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Wednesday Drama

by on September 29, 2010

This Ride: 19.7 miles
Kona Distance: 3,820 miles
Month to date: 653.3 miles
2010 Total: 4296.5 miles
Pace to 5,254.8 mile goal in 2010: (312.1 miles ahead of goal pace)

I avoid drama whenever I can, and it looks like I was mostly successful today also.  But I get ahead of myself.

I pushed off at 5:30 this morning to meet the SPP at the Rusty Bridge.  It was somewhere between 57-60 degrees according to the thermometers I consulted, so that meant arm warmers and my shoe covers added to my usual kit.  That worked well in these temps.  The sky was clear and plenty of stars were visible.  I had forgotten to recharge my light overnight, so I kept it on a lower lumen setting for the ride to be sure I had enough juice for the whole ride.  Four riders took off from the Rusty Bridge, and we met 6 more at the Ranger Station for a total of 10.  A relatively easy pace was set … especially considering that this was “Wicked Wednesday”.

I decided to set off as the “rabbit”, choosing not to do the hill in Round Bay, instead staying on Old County Road and I was determined to not get caught before the turn around point at the end of the trail.  This decision kept me out of the biggest part of the drama.  I didn’t get caught, although I did see headlights in my rear view mirror.  Dave later commented that I was not “allowed” to skip the hill any more because I wasn’t caught.  (I’ll ride the ride I need to.)

I noticed that the peloton was really scattered when I jumped back on the trail going north, and I didn’t see all the riders.  I dropped back into a second group with two others, and after riding B&A and getting back onto the trail, learned from Bryan that a police officer in an unmarked car had stopped some of the riders demanding that they dismount and walk their bikes across the roadways (in the crosswalks).  The officer apparently referred to signs (that no longer exist) indicating that this was the rule.  From what I heard from Bryan, things started to get a little unruly.  It will be interesting to learn what happened from others who were involved.

Byran did notice an officer at Robinson Road as we crossed, but I didn’t see him.  We simply crossed quickly as there were no vehicles within a block of the crossing.  I’m hoping this doesn’t escalate.  Following the police directions will force us all onto roadways for the duration of the rides, creating a larger hazard for us.  Caution goes out to all SPP riders in the coming weeks.  Keep your cool if challenged by the police!

I’m pleased that I sustained a hard effort from Old County Road to the end of the trail.  I worked at keeping the cadence and heart rate up in order to not get caught.  It was an effort, but also an accomplishment.

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From → Cycling

6 Comments
  1. Odd that they would enforce an un-posted crossing rule but not mention the issue of using the trail before sunrise. Me thinks there must have been a complaint filed by a neighbor somewhere along the trail.

    • ponderingpastor permalink

      Long time residents of Severna Park often quote that old unposted rule to me. They believe the signs are still up and just ignored.

  2. Do you know what the local ordnance is? Dismounting in crosswalks is tricky business and the law varies by city and state.

    • ponderingpastor permalink

      Turns out through further investigation that this man has no official standing with any police department in the area. He may be a security guard somewhere. It makes him a frustrated citizen, not operating in any legal capacity. He did not yield for cyclists in the crosswalk and initiated the confrontation. The SPP is accustomed to caution at the crossings, and will err on the side of not crossing if there are any visible vehicles. The cry “car” causes hard braking at these intersections and each rider calls out the condition of the crosswalk when crossing, even if they are the last rider and all ahead of them have called “clear”. No local ordinances require cyclists to dismount in crosswalks.

      • A looney, eh? Good luck dealing with him. Loonies can be passionate and persistent. Your story did cause me to look up the Prince William County code for crosswalks. It’s poorly-worded, but states cyclists may “drive” across streets in crosswalks, leading me to believe they remain mounted. The code later says cyclists have the same “duties of a pedestrian,” making me wonder if one of those duties is to walk. I don’t think so, but there’s some wiggle room in there, IMHO.

        I also learned the max speed for a bicycle in Prince William County is 25 mph – a speed I regularly exceed. Oops! 🙂

      • ponderingpastor permalink

        At least no formal report was made to the Anne Arundel County Police. SPP members are still investigating. Car and driver were spotted this morning at the same intersection, but no altercation.

        25 mph is being exceeded more regularly now that you are on a proper road bike! Have a good ride this weekend.

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