Rewriting Rule 9

Rewriting Rule 9

Rule 9. If you know, you know.

For everyone else, this is perhaps the most-quoted of ‘The Rules’, published by the Velominati many years ago in their satirical take on just how pedantic roadies can be about ‘doing things right’....

Amongst gems such as Rule 66 (no mirrors) and Rule 37 (the arms of the eyewear shall always be placed over the helmet straps), is the best-known Rule 9“If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass.”.

We’ve been thinking about bad weather quite a lot down here in Soigneur’s New Zealand home town of Rotorua.  For whatever hotly-debated reason, our summer of 2022-23 has been one for the record books. Crazy levels of rain, floods, cyclones and apparently next week raining frogs.

So have we been badass? Has the Soigneur family been out doing hill reps in the rain, inundated intervals, and soggy sprint work? As we say in New Zealand, “yeah, nah”, which loosely translated means “yeah I know I should, but no I won’t”.

Not that we’re indoors on Zwift either. We’re lucky enough to have enormous amounts of quiet gravel roads, and while rainy road riding can be miserable, wet weather gravel riding in isolated forests can be magnificent. Same-same but different.

So does that make us gravel badasses? We’re out riding in bad weather after all.

Well, forgive our modesty, but we don’t think so. Because it seems that when the Velominati think of riding, they think of riders wearing polyester jerseys. Which means they’re either too hot, too cold, adding layers, removing layers, carrying gilets and €200 raincoats, all the while trying to get comfortable while blaming the weather.

But when we think of riding, we think of cashmere-smooth thermo-regulating water-repellent merino that is the product of millions of years of sheep-based product development. You don’t see merino sheep farmers putting raincoats and thermals on their sheep after all – they don’t need it.

So when we ride in the rain with our merino jerseys and light raincoats at most, we’re actually pretty darn comfortable and can happily gravel ride for hours in the rain.  Yeah, we’re riding in the rain, but Rule 9 doesn’t apply.

Perhaps Rule 9 needs an update:

“If you are out riding in bad weather wearing merino instead of polyester, it means you are smarter, better looking, more comfortable, better for the environment and probably riding faster too”.

Posted: Sat 27 May 2023