bike maintenance

Enforcing ‘The Rules’

I won’t hear a bad word about my local bike shop.

Of course, some of the things they sell can be found much cheaper online, but they give good advice, they clearly love bikes and anything bike related, and they don’t give you the hard sell.

They also give me 10% off, which clinches it.

Having said all this, I have uncovered evidence recently that they seem to have a rogue staff member who is stealthily enforcing ‘The Rules’.

(For the record, I just think ‘The ‘Rules’ are a bit of fun. Nothing more. I know some get a bit hot and bothered about them. Not me. No-one is actually trying to dictate how you should behave. They’re just for fun).


A friend of mine went in there recently to buy handlebar tape, and in a moment of excitement decided it was time to live a little, move on from his standard black, and wrap his bars in pristine white. A perfectly acceptable decision; slick, stylish, prone to getting mucky perhaps – particularly if you’re one of those who seems to spend every ride with a coating of chain grease all over his mitts – but a bold choice.

As he was paying for the tape, the young lad behind the counter asked conspiratorially, ‘what colour is your seat?’

Any fans of ‘The Rules’ might now be thinking, ‘ahhh, Rule #8: Saddles, bars and tyres shall be carefully matched’.

My friend, without missing a beat, said ‘white’ (despite the fact that a truthful answer would have been…’black’), and the young lad smiled and nodded, as if to say, ‘fair enough, on your way’.

This got me wondering: does this young lad have a simple if slightly obsessive fetish about matching bar tape and seat, or does he fastidiously enforce as many rules as he can get away with whilst parting cyclist from cash.

Is he going to criticise my tan lines as I try on a new item of summer kit? (Rule #7: Tan lines should be cultivated and kept razor sharp).

Will he forbid me from buying a European posterior man satchel if he knows his manager isn’t watching? (Rule #29: No European posterior man-satchels).

Would he dare to suggest I need a healthy dose of ‘Rule #5’ as I try and purchase thick winter gloves and full-length tights in autumn? (Rule #5: Harden the f**k up).

Actually, as long as I get my 10% I’m not too bothered.

7 comments on “Enforcing ‘The Rules’

  1. Ah well, my red bar tape, visor, mudguards etc etc will all have to go then? But maybe as a Fossil I was around before them rules was invented?


  2. Well, allow me to go backwards… Thick full-finger gloves do comply with rule #5. When others are taking spin classes, you’re on the road. That’s hard, baby.

    Posterior man satchels… Look like a pair of elephant balls on an aero bike – I know, had to go a different route, including keeping my tools in my back pocket. Seriously man, that saddle bag made my bike look hideous. Had. To. Go.

    Tan likes… I do take this one seriously too. Mine are awesome yet not too ridiculous. I do have one long pair of shorts and I only wear them when it’s cloudy so I don’t mess up my lines.

    The saddle/tape rule may be altered if you have a color scheme you’re sticking to – this is clearly stated in the rules.

    The young stickler could be thought of as a jerk or pampas ass but there’s another: He’s just trying to help the customers who matter look and feel their best. I went back and stacked up old photos against this year’s and the difference is stark. I follow most of the rules nowadays and look awesome (if I do say so myself – and I do)… On the other hand, the rules are a guide to awesomeness – they are meant to be worn as a comfortable jersey/bib-short combo, not a straight jacket. It’s all good as long as it’s good. 😎


    • I’m with you, the better you look the faster you ride right?

      As for the elephant balls, that’s an interesting image and probably about right. However, being a European I suspect my right to wear a European posterior man-satchel is probably greater than yours – I’m just sure to keep it small, compact, and fastened on tightly 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Biking Behaviour (part 21) – The Loose Cannon | ragtime cyclist

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