Once in a while you come across a website that most people might miss, so you share. Cycling is an inscrutable religion to most people, including, somewhat, to me. I used to read BikeSnobNYC quite a bit, along with the Fat Cyclist, along with plenty of the Tour de France and other bike races, but there is always something that remains elusively out of reach. Now I'm not some yokel who can't tell his Rapha from his Assos in the ground, but still...
The Velominati have a certain rigid dogmatism, coupled with a sly humor, that, while not letting you in on the secrets, inculcates you into the cult via The Rules, The Lexicon, The Works, and The Bikes. Examples of some of the EIGHTY-FIVE rules:
- RULE 5: Harden the F*ck Up.
- RULE 9: If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
- RULE 22: Cycling caps can be worn under helmets, but never when not riding, no matter how hip you think you look. This will render one a douche, and should result in public berating or beating. The only time it is acceptable to wear a cycling cap is while directly engaged in cycling activities and while clad in cycling kit. This includes activities taking place prior to and immediately after the ride such as machine tuning and tire pumping. Also included are cafe appearances for pre-ride espressi and post-ride pub appearances for body-refueling ales (provided said pub has sunny, outdoor patio – do not stray inside a pub wearing kit or risk being ceremoniously beaten by leather-clad biker chicks). Under these conditions, having your cap skull-side tipped jauntily at a rakish angle is, one might say, de rigueur. All good things must be taken in measure, however, and as such it is critical that we let sanity and good taste prevail: as long as the first sip of the relevant caffeine or hop-based beverage is taken whilst beads of sweat, snow, or rain are still evident on one’s brow then it is legitimate for the cap to be worn. However, once all that remains in the cranial furrows is salt, it is then time to shower, throw on some suitable après-ride attire (a woollen Molteni Arcore training top circa ’73 comes to mind) and return to the bar, folded copy of pastel-coloured news publication in hand, ready for formal fluid replacement. It is also helpful if you are a Giant of the Road, rather than a giant douchebag.
- RULE 42: A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
- RULE 62: You shall not ride with earphones. Cycling is about getting outside and into the elements and you don’t need to be listening to Queen or Slayer in order to experience that. Immerse yourself in the rhythm and pain, not in whatever 80′s hair band you call “music”. Rule 5 and ride your bike.
- RULE 77: Respect the earth. Do not throw your empty gel packets, energy bar wrappers or punctured tubes on the road or in the bush. Stuff em in your jersey pockets, and repair that tube when you get home.
"La Vie Velominatus. It is the life we, as Velominati, lead. It is life as a disciple of cycling, of the greater meaning the bike holds and the lessons it teaches us. A Velominatus is a disciple of the highest order. We spend our days poring over the very essence of what makes ours such a special sport and how that essence fits into cycling’s colorful fabric. This is the Velominati’s raison d’être. This is where the Velominati can be ourselves. This is our agony – our badge of honor – our sin.
Velominati.com is less about the articles and more about the conversation. Those of you who read more and post more, become an integral part of the discussion and help carry the momentum forward. There are several levels of Velominatus:
- Level 4 Velominatus: The casual observer and occasional poster.
- Level 3 Velominatus: The regular reader and casual poster.
- Level 2 Velominatus: The devoted reader and regular poster.
- Level 1 Velominatus: The most committed of reader and poster.
- Gray, Black, and Orange Order Velominatus: Once having passed Level 1, the inducted among the Order wear three color badges, based on their rank."
For some history, to learn a few things about cycling, and maybe get a chuckle or two, head over to their website and look around. Who knows, maybe you're a Velominati-to-be?