From the Library: The Rules

Isn't there a saying that "rules are meant to be broken"? Sure there is (memo to self, do not use the word rules in the title of next book). Alright then, The Rules. Is there anyone in cycling who is yet to hear of the Rules, the way of the Velominati? People all around me make reference to one rule or another, i see them on Facebook posts, other blogs, in magazines. Yet it was not until just a few weeks ago that i managed to acquire a copy of the complete Rules, in hard-bound volume, to call my own. 

The Rules help the newcomer to the cycling lifestyle understand the traditions, the ways of doing things passed from one generation to the next. The Rules can help outsiders who, none-the-less may be close to us, understand why we do some of the confusing (to them) and seemingly nonsensical things we do. Because cycling is our life, the Rules help bind and bring order between the two. After all we can't have life getting in the way.

I don't believe The Rules are intended to be a read once and put it on the shelf kind of book. Just as a true understanding of the cycling lifestyle requires a continual devotion through the practice of daily miles, a true grasp of the Rules requires a periodic reading of the tenets to fortify and guide our actions. That word 'guide' is key.

Let the book serve as inspiration. Let it be your guide. Case in point: As soon as I had finished reading rule #65, out i went to the garage, put the number one bike on the stand and gave it a thorough cleaning, top to bottom and front to rear. I had been noticing the rear tire looking a little flat-topped lately and took the opportunity for a closer inspection. Sure enough it is showing more wear than it should - time for another shop visit - that, by the way, would be #58, 'support you local bike shop'.

The Velominati may take exception, but i don't believe the Rules must be followed en toto, all or none in order to reach a higher plane of cycling being. I do, however, believe in the importance of understanding the background, the underlying nature, behind each of the Rules. Doing so, one by one, then accepting, or refuting based upon a solid cognitive foundation, will bring us closer to an enlightened future.

Velominati   The Rules: The Way of the Cycling Disciple   New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2014