Your Bike Doesn’t Hate You

Your bike hates you.

Or, #yourbikehatesyou or #bikeshopbingo

This is actually a thing and it’s not actually possible. 

Instead, this is just a passive aggressive way of judging a bicycle owner’s ability to care for their things in a way that is perpendicular to the ability of the person making the comment. Worse yet, this method of passing judgement is typically reserved for social commentary under the guise that it’s humor. 

It’s not funny.

It’s public shaming and it’s counter productive to encouraging more people to ride bikes. If you really want to ruin cycling, keep shaming people for their private choices and keep publicly announcing it from the backrooms of bike shops all around the planet.

Saying “your bike hates you”, in this sense, is effectively saying “I hate you for what you did to your bike and then brought it to me to fix it.”

On Events

Let’s talk about events. 

First thing, there is literally one every weekend. For just about any discipline. 

Second thing, if you put an event together and spend all of your time and energy making it a success, kudos to you. If you don’t put an event together and don’t spend all of your time and energy making it a success, keep your negative comments to yourself.

It’s two things. Plain and simple. 

Events are crucial to cycling. They give people an opportunity to be a part OF something, rather than just exist on a bike APART from everything. 

Events are a great way to achieve goals.

Events are a great way to become a better, stronger cyclist.

Events are a great way to network and grow one’s community. 

Events are a fundamental part of cycling. They always have been and they always will be. 

We know that. 

What we don’t know, or at a minimum fail to outwardly understand, is that events don’t typically happen without somebody at the wheel who is passionate about their endeavor. Events don’t just exist. They take a tremendous amount of organization and communication and effort. In most cases, the promoters rarely get their financial investment back. Cycling events are truly a labor of love. 

So stop being assholes when you show up to them.

Next time you go and things aren’t just the way YOU want them to be, think before you speak.

Next time you go and you think it’s a good idea to hover around the time clock table and ask what your time was, go to your car, change your clothes, grab a beer with your bros and then go home and wait for the results to get posted online like almost everyone else. Sure, you’re fast. We get it. Tracking results for 100 or 1,000 people is not fast. It takes time and energy and money. 

Next time you go to an event and you haven’t prepped at all, don’t bother every volunteer you can find to help you get the three things you weren’t aware you needed...even though you read the website and you got the pre-event email that outlined everything you’d need to be prepared. 

Next time you go to an event that you’ve never participated in, but you’re there because your friends told you how great it would be, just be nice and act as-if. It will likely be a much better experience for you and for everyone else.

These are basic tips. The top of the ice berg. We could go on, but why. If you have questions, please read through The Program and then reconsider your concerns. If you still have questions, please ask somebody...kindly. 

None of this is difficult. 

Oh, and one more thing. If you ever go to an event that doesn’t charge an entry fee, be nice or get the fuck out. Seriously. 

Roadies

Roadies ruin everything.

They ruined riding on the road. They ruined road racing. They ruined mountain biking. They ruined cyclocross. They’re currently ruining gravel. Everything they touch turns to shit….or so were told by the prevailing winds of the cycling proletarians.

Bullshit.

Roadies haven’t ruined anything. They never will. It’s actually impossible. For this to happen, there would need to be some sort of collective agreement and a legitimate action plan put in place by a group of folks that largely tend to operate independently…so they haven’t ruined anything and they’re not going to. Shit, cyclists as a group tend to be loaners. The idea that a bunch of folks rolling around of road bikes could unify in such way as to destroy an entire discipline within cycling is not dissimilar from the idea that the same group could put together a successful baseball league where they’re all player/managers. It isn’t going to happen.

But if they didn’t ruin it, what happened?

Time. Time happened and our tiny little brains fell prey to the ever tightening grip of the marketing machine. New bikes came out and littered the pages of whatever periodical was en vogue and then something called the internet was born and our thirst for anything newer than what everyone else had screamed at us to move forward faster.

Yep, we got thirsty. Thirsty for something else to replace the things we didn’t even know we no longer loved. We got thirsty and it all happened right under our noses and we just couldn’t live with the idea that we had been blindsided by the corporate marketing machine…so we found somebody to take the blame…the roadies.

We blamed them for everything. We blamed them for being fast and for taking cycling seriously. We blamed them for leaving the road and coming into the woods and overpopulating our beloved trails. We blamed them for taking the fun out of cyclocross by ramping up the competition. We blamed them for everything. We blamed them then and we blame them now. We do it and we shouldn’t.

More people on bikes is never going to be a bad thing. Ever. In fact, more people on bikes is a good thing. Yes, even the roadies.

So…next time your underpants get soiled by the idea that some fit folks show up and have some personal expectations for their own experience, take a deep breath and remember that the only person ruining anything is typically the person doing the yelling…in their head or out of it.

Bully!

In this crazy and chaotic world of go go go, it’s been said that hiding in plain sight is sometimes the easiest thing to do…and it is. Sort of.

What does it mean though and how does it connect to ruining cycling?

Here we go…get off the internet. At a minimum, come out from behind your keyboard.

The cycling world, much like the rest of the world, is full of almost anonymous keyboard heroes that love to chime in on how you should be doing anything better than your are. Message boards are full of them. Social media posts are full of them. They somehow manage to be everywhere and they’re real annoying and mostly full of shit.

They’re always quick with a response to whatever question you might have and even quicker to challenge anything in the way of change or perspective. They’re blood-thirsty animals behind their keyboards that almost appear to wait for every opportunity to sink their teeth into your flesh and eat your heart and soul. They are big, strong privileged people with more knowledge than any one human should have. They are self-righteous and loud-mouthed and they’re rare to backdown…until you meet them in person when these folks become soft spoken and agreeable. It may take a minute to get to common ground when you’re face to face, but things almost always get worked out quickly.

So…if we really want to ruin this thing, we need to address the quiet ghost in the center of the circle. We need to challenge these internet bullies and draw them into the real world by inviting them to conversations over beers or coffees. Tell them you’re open to talking things through, but only in person. If they reject the idea, abandon their rhetoric, tell them to pound sand and find some folks that actually get shit done and make great things happen.

Give it a try and you might be surprised at how quickly change can be effected.

The Speed Zone

The fastest way to ruin this cycling business is real easy.

Be nice to everyone. Don’t judge them, just be nice. Wave to other people on bikes. Say hello. Make eye contact. Offer to help if someone is broke down.

Just be nice. Seriously. Even when you don’t get what you want…or, dare we say, when you don’t get what you expect.

Be nice. Have fun. Ride your bike.

It’ll take the whole world by storm. They won’t even see it coming.

Sagmaullier

Think sommelier, only for bikes.

Everybody knows one and far too many shops have one. The Sagmaullier is essentially somebody that knows way too much about the particular specifics of bicycles and their accoutrements, AND feels the need to flex their knowledge whenever possible.

It’s important to not confuse a helpful, knowledgeable, friendly, humble cyclist for the Sagmaullier, but the differences should be obvious. This person is much like the one-upper. If you’re not familiar, the one-upper is the type to always chime in with something they’ve done that scores higher than what you’ve done on some bizarre scale that only the one-upper is aware of. It’s off-putting…and so is the Sagmaullier.

If we are to ruin this cycling thing, we should be keen to call out the Sagmaullier when we spot them. We should speak up to these ivory tower dwellers. Feel free to demand proof that this person attended university and received a degree in their position of bicycle judgement. Should no degree be provided, move ahead to find another, more helpful, knowledgeable, friendly and humble human that can help you find what it is you’re looking for.

This community of ours is filled with amazing folk that would love to discuss the ins and outs of their experience in the hopes that their knowledge may benefit you. As more time passes, group rides and retail spaces are filling in one by one with people that want to share what they’ve found. Unfortunately, there are still plenty of judgmental curmudgeons that would just as soon wax on and on about how amazing their vintage steel whatchamacallit performed on the miles-long climb to coffee outside last weekend…instead of listening to your needs and wants and returning with qualifying questions..

If you see something, say something.

*Editors Note: The term Sagmaullier is derived from the Late Latin, SAGMA, which originally referred to a packsaddle. Also worth mentioning, the term was coined by a fella with Some Dumb Name.

The Art of the Deal

Everybody loves a deal. The cycling community is not immune to this. It never has been. Everybody knows somebody that works for somebody and they can always get a deal and it always seems to come up when those within the cycling community find themselves talking to other people who work within the cycling community.

  • If you work in a shop, you get a deal. It’s the incentive to work in a shop.

  • If you work for a distributor of parts or bikes or accessories, you get a deal. It’s the incentive to work for the distributor.

  • If you work for a manufacturer, you get a deal. It’s the incentive for working for the manufacturer.

Those are the deals. That’s it. That’s all of them.

Knowing somebody that works for a shop is not a qualifier for the deal. Living next to someone that works for a distributor is not a qualifier for the deal. Being related to somebody that works for a manufacturer is not a qualifier for the deal. This is not how the deal works.

Another portion of the deal, which lies much quieter in the grass, is the borrowing of tools from a shop. DON’T DO THIS. This is bad. This happens all the time. A person with a bike heads into a shop because some bolt on the bike isn’t adjusted quite right. Said person wanders back toward the shop and casually asks to borrow the correct wrench for the job. The mechanic, usually friendly person, obliges. The bolt gets adjusted, the tool returned and the rider heads out on their merry way. Seems harmless. It’s not.

Borrowing tools from a bike shop is not unlike asking a butcher for a knife because you have a side of beef outside that you just have to filet quick. It doesn’t make sense. It’s not unlike strolling into an automobile service shop and asking to borrow a torque wrench for a minute to just make some quick adjustments under the hood in the parking lot. This shit doesn’t happen in almost every other instance…but for some reason the bike shop (and subsequently the cycling community) goes along with it. It needs to end. From both sides.

Instead, the next time there is a request for a tool, suggest purchasing the correct tool. A surprising outcome might await. Just imagine the excitement on the mechanics face when the person who once requested to borrow tools for free, now owns the very same thing? Could an engaging conversation about how to use said tool ensue? Would the mechanic who has trained to perfect his craft be delighted at the opportunity to share their knowledge with an aspiring wrench? It’s possible and certainly something to consider.

Anyway…

These deals, these casual favors that get abused from both ends devalue the time and the energy spent to acquire the skills and the resources necessary to perform quality work. They devalue the bicycle as a tool. They devalue the cycling community at large by undermining the simple principles that suggest that the persons working in a bike shop are qualified individuals that have dedicated their lives to getting more people riding.

People who work in bike shops and for distributors and for manufacturers have chosen their line of work because they are usually passionate about bicycles. These are the people that make bikes available and safe for the masses. They ensure that bikes are safe for kids in your neighborhood. They sign off on the bike you use to get to work and they guarantee the work they did on your super lit racing machine. Asking for deals from these people is a slap in the face.

It might be worth going as far as to say the worst thing the manufacturers and the distributors and the retailers ever did was offer something at a sale price. When the group collectively decided to reduce the price of something to make room for the next thing that was shinier, they conditioned an entire population to expect a reduction in price. We can’t turn that around, but we can cut off the head of the snake that expects to get something for less because they know so and so who works for such and such.

End the deals…from the inside out.

In. Dust. Tree.

Industry is defined as the aggregate of manufacturing or technically productive enterprises in a particular field, often named after its principal product. There are many industries. Some are good and some are bad.

As a word, industry is often tied to the image of billowing smoke stacks and grinding cogs and steam pouring out of machines. The human side of industry usually congers up dirty, sweat covered faces, metal lunch boxes and worn coveralls. To say that industry invokes pleasant imagery is incorrect, its most often the opposite…and then there are bikes.

For as long as I can remember being around bikes, which is pushing 25 years, people who work with them regularly have referred to their related position as being a part of the bike industry, or the cycling industry. It’s definitely a thing. A regular thing that has become a part of cycling’s vernacular. But why?

If I take a quick look around the bike world I see crumbling retailers. I see ridership falling. I see all kinds of pissing and moaning between groups. I see generational gaps that are being widened faster than they’re being closed. I see gender struggles that suggest we haven’t evolved much past knuckle dragging. I see all these things and I hear nothing in the way of change as it relates to the words people use when they talk about bikes. All of this struggle in our face and we still hang onto this language that begs for negative attachment. I’m certain we don’t even know we’re doing it.

Let’s stop.

Let’s change our language and hopefully our outcome. If we want to see more people on bikes, let’s make that a reality. If we want to see the jobs around bikes prosper and grow and provide livable wages, let’s do that. Let’s get our shit together and make it happen.

Let’s start by cutting the word industry out of our vocabulary. Let’s replace it with community. Let’s replace it with words that are inclusive and inviting. Let’s build everything from the ground up again and let’s do it with words and actions that instill good thoughts and welcoming ideas. Change is hard, but it’s not impossible. The same can be said for ruining cycling.

To recap:

DO THIS - If you work with bikes and someone asks what you do, tell them you work in the bike community. It will likely prompt more qualifying questions.

DON’T DO THIS - If you work with bikes and someone asks what you do, tell them you work in the bike industry and they’ll likely feel intimidated and not ask any more questions.

The Program

Cycling could use some destruction. From the outside, it is accessible and inviting. From the inside, it is incestuous and exclusive. The language used is archaic and off-putting. The gender roles are pervasive show few signs of letting up. Different factions within the community can be elitist and influential. The time for change is now.

That said, we aim to tear down the obstructions and we have found that the most efficient way to ruin anything is to follow a simple program. Having guidelines typically keeps things in order and allows for the quickest route to temporary disaster, chaos and ultimately change and growth.

In the cycling world, there have been several “programs” along the way. One that is ever-changing and very fluid is the pre-determined status-quo that the cycling insiders set in place for any and all that wish to breach its hallowed walls. This series of hoops has been set in place to secure the future of innovation and the evolution of paint as a means to lock in the prosperity of few and keep the many at the edge of their seat wanting more.

For too long the cycling industry (a term we hope is quickly replaced with community) has kept the keys to its inner circle in a secret location. For too long the powers that be have kept the outsiders at bay. It is our hope, with this body of work, to tear down the walls and throw the keys in the trash. Cycling, at all levels, is something that should be available to all persons, not just those with fair skin and disposable income.

For the purposes of our exitprise, we have modeled what we will refer to as suggestions around several completely asinine “rules'“ put forth by a real jack-wagon who identifies themself as the Velominati. It may be worth your time to examine their “rules” before trudging forth through our suggestions. After all, a program is nothing without reference. Also worth noting is the reality that while the Velominati may have been born as satire, it has been adhered to by the ever-narrowing margin of cycling’s elite and taken as gospel by more than the minority. Far too often “Rule Number 5” is shouted from the roof tops under the guise that it’s inspiring and encouraging. Not anymore we say.

Regardless, here’s to destroying everything that’s coveted by the influential few in the cycling world and having a guide to get it done.

THE PROGRAM

  1. Fuck the Rules

  2. Be an Example, Lead No One

    • Being an example and being a leader are two different things. The former is personal responsibility. The latter is communal responsibility. While the two are absolutely necessary, they exist in two different spaces. Focus on being an example. If leadership is your calling, you will find yourself there.

  3. Guide yourself. See Number 2

    • Be an example. If you focus on guiding yourself and can manage things with success, others will take note.

  4. Nothing is All About Anything, Especially the Bike

    • The world we live in is a magical place. There are billions of moving parts that all co-exist to create each and every moment we experience. To put something as trivial as a bike ahead of all else is to ignore the beauty and splendor of the world at our feet.

  5. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

    • Don’t. Just don’t. If you have trouble with this one, see number 4.

  6. Stay Present. Always

    • The past is a place reserved for books and film. The future is only an idea. The present is the space we occupy when we can stay right above our feet. Stay present and enjoy everything that now has to offer.

  7. Form Follows Function

    • This is true of everything that successfully exists. When it comes to cycling, you are in charge of what works for you and what doesn’t.

  8. Run Whatcha Brung

    • An old adage that simply means you get to ride what you want, when you want.

  9. If You Find Yourself in Bad Weather, Stay Present

    • Being in bad weather does not make you tough. Being present in bad weather makes you capable. Know the difference.

  10. You Define Your Best. Not Someone Else

    • Comparison is a slippery slope. If we put our efforts on the bike, or off, as subject to the opinions of others, we have allowed comparison to guide our motives and ultimately removed ourselves from being present.

  11. Bikes are Not Greater than People, Especially Family

    • This shouldn’t even need to be mentioned. For real. A bike is a bike is a bike. Putting a bike or a bike ride ahead of people, especially family is a ridiculous concept and should be cast aside for eternity.

  12. The Correct Number of Bikes to Own is the Number You Own

    • For a long time there has been a clever saying in the bicycle community that the correct number of bikes to own is N+1, where N is the number of bikes you currently own. Historically, it has been a way for those with many bikes to casually brag about that fact to folks that may have fewer. In reality, the correct number of bikes to own is exactly the number you currently own. There is no equation to determine this.

  13. If You Believe in Superstition, Great

    • If superstition has a place in your life, fantastic. If it doesn’t, fantastic. In the cycling community there are a handful of superstitions that come up from time to time, typically around the racing circles. If you choose to participate in them, wonderful. If you’d rather not, wonderful. Either way, superstitions are your choice and not that of someone else. So…keep it to yourself.

  14. Your Clothes do Not Define You, On the Bike or Off

    • You are not defined by your clothing. If you have trouble with this, see number 15.

  15. Wear Whatever You Want

    • For real. Wear whatever you want and let others wear what they want.

  16. Seek No Ones Approval

    • Riding a bike shouldn’t hinge on the judgement of others. Riding a bike does not require approval from anyone.

  17. If You’re on a Team, Great. If You’re Not on a Team, Great

    • There are benefits to being a part of a team. Understand them and respect them. Teams work together, if they don't they are not teams. If independence is your thing, embrace it and enjoy it.

  18. Don’t Let Anyone Tell You what to Wear

    • Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one and everyone thinks everyone else’s stinks. You are in charge of you. That said, if you’ve made apparel decisions collectively, respect the decisions and oblige accordingly.

  19. Be Respectful

    • This has as much to do with bikes and it does with everyday life. Be respectful. Always.

  20. Ask for Help

    • Not knowing things is a shared human quality. No one knows everything. If you don’t know something about your bike, or about riding…ask. Good people will help you. Bad people won’t. Know the difference.

  21. Your Body Your Rules

    • This shouldn’t need definition. it’s your body. You get to decide everything about it. Period.

  22. Hats are Just Hats

    • Cycling hats can serve a purpose while riding. Cycling hats are also just hats. Wear what you like…cycling hats included.

  23. Rest When You Need Rest

    • If you’re riding your bike and you get tired, rest. If it means coasting down a hill, coast. If it means walking up a hill, walk.

  24. Speeds and Distances are Best Measured by One

    • Measuring speed and distances in quantities of one is a simple way to remove the emphasis of comparison, whereby repositioning the focus of the activity to the activity. For example: Last weekend I rode my bike from Iowa to Canada. It took me one trip to get there and it was incredible. (We will explore this further down the road)

  25. Your Value is Not Determined by the Things You Own

    • You are not your bike. You are not your job or your car or your house. You are a person and, as such, you are just like every other person in the world with bones and blood and skin. Bicycles do not define people. Ride them because you want to, not because you think they make you better than others.

  26. Ride Your Own Ride

    • Bikes are for riding. Staying present on the bike can be an amazing experience. Taking pictures of your bike to show people how amazing you are is hollow and will not deliver endless rewards. If you ride your bike, just ride it. There is no need to make a declaration of your achievements.

  27. There is Not One Way

    • There are many paths in this world, some of them are accessible by bike. Explore them and find the joys that line them. Go where you want, not where you’re told.

  28. Matching Things is a Personal Decision

    • In cycling marketing there is a constant message that proclaims the importance of wearing matching apparel. This is bullshit. Seem number 15.

  29. Be Prepared

    • There is no skill greater than being prepared. Experience is your greatest asset. If you don’t know, do not be afraid to ask.

  30. Understand the Tools You Use

    • Bicycles are made of moving parts. Moving parts break. Understanding the proper tools to make adjustments and repairs is helpful. If tools aren’t your thing, seek professional advice from a trusted mechanic. Mechanics are, by and large, good people that have dedicated themselves to bicycles. Treat them with respect and kindness and understand that their livelihood is fixing the things you don’t want to. Compensate appropriately.

  31. Own What You Need

    • You ride your bike. You know your needs. If you’re going forward into an area that you have no prior experience, find someone you can trust to help you make decisions about your needs. Good people will help. Bad people won’t.

  32. Stay Hydrated

    • Drink water from whatever vessel serves you best. Let no one judge you. Hydration is key.

  33. On the Subject of Shaving, See Number 21

    • Your body. Your rules. Shaving hair from the body is a component in the cycling community. It typically exists within the racing community and is done for two purposes. The first is reducing the difficulties that surround the healing of flesh wounds (less hair eases the application and removal of bandages). The second is bullshit posturing. Your body. Your rules.

  34. Footwear is Your Choice

    • You get to ride your bike in whatever footwear you choose. Plain and simple.

  35. A Helmet is a Helmet

    • Helmets exist to reduce injury in the event of an accident. They all function similarly and while there are definitely differences in their construction and performance, they all exist to do the same thing. An important thing to know is that a helmet is made primarily of styrofoam and styrofoam dries out every 3-5 years. Replacing helmets is a thing that should be considered…but, again…Your body. Your rules.

  36. Eyewear is Eyewear

    • Keeping the bugs and the sun out of your eyes is a choice. Make it personal.

  37. There is No Wrong Way to Wear Something

    • You get to decide what you want to wear. You also get to decide how you want to wear it.

  38. Be Courteous

    • Seriously. Be courteous. Always.

  39. Your Sight, Your Rules

    • This is redundant to prove a point. See number 36.

  40. Understand Why Things Break

    • Much like knowing how to use a tool, understanding why something breaks will help you better make decisions as to how to proceed. Breaking down in the middle of a ride can be troublesome. Knowing how to get yourself out of it can be liberating.

  41. Never Change the Way You Do Something to Impress Anyone

    • Other people’s opinions of you are none of your business. Ride because you want to, not because you think someone else will like you more.

  42. Activity is Activity

    • Riding a bike is an activity. Swimming is and activity. Running is an activity. Be active. Or don't. You get to pick and those that suggest you should be doing something else can pound sand.

  43. Be Kind

    • Always. Period.

  44. Be Comfortable

    • Ride within your limits. Push yourself if you can and your limits will expand, but understand yourself and how far you can go while remaining safe.

  45. Your Bike, Your Rules

    • Much like your body, your bike is yours. You get to do whatever you want to it. Paint it? sure. Cover it with stickers? sure. If you understand the moving parts and how they directly relate to your safety, go nuts.

  46. Understand Your Position in Every Situation

    • Knowing where you are in relation to others is helpful in any situation. Knowing where you are on a bike in a group with other people on bikes is safe. Understand your ability and be mindful of others. Keeping things upright and moving along should be the goal for everyone.

  47. Drink What You Like

    • Your stomach. Your rules. Drinking before or during or after a bike ride is a personal choice. Keep yours, yours and let others have theirs.

  48. You Owe No One Anything

    • Nobody gets to tell you shit about what you owe them. The free world doesn’t work that way because the free world is not business. To owe is to be owned. Fuck that.

  49. Be Safe When You’re Active

    • Riding a bike can be dangerous at times. Understanding and respecting that fact is a great step toward being safe. People love you, get home safe.

  50. Body Hair is a Personal Choice

    • This shouldn’t need to be addressed…but here we are. Grow whatever you like. Shave whatever you don’t. Bikes don’t care and neither should people.

  51. Support What You Love

    • Local bike shops are operated by local people that ride their bikes just like you. If you find one that embodies these suggestions, support them. If you find one that feels exclusive and off-putting, don’t support them.

  52. Everything in Moderation

    • If you choose to do the same thing over and over and over again, you will likely begin to take the shape of that thing. Understand moderation and the importance of variety. Or don’t.

  53. Identify Your Priorities

    • You are important to you. You have things in your life that are important to you. Embrace those things and enjoy them, but not at the cost of the rest. See number 52.

  54. You do You

    • This one is easy. You are your own boss. Not somebody else's.

  55. Live as if No One is Coming to Save You

    • Personal responsibility and self-sufficiency will carry you through troubling times without question. On the bike or off. Embrace this.

  56. Take Your Coffee as You Like it

    • Nobody gets to tell you how to drink coffee. There is no right way and there is no wrong way.

  57. Champion the Causes You Love

    • If you love something, proclaim it. Or don’t. If you have questions, see number 2.

  58. Support Your Community with Your Wallet When You Can

    • Times are hard all over and saving a couple of bucks on cycling stuff is certainly tempting. The folks that run your local shop have bills to pay just like you. If you find a shop that embodies these suggestions, support it.

  59. Stay True

    • Be yourself. Hold your line when it comes to being who you are. Nobody gets to make that decision, but you.

  60. Details Matter, They Don’t Define You

    • There are billions of moving parts in the world. Many of them are small. These are the details. They definitely matter, but they are not the be-all end-all. This certainly applies to your bike and they manner in which you keep it.

  61. Judge No One

    • Don’t do this. Ever. Judgement is not your business. Never was. Never will be.

  62. Music is Therapeutic

    • If you like to listen to music while you ride, have at it. Please be respectful of others and get your groove on.

  63. Communicate Intent

    • If you ride alone, communicate your intent to other traffic. If you ride in a group, communicate your intent to other riders. Communication will keep you safe and alive.

  64. Understand Your Past as it Relates to Your Present

    • You are the sum of all of your experiences to date. Your past got you to your present and it will go that way until you're dead. This applies to riding bikes and just being alive.

  65. Care for Your Things

    • All things break. Prolonging the existence of things is directly proportionate to the amount of care invested to said things. If you’re not a fan of replacing parts and such on your bike, take care of it. If you don’t know how, ask.

  66. Be Aware of Your Surroundings

    • You do not live in a bubble, so don’t ride your bike in one. Keep your head up and be aware. It can save your life.

  67. Ask No One to do Something That You Wouldn’t Do

    • This is humanity 101. Not doing something because you don’t know how is far different that not doing something because you simply won’t do it. Understand the difference.

  68. Quality is Greater than Quantity

    • Having a lot of things is not a reflection of anything other than ones ability to have more things than someone else. It is comparison and it is inherently different that and appreciation for quality.

  69. If You Own it, Own it

    • If you have something, have it for a reason. If it’s a bike, own it. If it’s something else, own it. Stand behind it wholeheartedly.

  70. Competition is a Slippery Slope to Narcissism

    • Winning is important to some. Competition and recognition is important to some. This exists in the cycling community as much as it does in every other community. If you enjoy winning, great…keep it to yourself. If the goal is to win at all costs, you’ve abandoned all of these suggestions and we wish you nothing but tail winds and cool breezes.

  71. Improvement follows Effort

    • This is much like form following function. If you want to become a better rider in whatever terms you feel define that, your effort will dictate that. There is no other way.

  72. Don’t Talk Shit

    • Don’t. This never works.

  73. Understand Mechanics Where Necessary

    • Knowing your way around your bike will help you in many ways. Regardless of your willingness to get hands one, knowing the mechanics of your bike will help your make educated decisions when it comes to to repair.

  74. Stats Keep Us in the Past

    • It is impossible to record statistics in the future or the present. Therefore, stats hold us in our past. See number 6.

  75. Racing is for Racers

    • Racing can be a fun way to see if our efforts directly equate to improvement. It can be a great opportunity to see how we stack up in a field of similarly interested folks while handing off the responsibility of making records to someone else. Racing has a place in the cycling community, but it is definitely a place for racers. Understanding this is key.

  76. Your Stuff, Your Rules

    • Nobody gets to tell you what to do with your cycling gear. You are the boss of it. Much like you are the boss of you.

  77. Don’t Litter

    • We get one earth. Be respectful to it.

  78. Don’t Waste Things

    • Understand your needs. They are different than wants. Wasting things excess.

  79. Winning is not Anything

    • To win is to place oneself ahead of another. This is far different than leadership. This is comparison and can become very toxic very quick. Walk the road of winning softly.

  80. Being Cool is Dead

    • There is no inner circle. There is no secret handshake. All are welcome. If that’s not the case, ride somewhere else.

  81. Don’t Boast

    • Nobody wants to hear it. They never did. They never will.

  82. Don’t Judge

    • Seriously. Mind your own business. Judgment is narrow and exclusive. We don’t need anymore of this.

  83. Be Responsible for Yourself

    • You are in charge of you. You will get yourself into things and you should be prepared to get yourself out. Understanding this concept opens up a host of opportunities.

  84. Help Others

    • Just do it. People have helped you your whole life. If you think you came into this world feeding yourself, you’e high AF.

  85. Live Within Your Means

    • Wants and needs. Understand the difference. This applies to bikes as much as everything else.

  86. Don’t Bully People

    • Don’t. Just don’t.

  87. Respect Other People’s Time

    • You are in charge of you and that is a perfectly time-free existence as long as you are alone. Should you wander into another’s existence, be respectful of their time. It needs to go both ways.

  88. Don’t Taunt People

    • Don’t. Just don’t.

  89. Don’t Appropriate Languages

    • You have a native tongue. You may have learned another language in addition, or perhaps even several more. If you come across another language that you’re not familiar with, don’t appropriate it by trying to pronounce things as a native speaker would. Just don’t.

  90. Understand Your Limits

    • You have limits and boundaries. On the bike and off. Push yourself to know them. Stand behind them.

  91. Eat When You’re Hungry

    • If you get hungry, eat. If you’re riding and you get hungry, eat.

  92. Understand Your Abilities and Exercise Them Accordingly

    • You are a capable human. You can do things directly proportionate to your abilities. Fear will hold you back from understanding the full scope of your abilities. Push your limits and exercise yourself accordingly.

  93. Sleep When You’re Tired

    • If you get tired, sleep. Depriving yourself of sleep is a fast track to injury.

  94. Learn How to Fix Things

    • No one enters this life with a complete knowledge of mechanics. These skills are learned. If there are things you would like to know how to fix, as they relate to bicycles or otherwise, ask someone. Learning how to fix things can be liberating.

  95. Do What You Want

    • Take these suggestions or leave them. These are not gospel. You are a human with a mind and a body and choices. Do what you need to, when you need to.

  96. Never be an Asshole

    • If you made it through ninety-five suggestions and this is the one you really needed, welcome.

*PLEASE NOTE THAT LANGUAGE IN THESE SUGGESTIONS IS FLUID AND MAY CHANGE FROM TIME TO TIME*