A seasonal cold is keeping me pretty much off the bike this weekend so here’s another book review for you..
Racing against the clock in any form of time trial is a Race of Truth. How far? How fast? Nothing else matters. Time trialling on the track is an even purer Test. Stripped bare of all the issues of weather, terrain and surface it reduces the contest to just Man and Machine. And there is no greater test of Man and Machine than The Hour – a increasingly mythologised undertaking that pits each new challenger against the greats of the sport who have held the record through the decades. Michael Hutchinson, in his 2007 book (Yellow Jersey Press. £8.99) detailing his own own attempt at the record notes that, in this way, he able to race against Coppi, even from beyond the grave.
‘The Velominati embrace cycling not just as a pastime or a means of travel, but as a way of life – as obsessed with style, heritage, authenticity and wisdom as with performance. THE RULES is their Bible.’
There is much to cherish in the Velominati’s extended paper copy of their famous online RULES (Sceptre £12.99). At times, there also appears much to scoff at, deride and probably a few to sensibly ignore. Such are the potentially divisive nature of some of THE RULES.
There is bound to be disagreement with some of the 91 Rules (there are now 92 on the website) set down by the Velominati, and I’m sure that they, the self-styled ‘Keepers of the Cog’, wouldn’t have it have any other way. Apart from the side benefit of enabling the good-natured, post-ride debates that interpretation might foster, disagreement also shows a less than total dedication to the cult and therefore elevates the total believers more fully. THE RULES are set up as a litmus test for the knowledgable road cyclist and, looking around at those on the roads these days, the non-believer rate is high.
I was introduced to THE RULES almost as soon as I expressed a resurgent interest in using my bike as more than a mere mode of transport.