SUNDAY APR 9 / 2017 / by Andrew Talati

A close group of friends come together through social circles

TDU rule number #5 together - 2016TDU rule number #5 together - 2016 - Photo courtesy Rule#5

Three years ago, there were 20-30 people riding together. This group was comprised of neighbours and friends; those who met through their local school, people who moved into the area from overseas and even those introduced through renting houses from other members.

About Rule Number #5

Rule #5 beachside TDU - Tour Down Under 2016Together at the TDU - photo courtesy Rule#5

Everyone in the group was tossing together different ideas for a name but in the end, before one ride, everyone was talking about whether they were going to ride the next morning and one person said Rule 5; need to harden up and ride (rule #5 originates from the Velominati's book of ‘The Rules’) and so the name of the bunch was born.

Getting more organised on our bunchrides

Rule number #5 - Beach Rd - Black RockRule number # 5 descending  Oliver Hill dropRule #5 - Olivers Hills drop - descending into Frankston

In an attempt to get more organised on their bunchrides, particularly on a Saturday morning, and keeping random riders out of the bunch (safer to identify who is a member with known bunch riding skills), their informal group became more organised so everyone can ride together, be safer and more organized and so everyone is on the same page.

You can ride every day of the week

Tuesdays and Thursdays are the formal kit rides, there’s a friendly Friday ride and a few rides on Mondays and Wednesdays too. And, of course, the popular Saturday ride to Mt Eliza with different groups splintering off at Patterson River and Frankston.

Consistent numbers

Rule Number 5 - Brown Cow cafe in Hampton

Over the past three years the numbers have stayed consistent at around 35 members, if everybody turns up, which never happens so it's a good number with no aspirations to get bigger.

Multi sports and multi national

Olivers Hill Frankston 2017 Photo courtesy Rule#5

With riders spanning short and long course triathlons, VRS (Victorian Road Series), local club racing to different nationalities including a Latvian, a German, a few South Africans, Kiwis, and a Zimbabwean, making it a diverse and interesting bunch. 

Supporting females as well

Heike Godwin swapping tunes on the way back from Mt ElizaHeike Godwin swapping turns on the way back from Mt Eliza

Jokingly, ‘they can ride better than us’ with the group laughing; the half a dozen female riders, include Heike Godwin, whose background is triathlon but who is now focusing on the VRS Road season, being the current B grade leader (that will change as Heike won't be racing at the Baw Baw Classic) and Leva Erkule in mountain biking.

Tour Down Under (TDU) and Amy's Gran Fondo

Rule #5 at the TDU Bupa Challenge 2016At the TDU 2016 - photo courtesy of Rule#5

Rule number 5 - Amys Gran Fondo 2016 finishedGroup together at Amys Gran FondoAmy"s Gran Fondo - photo courtesy Rule#

Both events are incredibly popular with the TDU and Amy's gran Fondo attracting 10 - 15 riders over the past few years.

Rule #5 at the GORC Classic 2016GORC Classic 2016 - photo courtesy Rule#5

With the number set to increase and three teams entered for this year’s GORC (Great Ocean Ride Cycling) Classic, also held in Lorne.

Rule #5 Giro Della Donna 2016Finish of the Giro Della Donna - photo courtesy Rule#5

And also riding in the Giro Della Donna which is held every December in the country town of Warbuton Victoria.

The Pyrenees 

Rule number 5 at the Pyrenees 2016Photo courtesy Rule#5

Half a dozen riders went cross to the Pyrenees and enjoyed a fortnight of touring.

Exploring the high country

Rule number 5 in the High Country

A few also went up to Falls Creek and Mt Hotham and did a few rides in the area including Anglers rest on the way to Omeo.

From the local crit racers to qualifying for the UCI

With the diversity in the group, there are three riders (Duncan, Ian and Stuart) who have also raced in the local crits, including Sandown, to have a go at everything.

After a successfully qualifying based on their finishing time at Amy's Gran Fondo,  Rob and Eva are heading over to France for the 2017 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in Albi France in August, flying the Australian colours.

Hanging out more than my other friends

For Rule 5 members, they find that they hang out more with the bunch than their non-cycling friends and even more time than with their own families (riding and having coffees 3-4 times a week quickly adds up). Some great friendships have been forged through the group, with everyone sharing common interests and the love of riding their bikes together.

The official matriarch of Rule 5

Lisa Howard - The official MatriachLisa Howard in the middle - back row - photo courtesy Rule#5

Lisa Howard works with the Schwalbe Tyres distributor and is the official matriarch of the bunch and has organised sponsorship for the team kit and many of the weekends away. She was hit by a car two months ago and is currently recovering from a fractured femur and pelvis and is missed by the group for keeping the social calendar on track.

End of year dinner and the odd pub night

Like so many groups there is the quientessential end of year dinner where they hand out awards and have a bit of fun with the odd pub night here and there.
Apart from the usual ‘Most kms’ and ‘Elevation gain’ there are the ‘Happy pills’ award (for his dislike of people pushing pedestrian crossing buttons) and the ‘Vinnies’ award (for the worst dressed).

Part of the Saturday morning ritual - would hate to miss it

Part of the Saturday morning ritual

After Ian (CM - Currie Muncha) Currie managed 8 weeks ago to find the only tram tracks in Adelaide, he fell off his bike damaging his knee which required surgery.

So, to get his fix, Ian religiously comes down to the Brown Cow at 9:30am. Not being able to ride is unbelievably depressing, you lie in your bed, you vegetate, it's horrible so I have to get up and have a coffee, it gets me going seeing how everybody went, when you're not riding you miss it.

If it was a Sunday people would go to church, for me I like to ride my bike and come down and see the guys. Mentally it's hellishly important, I love it, I love all the guys, I love it, I would love to keep doing it until I'm really old.

Competition, companionship and the humour - an extended family

The competition keeps the heart racing, the companionship, the friendships, the humour and banter, everyone sticks together.

Even outside of cycling if you need some help with something you can call on one of your mates, if you have a flat tyre on your car, they will come and help you.

Making a commitment - want to be there

In the beginning it was a case of sending text messages to organise the ride, now the night before the ride, everyone tries to make a commitment to ride, and for Stuart he feels guilty when he doesn't turn up after making the commitment, that you are definitely letting your mates down, you want to be there.

You know every day at 6am weekdays and 7am weekends at the Caltex there will always be someone there rain or shine, always a couple of hard core riders.

Missing out - the weekly ride report

If you cannot make the ride, you want to know what happened, if there were any incidents on the road, any flat tyres, and who rode well - it's all contained in the weekly ride report which, while being entertaining and humorous, helps to keep everyone bonded and in touch with what happened on the rides. Plus, the report is rated out of 10.

The 60km club

They have a bit of a sprint down the Sandy straight (down towards the Sandy pub on Beach Rd - Sandringham) and there are a few riders who cannot get over 60km/h and they get ribbed by the other members continuously so they are trying to get more riders up to the 60 Club. So, if the conditions are favourable with a strong southerly they can have a crack at it.