When we first thought of writing an article about The Rules as codified by Velominati, we knew we had to illustrate them. Ideas including photo stories and videos flew around but when I showed the others the drawings of Pavel Novák, a talented artist and a dear friend for as long as I can remember, everybody was happy to go with good old hand-drawn illustrations.

Although Pavel rides a Dahon to and from work most days, he is not a cyclist in the sense put forward by Velominati. He couldn't care less about The Rules and he will happily place the drive train on the left - hand side in his illustrations. But his sense of humour and his skill is so great that it doesn't matter one bit. Understandably, when selecting the rules to illustrate we had to pick the ones that lend themselves to such treatment. Luckily we managed to come up with ideas for most we wanted to illustrate, the one exception being the famous Greg LeMond quote borrowed for rule  #10.

#5 - Harden the fuck up

Let's start with the rule of rules, the mighty #5. Cycling is hard and to be able to cope with the strain you have to harden up. The models here are the hard men from cycling's past, from the heroes of the early Tours and Giros riding 15 kg bikes with no gears on 300+ km stages to the giants of the sport like Coppi and Merckx. And tens of others whose names we know and thousands we don't.

#7 - Tan lines should be cultivated and kept razor sharp

On a lighter note, The Rules deal with plenty of issues concerning cycling aesthetics. These include commandments on what to wear and what not to wear, what you can carry on your bike and in your pockets, what you can or can't hang on your bike … We picked three from this very well represented group. The #7 orders you to go strictly two - tone by exposing some parts of your body to the sun while carefully hiding others for everyone to be able to tell you're a cyclist when you strip off.

#32 - Humps are for camels: no hydration packs

The illustration for #32 which actually only rules out camel bags expands the commandment to "No Luggage On A Road Bike" which in our opinion makes perfect sense and should be added anyway.

#50 - Facial hair is to be carefully regulated

The #50 which pretty much forbids facial hair has been facing huge challenges in the pro peloton and elsewhere of late with some riders sporting hipster beards and spivvy moustaches. 

#12 - The correct number of bikes to own is n+1

The rule probably closest to the hearts of many Festka type riders must be the most popular and most often quoted one  –  #12 which deserves to be included here in full: “The correct number of bikes to own is n+1 where n is the number of bikes currently owned." For some people love for cycling translates as the love for bikes and that's fine, too.

#25 - The bikes on top of your car should be worth more than the car

And then there are some people, myself included, for whom their hi - end road bike is the most valuable item in their possession which means that we can observe rule #25 even without trying.

You may choose to obey The Rules or to ignore them. Or to obey some and ignore others. But we think there is an unwritten rule that no one should ignore:

"Enjoy yourself doing what you're doing on and around bikes."


written by: Janek Jaros
illustrated by: Pavel Novák

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