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The Rules of Cycling, according to the Velominati

Cycling Blog

The Rules of Cycling, according to the Velominati

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June 17th, 2015

Cycling is many things to many people. For some it is a means of activism; others a means of keeping themselves or others integrated in society.

For us, it is about the glory of suffering. It is about your mind saying shut up to your body, when your body says stop. About acknowledging, as the pros do, that cycling “never gets easier, you just go faster”.

It is a sport with its own lexicon and its own folklore. Its own rituals and rites of passage (pushing yourself so hard you struggle to walk the next day, anyone?).

The guys over at Velominati have taken it upon themselves to act as custodians for this knowledge and devoted proponents for this way of life. Self-proclaimed Keepers of the Cog.

As befitting of this role, certain rules have been established to protect the integrity and prestige of the sport we all hold so dear.

Many themes are covered: local conscience (#58, #77), connoisseurship of fine beverages (#47, #56), aesthetics (#27, #33, #50), and relentless machismo (all remaining rules).

We’ve posted the rules below to illustrate their supremacy and to state clearly our support. This is not intended as plagiarism: only respect and an attempt to fulfil rule #3. If Velominati are not happy for this usage, let us know and we’ll take them down.

  1. Obey The Rules.
  2. Lead by example.
  3. Guide the uninitiated.
  4. It’s all about the bike.
  5. Harden the f*ck up.
  6. Free your mind and your legs will follow.
  7. Tan lines should be cultivated and kept razor sharp.
  8. Saddles, bars and tires shall be carefully matched.
  9. If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
  10. It never gets easier, you just go faster.
  11. Family does not come first. The bike does.
  12. The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
  13. If you draw race number 13, turn it upside down.
  14. Shorts should be black.
  15. Black shorts should also be worn with leader’s jerseys.
  16. Respect the jersey.
  17. Team kit is for members of the team.
  18. Know what to wear. Don’t suffer kit confusion.
  19. Introduce yourself.
  20. There are only three remedies for pain.
  21. Cold weather gear is for cold weather.
  22. Cycling caps are for cycling.
  23. Tuck only after reaching Escape Velocity.
  24. Speeds and distances shall be referred to and measured in kilometres.
  25. The bikes on top of your car should be worth more than the car.
  26. Make your bike photogenic.
  27. Shorts and socks should be like Goldilocks. (Not too long and not too short).
  28. Socks can be any damn colour you like.
  29. No European Posterior Man-Satchels.
  30. No frame-mounted pumps.
  31. Spare tubes, multi-tool and repair kits should be stored in jersey pockets.
  32. Humps are for camels: no hydration packs.
  33. Shave your guns.
  34. Mountain bike shoes and pedals have their place. (On a mountain bike).
  35. No visors on the road.
  36. Eyewear shall be cycling specific.
  37. The arms of the eyewear shall always be placed over the helmet straps.
  38. Don’t play Leap Frog.
  39. Never ride without your eyewear.
  40. Tires are to be mounted with the label centered over the valve stem.
  41. Quick-release levers are to be carefully positioned.
  42. A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  43. Don’t be a jackass.
  44. Position matters.
  45. Slam your stem.
  46. Keep your bars level.
  47. Drink Tripels, don’t ride triples.
  48. Saddles must be level and pushed back.
  49. Keep the rubber side down.
  50. Facial hair is to be carefully regulated.
  51. Livestrong wristbands are cockrings for your arms.
  52. Drink in Moderation.
  53. Keep your kit clean and new.
  54. No aerobars on road bikes.
  55. Earn your turns.
  56. Espresso or macchiato only.
  57. No stickers.
  58. Support your local bike shop.
  59. Hold your line.
  60. Ditch the washer-nut and valve-stem cap.
  61. Like your guns, saddles should be smooth and hard.
  62. You shall not ride with earphones.
  63. Point in the direction you’re turning.
  64. Cornering confidence increases with time and experience.
  65. Maintain and respect your machine.
  66. No mirrors.
  67. Do your time in the wind.
  68. Riders are to be measured by quality, not quantity.
  69. Cycling shoes and bicycles are made for riding.
  70. The purpose of competing is to win.
  71. Train properly.
  72. Legs speak louder than words.
  73. Gear and brake cables should be cut to optimum length.
  74. V Meters or small computers only.
  75. Race numbers are for races.
  76. Helmets are to be hung from your stem.
  77. Respect the earth; don’t litter.
  78. Remove unnecessary gear.
  79. Fight for your town lines.
  80. Always be Casually Deliberate.
  81. Don’t talk it up.
  82. Close the gap.
  83. Be self-sufficient.
  84. Follow the Code.
  85. Descend like a Pro.
  86. Don’t half-wheel.
  87. The ride starts on time. No exceptions.
  88. Don’t surge.
  89. Pronounce it Correctly.
  90. Never get out of the big ring.
  91. No food on training rides under four hours.
  92. No sprinting from the hoods.
  93. Descents are not for recovery. Recovery ales are for recovery.
  94. Use the correct tool for the job, and use the tool correctly.
  95. Never lift your bike over your head.

Live by these rules, and you too can be a a Velominatus.

As a Velominatus you help to preserve cycling’s position as a respected and revered sport: one that hordes of people stand out in the cold and rain to watch, just to briefly behold fellow glorious adherents.

Read the rules (and subsequent discussion) at

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