I break the rules

I’m a big tent guy, but when I must categorize myself as a cyclist I probably fit best in the road cyclist pigeonhole.

Road cyclists have a set of “The Rules” — 85 commandments of roadie etiquette, style and tradition. I break 23 of them.

With varying degrees of frequency, I break rules: 1, 2, 3, 7, 11 (sometimes), 18, 19 (emphatically), 24, 27, 29 (almost always), 31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 44, 56, 57, 65 (during the winter), 66 (occasionally), 71 (sometimes), and 81 (often).

Me on my bike. How many broken rules to you see in this photo?

Riding with traffic in Palo Alto, California

You’ll see I break most of the style and image rules, while I mostly follow the rules of etiquette and safety.

Which rules to you break? Which do you follow? Discuss.

Bonus: How many rules does Robin follow and break in his famous video?



22 Comments

  • Anonymous
    June 21, 2011 - 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Um… link to the rules?

  • June 21, 2011 - 4:31 pm | Permalink

    It’s secret knowledge, but just for you:
    http://www.velominati.com/blog/the-rules/

  • June 21, 2011 - 4:47 pm | Permalink

    • “I’m a loner, Dottie. A rebel!” [My own approach to style and rule-breaking.]

  • June 21, 2011 - 4:50 pm | Permalink

    “I don’t understand.”

  • June 21, 2011 - 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Too many rules. It appears I’m a hippie douche on my way to a Critical Mass!

  • June 21, 2011 - 5:25 pm | Permalink

    I violate 1,2,3,5,7,8,11,18,19,20,22,24,27,29,30,31,32,33,34,35(probably),37,39, 40,41,44 (recumbents), 45,46,48,49,52 (I have elbow guards for racing my lowracer), 56,57,58, 60, 61 (recumbent), 63, 65, 66, 71,73,74,75, 76, 80,81

  • June 21, 2011 - 5:25 pm | Permalink

    I violate 1,2,3,5,7,8,11,18,19,20,22,24,27,29,30,31,32,33,34,35(probably),37,39, 40,41,44 (recumbents), 45,46,48,49,52 (I have elbow guards for racing my lowracer), 56,57,58, 60, 61 (recumbent), 63, 65, 66, 71,73,74,75, 76, 80,81

  • June 21, 2011 - 5:28 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never seen low racer racing, but if elbow guards are required it sounds pretty cool.

  • June 21, 2011 - 6:07 pm | Permalink

     http://www.flickr.com/photos/watson_house/3558861062/

    Lowracers can hit elbows during hard cornering.  Mine is low but not really low- the Hachi is lower:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/watson_house/3700390559/

  • June 21, 2011 - 6:12 pm | Permalink

     In the action movie version, races are at night and sparks fly from the elbow guards!

  • June 21, 2011 - 6:53 pm | Permalink

    why no links in the article?

  • June 21, 2011 - 7:02 pm | Permalink

    wheres rule 38?
    and rule 40 is wrong…

  • Biking Viking
    June 21, 2011 - 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Too many to list, but a couple of the glaring ones are: Mountain shoes and pedals on a road bike, and bandanna under helmet.

  • June 21, 2011 - 9:50 pm | Permalink

    I aspire to never look at the list of which you speak.

    However, the video reminded me of “It’s All About The Pentiums” by Weird Al Yankovic. Which, mocks a different brand of elitism.

  • June 22, 2011 - 4:01 am | Permalink

    C’mon Ted. Where you see elitism, I see self deprecating satire.

    We identify with the groups we’re in, but that’s not elitism. That’s just human social behavior.  It’s possible to be inclusive while also belonging to a group as well.

    If you want elitism, read the vitriol directed toward road cyclists from the smug, self-righteous planet saving commuters in the comments following EcoVelo’s “Low Hanging Fruit” post.  It’s really very disappointing.  Or read this blog in Santa Cruz — in his most recent bicycle blog post, Michael chastises everybody who doesn’t ride like him, but on most days his ire is directed against road cyclist. And he likes to grumpily remind that he’s been bike commuting for 40 years now.

    Now, read this and see if you can avoid a little feeling of superiority at the thought of a ‘cycling’ event where every participant — all 2,733 of them — must bring a truck — not a car, not transit, not even a bike, but a truck — to take home the exercise bike they receive for their participation.

  • June 22, 2011 - 4:16 am | Permalink

    I crashed on a downhill turn and sparks did fly from my pedals as they scraped the pavement :).  Luckily on a lowracer you are basically inside the bike and so the pedals and the seat took most of the energy.  Some went into my jacket (now manfully scuffed, still with a womans zipper) and my pants.  Minimal blood, I finished the ride even though the crash was at 30mph.  So I could easily see your version.    Funny how reading your list makes me want to emphasize the blood, the speed, and the hardman nature.  It was just a crash during a rando training ride.

  • June 22, 2011 - 4:17 am | Permalink

    There was no rule 13 either.  A number of numbers were missing.  I am sure there is some arcane reason for it.

  • June 22, 2011 - 4:30 am | Permalink

    It is all fun.  I ride for fun, I race in various recumbent friendly races, I commute, I do group rides and sometimes I do some randoneuring.  The only thing I am trying to do nowadays is to ride to more events.  I rode to the start last year for the STP (one day).  I planned on touring down (and back) to Portland from Seattle for the OHPV event on Memorial day but circumstances overcame me and I was unable to do that.  I do want to do some light credit card style touring but camping instead of using hotels (in other words buying food on the road, restaurants, etc).

    The list is fun and pokes fun at a number of racers.  Its all good and in good fun most of the time.

  • June 22, 2011 - 2:46 pm | Permalink

    This is like the third time in recent months that I’ve been told I had a satire blind spot. I’ve got to go to the doctor and get that checked out.

    I’ll check out those links. Thanks.

  • June 22, 2011 - 2:46 pm | Permalink

    This is like the third time in recent months that I’ve been told I had a satire blind spot. I’ve got to go to the doctor and get that checked out.

    I’ll check out those links. Thanks.

  • June 22, 2011 - 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Your extreme commuting video shows me your sense of satire is very well developed :-)

  • Edward J. Wagner Jr.
    June 22, 2011 - 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Rules? We don’t need no stinkin’ rules!

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