The date is May 9

April 6, 2015 § 63 Comments

One of my buddies has a place up near Paso Robles, and he rides his bike there a fair amount. There isn’t ever any traffic, the roads are scenic, and the weather is nice there year-round. But don’t let the scarcity of cars and the bucolic byways fool you. The three-tooth mouth breathers may not graduate from high school, but they can still use a spray can.

dont_share_the_road

Yesterday as my buddy was pedaling along, minding his own business, a pickup coming in the other direction took the time to slow down, honk, roll down the window, flip him off, and holler in a healthy “Fuck you!” for good measure. There is nothing that reminds you how much you are hated more than people taking the time on a beautiful, uncrowded morning to honk, scream, and flip.

On Saturday morning as we returned from a ride out to Trancas on PCH a motorcyclist did the same thing. We were in Manhattan Beach, the traffic was light, and we approached a signal. The biker happily raised his middle finger and cursed us. There is also a guy who regularly rides his motorized bicycle illegally down the bike path with a surfboard on the side, spitting exhaust fumes as he rattles along. He can invariably be counted on to scream The Greeting and display The Gesture.

And of course a few weeks ago another Deppity Doofus on PCH pulled over a group of Big Orange riders on PCH and punitively ticketed one for not riding in the bike lane. Detail: There is no bike lane on PCH. Still, time and effort and expense will be wasted defending against the targeted police harassment, just as with the forty or so riders in the Conejo Valley who were all ticketed by a cop for running a stop sign that they didn’t all run.

You know, group guilt. It’s the new individual guilt.

On Saturday, May 9, at 9:00 AM I’m going to be at the Malibu City Hall, 23825 Stuart Ranch Road, to protest the continued illegal harassment of cyclists by the LA Sheriff’s Department. The city advised that I should “attend a council meeting instead,” but when I checked the U.S. Constitution there was nothing in it about the Malibu Municipal Code. Feel free to show up and voice your opinion about this.

The City of Malibu has no police force of its own and instead contracts with LASD for police services. The sheriff’s department is responsive to the demands of its employers. Both law enforcement and the entitled bike-haters on PCH need to know that their harassment is as unacceptable as it is offensive.

Anyone who wants to pedal to the city hall can meet me in the parking lot at Temescal Canyon and PCH, at Will Rogers State Park at 8:00 AM. I’ll be riding slowly, safely, and legally, where I belong.

In the lane.

END

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§ 63 Responses to The date is May 9

  • Brian in VA says:

    Don’t show them any mercy, Seth. You have the law on your side!

  • Sandy says:

    Well…you may have the “law” on your side, but it might not mean very much. Courage mon brave!

    Also, as practically a daily rider in Washington County NY (weather permitting finally) I must say that we have maybe 1-2 incidents a year with unhappy motorists. Nothing like you report from CA. No legal hassles either.

    The solution: Leave behind your drought, come East for long showers, nice Troopers, lovely roads, and many, many wonderful bike riders.

  • Jeff says:

    I thought you fixed that already! May 9 is a go.

  • Tamar T. says:

    Will you be wearing a helmet?

  • Crashgybe says:

    I’m in.

  • Deb says:

    Yesterday I saw one of MB’s finest giving a ticket to a couple on strand cruisers for crossing in a crosswalk. You know it’s bad when they start picking on strand cruisers…

    • fsethd says:

      Those scofflaw cruiser riders!!

    • LesB says:

      Deb, after reading your posting I sent a message to the MB CofC, telling them that I will no longer ride in MB and leave dollars behind.

      The money people have all the power.

      • fsethd says:

        They sure do.

      • Deb says:

        The thing is, they were ticketing MB peeps, I’m pretty sure. And as we walked by the ticketees said “Did you know it’s illegal to ride in a crosswalk?” Cop said “You’re not helping.” We decided they WERE helping because no, we did NOT know that it’s illegal to ride in a crosswalk.

      • fsethd says:

        Felons! Book ’em, Dan-O!

      • darelldd says:

        @ Deb – Far as I’m aware, it is NOT illegal to ride in a crosswalk. It is one of those situations that is simply never mentioned in the VC (like riding two abreast, or chewing gum while driving). If it is not prohibited, it is not illegal. If anybody can point me to a section of the CVC that says otherwise, I’d like to see it.

  • jsallen1 says:

    “ticketed by a copy” — Oh, no, the cops are cloning themselves so we now have copy cops?

  • Serge Issakov says:

    Is City Hall open on Saturday at 9am? Will there be a ride?

    • fsethd says:

      City Hall is closed on Saturday. I’m riding from Temescal Canyon to City Hall; anyone who wants to start in the South Bay can meet me at the Manhattan Beach Pier at 7:00 AM and ride from there.

  • Marc Caruso says:

    Why Saturday May 9th. Wouldn’t it be better for Friday May 8th when the government building known as city Hall would probably be open. I guess it is hard for people to get off work to go on a weekday. But it would probably have more of an impact so a tradeoff.

    • fsethd says:

      It will have zero impact whether the city hall is open or closed. What will matter is the number of protesters.

    • Jeff says:

      We need to circle that thing like tigers to butter or whatever was that less than PC story my grandma read to us. Wheel to Wheel Round and Round Make a Scene.

  • Les.B. says:

    Not to be persnickity, but how do we assure security of bikes while we’re inside?

    (Only place I don’t worry about that is Rock Store, where anyone trying to steal any 2 wheel vehicle might just as well jump into a school of great whites.)

  • I have calendared my attendance – I’d be coming up from San Diego, maybe carpool with others – but I wonder about the focus of the protest. Is it all, some, or other than:
    motorist harassment and lack of LEO response?
    LEO ignorance and/or behavior?
    Sheriff officers going rogue?
    Contractual arrangement between Sheriff Dept and city not specific about bicycling laws, rights of people to lawfully establish themselves “in the way”?

    I like clear focus…
    And thanks for organizing this though I’m sure sorry we/you feel it’s necessary!

    • channel_zero says:

      By my reading, he wants City Hall to instruct their contractor to handle cyclists taking the lane on PCH lawfully.

      It should help LASD modify their operations/practices on PCH.

      • fsethd says:

        That would be a dream come true.

      • channel_zero says:

        Just ask Seth!

        That is why they suggested the city council meeting, but we know how that would go down. They’d give you 30 seconds in a nod to Democracy and that’s all.

        So, actually heading to Malibu City Hall isn’t a bad idea, just try to meet the city council members. Much later you would get your item on the agenda, but you have to start with meetings.

    • fsethd says:

      Jim, I’m protesting the illegal ticketing of law-abiding cyclists who ride in the lane on PCH.

  • darelldd says:

    I’ll be there in spirit, Seth. We definitely need a “copy” of you up here in NorCal.

  • PSullivan says:

    To Protect and Bully needs to be corrected. Thank you.

  • Quiche says:

    I hope to make the trip up from San Diego. Thank you for organizing.

  • Brian Gaskey says:

    Seth, do u find drivers and cops are less tolerant now than they used to be, being that there are many more people riding bikes these days, the first wave of this being after lemonds participation in the tour. I live in nyc and there are more idiots on bikes, yes I said idiots, riding fixes, road bikes, etc. With more bikes and less experience can mean trouble. I even thought that to be able to ride in Manhattan( not Manhattan beach, even though grew up not very far from there) that you should be required to have a permit, having to take road test for safe riding. That way perhaps the drivers, etc might be more tolerant knowing that the cyclist have had to pass a test in order to be able to ride in already congested area. I know most cyclist would hate me for that but that might be a possible solution, that might be more difficult Los Angeles being that it is a much broader area.

    • darelldd says:

      Speaking only for myself – I don’t find that I am more tolerant of idiots in cars even with the knowledge that they had to take a road test. I can’t see how it could make any difference in the other direction.

      • Serge Issakov says:

        darelldd: +1

      • Brian Gaskey says:

        I tend to agree, this idea was born out of frustration that sometimes my cycling brethren are sometimes their own worst enemies which in part make it worse for me. It’s a stab at meeting the foes halfway

      • fsethd says:

        I agree. The rules are in place, now they need to be fairly enforced. And riders need to assume their place and quit hugging the gutter.

      • Serge Issakov says:

        I used to also believe there was something substantive to motorists’ complaints about bicyclists, and we should meet them halfway. But I’ve since realized it’s all bull feces. How do I know? Because when I drive my car I’m never affected by the stupid behavior of bicyclists. I see it. I shake my head. I shrug my shoulders. But it doesn’t affect me. They’re putting themselves in danger, not me in my cage. So what’s the big deal?

        They’re complains are based on irrational biases. You can’t meet them halfway on insane terms. You’re just playing Whac-a-Mole with their excuses. What they really want is no bicyclists on the road – everything else is an excuse. It’s Lycra. It’s no helmets. It’s stop sign running (as if they never do it). It’s red light running (that affects no one else). It’s no license or registration. It’s not paying our “fair sure” (we do). They just find excuses to complain. Meet them half-way and they find something else. Whack-a-Mole. Don’t bother. Life becomes much more pleasant.

        My 2 cents.

      • fsethd says:

        “What they really want is no bicyclists on the road.”

        Yep.

      • Serge Issakov says:

        [typos fixed]

        I used to also believe there was something substantive to motorists’ complaints about bicyclists, and we should meet them halfway. But I’ve since realized it’s all bull feces. How do I know? Because when I drive my car I’m never affected by the stupid behavior of bicyclists. I see it. I shake my head. I shrug my shoulders. But it doesn’t affect me. They’re putting themselves in danger, not me in my cage. So what’s the big deal?

        Their complaints are based on irrational biases. You can’t meet them halfway on insane terms. You’re just playing Whac-a-Mole with their excuses. What they really want is no bicyclists on the road – everything else is an excuse. It’s Lycra. It’s no helmets. It’s stop sign running (as if they never do it). It’s red light running (that affects no one else). It’s no license or registration. It’s not paying our “fair share” (we do). They just find excuses to complain. Meet them half-way and they find something else. Whack-a-Mole. Don’t bother. Life becomes much more pleasant.

        My 2 cents.

    • fsethd says:

      Hmmm. I think drivers need to slow down and treat us like vehicles. The cops need to enforce the laws fairly, especially when bikers are hurt and killed. And cyclists need to take the lane.

  • Richape says:

    Expect a contingent from BCCC to join you at MB pier at 7:00am

    • fsethd says:

      I’m revising the time to 6:30; giving us 1.5 hours to get from MB Pier to Temescal. Does that sound about right?

      • marc caruso says:

        Seth i know you race but not everyone going will be a racer. You might want to go fast on the first stretch but on the main stretch where you want everyone riding with you i would suggest a casual 10mph pace for the less fit.

      • fsethd says:

        I think it’s crucial that everyone go their own pace and not ride together as one large group. And I’m pretty slow even when I race!

      • Alan says:

        Yes, if you average 17 miles an hour.

      • fsethd says:

        That’s the best I can do … it’s a 35-minute pedal from my place to MB Pier.

  • Richape says:

    It’s only 14 miles from MB pier to Temescal, an hour is enough time. You can speed ahead if you want to get to Temescal before 8:00am to organize, we will make it on time, we aren’t that old an doddery in BCCC.

    • fsethd says:

      Excellent. I won’t be speeding, but one of the posters suggested a 17 mph average speed. I’ve ridden there about a million times and still have no idea how far it is or how long it takes!

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