Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cyclists vs. Da Police

There is an annoying little section of my ride to work every day where the cycle path ends abruptly and you are supposed to get off your bike and walk through a short section of pedestrian-only area.

Problem is, it's a very wide and inviting bit of pavement and it takes about 2 seconds to freewheel through it to where the cycle path continues, even when you're braking so that you're moving at the same speed as the zombies pedestrians are walking. It's a no-brainer for most cyclists - like riding through red lights (always giving way to pedestrians, of course) to avoid the traffic, it seems so pointless a rule that it would offend your common sense not to break it.

A couple of times I've been caught out - ages ago a community police officer pulled me over, took my details and gave me a warning, and another time a couple of bobbies were officiously blasting their whistles to warn cyclists to get off.

This morning, however, as I rode up to this area (as I have been doing twice a day for over two years), I noticed a group of policemen who had obviously pulled over a couple of cyclists and were ticketing them. The girl on the bike ahead of me turned around to warn me, even as I was getting off, and we shared a wry smile.

As I walked my bike through the pedestrian area, I passed about five other cyclists coming from the opposite direction, casually walking their bikes as though they do it every day. We all shared a glance, a roll of the eyes, or a "those-dumb-cops-with-their-silly-rules" kind of a smile. I felt part of a subversive group of rule breakers. A well mannered, slightly scruffy, but generally law abiding group of rule breakers.

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