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THE GRAVEL-RIDING ADVENTURE-CYCLING BIKEPACKING CYCLE-TOURING ‘RULES’

Call it what you want: bikepacking; adventure cycling; gravel riding; cycle touring ... these are our lighthearted list of so-called 'rules' for you to check out, add to, and/or call out! Some more serious than others, obviously. See what you think...

expect the unexpected

“run what ya brung”. Ride whatever bike you have/can. Just travel by bike

skid like you have a tyre sponsor

colourful and/or chequered shirts make you better at riding off-road

expected ride time? Double it

soften the f*ck up. You’ve got a spork on your bike

averaging more than 15KPH will land you with a speeding fine. At some point, somewhere

always have a minimum of two tissues somewhere on your bike. We’ve done the research…

noone likes a weight-weenie. You’re only going to strap a jar of peanut butter to your bike

record your trips, sure, but just know you’ll never be as good at drawing as Frank Patterson, intrepid as Fred Wright, or make a cooler book than The Crane Brothers

camp meals should always have a grated garnish. No excuses

the number of fig rolls / stroopwafels / jaffa cakes you’re allowed to carry is the amount that fit, neatly in a line, in your top tube pack(s)

the correct number of coffee-making apparatus to carry is n+1 (where n = the number of coffee making apparatus you are currently carrying)

if you prepare a hot-water bidon for your sleeping bag, it means you are a badass. Period

it never gets easier, you just go further     off-road

bikepacking shoes are for hiking in, as much as riding

always go for the pink hut slippers. Bikepacker’s good luck

sticker the f*ck out of your bike; patch the f*ck out of your bike bags

if there is a stamp available, stamp something

gravel should, at all times, be referred to by it’s ISO 14688-1:2002 / Krubien Scale classification

calling gravel roads ‘groads’ is equally cool, as it is lame. Gridleways is a step too far

if you don’t know where you’re going, just pretend you do.

if you use an actual paper map, you are a badass. Period

shelter? mountain hut > bothy > tent > bivvy/tarp > nothing > hammocks

never, like never-ever, disclose the real extent of upcoming terrain and hardship

if you’re too remote to find a bar, just create your own and open the doors

there is a time and place for 3-in-1 coffee sachets. All the time, everywhere

anyone that prefers dark chocolate (Tunnocks or any brand, really) to milk chocolate is not your friend

always take more snacks than you need, or can physically eat. Sharing is caring. Bonking is real

Merino or nothing

crockery? enamel > titanium > aluminium > nothing > bone-china > glass

spare tubes, multi-tools and repair kits should be stored in your bags. Why would you wear them?

if a shop is open, stock up. If there is water, fill up, or jump in it. Preferably both

dangling was legit until the late-Summer of 2019 (when we got ill at 4000m in Kyrgyzstan). If you dangle your mugs or crockery, dangle on the drive-side

wet wipes. That is all. A rule? Don’t share one. Opt for biodegradable

carrying a complete toothbrush is just embarrassing. Cut it down to an efficient length. Efficient for packing; efficient for brushing

Voile is pronounced Vwolay. Don’t listen to the anyone else, even if they work at Vo-Lay

tyre chat should be strictly confined to the internet

wear clothing with big pockets to hotel breakfasts. Stock up; miniatures are designed specifically for us

road bike cleats have no place in the bikepacking adventure cycling gravel riding cycle touring community

all photos need to follow the rule of thirds. Period

all photos of bikes need to be shot straight-on, facing the drive-side, cranks in-line with seatstays. Ignore the valve and tyre logo sticklers

the colour white is a no-go

never go for a walk without your bike

the height at which a drink is poured is directly linked to taste. The higher the better, obviously. Watch for crosswinds

no spork, no eat. No mug, no drink

Never, like never-ever, take on a foresty lorry

logpile photos are o̶b̶l̶i̶g̶a̶t̶o̶r̶y̶ very noughties

cadence > bravado

there is zero point trying to keep your feet dry at a ford / river crossing. A deeper, wider one will just be waiting around the corner…

Slow and/or stop for dogs. It’s the least instinctive thing to do, ever, but it works. Mime a rock throw, if needed

the term ‘endurance rider’ should remain reserved for folk that have finished more than one endurance race. The word ‘ultra’ is best avoided

always carry a T̶o̶b̶l̶e̶r̶o̶n̶e̶ bungee

ride what you can fix

sample fresh river water like fine wine. Share tasting notes with fellow riders and upload to your favourite app – Rivino?

if you have suspension, you should have flat bars. No excuses

bikes are for riding, not for tent poles or strapping tarps to

bag sag is a punishable offence

trips should always start with a massive messy pile of kit. Kit grids take forever

lay your loaded bike on the floor (drive-side up) when not riding, or it will quickly lay itself down in the costliest of ways

Never leave a sleeping mat behind, it’s the worst decision you’ll ever make

inflating dry bags, or using wet shoes for pillows? Stuff that, get an inflatable camp pillow. The best thing since sliced Soreen

umbrellas have a legitimate spot on any adventure cycling, gravel riding, cycle touring bikepacking kit list

never spoil the serenity and silence of the Outdoors with rubbing mudguards, squeaky discs, or musical instruments you can’t play. People have lost friends over this, apparently

The words “I just haven’t got round to setting up tubeless yet” should never, ever be muttered in public

your handlebars aren’t wide / flared enough if your bike fits through your front door

no matter how desperate, there are zero acceptable replacements for Aeropress/coffee filters. Just go cowboy. It’s not worth the wasted socks or kitchen roll

 

Never trust a rambler or non-riders’ distance / terrain information and advice. Period

Faff. TBC

CREDITS

The Rules
https://www.velominati.com/

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