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.


  1. This is your wife, I guess I don't have an account to comment under and I don't know how to create one, but I read your posts, and I am glad that you are my husband, and I think you have tons to offer me! I am glad that you keep rules. I love you, your wife, Carmel

  2. This is a perfect example of why I will never be a Randoneur. Life has to many rules forced upon me already, I don't want or need more heaped on to my recreational activity.

    I've got to admit it is rare to see someone who is truly following the path and will stick to it even when no one would know.