I was on the Rivendell website (http://www.rivbike.com) and re-read the "tips for happy riding" on the site. With all the attention we BF'ers devote to fashion, gear, carbon fiber bling and 400 watt output, I thought I would post this to remind us that it's really supposed to be about the fun and practicality. Feel free to add other points:
Learn right away that the front brake is the most effective one, and to never lock the front wheel in dirt.
Learn how far you can lean over without scraping a pedal.
Learn to keep the inside pedal UP when you corner, and learn to ride safely in all conditions. Signal your approach to pedestrians, especially if theyíre old, and a bell is better than ďOn your left!Ē If no bell, try clacking your brake levers. If all you got is ďOn your left!Ē thatís fine.
At least one ride in 10, go without your sunglasses and gloves.
Sometime next month, put some double-sided cheap-style pedals on a good bike and ride in non-cycling garb.
Carry an extra tube you can donate to somebody with a flat tire and just a repair kit.
If youíre a guy, donít try to be a mentor to every female cycler you meet.
Donít ride in shoes you canít walk through an antique shop in.
Donít wear clothing that makes your sweat stink even more.
Donít think youíll go faster in a significant way if you and your bike become more aerodynamic.
Put a $20 bill inside your seat post or handlebar and hold it there, somehow.
Donít ride until youíre confident you can fix a flat.
If you ride more than one bike, have a set of bring-along tools for each one.
Learn how to remove your rear wheel (put the chain onto the small cog, etc.).
If you ride in a group, bring food for you and somebody who forgot to.
Go for a one-hour ride underdressed sometime, because itís good to be really cold on a bike every now and then.
Never blame your bike or your health or anything else if youíre the last one up the hill or in to the rest stop.
If your brake hoods are black, wrap your bars with a different color tape.
Never let your chain squeak.
If you pass another rider going up a hill, say more than ďHi,Ē but if itís a woman and you arenít, donít assume she wants to chit-chat. If youíre a woman and itís a guy, you can chit-chat all you like.
If you see another rider approaching you from the rear, trying to catch you, let it happen. Fun is more important than fast.
Donít put any cycler up on a pedestal, except Lon and Freddie.
Sometimes, bring normal food on your ride.
Shoot photos on your rides and give them away.
Feel comfortable mixing high tech and low tech, old and new parts and technologies, and donít apologize to anybody for it.
Compliment other peopleís bikes, especially if theyíre new.
Buy the cheapest helmet that fits well.
Try seersucker shirts for hot weather riding, and long-sleeved ones are best.
Donít underestimate fig bars.
If you get a new widget and like it, donít ďswear by it.Ē
Donít always shop by price and never ask for discounts at your local bike shop.
Every time you go into a bike shop, spend at least $2, and if you ask a question and get good advice, spend $5 (get a cable).
If you buy a rack, donít ask for free installation.
Donít assume your bike shop is making money.
Ride only when you feel like it.
If you know a fast new rider, donít say, ďYou really ought to raceÖĒ
If you see a stocky woman rider, donít suggest she race track.
Have at least one bike you feel comfortable riding in a downpour.
Ride in weather that keeps other cyclers indoors.
Never keep track of your pedaling cadence.
If you have a normal loop or ride, count the number of times you shift on it; then the next time you ride it, cut that in half and see if it makes any difference.
Learn to ride no-hands and to hop over obstacles, but not simultaneously.
Never hit a pedestrian.
In traffic, be visible and predictable.
If you have several bikes, set them up with different equipmentÖbut always ride the saddle you like best.
Donít try to keep up with faster descenders if youíre not comfortable descending.
Never apologize for buying something thatís not quite pro quality by saying, ďIím not going to race or anything.Ē
If you buy a stock bike, do something to it that makes it the only one exactly like it in the world.
Donít think itís important to match front and rear hubs or rims.
If you borrow somebody elseís bike, for a short test or a long ride, say something nice about it.
Always bring a pump.
Build at least one wheel.
Wear out something.
Donít ever describe any bike, no matter how inexpensive or dilapidated, as ďa piece of crap.Ē
If you get a fancy bike assembled by somebody else, allow them a scrape or two, especially if the bike is really expensive.