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The Rules: The Way of the Cycling Disciple

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  637 ratings  ·  64 reviews
The Velominati embrace cycling as a way of life, as obsessed with style, heritage, authenticity, and wisdom as with performance. This is their bible.

The Rules is an essential part of every cyclist’s kit—whether you’re riding to work or training to be the next Bradley Wiggins or Victoria Pendleton. Winning awards and gaining millions of viewers, has become an
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 5th 2014 by W. W. Norton Company (first published June 20th 2013)
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Silly but fun ... and, pretty much exactly what is advertised ... not much more, and not much less. A quick, light, makes you smile, relatively easy read, which I'm guessing is all the more worthwhile if your friends (and cycling companions) are also reading, ... or have already read, it.

As a (admittedly on-and-off, and not-consistent-as-I'd-like, yet, nonetheless long-term and often) serious cyclist, I'm embarrassed to admit that I hadn't read this earlier ... particularly since I've been heari
Chrissy Wiley
Nov 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Quite simply the most excellent and entertaining cycling culture book I've read to date, full of humor, history, wisdom, and a healthy mental dose of The V. The Rules will be a treat for any grizzled cyclist, and test the newcomer's sense of wit and humor.

Many reviews call out the seemingly sanctimonious roadie-snobbery that forms much of the crust of this book. And this is hardly surprising, as these readers have obviously never met The Man with the Hammer, and are thus unable to penetrate to
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
According the blurb on the back this book is a necessity for the avid biker. It contains a list of rules, written with humor that provide tips on road etiquette, gear tips, and much more. The Velominati is a website for the devoted biker with much of the same information. That info has now been condensed and put into this book.

Since my husband loves his cycling I thought this would be the perfect book for him. I read through most of it and was slightly amused at the stories, but rather bored fo
Pete Collins
Jul 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To fully appreciate this book you have to be a cyclist as most of the references are cycle related and the humour most certainly is.
Having said that, I am a cyclist and I LOVED the book.
The book lays down the rules of the Velominati that the cyclist - not a bike rider - is strongly encouraged to adhere to. Everything from the colour of the socks to the way you should interact with the "non-initiated" was covered and whilst much of it was in a humerous way it was all pretty relevant to me as a
Mar 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
A series of rules for cyclists, this book appeals to gear junkies and cycling enthusiasts. But, it is written with such a condescending and grating tone that I was constantly annoyed. The only great part of this book was the forward by Greg Lemond. I need to read more by/about him; he seems like a good guy and a good writer (and rider).

Note to publishers: We can all agree that Gotham is a great font. But, can we also agree that Gotham light doesn't work for large amounts of body text? It blurs
Aug 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book is a bit of fun, but I get a dreadful feeling that there are cyclists out there who might take these 'rules', seriously. For some, this is a glossary of cycling snobbery, a 'style guide' for those without any sense of style and a source of ammunition put other, 'non-conformist' cyclists down.
I'd expected to find some useful tips for safe and considerate cycling and to be fair, there is some good stuff about cycling etiquette. Apart from that, it was quite amusing.
James McAulay
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic advice for the fledgling cyclist to avoid embarrassment, injury, or judgement from veteran riders.
Jack Pando
Aug 11, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: first-reads
I read about 30 pages of this book before I basically threw it down. I can't tell if it is a joke or a bunch of snobby bikers giving ridiculous rules to cycling.
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Nothing has made me want to get on a bike more than this book. Rule #5 will always be in my lexicon now.
Sep 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
I get that this book was supposed to be tongue in cheek, but that didn't stop it from being completely sexist and obnoxious.
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read: Hardback edition and Audible edition.
Very tongue in cheek recounting of the (until now) unwritten rules for “serious cyclists.” The audible version was especially entertaining due to the narrator’s overly reverent tone.
The content varies widely from sound advice concerning training and etiquette to fascinating stories of classic cycling history and legendary riders to out and out hilarious parody of cycling snobbery as it pertains to proper sock height, when and how to wear a cycling cap
Simon Bager
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is an obnoxious and annoying piece. The authors, a bunch of Americans who wished they were born in Belgium, and their so-called Rules is supposed to be a fun, tongue-in-cheek read, but ends up sounding mostly pathetic and ignorant in their of European cycling culture and its great riders. I’m a cyclist myself, and I really did not enjoy this read. I hope no young rider reads this and takes it seriously.
Carlos Rivera
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Funny, yet hardcore book about why we ride and the code that goes with the "Vie Velominatus." Good historical references , and a glossary which is almost a chapter unto itself. If you are a serious cyclist, or just want to impress your friends while downing pints, read this book. You won't regret it!!
Matt Fitz
Oct 25, 2017 rated it liked it
A loan from a fellow cylcling geek. To be honest, just check out the website for "the Rules." Entertaining and esoteric book for the cycling geek. We are an odd mix of Type-A in lycra, so we should never take ourselves to seriously...and this book should not be taken so seriously. :-)
Craig Statucki
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
While I did not find this a quick read, I enjoyed the book. I know that I will review and re-read The Rules again in order to remind myself of Rule #5 and for the entertaining stories with the other rules.
Erlend Bergsagel
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I would have to recommend this to people who are riding a bike. To work and/or training. If not, I would not recommend it.
Road-etiquette and usefull tips. Funny and serious at the same time
Kike Rojas
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Extremely interesting and fun. Anyone interested in cycling, road cycling in particular, should read The Rules... and make sure to obey them as well.
Chad Hintsala
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Rule #5, Rule #5 and Rule #5!!
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved this book, but you have to take it as it's intended: tongue firmly planted in cheek. For road bikers only... not sure anyone else would enjoy it. But for my cycling friends: a must-read!
Danielle Miikelson
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
i love this book

this book is fantastic

Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very funny! A quick read I found to laugh out loud crazy. Every race I’ve won was in the absolute worst conditions (Bitter cold, heavy rain, snow) so Rule # 5 hits close to home.
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Clever and funny as hell, a very enjoyable read
Eduardo Rivero
What a good book.

Inspiring, its way to admire a sport is noble and push you to want to do your best day by day

Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Nice little entertaining read. Super easy to read in short bursts about cycling
Douglas Long
Jun 22, 2014 rated it liked it
This book is squarely aimed at cyclists, and more specifically road cyclists, and even more specifically serious road cyclists with an interest in the Eurocentric history and traditions of the sport. It can also be an instructional read for the partners of those who fit the above criteria: for example, those hapless spouses who can’t understand why their significant other would opt to spend their Saturday cycling in the rain rather than enduring a six-hour shopping spree at the local Ikea.
Dewayne Stark
May 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Can't agree with all the rules. Or in other words I don't follow all of these myself. Living in California I prefer to ride with the weather is good and avoid the bad although I ride almost every day. Lots of riders that are not pros have to train in the mornings but I can ride anytime I want to.

Shaving the guns is something I have been doing off and on since I first started racing as a teenager but the majority of road riders I see around here don't shave.

My tan lines vary as I do other water
Alastair Hudson
Apr 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anthropologists, Cyclists, Religious Nutters
Shelves: non-fiction
This gift was so much better than I expected.
I was once a 'Cycleway Hero', though I never donned the YJA. I'm now in transition; heading towards the outer edges of Road biking. With occasional deviations towards Mountain Biking.

This book really captures the culture of Road Biking and manages to convey a lot of information in an informal way that is never seems condescending. Along with the useful information and interesting history is a massive dose of entertainment.

The reader is made to feel p
Chris Brown
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book for reviewing purposes as a part of the First Reads program.

This book is extremely entertaining for cyclists. It contains a long list of rules with 1-3 page descriptions of them. They are generally very humorous and I actually learned quite a few things while reading it. I would classify this book more as humor than reference, but it does contain a decent amount of knowledge. It is nice to have a book that you can pick up and read a page or two at a time when you feel like i
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Cool, astute, amusing, informative on several levels (despite the tongue-in-cheek tone), even, I reckon, for the cycling history afficionado. A book that tries not to appear to take itself seriously, but takes itself seriously. Shows you how to be a conformist cycling "Velominatus", but, the inevitable corollary is that it also shows you how easy it is to be a rebel. Reading this will undoubtedly heighten my level of aesthetic appreciation for the next viewing of the Paris-Roubaix, or the Ronde ...more
Hella Comat
Sep 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is a set of rules for Velominati - "true cycling disciples". Some of the rules are about the passion of cycling - #72 Legs speak louder than words, and #9 If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Some are funny - #12 the correct number of bikes to own is n+1, where n is the current number of bikes you own, and some are just good advice - #37 the arms of eyewear should be placed over helmet straps (in case of a crash, your glasses will come off and not cause furt ...more
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The Velominati, or Keepers of the Cog, are founder and main author Frank Strack (Seattle), Brett Kennedy (New Zealand), Gianni Andrews (Hawaii), Marko Carlson (Minnesota), and Jim Thomson (Seattle). Their site,, receives over two million views per month.

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“Rule #12: The correct number of bikes to own is N+1, where N is the number of bikes currently owned.” 4 likes
“Everything about our sport involves suffering, discipline and dedication. In a word, hardness.” 1 likes
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