Sunday, November 21, 2010

the law of the land

Cranksgiving is happening in New York City. It's a charity ride where participants can donate money and also win prizes.

There are people who are offering cranks to those not much interested. In the DC area there have been quite a few flashers offering their cranks for public viewing. The only thing I can figure is these people aren't aware that you can ride naked with a bunch of other people and nobody will report you to the police. Just go get yourself an old bike and a long coat and ride along with the occasional flash and you're good to go. Blend in sort of thing. Same results but no jail time.

On two occasions this past summer I had teenage drivers yell at me to get on the sidewalk. This is in Maryland. At a stoplight one of them continued telling me that it's the law, I have to ride on the sidewalk. Now, I don't live in Maryland but I have read the bike laws a bit and can say with certainty it's not the law. In Maryland you have to ride on the street. I mentioned that if one is going to quote the law one should know it. Knowing what one is talking about gives the argument much more weight. Kids these day.

I thought of those two kids last week when I encountered the law. The last two blocks of my commute I take the sidewalk (in DC, where it's legal except for the business district). Last week a cop got out of his car and was crossing the sidewalk to go into a store and so I slowed as he crossed in front of me and he told me it was illegal to ride on the sidewalk. I was under the impression that knowing the law was kinda their business, what with all the upholding and such. I didn't mention the quote the law/know the law thing, him being a cop and all. Cops these days.

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