking. By Peter writing this and CyclingTips publishing it, you achieve exactly what Peter is saying is the issue.

  • tbulger

    the new rules:
    1. don’t be a jerk.

    • ShawnBot

      Yes. Sure. Ha. But:
      – to some the guy junking up their club ride with a Camelbak is the jerk;
      – to others the one showing contempt for the guy with the Camelbak is the jerk.

  • oak

    good job peter
    people who crank on about the rules should just “shut up and ride”

  • cthenn

    Here’s why I don’t take any of this seriously.

    Either A), these “rules” are totally and completely tongue in cheek. Not to be taken seriously at all, but maybe used to poke fun at a riding buddy “hey bro, you’re socks are 2cm too tall, haha!”. I get that, fun and games, yay. Or B), they are meant to be for people who are a part of, or want to be part of this group. Again, maybe it gives people a sense of belonging, something to joke with others about.

    But there is no way in hell some rando is riding around blowing a whistle and admonishing strangers over their choice of kit, or how their bike looks. It just doesn’t happen. Sure, these people may think in their minds how “Fred” other riders look, and how many “rules” they are breaking, but NO ONE is out there “enforcing” these rules. Otherwise, that’s the fastest way to an ass whooping I can think of!

    So really, if you aren’t part of this herd, then why should it bother anyone else? I can make up my own set of “rules”, and if 10 of my buddies think the same thing, then guess what, we have made up a new set of rules which has just as much influence as Velominati’s, IE – zero influence. And frankly, the racers I know who are actually strong riders, and win races don’t care about rules. I have a feeling this group is more concerned with this kind of ancillary stuff because winning bike races isn’t a priority, or achievable.

    • John_Irvine

      Seriously. If anyone gives me grief about my socks, they’ll get a dose of Cinzano from my Silca.

      But I think this is a brilliant article – for increasing CT page views. Well done. Nothing like dissing the Rules to get the fur flying.

    • ebbe

      It happens

      I do generally agree with what you’re written… So this is not meant to argue. But it does happen.

      • Superpilot

        Yeah bro, seen it too, dicks sniggering and taunting, not good!

  • Ritch

    If it’s just Do Your Thing and Open Your Minds, then you shouldn’t care what people think of the Rules. Take them or leave them. I think of them as a bit of a laugh.

    • cthenn

      Exactly. I don’t think even the most hardcore of the rule-followers are out there badgering strangers over their choice of kit. It’s meant to be between other like-minded rule followers, and that is fine.

      • Superpilot

        The article specifically references people who are badgering strangers dude. You may not, and that is cool, but I think the crux of it is the douches who are out there taking it too seriously..

  • Mike

    I actually had someone bellow “descend like a pro!” at me on a sportive. Well, if they could do climbs or flat roads like a pro, they wouldn’t have been behind me to begin with.

    At the bottom of the hill, a cyclist had gone through the windscreen of a van coming the other way – because we aren’t pros, and the road wasn’t closed.

    When your joke puts someone in hospital (albeit because they clearly didn’t realise it’s just a joke), it has definitely gone too far.

    If they’d paid more attention to the organisers warning signs, and less to The Rules, they’d have had a much more enjoyable day.

  • A1Zero

    But the rules did give me the word “twatwaffle,” and for that — I am grateful.

  • Alex

    People seem to forget Rule #0 – Know which rules to follow and which to ignore. Rule #29 (no saddle bags) should clearly be ignored (even Chris Froome ignores this rule) yet Rule #43 (Don’t be a jackass) should be adhered to at all times. The issue is that I see too many people who ignore #43 but will badger you about #29.

  • Keir

    Can we have the Australian Cycling Tips back?

    • Ritch

      CT has bills to pay, so this is the price.

    • lowlander

      Easily the best post in this thread.

      • Keir

        I’m probably being a bit harsh and possibly rude but I don’t mean to be so. I’ve loved CT for a long time but I’m going to be honest, articles like this are pretty average

        • jules

          research shows that the rapid increase in choice facing shoppers today is a material cause of increased anxiety. retailers may believe that offering 12 brands of bathroom cleaner is better meeting shopper’s varying needs, but the evidence is that some people are overwhelmed by the choice.

  • jules

    Velominati is a take on the Illuminati. It’s a joke as we know, but only on riders who don’t see that.

  • I love the spirited debate. I could be confused for a “dad rider” because of my age, and mistaken for a poseur because I ride a pretty slick BMC (that I got for peanuts 2nd hand). On my best days my limit is 50km and I’m pretty slow. I ride with aviators (under the strap), a visored helmet, flat pedals, 28mm pontoons, a short stem that angles up, often with a fanny pack and sport no visible spandex. Maybe it’s a forgiving bike scene in DC because I’ve never heard an untoward word. Then again, other riders are always flying by me so maybe their insults are lost to the wind.

    • Wily_Quixote

      and I thought i was the only reader on this site who missed the whole sock length thing.

      I’m thinking about flats to correct a hip issue that arose after liberal application of rule V in the last 20 years – how do you find them on a road bike?

      • My LBS that fitted the bike put on cheap flat pedals because I wanted to ride that thing after it sat in my basement for two years. I’d never been on a real road bike before and certainly never clipped in. I had him pull the Looks off and swap pedals. They work great for the clearly recreational riding that I do around DC. Also, this was the 2nd LBS I went to for the fitting, the 1st one gave me too much attitude and snorted dismissively when I told them the changes I wanted on it: shorter angled stem, compact bars, comfy seat, and 28mm rubber. An old guy like me couldn’t easily adapt to strict road bike geometry so I was looking to make it comfortable. PS: I have two replacement hips.


        • Wily_Quixote

          Looks kind of rebellious.

        • marc

          whatever get you riding i say! kudos.

    • George Darroch

      Ride your bike, have fun.

  • duanegran

    Nearly everyone I’ve met takes “the rules” for what they are — a set of tongue in cheek statements of faux doctrine that if applied entirely would make someone an absolute caricature of roadie culture. In fact I think it serves a great purpose to help draw out those insufferable dolts who take themselves too seriously so we can spot them from afar.

    I wouldn’t be too worried. People were snobs before this list became popular, but I do agree about the sentiment for everyone to get along nicely. But please, if you do take a photo of your bike at least put it in the big ring and put the pedals at 3/6 o’clock.

  • jules

    Finally, someone has said what I’ve been thinking but too afraid to say for years! The Rules suck. Why can’t we just ride, free of criticism and judgment?

    Especially Rules 34 and 82, I especially find those ridiculous. Sheeple!

  • Wisey

    Best cycling article I’ve read in a long time. Thanks Peter. Be different. If Moser hadn’t we might not be using HRM’s. If LeMond hadn’t, we might not be wearing our cycling specific glasses, using power meters, or even have aerobars on out TT bikes. But cycling socks really should be short….. ;-)

  • Superpilot

    To me, it is espousing the rules to others that becomes the problem. Follow them if you want, don’t follow them. Fashion ‘rules’ have always been there since the days when people copied Coppi (and before). But you don’t need to follow the pros, the Velominati or whoever. The crux of it is that no one should tell you should wear this or do that either.

    For me there are three rules
    -Don’t be a douche to other road users – follow the road rules and bunch etiquette for the safety of everyone
    -Don’t crash

  • barraob1

    I’ve thought of the rules as a tongue in cheek thing. Sad that some people take it as being the absolute gospel and criticise others, when really they should be encouraging people to get on their bike.

  • William Marshall

    Never heard of it. Just had a look. Rule something or other ‘The bike on top of your car should be worth more than your car”. Urrr ok. First and last visit to see that nonsense!

  • winkybiker

    People (including myself) “follow” the rules to a greater or lesser extent. Adherence to certain standards arguably signals ones’ devotion to an aspect of the sport (performance riding and racing). It’s a personal choice that indicates how serious/enthusiastic/fanatical you are. But people who would seriously deride others for not following the same aesthetic (it’s almost exclusively about appearance) simply aren’t people I choose to ride with. Joking about it amongst friends is just fine by me. If you find yourself excluded from a group because of silly “rules”, find nicer people to ride with.

    Meanwhile, over at Ella, there’s podcast about makeup. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up…..

    • Have you listened to the podcast?

      • winkybiker

        No, as the description says it is about makeup.

        • lauren o’keefe

          Then how can you comment on it if you haven’t listened to it? I haven’t as yet but I’m betting it’s not actually about make-up. It’s most likely about the pressure women feel to look good all the time which, in our current society, means wearing make-up even on the bike.

          Having said that, it’s a woman’s choice if she wants to wear make-up or not.

          But now back to your regularly scheduled show…

          • winkybiker

            The cover photo is of a person putting on makeup. The description says it’s about makeup. You should listen to it too, Lauren, before making bets.

            But……I’m listening to it now. I’m about 10 minutes in, and it is almost exclusively about makeup thus far. It’s a group of girls saying how much they value wearing makeup on the bike. They’ve also mentioned doing their nails. One of the girls is so into makeup she has eyeliner tattooed on. The English girl is the only really dissenting voice. I’m not sure I can make it to the end….. Now they’re talking about earrings. Loose quote: “…not all about the makeup….also about the accessories….”. Now discussing lipstick. Where is the bit that isn’t about makeup (or similar)?

            I think it is disgusting that women’s ability to get people to pay them to ride their bikes is likely related to how they look (applies to other careers, too). Isn’t that the point of this discussion? But there isn’t much discussion of that thus far. I’m waiting for the women on the podcast to express their outrage that “looks” matter. They’re discussing this issue now (about 1/2 way through), but the they’re basically simply accepting that “looks matter” if you want to be paid to ride. Their message that it is performance matters most is somewhat diluted by the first half that focussed on how much trouble they went to in order to look good.

            OK, they’re now talking about their responsibility in promoting the teams and sponsors. This is pretty interesting. No clue from the title of the podcast that this would be discussed. Discussions of the need for “positive and inviting” social media presence is interesting, too. Appeal to sponsors is more important than honesty? That is perhaps the world these girls live in.

            They’re now onto hairstyles. I’m always somewhat surprised when pro athletes forgo the “marginal gain” that comes from a functional haircut. Not exclusive to the women’s peloton!

            Full circle now. Back onto makeup and earrings.

            I’m now out of time. I gave it a go. It had the potential to be more than a puff piece (although you’d never know it from the description and cover photo). It could have really discussed the issue of how professional sport is funded, and of the fundamental difference between men’s and women’s experience in this regard. It barely rose above superficial discussion of “looks” and these women’s own practices in this regard. Overall, I’m disappointed.

            • lauren o’keefe

              Finally got around to listening to the podcast.

              Reality is this how women are judged. We grow up being told we’re only valued by how we look. Of course the women in the podcast were talking about make-up, nail polish, earrings and hair styles. According to 99% of companies that’s all women are and that’s how you sell products to them.

              I didn’t think it was just a puff piece. All of them repeatedly said that they all believe that women should just ride their bikes. That’s the most important message in the podcast.

          • winkybiker

            Lauren, didn’t you mean “Having said that, it’s a person’s choice if they want to wear make-up or not”?

            • lauren o’keefe

              Actually, yes, I probably should’ve said person instead of woman. However, within the context of talking a podcast that’s about women’s cycling, it’s natural I wrote “woman’s”

    • spicelab

      The podcast is not about makeup.

      And if you think guys aren’t at least as concerned as women about their appearance on the bike you’re either deliberately obtuse or naive.

      • winkybiker

        The podcast is mostly about makeup. But yes, both guys and girls can be concerned regarding appearance. A story that does not make.

  • RayG

    Like a lot of people but not, I suspect, the founders of that site, you’ve taken it too seriously.

  • Wily_Quixote

    Anyone mentioning or obsessing about ‘sockdoping’ and cycling hats that is not being ironic really is worthy of derision.

  • Christopher San Agustin

    Spot on. Thats why we started Broken & Coastal an independent magazine for cyclists with courage—the non-traditionalists and the rule breakers who dare to live life outdoors. Fuck the rules! @brokenandcoastal

  • Ed Buckel

    The rules were made to be broken!

  • Cam

    Love the rules, I certainly don’t intentionally abide by them or have a care in the world whether others do or don’t, but I find them highly entertaining.

  • Avuncular

    This reminds me of when I played some social golf after I retired. I presented myself at our first game with my 35 year old True Temper shafted clubs, old narrow wheeled buggy and wearing jeans. I was gently chided at the third tee for all this and offered a better buggy and given advice on proper attire and the best carbon shafted clubs to buy. I accepted the buggy, still favour my old steel clubs and wear jeans. I get the idea there are “rules”, etiquette and they can be for sound reasons or just plain tradition. Cycling is now mainstream and was always tribal and people also want to belong. As I’ve got older I’ve realised few things really matter but mostly how you relate to your fellow humans. I still like a well presented bike and pleasing kit.

  • Deryck Walker

    Agree completely. All the rules do is create a tool which allows more social barriers and cliques.
    Who cares what you wear or ride. Let your (hairy) legs do the talking.

    For that matter, who cares how fast or fit you are, just enjoy the ride!

  • Trevor Ratcliff

    Look let’s face it – anyone who took the Rules seriously and then berated others for not following them without HUGE tongue in cheek was either a douchebag, stupid or possibly both. As for me I luv em – despite blatantly disregarding many of them when I choose to. There is some good, sensible stuff in there and there is some plainly silly stuff. You have to work out which is which. No problem.

  • I spent last week mountain biking and it was refreshing to see that it still has a culture of being inclusive and respecting those who can ride, and who are passionate about the sport itself. I love the traditions of road cycling for all of its subtleties, but it’s become a parody of itself with people taking themselves too seriously and too quickly being able to buy themselves into superficial acceptance. I originally started this website to help new cyclists and to break down the barriers, and its evolution is largely led by my own interests and progression into the nuances of the sport. Unfortunately the elitist nature of road cycling seems to be part of its DNA and I do wonder if we’ve been part of amplifying that culture. If it was, it was never intended. We just want to see people riding bikes, and you can do it however you wish.

    • jules

      what I don’t see on CT is photos and articles of ‘everyday’ cyclists in shorts and t-shirt. the site celebrates cycling mostly at the elite end of the spectrum. but there’s a difference between celebrating elite cyclists that fans naturally find interesting and want to read about, and excluding ‘everyday’ cyclists.

      that exclusion is what happens in the ‘real world’ when pretentious people who believe their own BS judge other cyclists as inferior to them, using arbitrary ‘rules’ about sock height and other subtleties that may or may not betray a rider as inexperienced or lacking depth of knowledge about the sport.

      I still remember some douche at a crit watching the women and snorting “pfft.. 35 km/h”. DUDE YOU ARE RACING AT 40. maybe 42 km/h. we are all hubbards in the grand scheme of things.

      there’s nothing wrong with cycling traditions and fashion. it’s only a problem when riders take the next step and assess themselves as superior to others.

      • gregmacc

        I’m with jules … I totally agree with the sentiment of the article but found it’s appearance on this site verging on disingenuous …

    • Nathan

      Hate to say it Wade, but as much as I love it, Cyclingtips is one of the more pretentiuous around… not in all areas of course, but you just have to head over to the Emporium to see what snobbery is: both the price and the product is often so ‘high end’ I sometimes get nose bleeds. That and the bike reviews….yes we all aspire to own a high end bike, but most of us can only drop a few grand on something mid range.Don’t get me wrong, I love drooling over the bling, but perhaps it could time to reassess and get back to basics from time to time?

      • Hey Nathan, I hear what you’re saying and appreciate you being candid. For things like reviewing high end bikes, it’s more of a case of what people find interesting and ‘drool worthy’ and letting the trickle down effect take place. Personally I’d rather marvel and dream while I look at photos and read about a Ferrari rather than the Toyota that I can ultimately afford.

        With the Emporium, I know what you’re saying but we don’t set the prices – the brands do.

        Thanks for the feedback.

        • Nathan

          Thanks Wade – I still reckon there is a place for reviews of ‘lesser’ bikes. By looking at a high end bike review you could be forgiven for thinking the cheaper version with mechanical 105 is terrible, but in fact the differences in quality and ride are often very small. I understand the need to make some coin and the manufacturers don’t really want to promote their cheaper offerings, but the occasional review of a mid range bike just makes sense so people can know their options. Even a comparison, for example, of the full Trek Emonda range from top to bottom. Could be a good feature – consider it broadening your readership. Oh, and though you may not set prices in the emporium, you do choose the products. That’s cool though – I’m just here for the articles : )

          • In my opinion the best reviews we’re able to produce are the ones that compare two different models from a brand. Brands won’t often let us compare their bikes to another brand, but comparing the same brand and two different models at different price points works nicely. As an example:


            However, these are not easy to pull off. Brands often don’t have two test bikes that we can use at the same time, and they’re often only the high end ones. We take what we can get in most cases. But I do get your point and we try our best.

            • jules

              You need to do what car magazines do and promise to assess the competing models by saying “In the end, it was hard to split them.. ” They will let you do it then.

        • George Darroch

          I actually like that this site only shows quality bikes and gear. There are plenty of places on the internet and in print where you can find dross which brands are keen on marketing.

    • Marcus

      I joined cyclingtips for their morning rides at the tour down under. I must admit that I was very apprehensive before going to the first one thinking that it would be elitist and snobby for want of a better term. I had nothing to worry about and my fears couldn’t have been further from the truth. I was made to feel very welcome and loved the rides.

      I can’t think of one website, magazine or cycling body that has furthered my love of cycling and the sport of cycling than cyclingtips. Some may see you as elitist, but my experience is quite different.

      • jules

        I think the snobby road cyclist is exaggerated into a bit of a myth sometimes. We’ve all met them, but they’re not the norm. Sometimes you can be led to believe that.

      • I couldn’t be more happy to hear that Marcus. As Jules says below, the snobbiness is sometimes exaggerated but I’ve definitely experienced it before. Glad to hear we don’t perpetuate it in person.

  • Michael

    Love the rules. Many of them were handed down to us in the ’70’s from worldly and experienced riders. They made sense, we looked good and represented our sponsors well. We were slow as hell, I still am. Still a romantic at heart for my shorter socks, white tape, non black bike, cap not hat, warmers on under 65 degrees. But whether I love them and others will go to cycling hell for not obeying, I keep my mouth shut. Being a mean jerk is just that, believe what you want, just ride.

  • Richard Lamb

    I too was a victim of the rule when I first started road riding years ago now.. Today I swapped my white saddle for black with a mismatched bartape.. it didn’t bother me and damn it felt good!

  • Michele

    I love riding my bike. For the past 12 months I’ve done a bit of a cycling experiment.

    I have refused to wear Lycra whilst riding.

    I wear “inner-city” cycling shorts with built in chamois and button-up shirts. On a hot day I might even have the whole shirt unbuttoned.

    I don’t shave.

    My $6,000 bike uses Shimano MTB pedals. I wear sneakers with the compliant built in cleats.

    No strava, no gps, no trip computer.

    A couple of observations:
    1. I love riding my bike as much as I have ever done.
    2. I feel stronger on my bike than I ever have.
    3. I assume I don’t “look like a proper” cyclist, because the amount of abuse from motorists seems to have dropped off significantly.

    4. The amount of ridicule and disdain I receive from fellow cyclists has gone up exponentially.

    Doesn’t bother my in the slightest. I’m having a ball riding my bike. You don’t need rules.

    • Love this, Michele. Ride on.

    • cthenn

      3 and 4 are both hilarious and sad.

  • jonowee

    As a mountain biker that inched into the road online community, The Rules kept popping up. First few times looking it up were fine, I could pick the tongue in cheek in it. Then I too hated The Rules and anybody indoctrinated enough to reference The Rules in any hint of serious factual capacity.

    No. It’s not funny anymore to even sarcastically feed Rules trolls, you’re giving ammo to these bullies to perpetuate The Rules as fact onto more impressionable peers.

  • Daniel Holt

    If people are using “The Rules” to denigrate or exclude people for fashion purposes, then that’s a bit rubbish, but that’s not what I’m seeing on the road. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone on the road being directly put down to their face due to a fashion choice, although I will admit for ripping on people to my mates for wearing pro kit, usually because that’s typically a good sign that that is a rider that’s about to cause a crash.

    That said, I don’t agree that we should all just let everyone ride and not ever try to educate newer riders in a bunch on how to ride. The Rules do contain some important guidelines and if they get newer riders thinking about certain key elements of cycling, then I’ll take the risk of those newer riders feeling slightly shamed for their kit choice. Maybe the Rules just need to be re-arranged to put more focus on those rules that really need to be followed against those that are just part of the tradition, and jettison those that do not belong (don’t ever get out of the big ring, slam stem, no saddle bags. There are some that are really counterproductive).

    Anyway, here are the rules that I would say should absolutely be adhered to:

    Introduce yourself, don’t play leap frog, don’t be a jackass, hold your line, don’t ride with earphones, be self-sufficient, don’t half wheel, don’t surge.

    Probably add something in there for lights as well.

    Maybe CyclingTips could put out their own “Rules of Cycling” as a counter to the Velonimati’s “Rules”?

  • Don Lee

    Ugh. Lighten up. It’s tongue and cheek. Besides, they have a point about sleeveless jerseys.

    • Michele

      If Robbie McEwen couldn’t get away with them, no on could!

  • duckingtiger

    If some of you have ridden outside the English speaking world, you might be surprised how people dress and ride and buy their bikes. Nobody in Thailand, where I live for example, cares about the Rules. Some people wear tank top and scale steep hills like a boss and then some. Most rich people dress up their bike with Lightweight wheels and Rotor Q Rings (for whatever reasons), wear black shoes with white socks. Some wear knee-length and compression socks! Some wear Rapha from head to toe in non-matching color, yet will outsprint anyone anytime of the year. My coach wear an Aloha shirt to win a fiercely competed night criterium, while the rest went all-aero kit. It’s all part of the fun no?

    Those that take the Rules to the extreme, well you know who to not make friends with. The rules are meant to be ironic and inside joke and a little bit of style guideline as well as motivational ideas. The article clearly takes aim at the Velominati bunch – if you have to go that far clearly you are missing something. Why so serious? jeez

  • saimin

    I am glad that a certain magazine dropped its “style man” snob column. There is a certain blog with “snob” its name that I think is about as useful as the Velominati rules.

    However, if not using leg warmers in cold weather really is causing tissue damage, that is dumb, not style.

  • Bmstar77

    What a lot of over-reaction! ‘The Rules’ is mainly just fun, with a few thoughtful bits thrown in. HTFU – reminds me to stop complaining (so much). The ride starts on time – reminds me not to faff about and waste other people’s time. But you don’t have to take it so seriously – it’s just a book. And, yes, there will always be people who overdo it a bit and who deserve a good mini-pump beating, but in what walk of life is that not true?

  • Blokman

    Peter you’re too serious . I take the whole thing tongue in cheek. Some rules work others don’t. I don’t shave my legs and I have a saddle bag. I think that often it also works the other way round. The guys that don’t follow have a snigger at the bloke with everything in place. Many people don’t know that there is actually a book as opposed to just the rule and a few sentences explanation. Each rule discussed in detail. It’s hilarious. And some more serious , like keeping your line for example.
    With family around, cycling, cyclists and their strange ways always come up for discussion. We’ve had hours of fun with this book.
    This weekend in Cape Town South Africa we are riding the biggest timed cycle race in the world. 35000 Cyclists. The rules never stopped anybody.

  • Kevin Jackson

    Chapeau Sir, Chapeau!
    I absolutely agree with EVERY word!
    At 54 I don’t need anybody telling me that I am doing it wrong. I am enjoying and keeping safe and warm when required. What does concern me is where all the polite and friendly shouts of ” Good Morning” have gone. Or the nod and wave to ANYBODY on a bike.
    Maybe I am just tooo old fashioned and polite. And I think the original rules were just a bit of fun.
    But being an old guy and cycling in England…. its all about staying warm or dry.. or warm and dry.
    Great article though. Thanks for standing our corner.

  • Martin O’Brien

    Non non non non no!
    Follow only the rules no.1 through until no.10. These are indeed the commandments and contain EVERYTHING you need to be great>
    Beyond rule 10, you venture into the territory of the cycling nerd/idiot/newbee, having your fragile ego and desire to belong backed up by set of dick rules. Who IS that up the road?

    • George Darroch

      Agree. And of those, 5, 6, 9, and 10 are the more important ones. 2 and 3 are about helping others, not spitting down on them.

  • 2wheelsandme

    The comment section here is very reminiscent of whats going on politically in the States right now, Division. Silly that some are so ardently defending the “Rules”

    I might naturally fall in place with most of the “their rules” only after racing and riding for so many years…but now I’m thinking of making an ironic break from them just to be contrary.

  • Mark Wells

    It’s ironic.

  • Fabian

    Reading this I can’t help but feel that the author is taking things waaaaay too seriously. He may have his “own sense of style and tradition and cycling etiquette” but apparently has lost his humor somewhere along the road… The rules and their references to cycling culture are obviously meant to be funny. I can’t fathom how someone would take them seriously. Getting upset about such a homepage seems rather small-minded to me.

  • ChrissyOne

    Thing is, the Rules are a test, to see if you have a sense of humor.
    It’s a test that you failed.

  • Francis R

    People will take The Rules to heart just like following their beloved Rugby League or AFL. Utilise what you want from it but don’t diss it, or it all may eventually break down..

  • Lee Price

    Yep , what can I say . do what you choose . you know the truth , practice what you preach . become the change . easy peasy lemon and squeezy . peace

  • Praise be to the cycling gods and amen. While The Rules don’t deserve all the blame and we should be free to enjoy our cycling clubs, we need to tear down what The Rules have come to represent. I have worked in bicycle advocacy for 8 years (road & mountain) and the number one excuse/complaint I get from people as to why they don’t ride/volunteer is that they look at cycling culture and “don’t see themselves.” I’ve had 30-mile/day commuter riders say “oh, I’m not a bicyclist because [insert Velominati rule].” I had to work on my husband for years to get him to ride road bikes with me and feel OK doing it in baggies and hiking tech tees. All I care is that he’s out there with me, not that we’re in matching kit! I think The Rules used to be hilarious but then something happened. I don’t know what, but I think the gravel bike culture is helping to undo it a bit — more adventure- and social-focused. More acceptance of “come as you are.” Yeah, it might be kind of hipstery, which puts up its own barriers, but it’s at least opening new bike worlds for new people. Ride on, y’all.

  • Lee Price

    Defending or denying bad behaviour , to uphold the good results and sense of belonging ?

  • Schmuck123

    If you are bothered by the Rule, or if you preach them all the time, you are taking yourself too seriously.
    I would not care about what people wear and if they shave or not, but behavior can bother me. I dislike a wheel sucker who appears from nowhere and get stuck on your wheel for 50 miles and does not even bother to introduce him/herself. I always comment about the quick release and tire positioning, because it is safer and will help you to locate the puncture when you are tired and pissed off.
    For god sake you should also read, but not entirely follow the European cyclist rules http://cozybeehive.blogspot.com/2008/04/official-rules-of-euro-cyclist.html.

  • Jimbo99

    I don’t ride with clubs, too many riders that clog traffic for motorists and then there are flats & crashes in the group. If they wanna ride with me fine, I don’t discourage a smaller group. I don’t carry tools and spare bike parts. In a pinch, I can get to a Wal-Mart for a tube and any other parts I need for a flat. The rest of the bike rarely if ever fails either. Clothing, I wear what is visibly seen better than others. Helmet, I wear a kids $ 7.50 Mongoose MTB hat for road & trail use. It’s arctic camouflage with good venting.

  • ericobrien

    I made this point in 140-characterland, but I’ll try to be more clear here: when they were first released, The Rules seemed both an homage to old-school cycling AND a satire of that same culture. The Velominati initially expressed both reverence and irreverence, mocking themselves for their own love of an esoteric and marginalized sport.

    Now, however, that very esoteric self-mockery is missing when snobs cite the rules literally. That kind of language and behavior is perfectly acceptable within one discursive community: it’s okay to good-naturedly tease a close friend who has ridden thousands of miles for decades and knows “The Rules” when she breaks a rule. But outside the community of the initiated, The Rules make no sense and serve to marginalize newcomers.

    The esoteric nature of The Rules that make them so damn funny to insiders is exactly what makes them hurtful to the community at large–but many jerks enjoy bullying others rather than sharing the jokes.

  • Hank Moravec

    Its the strangest thing. I’m two years into being an enthusiast. I don’t really understand the theme in cycling where there is a significant segment of the sport that actively is upset at the fact that anyone can buy high performance equipment and use it. I mean, I am by no means a car enthusiast, I like a nice car as much as the next person, but I never put a dent in my budget to get the most high performance car I could afford.

    But, if someone wanted to do that good for them. And, of the people I know who are car enthusiasts do not begrudge people who can afford expensive cars or car collectors who can afford many of them.

    Its just odd to me that a cycling enthusiast can be upset as someone else buying the latest $10K plus race bike. I get maybe feeling a bit sad that maybe you can’t afford it, but why would you care if someone else could afford it?

    And the same goes for the Rules guys. They are obviously, so obviously obsessive compulsive that it screams off the page. But so what? No one taking up cycling even has the slightest idea that these guys exist.

  • JustinNL

    I can understand where the writer of this article is coming from and to a certain extent I agree.

    The sport of road cycling could be viewed as a subculture within the sport of cycling but then there are even subcultures within road cycling. The Velominati and their followers are one, but you could argue that so is Rapha. Rapha has created a subculture around something as simple as cycling clothing. Strava has it’s own followers as well. Actually isn’t cyclingtips itself even propagating a subculture with their Veloclub?

    So to a certain extent I agree that cycling sometimes isn’t doing itself any favors by creating subcultures within subcultures, but I don’t believe that’s entirely a bad thing. Of course if it’s pushing would be cyclists away from an otherwise amazing sport, then yeah, that really sucks. The fact is people will always feel the desire to belong and that’s a good thing. Instead of blaming one group or another maybe we should focus on creating a better cycling culture in general by propagating the aspects of the sport that brought most of us to it in the first place.

  • Rider_X

    Why waste time reading rules when you can be out riding? This should be the only rule.

  • Denny Burkes
  • A Reasonable Man

    The funny thing about the list is that it’s humans who talk about it. Which means it will be used and misused in many different ways, none of which are universally wrong or right.

  • Bikes And

    Great podcast conversation with one of the Velominati authours might make you think differently – http://bit.ly/2iUHhHK

  • Mike

    I’m not sure what’s funnier. That 1) there are ‘rules’ 2) that people think they’re to be followed scrupulously (tips are useful and OK) or 3) that Peter felt the urge to respond to them. What ever happened to ‘get stuffed’ to anyone who was cramping your style? Life’s too short…Just get /keep riding!

  • Wily_Quixote

    Actually in the real world skinny guys with stick arms, perfect tans, matching spandex, white shoes and heightened fashion outrage don’t get to dictate terms to other men.

    Unless it’s an actual race and liberal amount of V is being lavished upon you, or it’s a bunch ride and your poor etiquette is threatening the safety of the bunch, their opinions are of no import.

    Wear that camelback, let your leg hairs grow, use MTB pedals.. you really worried about taunts from those with sock anxiety?

  • Benny Watson

    “It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment I started hating ‘The Rules’ and everything they represent.”

    That would be approximately the same moment as when you completely lost your sense of humor. Rule #5.

  • George Darroch

    Most of the rules are advisory and to be selected from with care. Wear your aviators, just do it with style.

    Rules 5, 6, 9, and 10 are important though. Most people go home before they get to the good stuff.

  • Nik Martin

    Totally agree that it’s got out of hand, but the reference to the Velonews podcast where they talk about leg warmers is something completely different. Those guys were using science to back up a claim that training with bare legs in cold weather is harmful to your muscles and therefore detrimental to training. Not a slavish adherence to rules or trying to be cliquish, just common sense.

  • Samuel Godfrey-Mayes

    So what your saying is that you ride with asshats. Those asshats will have been asshats prior and way after The Rules. It just so happens that they are using their interpretation of the website as a justification for their behaviour. It’s like saying all BMW drivers are tosspots. It’s a silly slippery slope argument at best.
    As someone who enjoyed the content that Strack and the crew put out so much that I have it tattooed on my body, the community is a tonic to the way that road cyclists take their riding and training far too seriously.
    As our Lord Merckx once said: it doesn’t matter how you ride, just ride. Yes, I know how ridiculous this sounds. Yes, that’s why I love the Velominati.

  • Paul Miska

    I’d honestly recommend reading the book of “The Rules” to realize how not seriously these guys actually take themselves… If anything I commend them for finding a very humorous way to look at the history of cycling and some of our inane traditions. If you are reading “The Rules” in isolation, and not looking at any of the other articles or writing they have done, then yes, you will miss the point. They are the cycling equivalent of Mel Brooks, skewering all of the stupid traditions that so many of us all embrace, while willfully ignoring others.

    As with so many things, looking at things out of context misses the point. No, their take on cycling is not a universal, nor do they seem to think it must actually be. They are usually pretty good about making fun of their own choices to violate the rules. More often than not as well, those violations come down to the same central point… Get out there and ride your damn bike, and have fun doing it however you chose and are able.

  • Franp

    It look very ironic that some Aussie guy pretend to be the messenger of cycling style…..ahahah

  • cogpv

    I miss the days when I wore nothing but boxer shorts and pedaled with bare feet on rubber pedals.

  • cogpv

    Parade costume: bib overalls, straw hat, hoodie, work boots, and an antique cruiser bike. Did I mention leather gloves?

  • Gene Rossini

    Regarding your “Commentary: Forget the Velominati’s
    Rules, you’re not doing it wrong”:
    In a word, Amen. The pretentiousness of a vast group of cyclists has made
    me turn to riding by myself to once again enjoy the ride.

  • Ethan Smith-Gillespie

    Great piece! Love seeing the different opinions and perspectives here. For me, cycling is all about having fun and challenging myself. What I love about Earn Your Name, is that it embodies the idea that cycling styles are as unique to each rider as their name. Connect with Strava and give it a try! http://EarnYour.Name

  • Mark Schroeder

    Trust the Americans to miss the humour

  • marc

    Someone needs a sense of humour.

    How any can take a set of rules seriously which includes “Six tips for wearing a cycling cap properly” beats me.

    Anyway, anyone using the rules to berate others is ignoring Rule #43 // Don’t be a jackass. !

    (And I note this site has the rather rules-esque article “Six tips for wearing a cycling cap properly” !!!)

  • Jerry Nepon-Sixt

    The only time I tell a cyclist they’re doing it wrong is when they’re careening at me in a bike lane riding against traffic. But that’s more of a road rage issue. The “rules” seem to me to be great satire, and if someone takes them at all seriously THEY have a problem.

  • Michael Brosilow

    Wait…..there are rules?!?!

  • my shaved legs

    It’s quite easy to pinpoint the exact moment I started hating “The Rules,” which happened to be the first time I read them.

  • Paul Gamble

    I don’t think the problem lies in the rules but those that are trying to impose them on others and how they do so. Much like religious zealots who believe you must practice exactly their way or you are wrong. I also believe that too few people have read the context of some of the rules and just read the rule itself. As said in the article, some are practical, some are light-hearted, and some don’t make sense if you don’t have your own personal support vehicle with you on every ride.

  • SlowJoeCrow

    I always viewed the the Velominati’s rules as more parody then dictum. If you feel the need for guidelines, Bike Snob’s serious material is much better.
    I really like Bike Snob’s characterization of roadies as the old order Amish or Chasidim of cycling preserving the old traditions and funny fashions.
    Personally I don’t care much since I proudly rock a seat pack, although I do consider a sleeveless Jersey and arm warmers irredeemably dorky.
    Some “rules” do make sense like putting the hot stamp on your tire by the valve stem and tucking in your QR lever. These have a practical basis and are both a sign of craftsmanship and an indicator of attention to detail, a properly lined up QR is more likely to properly tightened as well.
    Some stuff is also about courtesy like having a decent sized rear mudflap on winter group rides and not overlapping wheels.

  • Don’t be a rule hater.

  • Paul van den Broek

    My clothing and bike are according to these so called rules, only and just only because I LIKE IT. And just to anoye these velominatie people I weare normal small sunglasses that just fit my eyes. They are way more cool. I also have 2 very large bidons on my bike, because I don’t want to get dehydrated, because of some stupid rule (one should only have 1 500 ml bidon)

  • randal

    I think they could have made it a little more clear by creating a Rule 0: Thous shalt not be an asshole about The Rules. Except for someone who can’t change a tube on their machine. They DO deserve mocking! ;)

  • randy mccumber

    I ride to commute, for exercise. and to cruise those county dirt roads. I usually wear a bright t shirt jeans and a pair of 510s and either jeans or a pair of cargo shorts. I wear a funky matte orange non aero helmet. I don’t give a rat’s ass what you wear. Of course maybe that’s why I ride alone, although I do enjoy the peace and solitude. just get on your damn bike and ride.

  • James Belford

    You’ve taken your own crap internet and life experiences, and projected them onto a bunch of other unrelated people, just like peole who gave you these bad experiences in the 1st place.

  • A little ironic from a site that publishes “Six tips for wearing a cycling cap properly” and “How to look good on the bike: nine style tips from Brian Holm” … I like many of “The Rules”, but I’m not a slave to any of them.


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