From a friend:
10 Signs of a Mountain Biking
Cult: (also on http://www.myspace.com/mocrael)
1) The hard-core mountain biking community ("The Community") is elitist, claiming a special status for itself.
2) The Community has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.
3) The Community feels it is not accountable to any authorities.
4) The Community implies that ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in adherents participating in behaviors or activities they would have been considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group.(Wrong becomes the new "right". Everybody is doing it! The media glorifies it! The public landowners, authorities, and many politicians condone it.)
5) The Community induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control adherents. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion. (If a mountain biker gets injured and sues, "the Community" will revert to using various underhanded methods of harassment, in order to get the injured person(s) to stand down, lest "the Community" lose their "sacred" mountain biking trails over it. Many adherents eventually buckle under these pressure tactics, even if they are not part of "the Community", itself.)
6) The Community is preoccupied with bringing in new adherents by any methods it can. (Just look at all the mountain bike media hype, press releases, websites, blogs, "bike camps", etc., and even this one: http://www.velotracts.com/Velo.swf - a mountain biker website encouraging people to "buy a bike" and "join THE CHURCH OF THE ROTATING MASS") [They also, dishonestly, exploit children to further their goal of spreading mountain biking and making it seem less harmful, by pretending to be taking kids mountain biking to benefit the kids. Mike]
7)The Community devotes inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.(riding, building,proselytizing, riding and building and proselytizing some more, etc., etc.)
8) The Community mainly socialize with other community members.
9) The most loyal members of the Community (the "true believers") feel there can be no life outside the context of the Community. They believe there is no other way to be.
(You don't believe me? How much time does a friend, spouse, or co-worker spend on mountain bike websites, mountain bike trails, riding, or building, etc.? How many times have injured mountain bikers been shushed, and "suck up" horrendous injuries? How many "naysayers" and mountain bike cult opponents been threatened, even to the point of grave physical harm? The addiction of mountain biking can only be described as cultish. So can other extreme sports, but mountain biking is a new kind of sport/cult/lifestyle that is breeding discontent on the trails, and inside our natural and wild places, all over the world.)
10) The mountain biking community's behaviour is eerily similar throughout the world. IMBA (The International Mountain Biking Association) is its "leader."
There is a sameness about them that can only be described as a cult!
"Mama's, PLEASE don't let your babies grow up to be mountain bikers…"