It turned out to be a much nicer ride than expected; the storm that had been scheduled to roll through got called off (so I could ride my nice bike) and everyone was content with a pretty mellow, social ride. Everyone today was Kevin, Kevin, Eric, JR, Karen… I think that was it.
By the time we got to Skyline I realized the rain bike might have been a better choice, as it was pretty up on top, but my bike was already in need of a thorough cleaning, so no huge deal.
But the mood was almost wrecked as Kevin (my son, not the pilot), JR, Bob (who we picked up as we turned onto Jefferson) and I got hassled a bit by a CHP motorcycle cop. He was yelling at us to ride single file in the gutter, then said something about how if we expect him to enforce the “3 foot passing rule” that we should be doing our part. Rather than get into an argument with him, I replied, nicely, with no attitude at all, “Good point, thanks!” That seemed to set the officer off; he thought I was saying something nasty. I mean, really, this guy must have been not just expecting but looking for an attitude, a reason to harass us. I just repeated to him exactly what I said the first time, as we rode on.
Ideally, I’d like to have a real conversation with this guy, maybe over a cup of coffee somewhere, and explain that motorcyclists and bicyclists have a lot in common, we both know what it means to be invisible to cars, and how it makes sense, coming into a curve, to ride towards the center of the lane to make sure you’re visible from further off.
I really wish my camera hadn’t run out of battery just prior to that! And then this evening, I find this eerily-similar encounter reported elsewhere- http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2016/03/cyclist_wins_traffic_obstructi.html. Clearly, some of our law enforcement folk are out looking for a battle where none exists. We need to find a way to have reasonable dialog and ratchet down the emotions. –Mike–