Rule #5

Today’s guest picture was very kindly sent to me by my brother Andrew.  He quite rightly felt that we all needed cheering up on account of the political situation, and thought that there could be no more cheerful sight than the riverside gardens at Tamworth.

Tamworth gardens

After yesterday’s miserable day of wind and rain, we got a duplicate wet and windy day today.  As a result, I was more than happy to let breakfast and the crossword drift gently into coffee and a biscuit.  At this point, I was rescued from gloomy torpor by first, the arrival of Sandy looking to borrow the Archive Group projector, and then by Dropscone, who turned up with great expectations, having read in yesterday’s post that there was a chance of biscuits as well as coffee.

We did indeed enjoy the recorder group’s biscuits with some Guatemalan coffee.  The rain fell steadily outside.

When the coffee klatch disbanded, I thought about cycling down to Longtown on my borrowed bike in order to  hand it back and collect my own bike from the bike shop and ride it home.

I thought about it and I looked at the rain and then I thought again.

But then I remembered the Rules of the Velominati, the invisible hand that guides the cyclists of the world along the truth path of enlightenment.

Their mission statement is this:

The Rules lie at the beginning of The Path to La Vie Velominatus, not at the end; learning to balance them against one another and to welcome them all into your life as a Velominatus is a never-ending struggle waged between form and function as we continue along The Path towards transcension.

There are many rules, many of the only apply to more serious cyclists than me but I like Rule 12 which says:

The correct number of bikes to own is n+1 where n is the number of bikes that you already own.

Today I particularly thought of rule 9 which states:

If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period. Fair-weather riding is a luxury reserved for Sunday afternoons and wide boulevards. Those who ride in foul weather – be it cold, wet, or inordinately hot – are members of a special club of riders who, on the morning of a big ride, pull back the curtain to check the weather and, upon seeing rain falling from the skies, allow a wry smile to spread across their face. This is a rider who loves the work.

And the best rule of all, Rule 5:

I cannot reprint what Rule 5 says in this blog for reasons of taste, but suffice it say that the general tenor of the rule is:

“Stop Crying”

So I stopped crying and put my waterproof gear on and cycled the 15 miles down to Longtown by back and sometimes bumpy roads on my borrowed bike (which has a very upright riding position) into a stiff wind and with rain battering into my face for most of the way.

I enjoyed it.

Once you are wet, you can’t get any wetter and it was reasonably warm so there was nothing to complain about.

I enjoyed coming back by a straighter route on my own much more comfortable bike, with the wind behind me and the rain reduced to a drizzle even more for some reason.

My bike was in the repair shop because of a persistent and annoying noisy vibration, probably coming from the belt drive.  I say probably because the best brains at the bike shop are baffled and although their efforts have led to an amelioration, they have not led to a complete cure.  Further trial and research is in order.  Meanwhile the bike is riding pretty well so I am fairly happy.

When I got back, I had a look round the garden in the drizzle to enjoy what colour I could find.


The bad weather had not put a small insect off visiting the zinnia.

zinnia with insect

And a cosmos smiled shyly at me through the gloom.


Lilian Austin keeps producing more late flowers…

two lilians

…and most surprising of all is this clematis at the front door, as this is the third time is has produced flowers this year.

very late front door clematis

I had time for a shower and a late lunch and then I set off to Carlisle (in the rain) but this time by car.  I was heading for the station to pick Mrs Tootlepedal up from the London train.

Quite by chance, I saw this fine steam locomotive, 45699 Galatea, waiting at platform 3 to haul a steam excursion down the line.

Galatea 45699

Mrs Tootlepedal’s train was punctual to the very minute, indeed it might even have been a fraction early, so I had to leave the steam engine and go to meet her.

It wasn’t raining in Carlisle but it was raining in Langholm when we got back.  There are disadvantages in living among the hills on the edge of the Solway plain.  After several sunny days in London, Mrs Tootlepedal remarked on them.

There is no flying bird of the day, but I did take a short and wobbly video on my phone of Galatea pulling out of the station.  I have turned the sound down considerably as it was a noisy affair.

I don’t need to say it but I will anyway, it is surpassingly good to have Mrs Tootlepedal home again.

You can find the very extensive list of the Velominati rules here if your interest has been roused.  They are for a specialised taste though and probably not very funny if you are not a cyclist.  My tan lines are very disappointing.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “Rule #5

  1. I am cross with myself. I have taken much longer than usual to read your post, as at your very first mention of the Velominati I took a diversion to see if there was really such a thing. And I started reading their rules, led there by my search engine. Despite having been shocked by Rule 5, I persisted until I saw somewhere in the 20s a cross-reference to Rule 85, at which point I gave up, and returned to reading your post. Only to find that you had answered my questions, and spared me Rule 5.
    Nice steam engine though.

    1. The rules are pretty comprehensive. As I am just an old fellow cycling about in baggy shorts on a road bike, they don’t apply to me though.

  2. I’m a cyclist and I found the rules quite amusing, but I’m nowhere near rabid enough to ever be accepted as a card-carrying member of the Velominati! Rule 5 though, however you phrase it, is rather sound advice for just getting on with things. Good on Dropscone for using your blog as a menu for treats!

    1. Fortunately there were more than enough biscuits t go round. Unfortunately Rule 5 doesn’t stop you getting sore knees from riding in an unfamiliar position on a strange bike.

  3. I’ve seen a lot of plants bloom twice in a season but three times is unusual.
    It was great to see a train again. I never see them here, though I could if I drove for a while.
    Enlightenment is certainly a worthy goal but I didn’t know you could get there on two wheels.

  4. “Once you are wet, you can’t get any wetter.” This could easily be applied to going out in a storm here in Oregon. I find it rather enjoyable after a dry summer. That is as long as it’s not blowing a stiff, cold breeze. Then it’s best to stay home by the fire. We’re still looking longingly at the skies for a sign of some moisture.

      1. I use a sound machine setting called “night train” to drown out the noise of the fish factory (processing plant) for good sleep at night. I am afraid that if I went in a train ride, I wouldn’t be able to stay awake. Loved the video.

        Thanks for the link. Was about to look up the rules. Sounds like number five might apply to life in general.

  5. I hope that sharing some of the rules will not put you in the crosshairs of The Velominati enforcers?
    I’m glad that Mrs. T. is home, and hope that her time spent in England will not lead her to try to import any of their strange customs…

  6. Love that rule book especially No. 5. Sorry that your bike still wasn’t perfect hopefully it will get better the more it is used! Great video of train- phones are just amazing these days! I bet Mrs T had a lovely time with her new grandchild but she’ll be happy to be home with you and her garden.

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