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Stopped by Police for taking the lane.

This topic contains 126 replies, has 32 voices, and was last updated by  AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe 10 mos.

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byogman

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Apr 21 2013 at 7:28pm #

We all read a tone into posts and the poster from time to time. It’s just human to try and read a message board as a real conversation. But you’re really only getting about 20%. You don’t know someone till you… actually know them. So I think if we can tone down on the touchiness, both in initial response, and in meta-response, that’s best.

I absolutely call police officers “officer” and follow their script, not because I’m happy or think they’re right, but because I’ve had one experience with a very jumpy police officer and don’t care to have a repeat. YMMV. I do like the idea of recording, however.


rsprake

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Apr 22 2013 at 12:13pm #

I’ve been pulled over by police 4 times in my driving career, twice in Erie after 3 am on my way to my bagel shop job. Pull over, blinkers on, car turned off, radio turned off, hands on the wheel, yes sir, no sir, thank you sir. Never got a ticket but then again I am white. I can’t say I was as respectful when a cop gave me shit when I was on a bike or when I was skateboarding but I agree. You’re never going to win an argument with a cop.


Drewbacca

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Apr 22 2013 at 12:28pm #

If it helps, always try to see all sides. Some cops are a-holes, no question. Some are just doing their job. Sometimes it’s a combination of the two. We are still in the wake of what happened in Boston, so perhaps the trailer did in fact attract unwanted attention this time.

Be polite, keep your cool, accept when you are caught in the wrong, and file a formal complaint when you are not. I accept when I’m wrong and face the music; this has always helped resolve the confrontation quickly and usually includes the policeman cutting me some slack.

I was bullied by a cop on two occasions and challenged both in front of a judge. In one case, the judge practically laughed the abusive cop out of his office. In another case, the cop was buddys with the judge and I got no where despite the cop accidentally admitting that it was in fact entrapment.


Marko82

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Apr 22 2013 at 12:52pm #

^ and I’ve had a cop flat out lie in front of a judge (traffic case).

I was also a juror on a murder trial once and I think the most dangerous place to be in our society is “actually being innocent” within the court system.

Stay safe, playing by their rules is better than getting stomped or worse.


Vannevar

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Apr 22 2013 at 12:56pm #

TIL about the Dunning Kruger Effect from Stu, and it explains most of the Internet threads I’ve ever read.


edmonds59

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Apr 22 2013 at 1:00pm #

Absolutely.


Pierce

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Apr 22 2013 at 3:46pm #

“TIL about the Dunning Kruger Effect from Stu, and it explains most of the Internet threads I’ve ever read.”

This could make these forums quite confusing to new members when they’re getting conflicting information from people who may be overly competent, but humble, or incompetent, but overly sure of themselves

FWIW, I’m generally not a fan of the cops around here and they do a pretty good job of brutalizing the black population; I’ve heard bad stuff about suburb cops too, but one PBP cop did give me and my bike a ride home after my hit and run

Also, who got to ride the cop bikes and play with the sirens? I’m thinking Lucia


bikeygirl

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Apr 22 2013 at 4:05pm #

Pierce wrote:Also, who got to ride the cop bikes and play with the sirens? I’m thinking Lucia

Nope, not me! It was probably someone else. So far I’ve never had to ride on any cop-form of transportation of any sort, either on-purpose or due to my-badyness :)


Pierce

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Apr 22 2013 at 4:28pm #

Also, this conversation wouldn’t be appropriate without this song:


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe

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Apr 22 2013 at 4:29pm #

I’m thinking about forming a punk band called Metacognitive Inability.

Anybody interested in joining, please PM me.

No skills necessary.

We are going to be so f*cking awesome.


byogman

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Apr 22 2013 at 5:05pm #

Need a theremin player?


gg

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Apr 22 2013 at 5:26pm #

dbacklover wrote:two words. Go Pro.

It is getting to the point where I look at a cyclist without a helmet cam like a cyclist without a bike. Many times I wear mine turned off (mostly because I forget to change out the batteries) but I have seen people start things then notice the helmet cam and suddenly change their minds and get all nice and insist that I go ahead.

I didn’t mean to offend, but I have concern for those cycling in the middle of the road when not needed trying to prove a point. I witness this now and again and believe me those folks are the ones that will get hit. If they get hit and survive they almost feel as though it is a status. I already said, I don’t know the OP, but I may have ridden with him without knowing who he is.

Anyway, the reason I am responding with this quote is because it is something that came to mind. If the OP had a helmet cam things might go a little differently. I am not sure, but maybe. I really am not sure I want to get all involved with a helmet cam, but I must say it might be what everyone does at some point. It could be very valuable in more ways than one.

To the OP: If you feel wronged, I suggest you at least call. I have called the police regarding something I felt was handled poorly. They were VERY nice to me on the phone regarding the matter. Nothing wrong with at least saying something.

Safe riding to all.


Pierce

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Apr 22 2013 at 6:24pm #

“I didn’t mean to offend, but I have concern for those cycling in the middle of the road when not needed trying to prove a point. I witness this now and again and believe me those folks are the ones that will get hit. If they get hit and survive they almost feel as though it is a status.”

We’re cycling in the middle of the road because it is safer.

http://cyclingsavvy.org/hows-my-driving/

Here’s my car-hit record:

-left-hooked from oncoming sedan
-in the middle of the road at stop light, behind tractor trailer, SUV purposefully bumps me
-filtering, sideswiped by bus *
- on the side of the road, sideswiped by car
- filtering, car made an unsignaled right-hand turn into me*

*dangerous, wouldn’t ever do with a bus, would do very slowly with a car

So three of my five collisions could have been potentially avoided by staying in the middle of the road

People don’t get hit because they’re in the middle of the road. They get hit because drivers are fucking negligent and aren’t paying attention to what’s right in front of them

A lady two days ago completely failed to yield turning right from 5th Ave to Penn and would have slammed into us at about 30 mph if we didn’t change lanes; she was looking down at her goddamn cell phone; if I was on my bike I could have been another Penn Ave fatality

Take your victim blaming to some Post Gazette article comment section


gg

Private Message

Apr 22 2013 at 6:57pm #

Pierce wrote:

Here’s my car-hit record:

-left-hooked from oncoming sedan
-in the middle of the road at stop light, behind tractor trailer, SUV purposefully bumps me
-filtering, sideswiped by bus *
- on the side of the road, sideswiped by car
- filtering, car made an unsignaled right-hand turn into me*

Here is my hit and run record with 25+ years of riding in the city.

0

I think I will keep my style, but thanks. Wish you well trusting people in 3,000 + lb vehicles while they are texting, drunk, on drugs, looking at Youtube, putting on lipstick, eating Big Macs, picking up a french fry off the floor and whatever else selfish people are doing while driving. I have a mirror that has saved me plenty due to my inherent distrust for others. Almost was killed on the Highland Park Bridge after midnight once on my way home from work and my mirror saved me, but I was still very lucky and will never have that situation again. Feel free to take your lane and hope people see you or you don’t frustrate some nutcase to the point they hit you for the heck of it. No thanks. They win. I ride accordingly and am ready to bail at any given time. I am no match for the big vehicles. They know it and so do I. On top of that very little is done if you get killed by someone in a car. What about that guy training for the MS150 riding on Harts Run Road in the morning on the way to work? What happened to the driver that killed that guy? Not much.

Look, my point is simple. Just be careful. We are at a huge disadvantage and all these hit and runs that are on the news are hurting the growth of cycling in our region. The media will make people too afraid. Pierce, it doesn’t surprise me you have had issues on the road. Your style of posting is filled with self importance. That and cycling isn’t usually a good combination. Hope you ride smarter than you type.


Vannevar

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Apr 22 2013 at 7:02pm #

My point exactly. Thank you.


gg

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Apr 22 2013 at 7:03pm #

Vannevar wrote:My point exactly. Thank you.

You’re welcome.


Nick D

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Apr 22 2013 at 7:05pm #

I may or may not have rode a Pittsburgh Police bicycle [I'm pretty sure if they aren't allowed to let civilian ride them]. It was horrible. I’ve also driven cop cars and know a fair amount of law enforcement officers.

I’ve been pulled over 29 times in the past ten years and have had at least a dozen of none-traffic stop interactions with cops. Some of them are professional, and some of them are far from–especially when it comes to bicycles or black people.

Without going on a rant, I’ll just say that if there were any truly good cops there wouldn’t be any bad cops.

Though it’s probably pointless, I also recommend filing a formal complaint. The biggest problem and the greatest strength is the brotherhood around the job. Just keep in mind that when filing a complaint, you are complaining to one of the brothers. Even with video evidence, even if they would have continued to harass you, even if they would have assaulted you, you will never get an acknowledgement of wrong doing.

Years ago I went to file a complaint about an officer who repeated cursed at me and spit in my face and I was told that if I wanted of file a complaint I could, but “[they] would make [my] life miserable”.

I think the real strategy here would be to make sure that BikePGH and the city [Stephen Patchen] are aware of the race issues around cycling in the city. To me, this brings to light an obvious issue around making Pittsburgh a more bike friendly city that [to my knowledge] no one has brought to light.


Erica

Private Message

Apr 22 2013 at 7:07pm #

Here is my hit and run record with 25+ years of riding in the city.

0

Guess what this means?

It means you’re lucky.
Otherwise, it means literally nothing.


gg

Private Message

Apr 22 2013 at 7:15pm #

Nick D wrote:
I’ve been pulled over 29 times in the past ten years and have had at least a dozen of none-traffic stop interactions with cops. Some of them are professional, and some of them are far from–especially when it comes to bicycles or black people.

29 times in 10 years? I think that is really a crazy high number! I don’t think I would have the same view of cops if I was pulled over that many times. Were any of those times deserved or is it more random?


gg

Private Message

Apr 22 2013 at 7:21pm #

Erica wrote:

Guess what this means?

It means you’re lucky.
Otherwise, it means literally nothing.

I feel that for the most part we make our own so-called luck. I would agree to a point though. I just ride expecting the worst out of the morons on the road. I certainly wouldn’t ride without a mirror watching what is behind me. No way would I trust people like I see so many do. IMHO, you folks trusting drivers are pretty crazy!


gg

Private Message

Apr 22 2013 at 7:26pm #

Look my point was more out of concern for cyclists. I watch some pretty risky moves out there. I really don’t want to read about some cyclist being hit. Just be careful is all. That is all I am saying. There is NO status for being hit by a car. None!


Pierce

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Apr 22 2013 at 7:36pm #

“Here is my hit and run record with 25+ years of riding in the city.”

My hit and run record is zero too. But how many miles have you put in and on what streets?

“What about that guy training for the MS150 riding on Harts Run Road in the morning on the way to work? What happened to the driver that killed that guy? Not much.”

And guess where he was riding on the road? You’re more visible in the middle than on the side. I don’t think I’ve heard of too many stories of people saving themselves by riding off into the bushes

Point taken on safety, but our vision of what is and isn’t safe doesn’t match. Bicycle orgs side with safety being in the middle.


gg

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Apr 22 2013 at 7:46pm #

Pierce wrote:

Point taken on safety, but our vision of what is and isn’t safe doesn’t match.

Correct. We also will never agree on style. Stay safe.


salty

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Apr 22 2013 at 8:20pm #

I’m sure it’s easy to say “we make our own so-called luck” if you’ve never been hit – maybe you should ask the people who have been hit while doing absolutely nothing wrong how they feel about that. I don’t trust drivers either but I think you’re kidding yourself if you think that’s enough to prevent you from being hit – you can ride as defensively as you want and still end up dead or injured.

FWIW, I’ve never been hit either aside from getting hit by a side mirror in 1993 or so, I don’t count that because I didn’t get knocked down or get hurt. But I certainly don’t believe that’s due to some superior awareness or riding skills on my part.


mrs. marvelous

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Apr 22 2013 at 8:22pm #

@gg It is interesting you make a comment calling mr marv “self important”. It sound as if you are quick to judge someone you know nothing about. Maybe it is because of the article written about him saying how nice of a guy he is, or the fact that he volunteers his time to give back to the cycling community asking for nothing in return. Maybe you don’t like his screen name Mr Marvelous that was giving to him by the young kids he mentored in the youth group he volunteered for. Or the fact that he worked in the Rainbow Kitchen in Homestead till it closed it’s doors. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t ever use profanity or never ever disrespects women. Or the fact he choose to work in oncology because he has a heart for it. No he is not self important he gives away from himself everyday, the way I see it he’s not more important than anyone except for you gg.


byogman

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Apr 22 2013 at 8:26pm #

I said earlier there’s generally not much point trying to reach a rider who’s laid down their riding style over years, but gg, I’ll give it one go.

One of the great things about riding with a mirror is how easily you can actually see the benefits of making yourself highly visible and claiming the the lane.

While riding a multi-lane road, especially one with a long distance between lights where cars want to zoom, you can tell how early most see you because they’ll soon start signaling or moving over to the next lane. Up until the max-out point, where you’re blinky is pointing straight into the driver’s eye in the lane behind you, you can also see a correlation between how far left you ride and how far back that lane change happens.

Now obviously, you need to be physically well lit if it’s dark or dusk, and the motorists need to be metaphorically not for this to be an advisable experiment, but that’s true regardless of riding style.


Nick D

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Apr 22 2013 at 8:55pm #

@gg: some of them were deserved from things like speeding on interstates. However many of them were profiling though–either I, a passenger, or the vehicle I was traveling in “didn’t look from around [t]here”.

One of them was on a bicycle during the G20. They said they pulled me over for not having lights–which I did–and then they questioned me about some punk house in Polish Hill that they later raided.

Many of my non-traffic stop interactions were collisions–bicycle, motorcycle, automobile. I think you have enough of those, you really start to see some disturbing patterns in how police handle.

I really think the only people who have positive views on the level of professionalism with police either have little or no experience with them or have FOP/Thin Blue Line stickers on their cars.

As far as the relationship of riding skill/knowledge to getting hit goes, I’ve been hit three times on a bicycle–sustained injuries once–and I have taken several classes on driving cars, motorcycles, and bicycles safely.

I think if you do anything enough, no matter how safe and cautious you are, you will eventually have wreck.


Mick

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Apr 22 2013 at 9:56pm #

@ gg …if you ride like you post …

You might want to meditate on that a bit before you post.


bikeygirl

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Apr 22 2013 at 10:02pm #

mrs. marvelous wrote:@gg It is interesting you make a comment calling mr marv “self important”. It sound as if you are quick to judge someone you know nothing about. Maybe it is because of the article written about him saying how nice of a guy he is, or the fact that he volunteers his time to give back to the cycling community asking for nothing in return. Maybe you don’t like his screen name Mr Marvelous that was giving to him by the young kids he mentored in the youth group he volunteered for. Or the fact that he worked in the Rainbow Kitchen in Homestead till it closed it’s doors. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t ever use profanity or never ever disrespects women. Or the fact he choose to work in oncology because he has a heart for it. No he is not self important he gives away from himself everyday, the way I see it he’s not more important than anyone except for you gg.

Bravo…..


Vannevar

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Apr 22 2013 at 10:21pm #

gg wroteLook, my point is simple. Just be careful. ….all these hit and runs are hurting the growth of cycling in our region
Pierce, it doesn’t surprise me you have had issues on the road. Your style of posting is filled with self importance. That and cycling isn’t usually a good combination. Hope you ride smarter than you type.

V wroteMy point exactly. Thank you.

gg wrote:You’re welcome.

I was talking about demonstrating the Dunning-Kruger effect.


Drewbacca

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Apr 22 2013 at 10:33pm #

@gg

No, nothing to add. I think this horse has been kicked enough already.


cburch

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Apr 23 2013 at 6:57am #

you should maybe go back to blaming Danny Chew and the Dirty Dozen for the “chu” tags around town. that made way more sense than the idiotic drivel you are spewing about Marcel and cycling in general in this thread.

also, you might be interested in one of these:


ericf

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Apr 23 2013 at 7:58am #

Based on my observations, having ridden with both gg and Mr.M, I find gg to be more of a risk taker, while Marcel is more cautious / careful.

That said, from Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Chapter 35 – SPECIAL VEHICLES AND PEDESTRIANS
Subchapter A – Operation of Pedalcycles (Bicycles)

” 3301(b). Vehicle proceeding at less than normal speed.
Upon all roadways, any vehicles proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place under the conditions than existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available
for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a
left turn at an intersection or into an alley, private road or driveway.”

The “as close as practicable” part is where the police officer will win every time, as it is open to his / her interpretation as a public safety officer.

Marcel, if you had Ke$ha playing on the boombox at the time, I might understand why the officer was hassling you! ;)


gg

Private Message

Apr 23 2013 at 8:17am #

I knew this thread would end up exactly like this. Was just wondering if people would think about riding safe and realizing cars/suvs/pickups have won and will always win. The sooner you know it the better.

Ericf, you wouldn’t understand my riding because I wear a mirror and you don’t. If you don’t know what is behind you, then you wouldn’t not understand why I do what I do, but you did owe me one from an old comment I made about you. Nicely done.

I do got through red lights at certain times if I can get out of harms way and not interfere with anyone. It is common sense and even Idaho understands it. Also, at 4:00AM I am along for the most part on the road. Do you really feel I should sit at a red-light hoping the sensor detects me freezing my butt off in the snow with not a car in sight from any direction?

I said my peace here. An 8 year old was hit yesterday. That is a much more important issue and makes me sick. If the police harassed the OP, then make the call or start wearing a cam to record the issue. For some reason you provoked the police. We are only hearing one side and don’t know why the police decided to tell you to move over due to you impeding traffic.

Let the childish feeding frenzy begin. We are one, the Borg.


edmonds59

Private Message

Apr 23 2013 at 8:35am #

re: ” 3301(b). Vehicle proceeding at less than normal speed.
Upon all roadways, any vehicles proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place under the conditions than existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available
for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a
left turn at an intersection or into an alley, private road or driveway.”
That’s so weird, none of the hundred cars that were backed up from the West End Circle up Noblestown got over to the right so’s I could pass them!?! Oh, well, fk ‘em. Passed ‘em anyway.
FWIW, gg, I thought your recent posts remained well tempered and reasonable, I said my bit a while ago and I’m done with the piling on. At some point everyone needs to find their own ways to stay safe, within reason. I don’t necessarily ride by the book 100%. As far as I’m concerned every moment of every ride requires individual evaluation by the rider and adaptation for survival. 1 time out of 100 the rule book can get you killed.


Marko82

Private Message

Apr 23 2013 at 8:38am #

gg wrote:For some reason you provoked the police.

Not necessarily so. There is no evidence of this and thus the many different opinions expressed here. Unless you walk a mile in a man’s moccasins…

Edit: let’s agree to disagree on what “safe” riding is – and please just be safe to the best of your ability.


salty

Private Message

Apr 23 2013 at 8:38am #

ericf – “except when preparing to make a left turn” which is exactly what Mr. M was doing. And in any case the cop’s interpretation of “as close as practicable” is not the only one that counts.

gg – I hope your magic mirror continues to protect you. If only it was that simple.


J Z

Private Message

Apr 23 2013 at 9:00am #

edmonds59 wrote:As far as I’m concerned every moment of every ride requires individual evaluation by the rider and adaptation for survival. 1 time out of 100 the rule book can get you killed.

+1


Erica

Private Message

Apr 23 2013 at 9:00am #

can’t always count on a mirror – I use one constantly, but if my pannier is packed full, it completely blocks my mirror view. Even when it doesn’t, it’s best to look behind you a lot, too, so the drivers KNOW you’re aware of them.


gg

Private Message

Apr 23 2013 at 9:29am #

Nick D wrote:@gg: some of them were deserved from things like speeding on interstates. However many of them were profiling though–either I, a passenger, or the vehicle I was traveling in “didn’t look from around [t]here”.

One of them was on a bicycle during the G20. They said they pulled me over for not having lights–which I did–and then they questioned me about some punk house in Polish Hill that they later raided.

Many of my non-traffic stop interactions were collisions–bicycle, motorcycle, automobile. I think you have enough of those, you really start to see some disturbing patterns in how police handle.

I really think the only people who have positive views on the level of professionalism with police either have little or no experience with them or have FOP/Thin Blue Line stickers on their cars.

As far as the relationship of riding skill/knowledge to getting hit goes, I’ve been hit three times on a bicycle–sustained injuries once–and I have taken several classes on driving cars, motorcycles, and bicycles safely.

I think if you do anything enough, no matter how safe and cautious you are, you will eventually have wreck.

I would like to hear more about all this, but that is better suited in person. Our paths may cross someday and I hope you don’t mind me asking some questions to better understand what you deal with while cycling.

As far as eventually having a wreck, that may very well be true. I hope not, but maybe it is what it is. I am back to riding my fixed and I know it has a little more danger than my other bike. Has a little bit of a crossover issue with the pedals and being a fixed there are slight disadvantages if you have to avoid something in a split second, but it is just so fun to ride and so quick. Is it dumb to ride it? Maybe, but I can’t help myself, it is just too fun.

Wishing everyone the best.

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