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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 01-12-07, 01:45 PM   #1
DoshKel
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"I'm a detective without a patrol car, so I can't pull cars over."

So, as you can see from the thread title, the following story is my ridiculous encounter with a detective.

Ok... I was riding down a local road here in Palm Harbor, Florida. The first 1/4th of the road has a bike lane, which I ride in. But, after the 2nd intersection I encounter, the lane ends completely and it’s me with 2 lanes of cars by my side. The speed limit is 40mph on this road, and drivers in my town suck ass. However, there was a recent law that just passed stating that automobiles must give cyclist 3 feet of clear room when passing. Of course no one follows this law, but it is very relevant to this story... to the point of hilarity. Now the story:

I was riding down this road with a skateboard attached to my bag to do some skating down at my favorite spot. It was positioned as vertical as I could get it, so I wouldn't hit anything and kill myself. I came up to the 2nd intersection within the bike lane, and stopped completely instead of blowing the red light. I just felt as if I should. So I was waiting for the light to turn, and when it did I started riding normally. As I said before, the bike lane ends here, so I just kept to the right shoulder like I usually do and rode along happily. As I was coming down a hill, I saw a man on my right flag me down and wave me to come over there. Now... I usually wouldn't stop because some random dude is trying to get my attention, but this dude just happened to have a pistol on his hip and a badge. I, of course, stopped.

As I skidded to a halt and turned to ride towards this man, he told me to get off my bike and go stand on the corner of the street. As I did this and he came over to me, he tells me in a proud tone, "Son... you should be riding on the sidewalk". Huh? I look confused and proceed to tell him, in a very polite way, that it is completely legal for me to ride on the road as I was doing. He then tells me, "that is wrong and you almost got hit by two cars back there”. I now realize that this man knows nothing about the cyclist's law in Florida. So, I ask him if I can pull out my Florida Cyclist Law Handbook. He denies this request immediately, telling me that he has no idea what I have in my bag. I'm dumbfounded by this time.

So, I start arguing with him telling him that I have the legal right to ride on the road, and that it is illegal for cars to pass me so close. I also give the example of the law that was just passed. He looks me straight in the eyes and tells me that he isn't aware of such a law (holy **** right?). Now I ask him if I can get his superior's name and the number of his department. While I am asking this, he keeps saying that he doesn't want me to get hit. I ask him 4 times for this information, and he still keeps saying the same thing. I, out of being polite, thank him for his concern so he will stop saying it. I then ask him why he pulled me over instead of the automobiles that were breaking the law by passing me too close. This is where my head about explodes, because he tells me that he is only a detective, and does not have a patrol car, so he cannot pull people over. I must have looked like a vegetable to by then, because I felt like I was talking to a 3 year old child and couldn't comprehend the absurdity of this last statement. I calmly ask him why he can pull cyclists over, but not cars. He tells me that his job doesn't deal with that kind of thing, and that he is only a detective. Here is the great part:

A patrol car, with all the lights and doo-dad's that allow a police man to pull someone over and give traffic violations, pulls out of the neighborhood across from us and asks on his load speaker, "You ok Matt?". Matt, the detective I was talking to, waves to him and says ok. Now I’m thinking holy **** I have to get out of here quick before I loose faith in everything.

So, by now, he is back to telling me some whacky **** about me having to get off of my bike at intersections and walk it across the cross walk, and then get back on, that I didn't use hand signals (even though I wasn't turning and just riding away from a stop light), and that it isn't safe for me to be on the road blah, blah, blah. I again try and tell him that it is legal for me to ride on the road, that I wasn't turning so there isn't need for hand signals, and ect... but before I can finish he sits in his car and shuts the door on me! Now I just feel embarrassed. In his car he starts looking through a book for about 10 minutes, probably trying to get me for something and write a ticket, and also calling on his cell phone. After this he gets back out of his car and tells me that I can go now and that he thought it was dumb for me to ride on the road. I shake his hand and leave.

Now, I am thinking about writing a letter to the newspaper about this. I did something very wrong though: I didn't get his name or badge number. Should I still try and write a letter, or would that be useless without his information?

And he never did give me that number for his depatment

Last edited by DoshKel; 01-12-07 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 01-12-07, 01:49 PM   #2
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Ahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
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Old 01-12-07, 01:55 PM   #3
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yo man copy>paste>send to newspaper...hahahahahah damn thats funny but scary at the same time...good thing you didnt lose your cool or youd be in jail fo sho.
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Old 01-12-07, 02:00 PM   #4
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that's utterly astounding. maybe it was all a ruse, for kicks.

i would totally write the letter and refer to him as "Detective Matt." you can make it seem like you're interested in keeping his name private (this time) to save him the embarassment in hopes that he'll learn better for next time.
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Old 01-12-07, 02:04 PM   #5
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well you know his name is matt, and that he's a detective, that's a start....
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Old 01-12-07, 02:04 PM   #6
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I have no idea, but his lack of knowledge about the law was incredible. Thats a good idea about just calling him "Detective Matt".

I'll send it in to the paper. Such an odd encounter.
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Old 01-12-07, 02:04 PM   #7
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Another dumb cop? Stop the presses.
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Old 01-12-07, 02:05 PM   #8
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If you send it to the paper dont be surprised if every fat, SUV driving
old flea bag writes in and sides with the cop. "In the way", "Menace",
"should be on the sidewalk", etc.........
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Old 01-12-07, 02:05 PM   #9
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oh and also, I beleive that he is required by law to give you his name, rank and badge number when asked, you may be able to get him in trouble, if you feel so inclined.
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Old 01-12-07, 02:07 PM   #10
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True Lem.

Should I send it? I've never done that, but this is the second time this has happend to me. Once in Tallahassee before this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dustinlikewhat
oh and also, I beleive that he is required by law to give you his name, rank and badge number when asked, you may be able to get him in trouble, if you feel so inclined.
True, but I forgot to ask (which was dumb of me). I have no idea how to get his information again.
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Old 01-12-07, 02:12 PM   #11
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Now I ask him if I can get his superior's name and the number of his department.
he's still required to give you that information...
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Old 01-12-07, 02:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No_Minkah
Another dumb cop? Stop the presses.
for real. i've had a few encounters with police officers like that dickbag.
**** idiot cops even more than regular cops.
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Old 01-12-07, 02:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dustinlikewhat
he's still required to give you that information...
He never did.

I asked him 4 times, and eventually gave up.

I probably should got it right away.
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Old 01-12-07, 02:15 PM   #14
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That's certainly quite a story. I was convinced this character was just some lamer getting ready to flex his citizen's arrest muscles until you got to the part that actually confirmed he was an officer.
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Old 01-12-07, 02:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoshKel
He never did.

I asked him 4 times, and eventually gave up.

I probably should got it right away.

yup, dude was definately in the wrong, just strengthens your argument.
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Old 01-12-07, 02:29 PM   #16
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At least he didn't try to strip search you.
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Old 01-12-07, 02:34 PM   #17
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I write pro-bicycle stuff to the paper all the time but keep it real
lite and friendly...."Bikes have ROW in most situations", "Im one more
parking spot you have at the mall", "Thanks for giving me room",
"No one is dying so I can ride my bike" type stuff........But, in Vt, cars
are pretty freindly overall to cyclists so most people already agree, I suppose.
Bike rights in FLA....that'll be a tough sell
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Old 01-12-07, 02:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -=£em in Pa=-
I write pro-bicycle stuff to the paper all the time but keep it real
lite and friendly...."Bikes have ROW in most situations", "Im one more
parking spot you have at the mall", "Thanks for giving me room",
"No one is dying so I can ride my bike" type stuff........But, in Vt, cars
are pretty freindly overall to cyclists so most people already agree, I suppose.
Bike rights in FLA....that'll be a tough sell
True. Yea man... Florida is the worst. I've never had so many glass beer bottles flying towards my head.

Quote:
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yup, dude was definately in the wrong, just strengthens your argument.
Totally. I'll look more into this and see if I can get his info.
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Old 01-12-07, 03:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No_Minkah
Another dumb cop? Stop the presses.
OK, Start the presses!

That takes four hours...
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Old 01-12-07, 03:24 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoshKel
I shake my head and leave.
Fixed.
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Old 01-12-07, 03:41 PM   #21
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Hallarious story. You know he went in his car to call somebody and ask them if it was really ok to ride in the street.

We should make police stories a sticky and just have people keep posting stuff. We can make it a book at the end of the year.
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Old 01-12-07, 03:45 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WakeUpOnFire
OK, Start the presses!

That takes four hours...
:::shrugs::: I'll be at Moe's...
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Old 01-12-07, 03:49 PM   #23
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You've shamed him enough. He must have cringed when the more knowledgeable patrol car asked him if he wanted help...he probably looked like a fool to his buddies pulling a bike over for no reason. He's learned his lesson. No sense antagonizing the police.
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Old 01-12-07, 04:00 PM   #24
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DoshKel, I still can't get over the fact that the police officer that I called to report my accident felt the need to climb inside of the ambulance to write me a ticket for riding on the sidewalk(!) which I wasn't even doing. He never even questioned the driver, who told the paramedics that he saw me, and hit the gas instead of the brake by accident.

He told me to "tell it to the judge". I did, and won my case (the driver was my witness).

Best part was the cross-examination of my witness. "Sir...how did this man wind up on the grill of your truck?"


Cyclists are seen by the police as a problem for some reason.
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Old 01-12-07, 04:34 PM   #25
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hah, funny, but very common story =p


Also, Ive seen the bike cops in Chicago pull over cars commonly, you dont need no patrol car =p
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