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The cops insulted me today ...(25 posts)

The cops insulted me today ...Humma Hah
Aug 2, 2001 8:15 PM
... I was heading out for my daily ride. I start out up a minor grade, gently warming up my muscles, and today there was a headwind. About a block from home, there were two motorcycle cops, one with a radar gun.

Now, granted, I'm cooking along at about 13 mph in a 25 zone. But, durn it, the guy with the radar gun just let it hang by his side as I approached.

"What an insult!" I complained as I passed. "You didn't even check."

Just to help my pride, on the way home, with a tailwind and on a road that's perfectly straight and drops about 10 ft over a mile, I let it rip. Peaked for a couple of seconds at 29 mph, which works out to a cadence of about 165 rpm. Never is a cop around when you need one!
re: The cops insulted me today ...peloton
Aug 2, 2001 8:38 PM
I have a friend who actually got a written warning for going 57 in a 35 down a steep hill coming into a town where a speedtrap was. I would have framed that warning, and hung it in my living room! I would almost be proud to get a ticket like that when on my bike.
Aug 2, 2001 9:42 PM
Everyday, I hear a number of guys in this messageboard WHINING about how cars don't respect cyclists, and that we have as much right to be on the road as cars. I agree, BUT a number of you, shall we say, morons, continuously exceed the speed limit. If we cyclists have as much right as motorists to use the road,then we have to abide by the rules. Following the stoplights is just the same as following the speed limit. You are not excempted from the speed limit just because your vehicle does not have an electrical, or combustion engine. A lot of you hear condemn a lot of your fellow cyclists for being posers, dopers, or whatever. Think long and hard...a lot of your fellow cyclists continuously give cycling a BAD NAME by speeding.

Maybe, if more speeding cyclists wiped out and died on the road...maybe we'd have more cyclists who would respect the rules and give cycling a better name.
Glory Days must be a MTB'er...Canidraftyou
Aug 2, 2001 10:38 PM
Glory Days must be a MTB'er. If not, then "Hesh" dont train with a Heart Monitor. Thats all I got to say about it. :)

Peace out
and Canidraftyou must be a sociopath (nm)Rusty McNasty
Aug 3, 2001 3:53 AM
Actually, I agree ...Humma Hah
Aug 3, 2001 4:23 AM
... when I hit 29 mph, I was in a 35 zone, on a wide bike lane, very safe. The sprint ended when the light ahead turned red. I'm a stickler for obeying traffic signals.
Aug 3, 2001 10:33 AM
When was the last time anybody drove their car the speed limit? I can attest that here in Denver people average at least 5-10 MPH over the speed limit. (or 10-20 MPH below it if it rains or snows LOL, but that's a whole different rant)

If you think that speeding is what's causing drivers to be annoyed by cyclists, you're missing the boat IMO. In fact, I would bet a paycheck that in a poll of drivers who don't like bikes on the road, speeding wouldn't even make the top 20 list of reasons to dislike cyclists.

Not only that, but how many of us could actually speed on a flat road for more than about 1/4 mile? Not many speed limits at 20 or below.
Aug 3, 2001 7:38 PM
37 mile an hour for 10 blocks in a 35 zone with a tail wind, I had the cop cheering me all the way to the stop light, where I took the green arrow. Nearly collapsed the minute he was out of sight. Legs hurt for the rest of the day but it was fun. TTFN
out of curiosity...ET
Aug 3, 2001 4:49 AM
anyone know if a carbon frame would show up on radar?
Only if you went by a cell phone tower...(nm)PsyDoc
Aug 3, 2001 4:51 AM
baseballs do (nm)Dog
Aug 3, 2001 5:22 AM
and trees have been clocked at 50 mph too :-) nmET
Aug 3, 2001 6:52 AM
out of curiosity...Len J
Aug 3, 2001 5:36 AM
There is enough metal in a bike to create a return.
nothing to do with metalak
Aug 3, 2001 8:32 AM
the radar gun simply looks for things that are significantly more dense than air. Most of them will pick up water out of a hose (although they get pretty confused when they do).
nothing to do with metalSlappyD
Aug 3, 2001 1:42 PM
I'm no expert on radar, but I have done a fair amount of sailing. While steel and aluminum boats are highly visible on radar, wood and plastic boats tend to carry metal radar reflectors because the boats otherwise tend not to show up. (Of course, if there's a Dahon folding bike lashed to the deck, things might be different.) My anecdotally-based guess is it has SOMETHING to do with metal.
It does...Lazy
Aug 4, 2001 10:25 AM
Every object has what's called a RADAR cross section. It's a number that shows how big a RADAR system will think an object is. Stealth airplanes, for instance, will still reflect RADAR signals. They are stealth because they absorb some of the energy, and disperse a large percentage of the signal away from the antenna which emitted the signal. This gives them a very small RADAR cross section. Basically, the plane looks like it's the size of a matchbox car to a RADAR system, and won't register as a valid target.

For instance, a metal plate that's 2 feet square will reflect nearly all the energy back to the antenna. A CF plate that is conical will still reflect most of the energy, but will absorb some. Most of the energy that is reflected will not be reflected back at the antenna, giving the CF cone a very small RADAR cross section.

All things equal, most metals will provide a bigger RADAR cross section than most other materials of the same size. Shape and angle of attack will also have significant impact.
out of curiosity...cycleguy
Aug 3, 2001 5:49 AM
I like to check my computer with the speed checkers the police use where I live. I ride an OCLV and it clocks me.
drat! so there's no stealth bike :-)ET
Aug 3, 2001 6:57 AM
Guess I'll have to get a lightweight anti-radar detector made for my bike through mail order. Steel and titanium are too heavy; there must be a carbon one available for megabucks. Money no object, of course. :-)
fully faired carbon fiber recumbentDog
Aug 3, 2001 9:03 AM
Build a recumbent that looks like a stealth fighter, and you might have it made. Might be a bear to get up a hill, though.

Or, maybe some jammer technology...

Yes, we had one here a few weeks ago ...Humma Hah
Aug 3, 2001 8:03 AM
... For about a week, close to where that speed trap was yesterday, the police set up a trailer that had a radar gun and a big digital display. I could trigger it if there were no cars behind me, but it didn't seem to register until I was within about 20 yards or so.

I was riding my wife's 3-speed that week, all steel. I did manage to register 22 mph on that. I wanted to make a speed limit attempt against it, but they removed the trailer before I got a good opportunity.
re: The cops insulted me today ...DCP
Aug 3, 2001 3:59 AM
This past week I had a cop slow for a bit behind me, open his window and tell me how fast I was going. He was trying to be helpful thinking I did not know. Nice guy.
not the Sheriff who saw you pick up the trash?Dog
Aug 3, 2001 8:05 AM
You are on a 30 year old cruiser and are concerned about being dissed for not appearing to be fast?

Maybe they were just cutting you some slack for your good deed. :-)

Nonetheless, if you were doing 13 in a 25, the cop could probably pretty well eyeball whether you were speeding.

Doug ("Please give me a ticket") Sloan
Different jurisdiction.Humma Hah
Aug 3, 2001 12:26 PM
The Sherrif was in the county. These city cops might possibly remember the night I tipped them as to the whereabouts of the excaped criminal they'd misplaced a few hours earlier, but I doubt they'd have recognized me, all dressed up like a Borg drone with helmet, mirror, backpack, hydration tube, HR monitor, computer ...

I used to be able to break the speed limit, just a little, in San Diego (the lake had a 15 mph speed limit). But 25 mph is tough, especially if they don't ticket to 30.
Careful What You Wish For....grzy mnky
Aug 3, 2001 12:30 PM
I got popped on my MTB in a park by a Ranger with a radar gun for doing 25 mph. Turns out the entire park is 15 mph, but the only signs are at entrance with nothing saying that it's everywhere, not just that section. Ranger Bob passed our group of six where we were reassembling at the top of the hill, just went down around the first corner and jumped out with his trusty gun. Can you say setup? Wrote up both me and my buddy figuring we were riding together so the reading was valid for both of us. He readily acknowledged that we were not out of control, threatening anyone or being overly agressive. Wait, it gets better, the ticket arrived from the DMV for $135 and counts against my driver's license! I kid you not.

In Cali there are a pretty comprehensive set of DMV laws about how and when radar can be used: notifcation; signage; calibration; speed survey. Also, don't ignore the fact that you don't need a valid driver's license to ride a MTB in the park so it begs the question as to what they do with people that don't drive. Checked with some real cops about the whole situation and they were truly surprised except that they knew this group of Rangers to be overly agressive.

We're going to fight the tickets - any one have any advice or experince to pass along?
They do that at Mt. Tam ...Humma Hah
Aug 3, 2001 12:37 PM
... where mountainbiking was born, across the bay from San Francisco. It has gotten almost impossible to ride the infamous Repack downhill without dragging your brakes the whole way.

I've also heard of them using radar to inforce the ludicrous 8 mph speed limit along some beach paths.

In Virginia, we once asked the State Police for some guidance about what constituted a "road" under Virginia law. This pertained to off-road motorcycling, and under what conditions the bikes and riders needed to be licensed. They replied that a road was some place a vehicle could run. If the vehicle could cross it, it was a road, and so you needed a license. They did indicate that they had no intention of taking their cruisers down jeep trails and singletrack.