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Old 07-04-05, 09:18 PM   #1
twahl
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You guys will love this one...

So the whole fam-damily (me, wife, kids 13 and 10) is riding in Old Town Manassas, checking out the festivities for Independence Day. They had music and stuff starting at 6, so it was pretty crowded with cars and people that lived close to the area and people walking from wherever they parked. One way streets. So we're waiting to take a left on the one way, and they have crossing guards out. One let us make our left, then we get to the next intersection and this next crossing guard (yes, they had city crossing guards out handling these intersections rather than actual officers) looks at the 4 of us and tells me to get on the sidewalk. I openly laughed. I asked her "Did you actually just tell me to get on the sidewalk?" She starts going on about it being for my own safety, and I look back over my shoulder at the sidewalk with 10,000 people on it, I mean they are crossing the streets like 150 at a time, and I'm like "you really think it's safer for anyone if we get on the sidewalk?" What a clueless wonder, I was just laughing my ass off as she continued to prattle, I tell her that we know what we're doing, thanks.

I just thought you all would enjoy that one. We had a blast, good seat for fireworks after about a 20 mile ride, and got out of there faster than the cars or the pedestrians.
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Old 07-04-05, 10:06 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by twahl
So the whole fam-damily (me, wife, kids 13 and 10) is riding in Old Town Manassas, checking out the festivities for Independence Day. They had music and stuff starting at 6, so it was pretty crowded with cars and people that lived close to the area and people walking from wherever they parked. One way streets. So we're waiting to take a left on the one way, and they have crossing guards out. One let us make our left, then we get to the next intersection and this next crossing guard (yes, they had city crossing guards out handling these intersections rather than actual officers) looks at the 4 of us and tells me to get on the sidewalk. I openly laughed. I asked her "Did you actually just tell me to get on the sidewalk?" She starts going on about it being for my own safety, and I look back over my shoulder at the sidewalk with 10,000 people on it, I mean they are crossing the streets like 150 at a time, and I'm like "you really think it's safer for anyone if we get on the sidewalk?" What a clueless wonder, I was just laughing my ass off as she continued to prattle, I tell her that we know what we're doing, thanks.

I just thought you all would enjoy that one. We had a blast, good seat for fireworks after about a 20 mile ride, and got out of there faster than the cars or the pedestrians.
Well Thwal, unfortunately I can top you. Today coming back on a 60+ mile ride. We decide to finish the ride from Ballard to West Seattle, via the Myrtle Edwards Park trail. Now this is a major arterial for cyclist
coming from Ballard back into the city (seattle). Myrtle Edwards Park also happens to be prime viewing
for fireworks over Elliott Bay. This was about 3:00pm pdt, well before the fireworks. We're pedaling down the trail, when lo and behold, there is a security check point about 3/4 of a mile into the trail. The
'security' demands that we dismount and goes through our bike bags. Then they tell us that we "must walk our bikes through the park FOR OUR OWN SAFETY!" HELLO!!!! this is a trail with clearly marked dual lanes for bike traffic, as well as parallel dual lanes for peds!!! WTF!!! well before we can grumbly protest a young dud in full csc kit blows by their security check point!! Oh mY! I thought they were going to pepper spray him and send him to Guantanamo!!! but they catch him . So here we all are stupidly and submissively walking our bikes, and as we go around the bend, well out of the prying eyes of check point charlie, I said this is BS let's ride. so we start riding. I make mention we all better dismount as we come to the end. We get to a couple hundred feet of the other check point, dismount, and walk our bike thru 'security' and another'security official' starts bellowing in her walkie-talkie, "this is the SOUTH GATE!!! I thought there wasn't supposed to be any bicycles ALLOWED!!! even if their walking their bikes"
WHAT????? If the CITY OF SEATTLE was so concerned about my safety they should have marked the trail clearly on both ends that it was blocked and that cyclists should detour to Elliot Ave. W. or
they should have created a temporary one lane bike trail, via barricades through the park. My city council men, one of them who claims to be an advowed cyclist's is going to get an ear full from me tomorrow!!!
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Old 07-04-05, 10:53 PM   #3
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I thought about taking us into D.C. tonight instead, but was concerned that between the huge traffic and the security, and the fact that they were supposed to be testing their evacuation procedures after fireworks, I opted out. I figured it would probably be pretty packed on this side of the Potomac too, so we stayed in town.
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Old 07-04-05, 11:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marge
Well Thwal, unfortunately I can top you. Today coming back on a 60+ mile ride. We decide to finish the ride from Ballard to West Seattle, via the Myrtle Edwards Park trail. Now this is a major arterial for cyclist
coming from Ballard back into the city (seattle). Myrtle Edwards Park also happens to be prime viewing
for fireworks over Elliott Bay. This was about 3:00pm pdt, well before the fireworks. We're pedaling down the trail, when lo and behold, there is a security check point about 3/4 of a mile into the trail. The
'security' demands that we dismount and goes through our bike bags. Then they tell us that we "must walk our bikes through the park FOR OUR OWN SAFETY!" HELLO!!!! this is a trail with clearly marked dual lanes for bike traffic, as well as parallel dual lanes for peds!!! WTF!!! well before we can grumbly protest a young dud in full csc kit blows by their security check point!! Oh mY! I thought they were going to pepper spray him and send him to Guantanamo!!! but they catch him . So here we all are stupidly and submissively walking our bikes, and as we go around the bend, well out of the prying eyes of check point charlie, I said this is BS let's ride. so we start riding. I make mention we all better dismount as we come to the end. We get to a couple hundred feet of the other check point, dismount, and walk our bike thru 'security' and another'security official' starts bellowing in her walkie-talkie, "this is the SOUTH GATE!!! I thought there wasn't supposed to be any bicycles ALLOWED!!! even if their walking their bikes"
WHAT????? If the CITY OF SEATTLE was so concerned about my safety they should have marked the trail clearly on both ends that it was blocked and that cyclists should detour to Elliot Ave. W. or
they should have created a temporary one lane bike trail, via barricades through the park. My city council men, one of them who claims to be an advowed cyclist's is going to get an ear full from me tomorrow!!!
You and Twahl sound like you came across people charged with enforcing regulations which they were clueless about - the typical comedy of errors ensued. Unfortunately you give some people some sort of token 'authority' and they turn into hitlers.

I get that a lot with the bored security guards that patrol the industrial waterfront establishments that I fish around in my kayak usually at night (the water is public domain), they come down to the water's edge hollerin' and threatening everything from arresting me to calling the water police for trespassing all the while I just keep pitching my lure and take out my cellphone in it's waterproof pouch and offer to call the waterways authorities on their behalf and ask them for their full name, security license number and name of their company, haven't had any takers yet. I even had one brainiac tell me that I'm under arrest while I was fighting a fish claiming that the fish was private property because it was under the wharf!! I almost lost the fish from laughing so hard
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Old 07-05-05, 12:03 AM   #5
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Pittsburgh is the same way. we have a bike track that has a sign on it that says it is closed during special events, bikers are so low on the list of people that even the bike paths have signs saying we are second class citizins. This year I did not even bother trying to go to the "point" since you can walk your bike into the state park (also they charge $1 to enter the park during the 4th, they say it is to keep the "rife-rafe" out) The justis is that even taking the long way home it only took me 40 minutes, it probably took the cagers 40 mintues to get out of the city. I went to the other side of the river where it is free to go and you can ride your bike in to watch the fireworks.
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Old 07-05-05, 07:45 AM   #6
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I was amazed last night as we were driving out of DC after the fireworks at the numbers of riders I saw riding without lights and in many cases dark clothing. In one case the only rear facing reflectors were the little ones on the pedals. I'm not sure how they were able to see to ride and I know they were close to invisible to drivers. So while it was nice to see a lot of people biked to the festivities, it was sad to see so few were really prepared.
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Old 07-05-05, 09:27 AM   #7
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Twahl... nice one!

I just didn't feel like fighting street or pedestrian traffic, so I just stuck around at home instead with the family. But we did have a good day, and I got my ride in early!

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Old 07-05-05, 05:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twahl
I thought about taking us into D.C. tonight instead, but was concerned that between the huge traffic and the security, and the fact that they were supposed to be testing their evacuation procedures after fireworks, I opted out. I figured it would probably be pretty packed on this side of the Potomac too, so we stayed in town.
Our whole family biked down for the fireworks, but we got a late start so we only got as far as Georgetown when they started. It was pretty cool on the way home as there were hundreds of cyclists on the CCT. For about the first 10 minutes there was a cyclist traffic jam until everyone got sorted out, but it was very good-natured. We had good lights but I was amazed at how many had no lights at all. It was so dark on the trail that even with lights it was challenging.

Last year we went all the way down to the Mall and it was great. Rock Creek Parkway was closed to motor vehicles, and we felt like kings of the city as we biked unimpeded right down to the best viewing spots while 100,000 cars sat idling.
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Old 07-06-05, 05:55 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mpop
Pittsburgh is the same way. we have a bike track that has a sign on it that says it is closed during special events, bikers are so low on the list of people that even the bike paths have signs saying we are second class citizins. This year I did not even bother trying to go to the "point" since you can walk your bike into the state park (also they charge $1 to enter the park during the 4th, they say it is to keep the "rife-rafe" out) The justis is that even taking the long way home it only took me 40 minutes, it probably took the cagers 40 mintues to get out of the city. I went to the other side of the river where it is free to go and you can ride your bike in to watch the fireworks.
You're right. I drove my wife, son, and parents down into the mess on the north shore on Monday. It took us an hour to go from home to the parking lot (10 miles); the last half-mile took about 45 minutes of that hour. Getting out was slightly better, but only because I got a lucky break. While we were there, I vowed that I would never drive there again. I'll either ride the whole way, or drive to Millvale Riverfront Park and ride the North Shore Trail the rest of the way. What a nightmare.
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Old 07-11-05, 06:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twahl
I thought about taking us into D.C. tonight instead, but was concerned that between the huge traffic and the security, and the fact that they were supposed to be testing their evacuation procedures after fireworks, I opted out. I figured it would probably be pretty packed on this side of the Potomac too, so we stayed in town.
No doubt, in a real evacuation, it will only be the bikes that can get through...

Sigh...
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Old 07-11-05, 07:29 PM   #11
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No doubt, in a real evacuation, it will only be the bikes that can get through...

Sigh...
On September 11 I remember having a pretty easy time getting around by bike while the city was a gridlocked mess. Then a car sideswiped me. I wasn't hurt, but I was annoyed that he just drove into me like I wasn't there and drove off. I also recall that for about a week after it was even more lawless than usual out on the roads and cycling wasn't pleasant.

I would imagine in a real evacuation that motorists would take their anxiety and frustration out on cyclists.
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Old 07-11-05, 08:16 PM   #12
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No doubt, in a real evacuation, it will only be the bikes that can get through...

Sigh...
Naaaw, some authority figure will make you stop and walk.
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Old 07-12-05, 05:36 AM   #13
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I would imagine in a real evacuation that motorists would take their anxiety and frustration out on cyclists.
That, or you'll have to guard your bike with your life!
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Old 07-12-05, 09:42 AM   #14
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You're right. I drove my wife, son, and parents down into the mess on the north shore on Monday. It took us an hour to go from home to the parking lot (10 miles); the last half-mile took about 45 minutes of that hour. Getting out was slightly better, but only because I got a lucky break. While we were there, I vowed that I would never drive there again. I'll either ride the whole way, or drive to Millvale Riverfront Park and ride the North Shore Trail the rest of the way. What a nightmare.
I've done the Milvale to the point thing with the family and a long locking cable and it worked welll.
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Old 07-13-05, 02:57 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by twahl
I thought about taking us into D.C. tonight instead, but was concerned that between the huge traffic and the security, and the fact that they were supposed to be testing their evacuation procedures after fireworks, I opted out. I figured it would probably be pretty packed on this side of the Potomac too, so we stayed in town.
The evacuation was a mess...but not because of the cars. There was way more foot traffic than anticipated,and the herds of peds just overran everything. I wound up stuck at an intersection for almost 10 min because the stampede wouldn't listen to the cops. Thought about just tearing through the intersection,but there were a dozen cops within grabbing distance of me,and they were already well pissed that noone was listening to them. I only got caught in the mess because a friend talked me into meeting up with her on the mall to hear the concert. Otherwise,I would've been fine.

Here's a tip:next year head down between 23rd and 17th to Constitution Ave. You can get real close to the Wash Monument and get a great view. Con Ave is always closed to vehicles,so at the end of the show,you only have foot traffic to deal with. Stand on your pedals for a couple minutes and you'll leave the peds behind and get into the city proper well ahead of the cages. Once I got to GWU I had clear sailing all the way home to the Cathedral.
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Old 07-13-05, 09:46 PM   #16
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The irony is that if they encouraged people to bike, there'd be fewer cars!
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