Friday, March 22, 2013

Miscreants, Goody Two Shoes, and More

When addressing the rules of their sport, ultra-endurance mountain bike racers tend to fall into one (or maybe more) of the following categories:
  1. Goody Two Shoes. Those who adhere to all rules, erring on the side of caution when dealing with any gray areas. Likely the silent majority--and probably the nicest people to ride with because they will be first call out a beautiful rainbow or share an encouraging word. Not much fun on web forums though, since they tend to lurk.
  2. Opportunists. Those who interpret the rules in "creative" ways. For example, riding through trail closures--and then retroactively declared that the Forest Service isn't a law-enforcement agency, and therefore their actions weren't actually illegal (wrong). Sometimes aligned with Anarchists, but usually hoping to be viewed as Goody Two Shoes.
  3. Tax cheats. Those who know the rules well enough, but cut little corners here and there. Nothing big enough to change the outcome, but significant enough to avoid small inconveniences or frustrations. They'd be Goody Two Shoes or Opportunists if they had stiffer spines.
  4. Miscreants. Those who willfully and knowingly break uncontested rules. For example, the guy who hitched a car ride around some tough sections in the CTR. Everyone hates miscreants, including themselves--unless they are sociopaths (which is likely). Lance Armstrong would be a Miscreant if he bikepacked. Thankfully a fairly rare segment.
  5. Ignoramuses. Those who are ignorant of subtle rules, but not willfully so. For example, people who call ahead to order food and/or reserve hotel rooms during the CTR. Often wide-eyed and surprised that a specific rule even exists. Had they bothered to read the rules FAQ, they'd probably be Goody Two Shoes.
  6. Pugilists. Those who are extremely well-versed on rules and ethics, but passionately believe that their approach is "obviously" superior for one obscure reason or another. Pugilists tend to argue incessantly and annoyingly about tedious nuances such as trail magic, cell phones, unplanned sharing, Spot stalking, etc. Only a Pugilist would create a list like this.
  7. Anarchists. Those who hate anyone else's authority, and therefore do pretty much what they want (including breaking rules, following rules, ignoring rules, whatever)--while still declaring that they are part of a race. Although it's not really a race, wink, wink.
  8. Pedants. Those who attempt to shut down debates without contributing anything thoughtful, insightful  or productive, because such discussions "ruin the vibe."
Which are you?

For a Pugilist's unfiltered view of the rules, click here.