A couple of my teammates on the LSV team have been asking about this list I keep mentioning now and again while mentioning the finer points of total self-absorption ... er ... being a European cyclist. This list comes from the Facebook group The Official Rules of the Eurp Cyclist.
It's worth mentioning that this list is only mildly exaggerated. This was evident by how easy it was to find the pictures I added in here. You don't have to search for "Euro cycling high socks", just type "cycling" :)
1. Image and style shall be your primary concern. When suffering, one must focus first on maintaining a cool, even composure, and second on performance. Winning races is an added talent, and only counts if said euro cyclist wins with appropriate style.
2. Training is based solely on feel, while racing is to be guided by sensations and instinct. The Euro Cyclist will never accept tried or tested scientific training methods.
3. You shall NEVER, under any circumstances, wear plain black spandex bibs (shorts, regardless of colour are BANNED) or any team kit containing non-prominent Logo's. Shorts will extend approximately 2/3rds of the way down the upper leg and will contain a compression band at the bottom distinct in colour. In NO CONDITION shall they extend any further!
4. Legs will be SHAVED year-round. ABSOLUTELY NO EXCEPTIONS. Certain hair removal creams are endorsed only on a case-by-case basis. One shall never show up to a race (large or small) with ANY AMOUNT of stubble visible on legs.
5. A prominent line where your kit ends and where your tan begins is essential to your image. Artificial tanning is BANNED. The tan SHALL reflect the level of training commitment.
6. The Socks must extend no less than 2cm below the main bulge of your calf muscle, and shall never extend further than 1cm past the primary calf muscle bulge. All socks SHALL BE WHITE in colour with prominent logo placement.
7. Cycling shoes must contain at least 80% white!
The following exceptions apply…
i) Colours combinations such as world cup stripes, or Olympic gold where title has been EARNED.
ii) Shoes which are custom-made for specific riders by companies endorsed by this group. These shoes will be accessible to the particular cyclist only, and shall follow the preceding rules.
8. If white cycling shoes are not available where you reside, white booties with prominent logos shall always be worn. When booties are worn, socks should protrude approximately 7 centimetres above the ankle, and shall always protrude at least 1.5cm from any booties worn.
9. Your bike frame must contain 2-4 colours IN ADDITION TO WHITE. All colours are acceptable as long as they combine tastefully. In addition to this, wheel selection must also match frame and fork.
10. You shall race only on Bora’s or Lightweights. Fulcrum Racing One, Corima Aero+ or Zipp (404’s or 202’s) wheelsets are considered stylish enough to be used as training wheels ONLY. Regardless, Ceramic bearings shall be used at all times on both training and race bikes.
11. ALL wheels shall be equipped with tubulars, regardless of your ability in gluing them.
12. Ridiculously stylish eyewear (see endorsed products list) is to be worn at all time without exception. Glasses are to be worn over helmet straps at all times.
13. Hair shall be kept neatly short, and matching helmet shall be worn (again with prominent logo placement). Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES shall a clashing helmet colour be worn with your euro kit. Helmets are not to be worn when venturing indoors at any time. It is, however, acceptable to wear your helmet while outdoors on a patio. (see rule 34)
14. In RARE cases, it has been deemed acceptable to have long hair. In this event, hair shall be neatly slicked back in maximum euro-styling, and helmet SHALL NOT be worn. It is IMPERATIVE rule 12 is followed in these special cases.
15. When riding, sans helmet (with short hair), a team issue cycling cap (white in colour), shall be worn. The bill shall remain in the downward position at all times. Cycling cap can be worn forwards or backwards to coincide with specifics of current hairstyle. During spring training, cycling toques shall be worn at all time in place of caps.
16. Kits will always be freshly washed, and one shall ALWAYS have applied a subtle quantity of eau de toilette (cologne). It is, AT ALL TIMES, FORBIDDEN to ride in an unwashed kit, as it is extremely detrimental to your image.
17. Saddles shall be white in colour only and will be manufactured in Italy or France. Exceptions shall be made in the following cases…
i) Saddles containing WorldCup Stripes or Olympic Gold when EARNED
ii) Italian Flag colour combo when rider is ITALIAN (born in Italy)
18. Handlebar tape is required to be cork as well as being WHITE IN COLOUR. Bar tape will be kept in pristine white condition. This state shall be achieved either through daily cleansing or frequent replacement. These jobs will NEVER be performed by the cyclist as you must maintain your image.
19. All stems must be a minimum of 120mm and a rise of no higher than -10 degrees. Stems shall be positioned no more than 0.5cm above the top of the headtube. ALL stems shall ALWAYS be oversized, made out of ALUMINUM, and airbrushed in kit/frame colours.
20. A rider will ALWAYS have liniment applied to his legs before appearing in public.
21. Facial hair will be restricted to (at maximum) a goatee, and even this is discouraged. Moustaches, beards, or any combination thereof are EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED in all instances. Stubble is, however, advisable in virtually ALL euro-situations. It is important to note: this DOES NOT apply to the legs!
22. Campagnolo shall be THE ONLY acceptable componentry and is hereby deemed superior to ANY Shimano product in ALL circumstances. You are expected to have nothing less than an ENTIRE campy grouppo. Crank substitutions are NOT permitted. There is a case by case exception for SRAM RED.
23. You shall NEVER, under any circumstances, acknowledge the presence of a cyclist riding a bike costing less than €2000 in a public place. This could be severely detrimental to your image.
24. You shall NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, associate with triathletes. It is FORBIDDEN to have any number inked onto your body before a race.
25. Any physical activity, other than cycling, is STRONGLY FROWNED UPON. This includes any form of running or swimming and their derivatives (this includes walking). The ONLY TWO other sports with a recognized degree of euro are Cross Country skiing, and long track speed skating.
26. MTB gloves are FORBIDDEN in all instances. Cycling gloves will be slick, white (in accordance with kit), and have minimal padding. Padding will be beige or white in colour. Wearing NO GLOVES is entirely acceptable and encouraged. In the case where said euro cyclist is wearing a leader’s jersey, special gloves will be made to match the colour of the jersey while blending the team kit colours simultaneously.
27. In a circumstance where any cyclist (or triathlete) ever displays aggression or disrespect towards you, you are required to ride up uncomfortably close and slap them in the face with your team issue gloves.
28. In the event a motorist disturbs your ride, you shall proceed to ride up beside the car, form a clenched fist and bang the boot of the car while doing your best attempt to sound irritated in Italian. Wild arm/head movements are strongly encouraged to enhance the apparent rage.
29. you shall NEVER rearrange your package while riding. Adjustments regarding seating/hanging comfort are to be done in private in order to preserve image.
30. ABSOLUTELY NO FORM of seatbag, frame pump, mud guard or mirror shall come within 2 meters of your bike.
31. Gearing is restricted to a titanium Campy Record 11-23 cassette with a ABSOLUTE MINIMUM of 42-53 up front. You shall never be seen pedaling at a cadence over 90rpm in case it detracts from your calm/smooth factor. The use of 25t cog is acceptable in special training circumstances.
32. ALL BIKES shall feature personalized nameplates next to your home country’s flag located on the top-tube within 10 cm seat-tube ON ONE SIDE ONLY.
33. Pedals MUST be either Look or Time. No other pedals are to be considered. (as always, ANY form of Shimano product is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN).
(Photo courtesy of www.garrettpeltonen.missingsaddle.com)
34. Coffee is a necessity and as such must be consumed strong (ie. espresso) on a patio in Italy in full kit, it shall be drunk black. Sugar is STRONGLY FROWNED UPON. The only milk present shall appear frothed on top (if at all).
35. All podium shots (pictures) shall be taken while wearing your team kit and appropriately matching casual euro shoes (such as puma's). Socks shall remain within the guidelines above. You are expected to display an appropriate degree of bulge while receiving kisses/trophy.
36. All pre and post-race activity will be conducted under a gazebo (this includes massage, interviews, and looking fantastic) leaving you in reasonable distance of the Euro-sun to top up your enviable tanlines or pose for photo’s.
37. Post-race, you shall be tied to your mobile phone, receiving endless calls from your attractive euro-girlfriend or important ad executives concerning modeling contracts. This will be done under the protection of the post race gazebo.
38. Team bikes will be built up so that they violate the UCI weight limit, in order that weights might be attached to the frame to demonstrate its superiority and lightness.
39. Motivational music during training shall consist of late 90s house or deep-trance hard-style German techno hereby known as 'euro beats'. NO EXCEPTIONS.
40. Naked black ALL CARBON water bottle cages (manufactured by ELITE CAGES) will be used on ALL BIKES. Exceptions include….
i) Special edition 24k gold cages are acceptable in certain cases such as photo shoots, prologues or where colour coordination dictates. Ex. Gold Cage with Olympic Gold/white team kit.
41. Water Bottles shall be referred to solely as "Bidon's" and shall have a volume NOT EXCEEDING 500ml. Bidon's will always be matching of team/kit colours. It is NOT ACCEPTABLE in ANY CIRCUMSTANCE to leave bidon's on bike more than 10 minutes post ride OR while transporting bikes via bike rack.
42. A gold pendant on a very long, thin chain bearing some form of religious icon is STRONGLY recommended for mountain races.
43. While soloing in for a victory, you will ensure your jersey is FULLY ZIPPED and ALLIGNED, so all title sponsors are clearly visible. You shall then smile and flex your arms while pointing skywards. The projection of ones fatigue is EXPLICITLY FORBIDDEN IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES.
44. When appearing in a photo spread for sponsor’s products, you have the option of appearing fully nude, in your team kit, or in full Brioni 3 piece suits (nothing else). Smiling is prohibited in these instances.
45. When appearing in documentaries, you must be seen walking around the hotel in your kit at all times. It is also recommended that you constantly be eating something in front of the cameras.
46. When asked "how are you?" while riding you must proceed with one of the following...
-Complain about coming off a sickness.
- Explain you're peaking for bigger races later in the season
- Mention that this is a "recovery ride"
-That you are on the tail end of your daily 6 hour training ride
47. If you feel the urge to relieve yourself during a race, you shall gracefully meander to the back of the pack, seat yourself sideways on his saddle, and pee into the sunflowers. It is your duty to ensure that no camera crew catches the act, for it could be detrimental to your image. Under no circumstances shall you dismount from his bike to urinate.
48. When climbing anything with a gradient above 20% and lasting over 8 kilometers, you are required to fully unzip your jersey and let it flutter freely in the wind.
49. When dropping out of a race, you shall avoid the embarrassment of entering the official broomwagon and will instead wait for the team vehicle. When asked the reason for dropping out, you shall cite mechanical problems or oncoming sickness as the reason to avoid any bad speculation in relation to your fitness.
50. If in doubt, the euro cyclist shall mention in an interview that his pollen allergies are acting up, and that he’s not sure that he’ll win the Giro this year. In this situation, remember to note that the sensations are otherwise good, and that eventually you’ll win a beautiful stage.
51. Team-building motivational camps will be held annually in the off-season. These are to place team members in as ridiculous a setting as possible. Photos will be widely reproduced to demonstrate team cohesion.
52. During the pre-race medical checks, star riders of each team are STRONGLY ADVISED to play doctor with each other while shirtless. Photos taken must strive to be as HOMOEROTIC AS POSSIBLE.
53. In order to avoid the harsh European winter, you shall:
i)flee to the warmer climes of Mallorca/South Africa/Canary Islands/etc.
ii)“train the mind, body and soul” with Kreitler brand rollers
54. In the event of a crash, no matter how badly you have injured yourself, you shall proceed to mummify yourself with fishnet gauze. The act of gauzing oneself is looked upon with respect by other Euro Cyclists because it is a statement of commitment and strength of character to continue racing when injured. White Gauze is the norm, but world cup striped gauze and or national colors may be worn on select occasions depending on the rider.
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