The number of comments in my last KoS blog dwarfed anything I’ve ever written before. Every single comment except one was positive, so I recognize that this topic of style is one that elicits some serious debate. Despite this sole comment of dispute, I have to assume that there are a few more readers out there who don’t agree with my style thoughts as well. And despite the fact that I am correct with all things style related, I think it is (nearly) needless to say that KoS deserves a follow up. So without further ado, let’s jump headlong into it.
Riding No Handed
How old are you? If you answered more than ten, then I am truly sorry to inform you that no one actually cares that you can ride your bike no-handed. So stop riding around for lengthy stretches of time positioned straight-up and your arms dangling limp at your side, ’cause you look dumb. I’m being completely serious when I’m telling you that you’re showing off a talent that elementary school kids brag about.
I will admit that there are a handful of instances where having both hands are off the bars is permissible. Examples include, putting on or removing jackets or vests, cleaning glasses, race winning fist pumps, reading or submitting something on Twitter, opening energy bars and other such deliciousness, and offering enthusiastic two handed waves to other cyclists. Beyond that, however, everyone sees this as adolescent behavior and knows you’re showing off. So stop.
Wearing Pro Kits
This is an excellent topic of debate, as people often ask about what’s the ruling on wearing professional cycling kits if you are not a professional cyclist yourself. Tough question indeed, but I have a strong stance here. To begin, I think we can agree that cycling is a unique sport. You like baseball? I’m pretty sure you’ve never touched the grass on a professional field itself. You’re a football fan? Sure Tom Brady is dreamy and all, but there’s no way you’re getting within inches of him. NASCAR fan? …ummmm, well I’m sorry to hear that, but despite your cool number 24 in your rear window, there’s no way your Chevy is as fast as theirs.
Among a smattering of other worthy reasons, cycling rocks because you can experience exactly what we pros experience. You can ride the bikes we ride, wear the helmets we wear, pedal the roads on which we race… and you obviously have the opportunity to rock the clothes we wear. So why the crap not?
Moreover, if you’re going to piece together a bicycle outfit, instead of the ragtag/patchwork look, why not look good when doing so? We look good, so you sure as heck might as well hop on the bandwagon and look nearly as good as we do.
Heed this Advice or You’re Not Even Worthy of a Bike in the First Place
Alright everyone, what follows here are a few crucially important style tips. Don’t skimp here because this ranks as high as anything in the KoS’s black book of style (which, incidentally, is white). Interestingly, both of these rules are related to typing and therefore entirely unrelated to cycling. But like I just said, they’re integrally important in fitting into the grand scheme of things, and cycling is a worthy son of the “grand scheme of things.”
Seriously? No, no no no, I mean seriously? Good Lord, I wish I didn’t have to bring this up, but it’s mere reality that I do. This blog doesn’t cater to many sixth grade girls, so I have to assume that you’re not one. Therefore stop using faces. Forever. Failure to heed this rule will result in a smattering of insults and perhaps a headbutt.
Along the same lines, adolescent abbreviations will get you no where in life so take copious notes here. Stop. LOL, OMG, LMAO, and all others* are worthy of a punch to the face.
* There is one tiny exception to the rule, which I will call the “WTF Rule.” You see, WTF is allowed in the circumstance of “WTF ____” which was a little something I created not too long ago. This phrase is somewhat like the iconic New England phrase “wicked ___.” Wicked good, wicked bad, wicked pissah guy. Similarly, WTF works the same way, but only operates correctly if you’re in accordance with ALL other style rules. “WTF-good” is my favorite, but I did earn one unhappy comment as a result of using that a few months ago on Twitter. Can’t please them all, eh? WTF…
The Golden Rule
Friends, do you see a common thread that runs throughout all of these KoS’s rules? Wearing white all of the time would be a good first guess, but that’s not it.
Look, the best summary to these rules is simply to Do-unto-others. No one wants to be visually assaulted by horrendous style, since this sort of cacophony of panache stands out like an 8-speed cassette in a 10-speed drivetrain. For gosh darn sakes, we see you! It’s a public sport; you train, race, and put out your vibe at coffee shops in a very public manner. Social Darwinism is a remarkably strong factor in day to day life, and when you look like an idiot, we all recognize it and we will ridicule you. Geezum crow, even people who aren’t cyclists recognize it.
Thus, simply doing-unto-others is a common courtesy so that we’re all not ashamed to be classified in the same category: cyclist. We’re all ambassadors to the sport, and everything we can do to promote the sport is a step in the right direction. After all, progressing the great sport of cycling is WTF-good.