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trial of cyclist vs. cop on snowy day(10 posts)

trial of cyclist vs. cop on snowy daykenyee
Nov 30, 2001 6:41 AM
http://www.bostonherald.com/news/local_regional/bike1130201.htm
Rock on!jtolleson
Nov 30, 2001 7:08 AM
The outcome is right, though I suspect that the article's author was not sympathetic to the riders plight. Maybe I'm reading too much between the lines. It would have been nice for the reporter to mention that "in Massachusetts, bicyclists have the same rights as automobiles and are entitled to ride in traffic lanes, though they also bear the same responsibilities to comply with traffic signals."
Actually, no one has rights in MA :-)kenyee
Nov 30, 2001 8:21 AM
But that's a discussion for a different forum. Let's just say abuse of power is rampant in a state w/ felons in its State Congress...

The Boston mayor sucks up to people by holding a press conference to say "we're going to make Boston a cyclist friendly town" but then doesn't do anything about it. They have "ticket the motorist" days for not yielding to pedestrians to fill up their coffers. Pedestrians, predictably, think they are immortal now, so they just walk blindly into the crosswalk (some of them even look you in the eye, then walk right in front of you). The roads were originally cow paths and there is barely enough space for cars on some of them. Potholes galore. Etc.
Hopefully it will change, but I'll believe it when I see it...
Re: Unsympathetic AuthorLamb
Nov 30, 2001 1:43 PM
Actually, Jose Martinez often brings cycling related stories to readers of the Herald as well as writing for The Ride.
Thanks for the info...jtolleson
Nov 30, 2001 3:10 PM
Maybe I was reading between the lines, but it all sounded to me like a description supporting the police and making no mention of the cyclist's right.

Me? Paranoid? Naah! Folks are out to get us!
personal experiencemorrison
Nov 30, 2001 7:47 AM
I'm a criminal defense attorney in San Diego. In the early 90's, I was a prosecutor, and was assigned to a number of cases involving bikes. The most common were bike DUIs. I had no problem with those b/c invariably they occurred at night, the riders were in the streets w/out lights, and usually some sort of accident was involved.

The cases that I hated involved registration stickers. I don't know if this law is still enforced, but the S.D. Muni Code requires cyclists in the city to register their bikes at the local PD or FD. They give you a little yellow sticker, which you are supposed to attach to seat post. The cops used to use the absence of a sticker to justify a traffic stop, and then they would harrass the rider, write him a cite, and (sometimes) impound the bike. Usually, the guys they stopped were minorities on beaters (classic racial profiling). Every once in a while, I would hear about a road cyclist who got his bike impounded. Invariably, the cops would throw the bike into the trunk of their car. I think there had to be a lot of damage claims coming out of that, b/c the trunks on those big Crown Vics have heavy lids which, when left open, bang up and down w/ the bumps on the road.
(The only case I've had on the 'dark side' involved a LBS selling stolen frames.)

Also, it's important to remember that in CA (and most states), cyclists enjoy the same rights to the road as motorists. Don't be afraid to assert them. While you might piss off some drivers, it's a hell of a lot safer to claim the middle of the lane than it is to avoid the broken glass, crumbling asphalt, discarded hubcaps, and swinging car doors that occupy our 'bike lanes.'

Finally, please don't think I have a beef w/ cops re: bikes. Overall, they do a pretty good job out here, and more than once, I've seen them pull drivers over for violating a cyclist's right of way.
re: I'm glad it wasn't me!cyclopathic
Nov 30, 2001 7:55 AM
62 is part of Boston-Montreal-Boston 1200k randonee (also used in smaller events) and quite popular with local cyclists.
re: trial of cyclist vs. cop on snowy dayguido
Nov 30, 2001 12:19 PM
The cyclist is portrayed as an eccentric, like anyone fool enough to ride a bike to work for 25 years, a little nutso. He gets stopped all the time by the cops, and now he's riding on a major thoroughfare in inclement weather, when little boys shouldn't be out riding their bikes.

His infractions weren't serious enough for tickets. Why not? Why was he stopped 27 times? I've commuted 10 years in several cities, and have never been stopped by a cop. On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with riding in the cleared part of a snowy roadway. Motorists should appreciate the extraordinary circumstances, and drive more cautiously, anyway.

Although this guy did nothing illegal, he still gets vilified as a "problem." This is all too often the plight of people using bikes as an alternative means of transportation, not just for exercise and recreation. Americans have a ways to go in accepting cycling as a normal part of traffic, and we, dear roadies, are out there on the cutting edge.
that's the undercurrent that was bugging mekenyee
Nov 30, 2001 2:07 PM
I was left wondering why the guy had been stopped 27 times. It's almost like the local PD had some sort of vendetta against him or he really was a problem. Not enough info to tell...
why stopped 27 times?guido
Dec 2, 2001 7:23 PM
This is the same situation as the post above, about a man driving an SUV deliberately hitting and running over a bike messenger commuting to work in Chicago. They were into it, trading insults and moving erratically along a street. The bike messenger lost his life over a principle, that he was the equal of the SUV driver using the road, which he wasn't, but chose to try and prove it anyway, and lost, because his weapon was his mouth and fist, but the opponent had a big truck. They were fighting for honor, and, this time, the black man won.

I've never let the situation between me and a motorist get to the point of one of us wanting to kill the other. For one thing, alot of motorists have weapons other than their cars, and they're as afraid of me as I would be of them. One can adopt a superior attitude in an altercation. You can in a calm tone, explain that you are just like them, only riding a bike, and that they must respect your right to the road. That's all you need to say. If they still act like they want to punch you in the face, just withdraw as quietly as you can. If he follows you, go onto the sidewalk or into a parking lot. One can be confrontational without the cursing and yelling. You want to defuse the situation emotionally, so you can tell the fool what he just or almost did to you.

Everybody responds to guilt. The cyclist could have done any number of things to defuse the hostility of the SUV driver after the initial confrontation. If he had, he'd still be alive, and the SUV driver wouldn't have a murder conviction to contend with.