The Rules of Faff - A Mountain Biker's Guide
We're not quite sure where or why we first saw 'The Rules of Faff' but we do know that it made us laugh and we liked it enough to file it away for another day. Now is that time, author Dan Lees has given us permission to make public the 'rules' (maybe for the first, second or third time) in an attempt to save bike rides all over the country from incessant faffing.
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The 'Rules of Faff' have resurfaced from a far flung blog from way back in 2005 when bikes had stems the length of tillers and Greg Minaar was winning World Cups - well some things have changed anyway...
You might be more accustomed to the set of roadie rules, the 'Rules of Faff' are quite different but once the base rule of 'faff time to be kept to a minimum' is understood, the theory is relatively easy to follow. Author Dan says "The rules are handy to keep in the back of your mind, if only to quote whilst berating the usual perpetrators of faffing". Mountain bikers are a community of incessant faffers, some more afflicted than others, and so without further ado here are the rules to follow to help your chronic and long suffering faffing friends.
The Rules Of Faff:
1. Faffing to be kept to a minimum
At all times, no excuses!
2. If you Faff, expect abuse
Anyone can abuse you, and they can do this at any time throughout the ride, even after the faff has long since completed. It's up to your group of riders to determine abuse levels.
3. Pre-ride faffs are to be kept short
Riders can be left and made to catch up if excessive faffing occurs. The Pre-Ride faffing also determines the Faff Order (see point 5).
4. Faff Stops
a) A rider can call a Faff Stop assuming it's his turn in the Faff Order.
b) Whilst the Calling Rider is faffing, other riders may Pre-Emptive faff.
c) However the Pre-Emptive faffing will cease as soon as the Calling Rider is ready to ride.
5. The Faff Order
a-i) The Faff order is the order in which Faff Stops can be called. It is determined by the order in which riders are ready to ride.
a-ii) Ready to Ride means astride your bike, with pack and helmet on.
b-i) Alternatively the Faff Order is determined by the order in which people arrive at the start of the group ride when the riders are arriving by bike.
b-ii) However if a rider starts to faff at the meeting point delaying the start of the group ride they are automatically placed last in the Faff Order.
6. Mechanical Faffs
a) A Mechanical Faff can only be called outside of the normal Faff Order rules if the mechanical makes the unrideable
b) Whether the bike is unrideable is decided by the rest of the group, not the would be Faffer.
c) The quickest method of fixing the mechanical must be taken. eg Replace the tube don't patch it.
7. Picture Faffs
a) Entirely acceptable as long as the group is not held up.
b) No Pre-Emptive Faffing can take place on a Picture Faff.
8. Sneaky Faffs
a) Sneaky Faff's are acceptable as long as the Sneaky Faffer, sprints ahead of the pack and finishes their faff before the pack catches up.
b) Sneaky Faff's are only for food and clothing Faffs.
9. Extreme Weather Faffs
a) If the weather changes in the extreme, an Extreme Weather Faff can be called and one and all can put jackets on in the case of a downpour.
b) Drizzle or the sun coming from behind a cloud do NOT count as extreme weather.
10. Faffing during scheduled food stops
a) Any Faffing particularly of the mechanical kind should take place whilst people are eating.
b) Unless the Faffer is the next in the Faff Order, when he/she can spend his/her turn.
11. Medical Faffs
a) Medical Faffs can be taken out of turn but:
b) No blood = no Faff
c) Unless your asthmatic, have hay fever or something similarly annoying.
d) Glasses Faffs don't count for out of turn Faffs.
If they're in a shed, they're not faffing, that's something else.
These should be signed before every group ride!
There's a shed load of faffers in my neck of the woods!