Monday, November 18, 2013

Cycling Rules for OAPs

One of the things that I really enjoy about cycling is the wide range of people I meet, the friends that I have made and the new areas that I have visited
And during this last year, whilst I was attempting to get fit enough to ride the London100,  I have met an even wider circle of people than usual. And in particular I have ridden with people of all ages and it has become apparent that the majority of these youngsters ( defined as anyone below the age of 50 years old ) are in need of some serious education in cycling etiquette when riding with Old Age Pensioners like myself.

Their appreciation of what is considered a safe and reasonable pace leaves much to be desired; and their understanding of what the correct Cycling Food on the Go should be seems non existent despite the fact that they have generously supported me earlier in the year when I was giving away Cycling Food recipe booklets in exchange for a donation to my chosen charity.

So, in order that they will be better prepared in the future I have devised a set of Rules for Cycling  for OAPs

Rule 1    Triple Chain Rings are allowed and the lower the tooth count the better

Rule 2    Cassettes with a 32 sprocket ring are ideal

Rule 3    OAPs do NOT have to pedal downhill

Rule 4    Tea and Cake Shop stops are MANDATORY on all rides greater than 25km

Rule 5     Carbon belongs in steel, NOT in plastic

Rule 6     Pockets should be provided in cycling clothing but NOT on the back where they are literally a pain in the arse

Rule 7     All zips should be a big and chunky as worn by construction workers, builders and other he-men

Rule 8     Any more ??


  1. Rule 7 reminded me about an incidence in our local bike shop. I wanted to buy a gilet cycling top. The one I found had a thin zipper. I asked if they had anything with a more substantial zip. No, they had not. I asked why they made the zip so thin and flimsy – because it is lighter!
    I tried on the garment, I found I could not fasten it, then I found out it was made as if for a woman i.e. fastened on the opposite side. I pointed out that they had women’s clothing in the men’s section. Reply No sir, it is American and they are all like that over there.

    Splutter, then what is it doing over here?

    So Rule 8. Over fifties always buy a mans cycling top, apart from anything else it saves the embarrassing bulge at bust level which apparently all American men must have. But then again I suppose they could be pockets thus saving the back pocket.

  2. It would appear that you had this gilet on backwards, for in keeping with the inaccessible and miniscule back pocket on your trousers, the gilet zip should be on your back, so that the "bust bulge" covers your rucksack, and the gilet pocket is then at the front where it should be. Alternatively, you could of course, wear your rucksack on your chest to better fill the bulge.
    There is also a problem with men's underpants which are usually designed by women, who have only a vague idea of the basic requirements, and that is why they do not seem to suit the male human form. Without going into too much detail,which would lower the tone of this discussion, they can be particularly frustrating if you suffer from a weak bladder or galloping incontinence.

  3. Regarding Rule 3: It all depends on what you mean by 'downhill' (as 'Professor' Joad might have said) Is it necessary to define a gradient such as 1 in 10 (10%), or 1 in 7 (14%) when the OS start to mark steep hills on their maps.

    Regarding comments from 'Trexrider' and Les - there is another problem with American anatomy. What we call a 'bum bag' they call a 'fanny pack'.

  4. In the new (Dec-Jan) CTC magazine, there is a book review (p24) "The Rules by the Velominati".
    "Rule 12: The correct number of bikes to own is n+1 where n is the number of bikes currently owned."

  5. As a born again cyclist in the LAP range of years. I like your rules.

  6. Thank you for all your comments and suggestions. Over the festive period I am having to *educate * a youngster on Rule 4.