Monday, November 10, 2008

First they came for the people without spare light brackets...

The Audax-Oz e-mail list is an enjoyable exchange of views from like-minded people and unusually for the internet has a very high signal to noise ratio. The posts are generally either informative or witty or both. I have a fairly busy life like many people and it's the only e-mail list I subscribe to but every so often the it throws up a debate which generates a level of passion I just can't understand or feel for any topic really.

It's never the life and death things but almost always something any sane person would consider trivial. For some reason the rules surrounding night riding drive some people lose all sense of perspective. Keep in mind that a large proportion or Audax riders seldom, if ever, ride at night.

Some time ago, the list was aflame with a debate about whether the club should adopt a rule requiring reflective anklets on night rides. Within a few exchanges came this:

"I'd suggest you pull your bottom lip over your head and swallow."

Right on brother! The most recent heated discussion on a new rule which means riders must carry a spare light bracket for each of the two spare lights which are already required. Someone asked for an explaination. What followed was an exchange of more than 78 e-mails by my rough count.

"This comment is just rude and offensive and has no place in a forum such
as this."

Ah yes, once again the reaction has been shrill, the emotions insane. For some people this new rule is nothing more than the cold hand of creeping fascism.

"It's not a democracy if we all leave the club and only the power mongers remain."

It's not like the change was sprung on members. It was decided by the club's elected committee, publicised in the magazine sent to all members months ago and passed when it attracted not a single comment. Those sneaks!

"I am also upset at the lack of consultation & explanation on the change."

Let's be clear what exactly is at stake: the old rule required riders to have a front light and a rear light fitted to the bike and a spare of each.

"These useless nitpicking objections to independent light mounts are, at least embarrassing, and at worst, destructive."

The new rule means you need to have a front light and a rear light fitted to the bike, a spare or each and a spare mount for each. Too onerous?

If you don't like the rules or can't be bothered being part of the club's democratic policy making join a different club or a group for minimalists."

An extra 30 grams or so has caused a storm of protest from the rule weary. And so it comes to this:

"If you want to have your will imposed on the membership without contest, then maybe it is you who should leave the club and join one more suitable to your ambitions, say the Nazi party..."

We have a winner. One minute we're talking about light brackets, the next we're calling each other Nazis. You have to love the internet. I'm one of those people who think there's too many rules in life, but I really hope I pick my fights better than this. Mind you, that club for minimalists sounds like fun.

"Moreton Bay is full of White Pointers."

Now I'm just being selective.

5,007km so far this year.


NancyBoy said...

It's just this kind of complacency which allowed the Nazi's to come to power in the first place. You'll be joining those with the spare light brackets, up against the wall when the revolution comes.

I love your work. Keep it up Dave.

David Killick said...

Hahaha! Glad you like it. You're never going the guess what I've got you for Xmas.

Treadly and Me said...

Sounds like NancyBoy will be in need of a new light bracket?

Nice work Dave, for a bloody minimalist that is. (Hmm, I think there's a new insult to add to the general trash talk...)

Anonymous said...

Rules about reflective ankle bands, extra lights and their brackets? That is exactly why I won't join or ride with club.

Ride alone and the only voices you will hear are your own.