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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 1 yr, 5 mos.

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Nick D

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Apr 23 2013 at 11:41am #

@gg, I’m not a hard person to get a hold of. You are welcome to come by Fiks:Reflective anytime.


myddrin

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Apr 23 2013 at 12:36pm #

Sorry folks, I’ve been away for a bit so I may be missing some subtext.

Is gg’s argument that the people posting running the flock and posting daily to a bike advocacy board… that these people who have cited scientific studies about bike safety, as well as parts of PA state law… that these people don’t think about safety enough?


cburch

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Apr 23 2013 at 3:14pm #

and that marcel is “self important”


myddrin

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Apr 23 2013 at 3:31pm #

Alright then…
Please proceed Govenor


gg

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Apr 24 2013 at 7:54am #

Nick D wrote:@gg, I’m not a hard person to get a hold of. You are welcome to come by Fiks:Reflective anytime.

Thanks. It may help me understand walking in other’s shoes better and that is always a good thing.


bikeygirl

Private Message

Apr 24 2013 at 10:29pm #

myddrin wrote:Alright then…
Please proceed Govenor

HAHAHHAHAH

I’m completely in love with “The IT Crowd” show!

Wish it would have had more Richmond, though :)


mr marvelous

Private Message

Apr 26 2013 at 9:32am #

I didn’t intend for this tread to take the negative turn it did. My goal was only to share my experience on that night riding home.
In this tread people asked me direct questions and I will answer them. I was riding home about 10P.Mish, I was pulling the trailer with the music off. It was late and I didn’t want the music to disturb anyone who goes to bed as early as I go to bed. Traffic was light. I remember thinking only 4-5 cars passed me from Penn-Circle to Stanton Ave. I was not taking the whole lane till I got near the intersection of Highland and Stanton. I was riding inline with the sharrows on Highland, giving me plenty of space away from the curb but also allowing cars to pass at a very safe distance, and the fact that traffic was so light I could have taken the lane and still cars should not have had a problem passing. I don’t know how long the Police were following me but they were far enough back that I could move over safely to make a left turn even hauling the trailer. I made the turn and that when I could hear the engine of the Police car rev as it speed up to ride inches from the trailer. That part of Stanton was narrow and had parked cars along the road no place to pull over but there was no other traffic so whoever was tailgating me could have easily passed. The Police got on their speaker and told me to move to the side. There was really no place to move with parked cars, they moved to the side of me while we both were still moving. The look in the driver’s eyes was pure rage. His partner had a look of irritation. The driver shouted stop impeding traffic. He waited for my response. His eyes looked as if he dared me to say one word. He was ready for action. I said nothing did nothing but nod my head as if saying I will comply. The Police car then accelerated fast out of sight. I started making my way up Stanton and the same Police car was coming down Stanton in the opposite direction. They stop across from me and say nothing, just give me the evil eye till I pedal out of their view.
I know more questions were asked and I will answer them I’m answering things one question at a time.


ericf

Private Message

Apr 26 2013 at 9:55am #

@mr marvelous,
My best advice is to be as humble as you possibly can. Use “sir” or “ma’am” and do not argue with them. The time to argue is when you are in front of a judge, not with the cops on the side of the road.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where the cops are making a report, make sure you say your piece before the pen hits the paper. Once the report is written, it will be one of the only things the Judge will pay attention to in court.
If you feel intimidated by the cops, helmet cam is the best way to go.


Marko82

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Apr 26 2013 at 10:32am #

you can also stop, get up on the sidewalk and call 911 and ask for a police supervisor. Just be aware that the cop you are having trouble with may indeed be the supervisor. Power sometimes corrupts.

Stay safe, keep your head down.


byogman

Private Message

Apr 26 2013 at 11:04am #

“I didn’t intend for this tread to take the negative turn it did. My goal was only to share my experience on that night riding home.”

There’s no negativity you brought to the conversation and I hope you’re not regretting bringing the matter up because of a branch to the conversation you had no control over. You brought up something that you should not have faced and were right to do so.


mr marvelous

Private Message

Apr 26 2013 at 1:04pm #

I also posted about being stopped twice before because my bikes were too expensive for someone like me. This indeed happened in fact it has happened more than twice but two occasions I felt afraid. The “real” reason I wear spandex when I ride is not because of comfort but so that I look the part. When I wear my Sean John Blue Jeans and a sweatshirt I don’t look like someone who should own a $2,000 bike and I end up being stopped by the police. I have only been stopped when I don’t have my cycling clothing on. Often the question is the same. “Where did you find such an expensive bike?”. Someone mentioned to me this is a VERY big deal in establishing a divers cycling population and I should talk more about it. They are right it is a big deal, but please let me explain why I haven’t talked more about it. First it’s not a cycling problem. I am almost 40yo I have been dealing with situations like this my entire life. My first car was an Audi. Being young black and driving an Audi caused me lots of problems. I was pulled over weekly for suspicion of driving a stolen car or for selling drugs to finance the car. I sold that car after 6 months of buying it after on Route 30 an officer had me on the ground at gunpoint. After that I have only bought Subaru’s still I get pulled over not nearly as much, one Plum officer told me Blacks don’t drive Subaru’s. I have been told to leave stores; I have been told my kind isn’t welcome here in a variety of places. So does racism exists yes, is it a cycling problem, no. It’s a Pittsburgh problem.
I joined the message board because this is the one place I feel comfortable, “safe”. Almost all of you have treated me as simply another cyclist. The fact that I am the President of Flock of Cycles is proof how awesome you all are. That is one reason I never bring race up, because it doesn’t seem to matter here.

Now lastly comments about me being self-important. Is it true I don’t know? If I am I apologize. I have posted stupid things on the board, and I have apologized to individuals in person or through PM’s. Am I really the nice guy everyone says I am? I really, really want to be. I care deeply about the cycling community. I want to do my part. I want you all to know that I joined Flock not to brag, or promote myself, but because I truly care. Let me take one moment and not be nice, gg’s comments in my opinion are unnecessary, and hurtful. He is a bully and I have never backed down from bullies. He makes comments only to cause trouble and controversy. His comments only show how limited his education is. He is not the only one I have stood up to. “Hcurtis” his racist rants eventually got him banned, and “Val” who only post not to better the community but to tear it down with insults, and if you ever read “Val’s” twitter account it is filled with so much hate and racism it is terrifying. Maybe taking a stand against them has worked against me, hurt my image I don’t know. All I do know is I am thankful for the way this Board treats me and I love all of you.


Mick

Private Message

Apr 26 2013 at 1:08pm #

I dont’ know about “self improtant.”

Mr Marvelous is important.

(To me at least. My sense is to a whole flock of people.)


cburch

Private Message

Apr 26 2013 at 3:27pm #

Mick wrote:I dont’ know about “self improtant.”

Mr Marvelous is important.

(To me at least. My sense is to a whole flock of people.)

not just to flock people! he’s a great friend and i don’t exactly give out the “friend” title willy nilly.


bikeygirl

Private Message

Apr 26 2013 at 3:54pm #

mr marvelous wrote:All I do know is I am thankful for the way this Board treats me and I love all of you.

Love you back, POTFOC :)

And srly, I’m sorry to hear of all the race-related bullshit you’ve had to deal with. I’ve had some weird instances where due to race-related situations I’ve been in uncomfortable situations, but nothing close to what you’ve experienced.

While I agree and I like that as cyclists, and here as members of the board, race & gender don’t (or shouldn’t) be an issue; I do-take issue that out in the streets, it does. Because if in this City of Pittsburgh, we are promoting that Pittsburgh is a Cycling City, that means for everyone who rides in its streets and parks. But if certain demographics are treated differently by the City ; then I’m not very happy about it.


Vannevar

Private Message

Apr 26 2013 at 4:54pm #

The world would be a better place with more people like mr marvelous.

And also mrs marvelous, too.

Just fwiw, going to the curb and pulling out a cellphone in the dark will get a brother shot. Peace out.


pearmask

Private Message

Apr 26 2013 at 6:17pm #

cburch wrote:he’s a great friend and i don’t exactly give out the “friend” title willy nilly.

Vannevar wrote:The world would be a better place with more people like mr marvelous.

+infinity


byogman

Private Message

Apr 26 2013 at 7:05pm #

I’m going to step in here to just slightly to defend gg. I don’t know him (presuming him), but at least just from rereading this thread I don’t get the sense he’s a bully. Deserving of jump to conclusions mat honor? Sure! Both in his assessment of mr. marvelous, or the presumption that his wreck-with-car free record means that other riding styles are somehow asking for it. I think he’s also naively optimistic about police, again from his own experience. But look, we all jump to conclusions sometimes. And I do like when I don’t have to read between the lines to see what’s really on someone’s mind.

And from the first, most objectively content free bit… the judging of Mr. Marv, he backed off in what, 15 minutes? The piling on was a bit much, honestly. Differences of opinion about riding style aren’t things that need to squashed even if they’re presented in a pretty tone deaf way. And different assumptions don’t make someone a bad person. We DO need to lighten up a little here.


ericf

Private Message

Apr 26 2013 at 7:30pm #

@byogman,
+1
@mr marvelous,
I don’t really know you, but I have met you on a few flocks. You have always been a gentleman, and as I stated earlier, your road manners are impeccable as well.
That said, take what you read on the internet (present crowd included) with a grain of salt. People are people, this stuff is just ones and zeroes (sometimes more zeroes than ones).
BTW,
If you wanna talk self important, check this dude:

mrosswog wrote:There’s something to be said about donating web development to a charitable cause, but there’s also something called “do something well or don’t do it at all”. I’m a web developer… I would know. I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my time. Perhaps it’s time for bikepgh to hire someone (not me – I just want to use the site) who is going to be able to support the online community they are attempting to build.

First off, the search function isn’t working. I’m trying to post in the Hilly Billy Roubaix thread and the only way I can find it is through google search.

Since I wasn’t logged in (I can’t tell you how many countless times I’ve logged into this thing), I got myself logged in and was redirected to the bikepgh.org home page, not back to where I was.

So here I am, needing to leave the site again to search for the thread I wanted to post in.

I figured, just page through the message board and find it that way – it’s not too old. But when paging through the board from the bikepgh.org/mb page, you are then moved into the “advocacy and safety” forum page two which has threads that are over a year old.

This web board could be a great resource, if it was usable. There are plenty of fully functional, open source web forums out there – why they’ve chosen this one baffles me. Forget about the cutesy graphics and focus on usability, because right now, this site is barely functioning. The low amount of forum traffic should be an indicator of this.

On another note, I have mind to start a new message board altogether and one that focuses more on riding and racing bikes, which is what I want to chat about on a cycling message board. Not wasting my time calling attention to issues that should have been QA’ed before rolling out the new site.

Rant over.


gg

Private Message

Apr 26 2013 at 8:16pm #

mr marvelous wrote:I didn’t intend for this tread to take the negative turn it did. My goal was only to share my experience on that night riding home.
In this tread people asked me direct questions and I will answer them. I was riding home about 10P.Mish, I was pulling the trailer with the music off. It was late and I didn’t want the music to disturb anyone who goes to bed as early as I go to bed. Traffic was light. I remember thinking only 4-5 cars passed me from Penn-Circle to Stanton Ave. I was not taking the whole lane till I got near the intersection of Highland and Stanton. I was riding inline with the sharrows on Highland, giving me plenty of space away from the curb but also allowing cars to pass at a very safe distance, and the fact that traffic was so light I could have taken the lane and still cars should not have had a problem passing. I don’t know how long the Police were following me but they were far enough back that I could move over safely to make a left turn even hauling the trailer. I made the turn and that when I could hear the engine of the Police car rev as it speed up to ride inches from the trailer. That part of Stanton was narrow and had parked cars along the road no place to pull over but there was no other traffic so whoever was tailgating me could have easily passed. The Police got on their speaker and told me to move to the side. There was really no place to move with parked cars, they moved to the side of me while we both were still moving. The look in the driver’s eyes was pure rage. His partner had a look of irritation. The driver shouted stop impeding traffic. He waited for my response. His eyes looked as if he dared me to say one word. He was ready for action. I said nothing did nothing but nod my head as if saying I will comply. The Police car then accelerated fast out of sight. I started making my way up Stanton and the same Police car was coming down Stanton in the opposite direction. They stop across from me and say nothing, just give me the evil eye till I pedal out of their view.
I know more questions were asked and I will answer them I’m answering things one question at a time.

Good post. This is what we needed to understand. Wish I was a witness. I would have had your back more than you know.


StuInMcCandless

Private Message

Apr 26 2013 at 8:40pm #

@gg – Thank you for seeing the light. I sensed that that was what occurred, though he didn’t go into that level of detail in his earlier posts. I guess it helps to know Mr Marv personally well enough to read a degree of detail into his written words — plus I run into him fairly often. And the several of us who also know him well also read that same unspoken detail in.

I, too, am aghast that we have such a both wide and deep level of racism still in our society, including those whose job is to defend and protect.

One other thing: Please refrain from quoting whole passages, especially if only to add a couple of lines. Or is this a phone-specific limitation? I’m on a laptop, with full access to HTML, editing posts, etc.; I don’t know how the board works on iPads, etc.


cburch

Private Message

Apr 26 2013 at 9:08pm #

Nope. It’s. PEBKAC error.


gg

Private Message

Apr 26 2013 at 9:13pm #

StuInMcCandless wrote:
One other thing: Please refrain from quoting whole passages, especially if only to add a couple of lines. Or is this a phone-specific limitation? I’m on a laptop, with full access to HTML, editing posts, etc.; I don’t know how the board works on iPads, etc.

Could you please explain further? I was trying to cut down some of the crap, but maybe I should just not use the quote feature.


cburch

Private Message

Apr 26 2013 at 9:17pm #

@ericf except, he’s right. I have mostly avoided getting into it on the board since I also do web work for bike pgh but watching the whole thing play out from the sidelines has been pretty much a textbook case of what not to do when rolling out a major site upgrade.

In short there is a right way to do development, no matter the size of the team. And you don’t ship broken product.

Also, pulling the “but it was just pro bono work” or “it’s the clients fault” card is armature hour stuff. Pride in work shouldn’t require a paycheck.


ericf

Private Message

Apr 26 2013 at 9:25pm #

@cburch,
The only pronouns @mrosswog used in his rant were “I” and “me”, which is a textbook definition of self-important.


cburch

Private Message

Apr 26 2013 at 9:30pm #

Same could be said for Marv’s original post though. If you want to argue semantics.


ericf

Private Message

Apr 26 2013 at 9:34pm #

True. Maybe it’s just @mrosswog ‘s tone, it is all wrong.


cburch

Private Message

Apr 26 2013 at 11:17pm #

i think your reading too much into the tone honestly. i know mike from way back. he’s definitely not a conceited jerk. dont GASP, pull a “gg” dude!

dont hit me.


Drewbacca

Private Message

Apr 27 2013 at 12:38am #

“self-important”

pfffft… I have no filter, If I thought you had a bad attitude I would have already said as much. Don’t dwell on hurtful words from strangers.

There are a few people who have a problem, not with you alone, but with all of us that post regularly and yet manage to get along (even when we disagree). Some people would rather point fingers at the “in-crowd” as if we are somehow being selective rather than taking a moment to realize that the only person pushing them “out” is themselves.

It’s not hard to be respectful and supportive, some people simply choose not to. The trick is to remember that sarcasm doesn’t translate well in written form. Some people read into comments the wrong way, forgetting this. That’s not a fault on their part, either… it’s just a fact of communication.


ericf

Private Message

Apr 27 2013 at 6:26am #

@cburch,
Point taken. And he is right.


edmonds59

Private Message

Apr 27 2013 at 8:33am #

Jeebus Crisp, that was kind of like coming in on the second season of Lost. And I don’t even know what that means.
Once again things have gone completely ass over handlebars away from an important and salient point.
Having Mr. Marv share experiences from his POV is invaluable to me. That is why I come to a communication medium such as this, to get outside my own brain and connect with other peoples experiences. I could actually give a shit less about gear inches or heart rate, or whatever, there are other cycling internet places to go for that, have at it. I like to hear what others are experiencing, and think about if there is anything that I can do to facilitate that experience.
The shit that Mr. Marv has had to deal with just to RIDE, it’s shameful. Some people may not be aware, or even deny, that these things happen in the United States in 2013. Please wake up.
Mr. Marv is a wonderful person, one of many, and I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to communicate with great bikey people on some level thanks to this common interest. This is how we will end the shit he describes, find a common passion and discover that we are more alike than different.
Thinking about the things described earlier makes the things I have to deal with on the road seem insignificant. Sometimes you just have to HTFU and keep riding.
And what V said.


Vannevar

Private Message

Apr 27 2013 at 10:16am #

edmonds59 (who is wise) wrote: Having Mr. Marv share experiences from his POV is invaluable to me. That is why I come to a communication medium such as this, to get outside my own brain and connect with other peoples experiences. . . . . I like to hear what others are experiencing, and think about if there is anything that I can do to facilitate that experience. . . . . . This is how we will end the shit he describes, find a common passion and discover that we are more alike than different.

edmonds59, you are my teacher.

I’d like to riff on the why-I-come-here theme, even though that’s another wide deviation on the topic, and then bring it home. I started to come here for local information on Pgh urban riding. For instance, the Montour Trail Yahoo group keeps me informed about what’s happening out there. You guys are another info-source. I continued to come here because 95% of the posters are kicking it meta and doing more than that.

At this late stage in my game, I’m trying to overcome entropy and homophily *, and my BikePgh presence has introduced me to good people I wouldn’t have met otherwise and I am really grateful for that.

This thread points out that people who share the same streets and highways have a completely different experience on top of that common tarmac and have very different survival rules, and that is just a tremendously valuable discussion.

I have it much easier in America than a lot of people. I am really glad M.Marv brought this up. There’s not many bike-forums that delve into topics like this, and for me the benefits of that discourse exceeds the noise of a few fools and the 1st-world kvetch of a bad interface. My compliments to all.


Drewbacca

Private Message

Apr 27 2013 at 11:32am #

@edmonds, I agree… I just took a lot of it to PM. But, truly, it’s shocking to hear this in 2013!


mr marvelous

Private Message

Apr 27 2013 at 8:57pm #

@byogman I agree with your defense of gg, I think I took his comments a little too personal. It was the timing I think. I think gg inadvertently proved a point. Judging someone without knowing the person and assuming they are doing something or are something that they are not. Thats what this whole thread comes down to. I got a little over emotional because his comments may have just come at a bad time. I still should not have called gg a bully.
As far as racism if me speaking about it help get more people on the bike, helps make Pittsburgh a better place, and encourages us all to love one another then I will speak up.
Um…. am I the only one who noticed cburch said I was a “great friend” I almost passed out when I read that. Now if I can only get him to smile when he gets his picture taken, then my life will be complete.


edmonds59

Private Message

Apr 27 2013 at 9:14pm #

@V – eh, dont’ get too crazy. I say stuff. Sometimes I try to live up to the stuff I say. Sometimes you have to kick the ball out 10 yards and try to catch up to it (soccer reference).


cburch

Private Message

Apr 27 2013 at 10:08pm #

I’m way to cranky and serious to smile in photos.


Pierce

Private Message

May 13 2013 at 5:54pm #

I was wary of posting the cops link, and on that note:

“ColorOfChange Applauds FOX’s Cancellation of COPS After 25 Years of Dehumanizing and Exploitative Portrayals ”

http://www.colorofchange.org/press/releases/2013/5/6/colorofchange-applauds-foxs-cancellation-cops-afte/


Drewbacca

Private Message

May 13 2013 at 9:15pm #

Great, one dehumanizing and exploitative portrayals show down… 639 or so to go.


cburch

Private Message

May 13 2013 at 9:36pm #

and, when they weren’t being racist, they were certainly being exceedingly classist.


gg

Private Message

Jun 22 2013 at 11:54am #

I wanted to post this on this thread showing that it isn’t just a Pittsburgh thing that police just have no clue sometimes. This is in Boulder, CO. One would think in Boulder police would understand the law regarding bicycles better, considering it is a city that cycles a lot.

http://www.dailycamera.com/news/ci_23324701/boulder-cop-mistakenly-tickets-pair-pro-cyclists


jonawebb

Private Message

Jun 22 2013 at 12:12pm #

@gg, just wanted to mention, if you select then quote it will just quote the part you select, instead of the whole thing.
Also, everyone may not realize how isolating it can feel being criticized here when you haven’t met the people face to face. What might be intended as a joke comes across as hurtful. And since some people here know each other and others don’t it complicates everything.

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