Category Archives: Advocacy & Local Issues

Bicycle advocacy both local and national, as well as discussion of local bicycle incidents with the community and/or police

To the cyclist who casually blew through the red at a busy intersection in SJ New Year’s Day-

We’re riding from the San Jose train station to the base of Mt Hamilton on New Year’s Day for our ride up the hill. We stop at a traffic light at a major intersection, and this guy on a retro road bike doesn’t even slow down, he just goes on through, weaving through the traffic and across the road. And we wonder why cyclists have such a bad reputation with many. Similarly, when my son and I come to a near-stop (almost trackstand) at Canada & Glenwood (just north of Woodside) we have to fear that a cyclist is going to plow into us from behind, because so many go sailing through at full speed.

I’m not, ever, going to suggest that we be required to unclip and put a foot down for a legal stop. 45+ years of riding and a zillion intersections crossed, many monitored by “the man”, and never ticketed or even stopped by a cop because I didn’t put my foot down.  But many of us could do a lot better than we do. Enjoy the story below. It doesn’t take much to change “driver” to “cyclist.” Comes from Mac at Mac’s Harpeth Bikes in Franklin, TN.

A London lawyer runs a stop sign and gets pulled over by an Irish cop. He thinks that he is smarter than the cop because he is a lawyer from LONDON and is certain that he has a better education then any Jock cop. He decides to prove this to himself and have some fun at the Irish cops expense!!

Irish cop says,”License and registration, please.”

London Lawyer says, “What for?”

Irish cop says,”Ye didnae come to a complete stop at the stop sign.”

London Lawyer says, “I slowed down, and no one was coming.”

Irish cop says,”Ye still didnae come to a complete stop. License and registration, please”

London Lawyer says, “What’s the difference?”

Irish cop says, “The difference is, ye huvte come to complete stop,that’s the law. License and registration,please!”

London Lawyer says, “If you can show me the legal difference between slow down and stop, I’ll give you my license and registration and you give me the ticket. If not, you let me go and don’t give me the ticket.”

Irish cop says, “Sounds fair. Exit your vehicle, sir.”

The London Lawyer exits his vehicle.

The Irish cop takes out his baton and starts beating the living snot out of the lawyer and says, “Daeye want me to stop, or just slow doon?”

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Assume they don’t see you, no matter how lit up you are at night

Two flashing tail lights, one flashing front light, one steady. Yes, I’m visible as I head down the road. Visible enough that the car that cut me off at the intersection either wasn’t looking or just didn’t care.

Does this mean it’s unsafe to be out riding at night, or in the daytime for that matter? If you aren’t paying attention, sure. But it’s unsafe doing lots of things if you aren’t paying attention. But let’s think about what we’re seeing here. A car is illegally (I think) exiting the gas station and crossing a solid double yellow line to try and head north on Alameda. I believe the only legal exit from this gas station involves making a right turn onto Jefferson. OK, I’m seeing this one from a block away and it’s already played out in my mind, pretty much exactly as it came down. The car is stuck behind another car until the light changes, and then he just goes… turning right in front of me, as if I weren’t there. Sometimes you just gotta wonder. But if you always assume they don’t see you; if you look ahead and anticipate the worst, you should be able to ride almost as safely at night as in the daytime.

Ride report from this morning? Kevin stayed home (not feeling well again), so just me, the other Kevin, Eric, JR, Jan, Mark P and JR. A bit on the cool side; first time I’ve seen 30-something show up on my computer. That’s ok; you warm up quickly when you hit the hill, and it’s a bit warmer up on top. Nobody was racing today, but Jan was getting over something and not feeling so hot so I stayed back to keep an eye on him and make sure he was OK. It’s a whole lot easier for me to check up on the rear than the front! At Skyline Jan sent us on, preferring to ride a bit more slowly as he recovered from his bug. Along the way (on Skyline) we picked up Milo, who hasn’t been with us in ages. He says he now remembers why he hasn’t been riding with us; something about wanting to enjoy riding at a bit more reasonable speed going uphill. My guess is that he’s not quite as addicted to Strava as some of us are!

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