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Hassles out on the road ???

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Hassles out on the road ???

Old 09-09-10, 09:23 PM
  #1  
xizangstan
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Hassles out on the road ???

Has anyone ever encountered absurd local cops, kids or others while out touring? I once heard a couple Barney Fiffe-type local sheriff deputies in Cheyenne Wells, Colorado brag about hassling a guy out touring on his bike.

How do you guys cope?
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Old 09-09-10, 10:20 PM
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nancy sv
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I've cycled many thousands of miles and spent years on the road - and never been hassled at all. We did have a cop stop once and we figured we were in trouble for something - but he just wanted to comment that he saw us on the news and thought what we were doing was wonderful.
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Old 09-09-10, 10:31 PM
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huie
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After nine months and 15,000km the only time I was hassled was when a couple 12ish year olds were riding along beside me showing off and giving me a hard time for riding so heavy. I shut them off when I obliterated them up a long steep climb in town. Fun times.

I'd be pretty surprised if you ever got into any trouble on the road. People are generally good and your biggest concern will likely be where you'll get your second breakfast.
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Old 09-10-10, 12:15 AM
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Since '98 I've taken tours every year ranging from three days to six weeks and have never been hassled by the police. On occasion I've been yelled at by motorists but this has been rare. Only once did someone take the time to really curse me out. I was riding near Helena, Montana when I pick up pulled up next to me and the driver told me to get off the 'effing road, roads were meant for motorized licensed vehicles only. He then stomped on the accelerator and took off. About 15 minutes later he was back, this time on a motorcycle, and repeated his earlier tirade and then sped away. This happened five years ago but I remember it well; it stands out because it was an unusual occurrence for me.
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Old 09-10-10, 04:23 AM
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Scroll down to the September 3 entry, and have a read about what happened when we disembarked in Dover.

http://www.machka.net/pbp2007/2007_Post-PBP_3.htm

In all my touring, that's the only "incident" I've experienced.
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Old 09-10-10, 04:55 AM
  #6  
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Your attitude has a lot to do with how much you will be hassled. Most bike tourists I have met have had little or no problems. I did ride on the same route with one guy who seemed to have a problem in almost every town. He gave off a very bad vibe and made a horrible first impression.

Personally I have had no problems.
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Old 09-10-10, 05:10 AM
  #7  
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Apart from the occasional kiddie drivers shouting at me (****! etc), never been hassled.
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Old 09-10-10, 08:13 AM
  #8  
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I have two examples:

First one was back in '87. I came to being hassled by cops was in Portmouth, NH. I was trying to locate a place to campground and it was getting dark, heavy traffic, rain, etc. It just was lousy. I pulled into the local police station asking if I could camp in the local park or behind their station or somewhere. The officer on duty said something to the effect of "No you can not camp out in this city and if you do, I will arrest you and throw your butt in jail". So gracious. I left, went on my way and saw the ambulance depot and thought I would ask them if they knew of a place. They said I could camp in their lot. Later that night, the gracious cop showed up, yelled at me to get out of my tent, started to yell at me when the ambulance crew came out and said Hey, we asked him to camp here so what is the problem? Cop left but was not happy. I made a quick retreat from there early the next morning.

The second wasn't a hassle per se but was sort of interesting. Last summer, I had stopped in Stephen, MN at the grocery store for some snacks. I buy my stuff, eat it, and ride on up the road to Hallock, MN. That night, a cop comes by about 10pm (I thought for the camp fee). He asks me about my day, where I was, etc. He asked me if I stopped at a grocery store. I told him, yeah I stopped at this one in Stephen. He then told me somebody stole the money bags from the grocery store and that it was a cyclist traveling from Tulsa to Winnipeg wearing blue shorts and a white shirt. Well, I was the only one who fit that description in the world. I laughed and said we could go through my gear (we did) but he could easily see I had nothing to do with it. Sort of scary in hindsight but at the time it was funny. The cop apologized for waking me up and said it was probably blamed on me since I was an outsider. Hallock is a nice town but can't say I recommend Stephen's hospitality.
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Old 09-10-10, 09:04 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by TulsaJohn View Post
I have two examples:The second wasn't a hassle per se but was sort of interesting. Last summer, I had stopped in Stephen, MN at the grocery store for some snacks. I buy my stuff, eat it, and ride on up the road to Hallock, MN. That night, a cop comes by about 10pm (I thought for the camp fee). He asks me about my day, where I was, etc. He asked me if I stopped at a grocery store. I told him, yeah I stopped at this one in Stephen. He then told me somebody stole the money bags from the grocery store and that it was a cyclist traveling from Tulsa to Winnipeg wearing blue shorts and a white shirt. Well, I was the only one who fit that description in the world. I laughed and said we could go through my gear (we did) but he could easily see I had nothing to do with it. Sort of scary in hindsight but at the time it was funny. The cop apologized for waking me up and said it was probably blamed on me since I was an outsider. Hallock is a nice town but can't say I recommend Stephen's hospitality.
Shades of "My Counsin Vinny."

Agree with the genlteman who mentioned attitude, and I too once met someone who seemed to have problems in many places.

Never had a bad run-in with a cop in the U.S. that I can remember. In fact, the police in Harlem, MT were nice and let us know that they had left the door to the lobby of the town building open so we could use the bathroom at night. And I spoke with a nice cop in Streator, IL about my trip. He had a local kid along with him on patrol and had seen me pull into a playground for a rest. He wanted to expose the kid to opportunities outside the norm. And he was nice enough to recommend a good, cheap motel in town.

The only time law enforcement made me a little nervous was when I got some hard stares from members of the Guardia Civil, Franco's old boys. I was sitting on the side of the road in middle of nowhere Andalucia when they drove by in a Jeep with a machine gun mounted on it. For a second it looked like they were going to stop and question me but they kept moving.
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Old 09-10-10, 09:06 AM
  #10  
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I don't think you should worry about it. Just obey traffic controls and be polite during encounters with law enforcement. If you're really paranoid, leave the ganja at home.

I mean, really, are you going to assume that every cop in every small town is going to target you, because you heard from your uncle's second cousin that a couple of cops in Wyoming were bragging about being obnoxious to cyclists?

Besides, getting "hassled" only has meaning if you let it have meaning. Who cares if some 16 year old yells at you? Are the sound waves going to give you hearing loss? Nope. Just ignore it and enjoy the ride.

Dogs, on the other hand, that's a different story....
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Old 09-10-10, 09:21 AM
  #11  
jcushing
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I've only been riding three months, but I did come across a little girl throwing crab apples in the middle of the street. Apparently, she liked seeing them explode under the weight of the car tires. I don't think she was doing it to annoy cyclists. In retrospect, I probably would have taken a spill if I ran over one. That's my kid story. .
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Old 09-10-10, 09:12 PM
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Cops in Vienna, Austria, hassled me in absurd ways. One cop yelled at me on a slightly foggy morning "Wo ist dein licht?" (Where is your light). Most cars did not have their headlights on. Also, he used the familiar form of "you" which was rude (I was 25 years old). I laughed and didn't even stop. He was on foot. Another Vienna cop yelled at me for walking my bike on the sidewalk of a one-way street with traffic going in the other direction on the road. It made no sense to me at all.

In 3 different regions of Tunisia, boys would throw stones at us, run out into the road and try and block us, or even try to pull us down while riding by trying to grab our panniers. These same things happened in the same villages to a couple of other touring cyclists I know who toured there 6 months after we did, so I reject the absurd explanation that we brought this upon ourselves. There are different cultures around the world, and some of them can cause problems for foreign touring cyclists. If adults were present, the Tunisian boys behaved themselves.
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Old 09-13-10, 04:43 PM
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I've ridden thousands of miles spanning several years from Fairbanks Alaska, throughout the Canadian Yukon and British Columbia, and down the pacific coast through Washington, Oregon, and California without any hassles at all. During all of my tours, the only hinderance has been many people stopping me or pacing me in order to ask where I'm going, where I'm coming from, etc. and I'll take that anytime. It always amazes me how friendly people are on a one on one situation.
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Old 09-13-10, 05:04 PM
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I've never had a hassle while touring. Well other than having to answer the same questions 10 times in a row when a tour bus dumps its passengers at the scenic viewpoint where I was taking a rest!!!
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Old 09-13-10, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by vik View Post
having to answer the same questions 10 times in a row !
As the tourists got off the bus at the scenic viewpoint, one was heard to exclaim, "My, oh my, oh my! Is that real snow up there?" to which the tour guide replied, "No madam. It's angel sh&&"
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Old 09-14-10, 06:57 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by vik View Post
Well other than having to answer the same questions 10 times in a row when a tour bus dumps its passengers at the scenic viewpoint where I was taking a rest!!!
It wasn't a hassle, but I fixed that once by getting on the tour bus and using a microphone to speak to the entire bus at once. This was near km1568 of the Alaska Highway, Champagne. I was cycle touring and after the bus stopped the tour leader asked me to speak to the entire group to add some "local color" to their trip, as well as add curiosity. I was about as local as they were but it was a quick way to answer the questions about where I was going, about bears, etc.

As far as being hassled goes, the most obnoxious cases I found was a few times in Russia where local drunks thought they would be amusing by pestering the stopped cyclist. That wasn't too hard to avoid either with a polite no - or in one or two occasions getting back on the bike and leaving them behind.
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Old 09-14-10, 08:20 AM
  #17  
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Kids throwing some rocks at me as I passed through Pippas Pass. They weren't good shots. Pretty sure they were bored and knew what a bike tourist looked like.

Other than that—just bone-head motorists from time to time.

Last edited by foamy; 09-14-10 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 09-14-10, 11:09 AM
  #18  
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No problems really.The worst thing was at one of the local campgrounds.

I was drinking a beer in the hike-bike site and the ranger came by and said I couldn't have a beer.I told him I was 21(I was 51) and he said that no alcohol is allow in the H/B site.I told him that if there is alcohol allowed in the other campsites,then it is allowed here.He threatened to call the cops,I called his bluff and told him to go ahead and call them(people think I'm a bum).

He decided that it wasn't worth it,I told him to call them or I'm going to call them and tell them what your doing.You can't discriminate against hikers and bikers because you think they're all bums.Now he's getting worried that I'm actually going to call them.He finally left me alone.Pin a badge on some people and they think they get to MAKE the laws.

99.9% of the people I run into on tour are real nice people,rangers and all.

Last edited by Booger1; 09-14-10 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 09-14-10, 05:32 PM
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Dogs... They are people too, according to the folks that let them run in packs while they are at work.

Other than that, kids calling names. Passengers in pick-up. Mostly people are really positive, and say nice things. I am never really sure why they are so nice. Possibly just the fact one is doing something they imagine is pretty out there, though it seems simple enough to me. Or maybe I have reached that age where they are surprise I am still ambulatory.
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Old 09-14-10, 07:00 PM
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Pick pocket at the airport coming home, no passport no Boarding..
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