If you’re a cyclist, you’ve probably heard about “The Rules”. If you’re an avid cyclist, you probably follow most of them.
One thing is for sure; if you do, you look good and ride hard.
The problem with the rules, if there must be one, is that if one takes them too seriously one can become a bit of a elitist snob. If that’s you, please see Rule #43.
When I look at the rules, I look at them as a tongue-in-cheek guide to cycling etiquette – as long as one understands that the rules are a bit like government, or laws (at least in the Industrialized First World sense – meaning laws tend to be limiting to freedom because it’s impossible to follow them all. In an a well-intentioned way, the Rules/Laws become a restrictive noose.): If you like clones, automatons, or worse, bureaucrats or if you want to be a friendless loser, inflexibly in requiring others to follow the rules is great.
With that out of the way, there are a few rules that are simple statements of truth. I’m thinking of #5 (HTFU) and more important to this post: Rule #9 If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
My wife did a sprint triathlon yesterday. The only time it was not pouring rain was during the swim. The irony was awesome. The air temp was 67 degrees. Water temp was 74. 800 yard swim, 10.7 mile bike and a 5 km run. No wetsuit, 18 mph average on the bike and on wet, hilly roads and a muddy 5k trail run.
She is a badass:
However, and this demonstrates the inflexibility of the rules, were I or my wife ridiculous about the rules, she wouldn’t have been able to gut that race out because of rule #42: A bike race shall never be preceded by a swim and/or followed by a run. That’s just silly. Well, for my wife. I won’t wreck a bike ride with a swim and/or run anymore. But that’s just me, though technically it takes an obtuse look at Rule #42 to come to my conclusion (though let’s not get too deep).
In any event, my wife finished 164th overall… Not bad… But she finished 46th on the bike leg. Now that’s what I’m talking about!