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  1. #1
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    Mountain Biking's Faithful...

    As with most major religions, mountain biking's Faithful are divided into many sects, each sect having some distinct characteristics and each believing it has found The One True Way. A review of groups within the Faithful follows...

    The Disciple of the Daily Devotional (3D): 3Ds believe that they must practice their religion daily, regardless of weather, trail condition, social or personal responsibilities, etc. They may observe daily devotionals alone or in groups. They may ride to/from work, before work, after work, or instead of work. Generally happy, as denoted by dirt-stained teeth, but miserable when a single day's worship is missed...

    The Cycling Is Accessorizing sect: CIAs color-coordinate bikes, helmets, jerseys, etc. CIAs may also include bike racks and vehicle trim in their accessorizing efforts. Avoid CIAs attempt group accessorizing. In extreme cases, the bike is merely a fashion statement, and lives atop a vehicle until the CIA drives into a parking garage.

    The Gear Worshiper: GWs can spot a set of I9 wheels from 50 yards. They can distinguish between Hugi, Ringle, and Chris King freehubs at similar distances. GWs routinely correct bike shop staff when discussing component specs, and know component weights in both grams and fractional ounces. Unfortunately, their knowledge does not always transfer into mechanical ability, and many GWs should not be allowed to own (or even hold) bike repair tools...

    The Trail Is Holy sect: TIHs believe that the trail and its surroundings are hallowed ground and must be protected so that no damage or impact is incurred by those trails. Worships only when temperatures have been above 45 F and humidity has been below 35% for at least 96 consecutive hours. Is happy when able to worship, but leads a life overshadowed by the fear that members of other sects are tearing up the Holy Trails. Is miserable during freeze-thaw season or after moderate-to-heavy rains, ice storms, wind storms, etc...

    The Trail Techie: TTs know that hikers' heel strikes can exceed 500 psi, that horse hoof contact pressures exceed 1600 psi at a walk (with steel shoes), and feels smug in the knowledge that bike tire contact pressure is typically less than 3x inflation pressure (dependent on tire tread design, compound durometer, and trail conditions). Sometimes conveniently ignores the fact that while our contact pressure is lowest among most trail users, our tires can form a linear depression that collects water and channels it down-trail...

    The Trail Volunteer: TVs spend lots of time collecting qualifications such as Chainsaw Operation cert, CPR cert, First Aid cert, Wilderness First Responder cert, or Mechanized Trail Building cert. May spend more time in classes for such qualifications than can be spent on actual trail volunteer projects, especially when a local land manager asks the club to which the TV belongs to cease its trail maintenance program for a while... The TV is happiest when working on a favorite trail, and in a typical year may accrue more volunteer time than saddle time. May tell jokes about Pulaskis and McLeods. Collects trail building manuals and tools...

    The Not In My Back Yard Whiner: NIMBY-Ws don't want any trail's characteristics to be changed. EVER. Even if the land managing agency deems trail maintenance necessary, the NIMBY-W will protest the work, especially if machines are rumored to be used. Expects every trail to remain frozen in time to match the last time the NIMBY-W rode it. Considers reroutes as 'dumbing down the ride'. Considers removing rocks, roots, or trail-side growth as 'sanitizing the trail'. NIMBY-Ws often think they're the only people using the trails, or that they SHOULD be... Sometimes identified by the call "Waah, waah--that was my favorite trail!!" NIMBY-Ws frequently tell other groups how to build or maintain trails, but seldom show up for volunteer days.

    The Club Rider: CRs believe that we can all get along if only we join a club (or two) and talk about the problems inherent in sharing trails. CRs may been seen meeting with land managers, hikers, equestrians, trail runners, anglers, and hunters AT THE SAME TIME! CRs may have multiple memberships so they can give input to cycling clubs, land managers, 'friend' groups, etc, but may accrue more meeting time than riding time...

    The Solo Cross Country Rider: SCCRs like to worship alone and for extended periods on trails that don't see a lot of other Faithful. May be identified by the oversized hydration pack, which is also carrying first aid gear, tools, parts, etc. Many SCCRs can shelter themselves if caught in an unexpected storm, and are capable of extensive trail-side bike repairs.

    The Trail Head Proselytizer: THPs are frequently seen at trail heads with their car doors open and their stereos blasting. Their MTB gear may be taking up two more parking spaces, and actually getting on the trail is usually a 45-minute process. THPs often pretend to know all about the local trails, then proceed to get lost trying to find a pee tree...

    E-Riders: While distinct from other MTB Faithful in that they accrue more keyboard time than saddle time, E-Riders are subdivided into several sub-sects:
    E-Rider Lurker Readers: ERLRs read and remember every post in their regional forums. When reading a current post, the ERLR will post a 3-year-old link to the same topic.
    E-Rider Current Conditions Freak: ERCCFs hear rain hit their roof and immediately post questions about trail conditions at Dupont and Pisgah. If overnight temps drop below freezing, ERCCFs immediately post questions about trail conditions at Dupont and Pisgah. If they see a snow flake, ERCCFs immediately post questions about trail conditions at Dupont and Pisgah. If the humidity exceeds 80%, ERCCFs immediately post questions about trail conditions at Dupont and Pisgah...
    E-Rider Visiting Soon: To an ERVS, trip research is defined as posting the question "How's the riding in your area?" Minor details such as when, where, experience, budget are never included in the research...
    E-Rider English Majors: EREMs know the definitions of "sight", "cite", and "site", and use each word appropriately. EREMs know the appropriate uses of "your", "you're", and "yore". EREMs know the appropriate uses of "its" and "it's". The list of homophones correctly used by EREMs is extensive. EREMs expect singular subjects to be followed by singular predicates (and when they have such expectations of a public forum, they are often disappointed). EREMs know that an apostrophe makes a noun possessive, not plural. In extreme cases, EREMs may post spelling and grammar corrections...
    E-Rider Trolls: ERTs are pack predators, and like other predator packs, try to take down authors of posts espousing unpopular opinions (ie, not the opinion of ERTs). In general, ERTs are a constant (though sometimes humorous) reminder that the world has never had, nor will ever have, a shortage of azzholez...

    I'm sure I've omitted several sects, but assure you the omission was not intended to offend--any omission is simply the result of my poor skills of observation. Feel free to add to the list...

    TZ
    Geriatric mountain biker and trail maintainer... ...with digital braking!

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Mike Brown's Avatar
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    So I'm a disciple of the daily devotional trail volunteer not in my back yard whiner e-rider lurker reader current conditions freak?
    Does that make me some kind of Unitarian?

  3. #3
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    I suspect each of us will see some blending... I have characteristics of half the sects I listed.
    TZ
    Geriatric mountain biker and trail maintainer... ...with digital braking!

  4. #4
    2 wheels & a meat motor
    Reputation: Solrac the red's Avatar
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    The Pisgahtarian Church welcomes everyone.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown
    So I'm a disciple of the daily devotional trail volunteer not in my back yard whiner e-rider lurker reader current conditions freak?
    Does that make me some kind of Unitarian?

    Maybe... with Unitarians it isn't so much what or who you believe in or even whether you believe at all but rather whether you respect other people's beliefs or lack thereof.
    many gears, some pies

  6. #6
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    Reputation: cruso414's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridn29s
    Maybe... with Unitarians it isn't so much what or who you believe in or even whether you believe at all but rather whether you respect other people's beliefs or lack thereof.
    Now that is deep.

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