Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rules are meant to be broken, with the exception of one

But first, this.

This is me and Neo, my tri bike, in one of the long and relaxed Zone 2 workouts from this past week. Notice that my hands are not even close to the shifters as for most of this ride, shifting is not necessary. It just goes on and on and on for about 15km, a straight line until the road stops and then I need to make the decision to go either left or right for 20-25km more. Most of the times, I go right. But this isn't what this post really is about since there are no rules when it comes to what my brain decides to do while on the road, it's just organized chaos in there. Some days I may follow the wind as well.

This is about the rules of the road, found on the Velominati's website, which I suppose are written by road cyclists for road cyclists. While I am not a road cyclist per se, I found it funny to look at this picture and see how many of these rules I've broken. Let's see:
Rule #7// Tan lines should be cultivated and kept razor sharp. 
Under no circumstances should one be rolling up their sleeves or shorts in an effort to somehow diminish one’s tan lines. Sleeveless jerseys are under no circumstances to be employed.
One of the main reasons why I am wearing a sleeveless shirt here is because I want to get rid of my tan lines!! They are driving me crazy, especially on my legs, so when I am not riding a bike or I'm running, I usually wear a pair of shorter shorts in the hope that my tan lines will fade on my legs as well.
Rule #8// Saddles, bars, and tires shall be carefully matched. Valid options are:
  • Match the saddle to the bars and the tires to black; or
  • Match the bars to the color of the frame at the top of the head tube and the saddle to the color of the frame at the top of the seat tube and the tires to the color where they come closest to the frame; or
  • Match the saddle and the bars to the frame decals; or
  • Black, black, black
My saddle does not match, oh the disaster!! Although I am trying to stick to the yellow/black theme overall (one could argue that I even bought my wetsuit to match the bike), the saddle is black with red accents. This is unacceptable. At the first saddle sore, that's it, I'm buying a matching saddle and will wrap the handlebars in yellow tape as soon as this one's worn out. Or I am wrapping the handlebars in red, thus matching saddle to the bars and going from a two-color theme to a tri-color one. Hmmm... decisions, decisions...
Rule #32// Humps are for camels: no hydration packs. 
Hydration packs are never to be seen on a road rider’s body. No argument will be entered into on this. For MTB, they are cool.
Ok, gimme a break here. I know that I have been riding a road bike for over 2 months, but I may need another year to be able to juggle with my water bottles while I ride in a straight line. Ok, what about 6 more months until I manage just to grab my water bottle from the frame without falling? I'm working on it. In the meantime, I may look like a camel, but I own it. Deal with it.
Rule #34// Mountain bike shoes and pedals have their place. 
On a mountain bike.
What about on a tri bike? I use mountain bike shoes because they are easier to unclip and walk in. I use mountain bike pedals because they have clips on both sides and I don't have to think. Are you saying that I need to look at my pedals and choose a side every single time that I stop at a traffic light? No way, Jose. Not until I find a way NOT to unclip while waiting for the green light, and that means joining the circus or mastering that equilibrium thing.
Rule #35// No visors on the road. 
Road helmets can be worn on mountain bikes, but never the other way around. If you want shade, see Rule #22.
Until reading the above rule, I had NO clue that visors were making the difference between road and mountain bike helmets. Someone needs to explain this to me. Isn't there MORE sun on an open road than in a forest? Nobody told me at Wal-Mart when I bought this one that's not meant for road biking. I'm pretty sure it said "bike" helmet and not "mountain bike helmet". That's what you get for $10 bucks... amateurs! Fine. I'll remove the damn visor.
Rule #39// Never ride without your eyewear. 
You should not make a habit of riding without eyewear, although approved extenuating circumstances include fog, overheating, and lighting condition. When not worn over the eyes, they should be neatly tucked into the vents of your helmet. If they don’t fit, buy a new helmet. In the meantime you can wear them backwards on the back of your head or carefully tuck them into your jersey pocket, making sure not to scratch them on your tools (see item 31).
The one day when I decide to leave my shades at home, hubbs takes a picture of me which proves that I broke this rule too. It was late in the day, okay? And sorry, they don't fit under, above or at the back of my helmet. And I don't have pockets either because I'm not wearing a friggin' cycling jersey with sleeves that give me perfect tan lines. PETA should be happy to hear that no bugs died while smashing against my eyeballs, so I should be ok, right?
Rule #42// A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run. 
If it’s preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run, it is not called a bike race, it is called duathlon or a triathlon. Neither of which is a bike race. Also keep in mind that one should only swim in order to prevent drowning, and should only run if being chased. And even then, one should only run fast enough to prevent capture.
That's it, I've had it. As a matter of fact, even if this wasn't a race, I did this bike ride as part of a BRICK, which means that I immediately followed it with a run. That's the basic definition of triathlon, you do bricks until you pass out or puke your bowels in a ditch, some bricks even last up to 17 hours and people doing them are called IRONMANS, and I'm going to be one of them one day!! To each their own. That's why I don't own a ROAD bike, but a TRI bike, at least it gives me enough reasons to break THE rules. :-P

You can go on and read the rest of THE rules, all 91 of them, you will sure know what it takes to call yourself a "road cyclist" after you're done.

BUT, whether you are a pure cyclist or a triathlete, for sure both camps agree on one thing, which is RULE #5. Not only you should NEVER break it, but you should live by it:
Rule #5// Harden The Fuck Up.


  1. I haven't see you break Rule #5 yet! As for the others, I'm weeping just a little here but fortunately my eyeware is hiding it ;)

    1. Not breaking the rule 5 any time soon, Ron. ;-) I'm pretty sure you've broken the rule #42 a few times already, too. That's ok, I won't tell anyone. Keep on riding those centuries!