Cycling has its own sacred rituals and mythology. Some are born of experience, some of ignorance, many of arrogance. For those seeking the true path of cycling happiness and fulfillment, some signposts along the way might be beneficial...

(For numbers 51-95, click here; for comparison purposes, see Velominati - The Rules)

 

Suggestion #1 Follow The Suggestions. If you fancy it.

 

Suggestion #2 Lead by Example

If it looks like somebody has got bogged down with “should” and “shouldn’t” disabuse her of that notion and show her how to wing it and have fun.

 

Suggestion #3 Share your wisdom

The Suggestions exist purely to entertain and should NOT be taken seriously. By anyone. Ever.

 

Suggestion #4 It’s all about the bike

Which one?

 

Suggestion #5 Toughen Up

Or don’t. And have a cup of tea. And some cake.

 

Suggestion #6 Dream On

Never mind focus and being in the zone, there’s a lot to be said for chatting to mates as you ride and daydreaming if you’re on your own. Just don’t crash into a hedge in your reverie.

 

Suggestion #7 Tan Lines

These will be sharp in direct proportion to how smart a “do” you’re going to. The posher the event, the more obvious the comedy tan.

 

Suggestion #8 Rainbows are where it’s at

Choose a colour theme for your pride and joy by all means. Ride loud and proud and don’t be afraid to mix it up. Blue frame, pink saddle and purple pedals anyone?

 

Suggestion #9 If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

This is uncontrovertibly true. And means you deserve more cake.

 

Suggestion #10 It can get easier, particularly if you buy an e-bike

It doesn’t always have to be hard.

 

Suggestion #11 Family comes first.

Or in the trailer being towed by your bike.

 

Suggestion #12 There’s always room in the shed for one more bike

You don’t really need the lawnmower do you?

 

Suggestion #13 If you draw race number 13- accidentally drop it so it blows away

Oops

 

Suggestion #14 Shorts can be any colour you want them to be.

As long as it’s black. Because that’s all there is.

 

Suggestion #15 Black is the new black

At least black shorts go with any jersey.

 

Suggestion #16 Respect the jersey

Wear a race leader or championship jersey if you’re actually in the habit of winning or have an unusually thick skin.  

 

Suggestion #17 Team kit

Unless you’re actually IN a team, why miss out on all those beautiful jersey/shorts combos by choice?

 

Suggestion #18 Wear what the hell you like. Period.

If it’s comfy and makes you happy when riding, go with it.

 

Suggestion #19 Be friendly

Persist in greeting fellow riders on the road or hills, even if they come across as arrogant, self-absorbed egotists. Smile and feel superior.

 

Suggestion #20 Pain is weakness leaving the body

Sometimes the pain is good, sometimes it’s not. Burning quads are a positive thing, a burning backside is not.

See suggestion #5

 

Suggestion #21 Cold weather gear

If it means you get out on your bike and follow #9, then any variety of clothing or kit is acceptable. Mittens, ski boots and a fur coat might make achieving those QOM’s slightly tricky though

 

Suggestion #22 Cycling Caps

They can hide a multitude of sins and who doesn’t love the word “jaunty”?

 

Suggestion #23 Wheeeeeee!

Feet off the pedals, legs out to the sides is a perfectly acceptable position when descending.

 

Suggestion #24 Measures for distance

Like measuring cheese in lbs/ozs or grammes (or kilos!), using km on your GPS to measure distances can be confusing for the British. Remember though, any distance ridden is always further in km.

 

Suggestion #25 The value of your bike should never be less than that of your partner’s bike.

It should however not be worth more than your house. Or the national debt.

 

Suggestion #26 Bike selfie!

Who cares about the crank position, make your bike photogenic by means of colour coordinated bottles or take it up a notch with tassled bar ends. Perhaps consider a tasteful floral arrangement. Or two.

 

Suggestion #27 Shorts

Go as short or as long as your confidence, thigh girth and tan aspirations dictate.

 

Suggestion #28 Socks

Any style, any length, any colour. Over the knee should probably be kept strictly for the cool urban hipster, while spots and stripes are good for everyone.

 

Suggestion #29 Bags

How many bags is it possible to fit on a bike? If it’s detachable and doubles as a disco purse so much the better. Tweed, reflective, chic, sparkly, we love them all.

 

Suggestion #30 Pumps

Mount it on the frame and forget about it, or pop it into a jersey pocket and hope you never need it.

 

Suggestion #31 Tools

Preferably colour coordinated to the bike. To avoid unseemly jersey stretching and leaving a breadcrumb trail of tools along the route, see the wisdom of #29

 

Suggestion #32 Hydration

Colour coordinated bottles are cool. Coffee/tea/diet Coke/champagne stops are also encouraged.

 

Suggestion #33 Leg shaving

Weird on blokes. Normal for us. That’s just the way it is. Winter plumage is perennially acceptable.

 

Suggestion #34 Shoes and pedals

Road, MTB or flat- find what’s easiest for you to walk in and suits your knee comfort. And what offers the prettiest shoe.

 

Suggestion #35 Helmets

Just accept it’s never going to look as good as that natty little hat, but it could help stop your noggin cracking like an egg.

 

Suggestion #36 Sunglasses

Protect yourself from the cycling paparazzi with whatever sunnies TK Maxx is currently offering an “unmissable deal” on. Or go for the classic cycling cyborg look. You know a selection makes sense.

 

Suggestion #37 How to wear sunglasses

Any which way but remember they’re on top of your head BEFORE replacing helmet.

 

Suggestion #38 Overtaking

Resist the temptation to make rude hand gestures or cheer as you overtake any male rider.

 

Suggestion #39 Jeepers Peepers

Protect your eyes from sun, wrinkles, grit and of course retain that element of mystery by always wearing glasses. See #36

 

Suggestion #40 Tyres

Try to remember to check the “direction of travel” sticker BEFORE replacing a tyre you have repaired. It’s always frustrating to have to do it all over again. Or just ride backwards.

 

Suggestion #41 Quick release

There’s a fine line between so-tight-you-can’t-release-it and a unicycle.

 

Suggestion #42 Triathlon

Give it a “tri” (sorry) or make up your own. 50 mile road ride for a swim at the seaside anyone, followed by a 5 minute run to fetch an ice cream?

 

Suggestion #43 Manners

Be polite and friendly. Foul language and abuse is to be avoided, as are coarse gestures. See #38

 

Suggestion #44 Position

Upright is classy and cool, slightly leant over is sporty, on or off-road, stretched flat out with your forehead on the front wheel and your backside in orbit is called time trialling.

 

Suggestion #45 Stem and bars

Should always be crowded with as many lights, bags, bells, gadgets and devices that emit unexpected ping sound at any given opportunity.

 

Suggestion #46 Level bars

Visible before post-race champagne.

 

Suggestion #47 Beer

Belgium may be the spiritual home of the gnarliest road riding in the World, but France has wine, the UK cider so why limit yourself? Belgium also has chocolate.

 

Suggestion #48 Saddles

A saddle should never be wide enough for two to sit side by side.  Nor narrow enough to require surgery.

 

Suggestion #49 Upside Down

Turning a bike upside down to fix it just messes with your head. Find a fence, gate, random stranger or handy team car.

 

Suggestion #50 Hair

Shaved head or luscious flowing locks, a helmet is guaranteed to ruin any “do”. See #22 and #35

 

With thanks to the Velominati for their inspiration and sage advice.