Sunday, July 25, 2010
Rule Keeping - "Old School"?
This is Matt. He's one of my riding buddies. Matt and I have much in common, especially a desire to ride bicycles.
Recently as I was preparing to do a "worker's ride" for the Marion 300 kilometer Brevet, Matt emailed me and mentioned that I would be passing near his riding area during part of the ride. He asked if I could approximate the time I'd be there and offered to meet me and ride with me a little. I had to tell him that riding with a rider who was not registered on the ride would be against the rules, therefore I couldn't do it. Even though I would be riding alone for the entire 186 miles, and company would certainly be appreciated for some of it, and even though no one would likely ever know, I still wanted to respect our rules and so I turned down his offer.
He replied, "I got to hand it to you, when it comes to rules, you follow them."
Am I "wonderful"? No. Up to this point, I've only done what was expected of me. That doesn't qualify as wonderful. Unfortunately, in a world where it seems that too many are willing to cut corners and cheat because no one will know, or worse yet, no one cares, a rule-keeper seems above average. That's too bad.
During a recent spate of emails between route owners for RUSA, this very violation came up. One route owner openly stated that "don't ask don't tell" was a good policy when it came to keeping the rules. So against this backdrop, I guess I could look a little "wonderful". But it's an illusion. I'm only doing what is expected of me - only doing what I've agreed to do.
I realize that practically no one reads this. I mostly write it because it suits me to do so. But if you have read this, then consider becoming a rule-keeper too. Not just the ones which are easy, or please you; but all the rules you have agreed to - all the rules which are expected of you.
My wife once asked me if I thought it was possible that I might "cheat" on her with some hard-body bike riding woman. Not likely. You see, I'm not particularly handsome, not rich, not well-educated, not a great lover. The only thing I have to offer a woman is faithfulness. And if I cheat, then I don't have that.
When you look in the mirror after you step out of the shower you will see all that you really have to offer a woman, employer, friend or neighbor. Which isn't much; except a commitment to keep the rules.