Cycling loves rules. It’s a fact. The current UCI Rules and Regulations extend to 16 Parts, of which Part I “General Organisation of Cycling as a Sport” is 82 pages long. They devote a whopping 178 pages to an explanation of the rules of “Artistic Cycling”.
That’s 178 pages of rules to govern people doing this:
The Velominati, as the self-annointed “Keepers of the Cog” are famous in cycling circles for their extensive and rigid “Rules”. Then there are each club’s own specific rules and bylaws. Whichever way you cut it there can be no doubt – cycling loves rules.
BBBC wants that to be different. We founded our own club because we didn’t like the look of any of the ones that existed. Because they were obsessed with rules. We don’t require you maintain 19.47mph for 44 minutes in the dark before joining our club run. We don’t insist you to buy our kit to ride with us (although you really should because it’s awesome and beautiful).
But if we did have rules, these would be they.
1. No dickheads.
2. Seriously, no dickheads.
3. Heart rates should be treated like bank balances. We all know you’ve got one but no-one needs to know what it is.
4. It is better to have done a turn then got dropped than to never do a turn at all.
The issue with having such a warm March/April is that May was bound to be a return to winter. And it has been. So far. Last minute trip back to Mallorca anyone? This also conclusive evidence that our new kit is much faster than our 2015 threads.
5. All club TTs and hill climbs will be timed using two iPhones (or other phone-based time recorder) held by separate individuals and passed from man to man as each member starts/finishes. One phone is held at the start line and one at the finish. Both timers must be started simultaneously and then a complicated mathematical exercise is undertaken in order to determine who won. This is not the easiest way. It is not the best way. But it is the right way.
6. If you must plan a route then the actual route you ride should deviate from your plan by at least 20%. The combination of @stravacycling and Google Maps usually does the job but when you get hopelessly lost in the back streets of Sóller a little bit of CX goes a long way. Back on track in no time.
7. Beer, ice cream and pizza are the wet and dry lubes of the soul. This holy trinity are all that your body deserves or desires.
We ate a lot of ice creams last weekend, and we don't have a team nutritionist yet, so can only assume they are optimal sports nutrition, right? They certainly taste bloody great and go down well when it’s 25°C mid ride. This is @edlamaison tucking in at the top of Coll de se Batalla near Lluc.
8. Victory is measured not in minutes or metres gained, but in how much fun you had riding your bicycle. And maybe how many cakes you ate if it comes to a tie-breaker scenario.
9. Don’t be a sneaky little ride-bottler. If you say you’re going to ride then ride. If you organise a ride then definitely ride.
10. Look after your body. If a trained medical professional advises you to “just really give that a good rest” then do so. Rest up for two hours during the flight before you do 400km and 6,500m in three days.
11. Contractual work hours should be respected as much as possible. If it says you work until 5 then by all means put the phone down at 17:01, pull on your bibs and go riding. Real heroes sneak out at 16:55.
Here’s a bonus one that is, in many ways, actually our most important rule – and the only one we pinched from Eddy Merckx.
12. Ride as much or as little as you want. But ride.
And when you’re riding ‘as much or as little as you want’, make sure you also stop for coffee and a cake.
Simon Orriss is one of the biggest Big Boys of them all. He has been riding with the BBBC since 2014.