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Vélocio's Seven Commandments of Cycling

By Bill Bryant

New to randonneuring? Memorize Velocio's Seven Commandments! Paul de Vivie (1853- 1930) was an early French cycling pioneer who devoted his life to bicycling, especially long, hard rides several days in length with little or no sleep - rather like a brevet. The Audax Club Parisien's Easter weekend "Flèche Vélocio" 24-hour team rides are named in his honor. He was also an ardent bicycle inventor and an early proponent of the derailleur; this helped cycle-tourists haul themselves over hills that scared off the racing types on their single-speed bikes. Among his many various cycling endeavors, he used the pen name "Vélocio" and wrote at length for decades about the glories of all forms of cycling, but especially long-distance bicycle rides. Over the years his wise words of advice on how to enjoy a brevet have been proven true time and time again.

1. Make your stops short and infrequent so as not to lose your drive.
2. Eat lightly and often. Eat before getting hungry, drink before you are thirsty. 
3. Never ride until you are so tired that you cannot eat or sleep.
4. Put on extra clothing before you're cold, and take it off before you're hot.
Don't be afraid of exposing your skin to the sun, air, and rain.
5. Don't drink wine, eat meat, or smoke---at least during the ride. 
6. Never rush things. Ride within yourself, particularly during the first few hours of a ride when you feel strong and are tempted to force the pace. 
7. Never pedal out of vanity, don't be a show-off. 

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