Thursday, October 2, 2008

Crosstraining Issues

It has been a summer of biking and I really have enjoyed it. With Fall here now, it's harder to plan biking however. I don't like riding in the rain and since it's completely dark when I ride in the morning I have to limit my routes or ride on the trainer. The trainer is ok for me because I like to listen to music and I can read but (or butt) it is more comfortable to ride outside.

This am on Day 2 of no running (but who is counting?), I had planned on riding on the trainer as it was supposed to be rainy. When I got up I was pleasantly suprised to see dry pavement outside and it was warm so I decided to head on outside for a time trial around Green Lake. I contemplated doing my usual loop but after just a mile I realized my headlamp was dying. I had forgotten to charge it because I hadn't been expecting to have to use it. I don't particularly need it to ride on lighted city streets as it is more a safety item so cars can see me. So I decided to limit my ride to just the Burke- Gilman and around Green Lake which has few hazards.

I had finished my second time trial loop of Green Lake and was lazily riding along heading home when I see a cop car ahead of me at the stop sign. Uh oh.

Revised Code of Washington State46.61.780 Lamps and other equipment on bicycles.(1) every bicycle when in use during the hours of darkness as defined in RCW 46.37.020 shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and with a red reflector on the rear of a type approved by the state patrol which shall be visible from all distances from one hundred feet to six hundred feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle.

Sure enough, the cop car pulls me over and says over their speakers that i need to get on the sidewalk and walk my bike because I have no headlamp. I am three miles from home, idiot. Fortunately I manage to keep my mouth shut. He finally rolls down his window to talk to me and I say the light has died and I'm far from home. Doesn't matter according to Mr. Cop. I turn the light back on and it puts out a feeble glow. He is grumpily satisfied and takes himself off either for a shift change or more coffee. The light dies within a mile but hell if I'm walking home.

I know I am in the wrong and my light needs to work. I am riding in a bike lane on a lit street. Last week there was a shooting in our neighborhood. On my bike I see the remains of car windows which have been smashed because of theft. How about pulling over the cars which drift into the bike lane because the driver is on a cell phone (illegal now in WA)?

Can I go back to running yet?


rpd said...

This is just getting better and better isn't it.

The officiousness of some people is pretty amazing.

And the big green blob is hovering over Seattle.


Aimee said...

Bored police officers irritate the hell out of me.

I also wonder how some of the kids who were mercilessly picked on in school managed to pass the psychological profile to get into law enforcement.