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The New Testament

You've probably heard of The Rules compiled by the Velominati. They've had an influence on many. The Rules took the cycling world by storm and eventually became a book; if it was adapted to a movie, it would have to star Charlton Heston, if he's still alive [...googling...] ok, Tom Hanks, who doesn't have the desired gravitas but does have experience in film treatments of Dan Brown novels.

The Rules are decidedly old school, which is fine if you're a traditionalist, not so great if you're not so reactionary. You can't just write your own: an authority figure is required to impart them with the necessary stature, as prophets of all persuasions have realised over the years.

I am in possession of The Sacred Etch A Sketch. For those unfamiliar with the regular old consumer version of this device, it is a pre-iPad era tablet, back when if you wanted to see anything on the screen you had to resort to DIY. The Sacred Etch A Sketch was discovered by myself one day in a charity shop.

When I first beheld it in my hands the screen was blank, but not for long; that night I must have entered a trance state, because the next morning this new set of rules had appeared.

A bit wary – and if I'm honest, unwilling to shoulder the responsibility of transmitting this information to the masses – I immediately erased it and taped down the knobs for good measure. Not to be deterred, come that night His Eminence once more induced a trance to repeat the exercise, this time forcing me to eat a fish pie afterwards to teach me a lesson. Readers, the pie made me sick, but it humbled me, which was the point.

If any of these rules do not sit right with you, please remember not to shoot the messenger. Kindly direct any foul oaths to the heavens.

THE RULES – NEW TESTAMENT
Of course they're meant to be taken seriously. That's why the heading is in all caps.

#1 - Cycling is about freedom
That includes freedom from being told what cycling should be about. Let's call this the Golden Rule. In fact, this list could almost end right here.

#2 - Forgive those who trespass against you
Even if they're driving a white van. But get their number plate first.

#3 - Harden the F*** up, C***
This one was in the Old testament, but has evidently been hardened in honour of Bradley Wiggins. (It's NSFW; work is Not Safe For Life.) A little tough love from above to prepare you for the school of hard knocks.

#4 - Matching, smatching
Just as it's OK to wear socks that don't match (more of a life rule), there's no prohibition against components which don't photograph well. Dilettantes, see rule #3.

#5 - Faster isn't always better
Being a rouleur is fine. Tours de France are fine. Even commuter challenges are fine, if they keep you out of trouble. Any activity which pits your muscles and wits against competitors is fine; it may even be sublime, at times. The need for speed should not infect those who have other needs, and who may be perfectly happy pootling from A to B without making a Strava segment out of it.

#6 - The correct number of bikes to own is X
X is however many your partner or roommate or mother will let you own before they turn into an Ex (excluding mums, hopefully). Relationships are more important than bikes.

This rule has a corollary, The Rule of Acquisition. If you have a partner, keep her or him informed about major purchases.

#7 - Wave
Note that you don't literally have to wave. A half smile is also OK, as is a raised eyebrow. It's not a touchy-feely validating exercise; it's about being receptive to our shared – and on a bike, much more visible – humanity. Or something.


source

Don't forget pedestrians and motorists; this is known as maintaining good relations with civilians. Situational of course, else you might never get any riding done for the sake of all your ambassadorial duties. 

#8 - Weave
That's right: filter. My understanding is that this isn't so much a diktat as it is divine permission for those trained to hold the line no matter what. Not only is it your right as an enhanced road user to insert yourself into interstices, perhaps throwing in the occasional wobble to show you're only human, but inhabiting the space between things will help you experience the full joy of cycling.

#9 - The pockets rule
If you wear a conventional jersey, don't put anything in the pockets which you wouldn't want in your back should you come off and land the wrong way. Preferably don't buy a jersey which has pockets you don't need. Wear whatever is comfortable, of course; but don't assume that just because it's in a bike shop, it belongs in your closet as well.

#10 - Shaving
If you shave your legs, don't use your wife's or girlfriend's razor. Women, however, are permitted the use of any damn razor they want. They can also wear your shirt, while they're at it.

#11 - Support your local bike shop
Only if it isn't staffed by people trying to sell you stuff you don't need, and doesn't have cute signs in the workshop that say they charge more for labour if you want to watch or help.

#12 - Earbuds are not the devil's earwax
It's your head, fill it with what you want. Cyclists don't have bat ears that they depend on to find their way in the world, and so are free to carry a tune.

Ears are keen, but the eyes have it.

#13 - Helmets
There is no blessed guidance on this. See rule #1.

#14 - Thou shalt not be be a bike snob
In public. In private, be anything thou pleaseth. Shaming others onto the consumer conveyor belt is not cool. (His Eminence still uses words like "cool".)

#15 - The Quicksilver Rule
Don't feel compelled to watch anything just because 'two wheels good'. Kevin Bacon called his courier caper "the absolute lowest point of my career." Even those not closely related to Bacon by a casual chain of encounters felt the sting of a bike-themed movie belly-flop. When Pee-wee Herman can win more hearts and minds by doing this than employees of the Quicksilver Express can doing this, it's time to remind everybody of the unnumbered Breaking Away rule: Breaking Away is and always will be the best bike movie ever made.

#16 - Don't litter
Also a holdover from the old testyment. If you've insisted on buying jerseys with pockets, put that crap in there.

#17 - Don't call
Wrong rules. Still, it shows how popular rules are.

#17 - Cycling is about freedom
A little repetition goes a long way.

 

26 comments

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fukawitribe [1585 posts] 1 year ago
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If only we could get #5 ingrained into a few more skulls, this will have been worth it...

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Ducci [89 posts] 1 year ago
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Hen pecked man makes new rules, no wonder his clothes don't match  4

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Izaak30 [129 posts] 1 year ago
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Please tell me that the etch-a-sketch picture is fake!

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paulrbarnard [182 posts] 1 year ago
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Ducci wrote:

Hen pecked man makes new rules, no wonder his clothes don't match  4

And claims it's freedom  41

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therevokid [929 posts] 1 year ago
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the rest of the office now think I'm completely mad as I sit
here chuckling away to myself ...  1

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deblemund [263 posts] 1 year ago
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Having been told off for using his wife's razor. Actually, Sam might be a Samantha, so I'll shut up.

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parksey [343 posts] 1 year ago
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A good read.

Hopefully everyone will take it in the light-hearted manner in which it is intended...  17

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Maggers [55 posts] 1 year ago
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Pretty sure there'll be some angsty sense of humour malfunction somewhere in a reply.

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NickK123 [93 posts] 1 year ago
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Brilliant - love it. Surprised it has not been done before. My memory of the Etch A Sketch was that it promised so much and delivered so little! I do remember though on TV an art class being given some and turning in some surprisingly good results (may have been a James May toy programme?). That said, I am not sure that they were quite of the 'handing down the commandments' level, as shown above!

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only1redders [63 posts] 1 year ago
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#7 is one of the main reasons I love cycling. A little wave, nod of the head or a smile always fills me with a bit more energy. Stopped to lend someone a pump the other day after they suffered a puncture in Richmond park - that was definitely my good deed of the day

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barbarus [235 posts] 1 year ago
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Very good, very funny. Thanks!

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workhard [397 posts] 1 year ago
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Better these rules than those rules I reckon.

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truffy [653 posts] 1 year ago
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only1redders wrote:

#7 is one of the main reasons I love cycling. A little wave, nod of the head or a smile always fills me with a bit more energy. Stopped to lend someone a pump the other day after they suffered a puncture in Richmond park - that was definitely my good deed of the day

On my bike I actually got a nod from a three-team power training. Made me feel good as I was feeling lousy.

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harman_mogul [220 posts] 1 year ago
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Disagree profoundly with #17. Girls, do call, but choose your moment, esp if the chap is married.

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Beatnik69 [298 posts] 1 year ago
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#6 surely x=(s-1)  39

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Beaufort [270 posts] 1 year ago
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Who chooses to live by rules ? All in jest, yes but...

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kevinmorice [76 posts] 1 year ago
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Why do cheap journalists insist on plagiarising a perfectly good humorous site? The rules at velominati.com are funny enough, leave them alone you cheap hack.

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Joeinpoole [439 posts] 1 year ago
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kevinmorice wrote:

Why do cheap journalists insist on plagiarising a perfectly good humorous site? The rules at velominati.com are funny enough, leave them alone you cheap hack.

Nasty. Anything can be adapted or improved upon. I prefer these rules to be honest.

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shay cycles [319 posts] 1 year ago
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kevinmorice wrote:

Why do cheap journalists insist on plagiarising a perfectly good humorous site? The rules at velominati.com are funny enough, leave them alone you cheap hack.

Plagiarising? I don't think so.

Satirising more like.

And if ever there was a cheap shot surely it was your opening and close.

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PhilRuss [370 posts] 1 year ago
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[[[[[[ See that movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still" ? (the excellent original) Well, there's a modern remake, and it's utterly pointless.

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Initialised [289 posts] 1 year ago
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Where was thou shalt stop and help thine fellow velocipedestrians lest they be lacking in the divine craft of the fettle unlest thou art pursuing greatness and in the eyes of the almighty Strava?

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stealth [254 posts] 1 year ago
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"My memory of the Etch-a-Sketch was that it promised so much but delivered so little"

A bit like the modern interpretation??

I would take issue with the earbuds, much like I take issue with being able to 'social media' whilst you drive...
A distraction at best, fatal at worst.
I would also take issue with the "Weave" rule, don't do it in a group. Idiot.

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Sam Walker [67 posts] 1 year ago
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IMAGE(http://www.anothercyclingforum.com/pics/earthreply.jpg)
The Day the Earth Stood Still

Thanks for the comments. Some negativity was to be expected – I'm sure many prefer the campy 60s Batman, for example, to the dark reimaginings. Remember, I didn't ask for this. I'm just grateful to have made it through the experience alive. So far.

IMAGE(http://www.anothercyclingforum.com/pics/etch4horsemen.jpg)

The upcoming Wen to Wen ride would be the perfect opportunity for me to be smited (spellcheck says smitten, which is subject to misinterpretation); one of the four horsemen could have his moment in the bleak sun.

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abudhabiChris [692 posts] 1 year ago
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If you see beyond just The Rules, the Velominati site is in general less Reactionary and more Purist. It's not meant to be Old Testament etched in stone.

Good writing is much appreciated, humour abounds, the comments and the commentariat are in general extremely civilised, and there are no emoticons, even in punctuation form.

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giff77 [1221 posts] 1 year ago
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stealth wrote:

"My memory of the Etch-a-Sketch was that it promised so much but delivered so little"

A bit like the modern interpretation??

I would take issue with the earbuds, much like I take issue with being able to 'social media' whilst you drive...
A distraction at best, fatal at worst.
I would also take issue with the "Weave" rule, don't do it in a group. Idiot.

Ah, but the weaving is to be conducted whilst solo amongst the traffic to keep those pesky motorists alert. As for the earbuds. Well they exist to help drown out the horns of anger in the ensuing wake of chaos. My personal choice is 'Bat out of Hell'.

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Sam Walker [67 posts] 1 year ago
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There is on the Keepers' site a most excellent article – a keeper, if you will – on Freedom, with writing burnished to a high gleam. As a connoisseur of hills, if not pain, do I actually lap up the pain despite myself, as an exploration of my "locus of control"? Maybe. Though it has also stopped being painful, for the most part.

Suffering as a sales pitch will attract a strain of rider antithetical to the easy going ways embodied in this New Testament, distilled in rule #1. I cannot for the life of me see how freedom would be hard to swallow, but then I am a humble student of human nature. Perhaps the choices one makes disposes one to mistrust the choices others make.

//www.anothercyclingforum.com/pics/trinity.jpg)

I personally have no problem with the Velominati nor their rules. I always thought the list to be largely in jest, and took them in that spirit. That they also carry freight for a purist spirit is a duality I can accept. I believe, but cannot of course possibly know, that the holy stylus was moved to transmit through me because it knew the truth of my soul: that I grow impatient at the apparent seriousness (at times camouflaged by emoticon) of some who take the rules as writ. Thus I was well placed to be put into service to rebroadcast that ancient lesson: The great game is about free will, and ultimately choice, whether to be saved or damned. In the end, who's to know which is which.

Etch A Sketch fun fact: "Lineography experienced a resurgence in 1960 with the release of the Etch A Sketch." And Walter White used a bunch of them to make a big noise in the fictional universe of New Mexico [state motto: Land of Enchantment], which I've hitchhiked through without seeing a trace of blue meth despite spending a lot of time in the cabs (blessedly air-conditioned; I was starting to foam in the heat) of truckers, surely a big client base.