2.14.2008

laws and the bicycle


until the laws protect us
the laws are only there to imprison us

that is a great line
elliott shared this pearl with me the other day

it is a refined version of how I have felt for some time


if the laws do not protect us
then the laws do not apply to us

I rode my frankenfixie at Haines Point after work twice last week
there are several STOP SIGNS on this flat loop that measures just over three miles
under the Stop Sign there is another sign that reads... BICYCLES MUST STOP AT STOP SIGNS

I have heard of the Park Police issuing tickets to cyclist for running those stop signs

on the two days when I was out at Haines Point last week I encountered a great number of cars
all of the cars that passed me passed me going a speed greater than 25MPH
should the Speed Limit Signs have a sign underneath them that reads CARS MUST OBEY THE SPEED LIMIT

in addition to the tourist going out to the sculpture of the Awakening there are fisherman going to fish... young couples going to make out... and Park Police cruising in their cruisers
none of these cars (including the Park Police) were traveling within the measure of the set speed limit
in fact I had two of the Park Police at different times come up to my rear wheel at a fast pace then make a turn into their offices near the golf course
and there was another Park Police officer text messaging while he was driving
at this point I was in the cross walk
he did not break pace or even take notice to anything around him
too busy texting someone

control the car chaos and then focus on everything else

a bicyclist viewing the Stop Sign as a yield sign is no different than a car making a rational modification to go slightly over the marked speed LIMIT
the only difference... the cyclist yields and rolls through when it is safe
while the car drivers speed with no concern of the safety of the world around them
never really taking the SPEED LIMIT into account

here is a simple breakdown
the speed limit is set for how cars should behave around other cars
when a car is approaching a bicyclist or a pedestrian they should be going at a speed less than the SPEED LIMIT
as the SPEED LIMIT=SPEED MAXIMUM

do I really need to pull up a definition of the term LIMIT to make my point more clear?

over the weekend as I was headed out to Wakefield Regional Park to go mountain biking with my two boys and my brother and his two boys I saw a pack of roadies on Interstate 395
behind them was a Virginia Trooper
as they pulled off into the Pentagon parking lot I am sure they were pulled over

yes... they were riding their bicycle on the road where the bicycle should not be
but each and every car on that road was also breaking the law by breaking the speed limit
while they passed by without notice







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