Thursday, October 27, 2005

Thursday Musette and Scanner Fun!

My Bianchi has had shifting problems for some time. It has Campy Ergo shifters, and if I tried to shift one ‘click’ at a time, the chain wouldn’t move. Two clicks would get it to change, but I had to shift back one click to keep the chain on the cog. It was annoying, but not unrideable.

Sandra recently got the Park DAG-1, a tool for checking and aligning the derailleur tab. I borrowed it from her, and checked my frame. Not surprisingly, it was off quite a bit. The tab was actually twisted, that is, it was bent in both the vertical and horizontal axis. Now I’m looking at the derailleur itself, noting that the cage looks twisted too. Still, after I straightened the hanger, the shifting improved immensely.

I shouldn’t complain too much. This is original equipment and the bike has nearly 20,000 miles behind it. Maybe it’s time for a new derailleur.

Here’s a link for the Park Tool catalog: http://www.parktool.com/download.asp

Here’s another for their repair section: http://www.parktool.com/repair/

..........

Since paranoia is truly the new black, I’ve been entertaining suitably paranoid thoughts from time to time. Yesterday, I was wondering what I’d do if confronted by a clearly irate law enforcement officer, say, a pudgy sheriff’s deputy determined to get me off the road.

I was on a lonely stretch of county road that winds through a pecan grove. There’s little traffic back there. If a cop tried to make a traffic stop in such an area, would a motorist or a cyclist be justified in refusing to stop until he reached a more public area?

This isn’t an idle question. When I lived in Pennsylvania, a state trooper tried to stop a woman on a lonely country road one night. He was driving an unmarked car and claimed she was speeding. She refused to stop until she reached a gas station with lots of other people around. The trooper was pissed off, and charged her with speeding, refusing to obey a lawful order to stop, and whatever else came to mind. Mopery, maybe. It went to trial. The woman never contested the speeding charge, but was acquitted of everything else.

I’ve told my wife and daughter that they should never pull over unless they feel safe in doing so. And I’ve written previously about a woman who wouldn’t ride that lonely road through the pecan grove because she didn’t feel safe back there. But I’ve never read anything about a cyclist refusing to pull over because he or she didn’t feel safe.

............

It was 37F this morning on my way to work. Contrast this with record highs in the 90s last week, and you begin to see why Oklahoma weather can make me crazy! Honestly, there have been times we’ve used both the heater and the air conditioner in the same day!

..............

One of my other hobbies is amateur radio. I’m not active these days, and to be honest, I can’t remember the last time I hit the push-to-talk button. But I still have a couple of scanners that are on almost every day, tuned to the local police and fire frequencies.

As soon as I walked in the door this afternoon, Mary asked, “Was someone honking at you on 129th?”

“Yeah”, I replied, “there was a guy in a white pickup that honked, revved his engine, and tried to bully me out of the way.”

“It wasn’t a guy. It was a woman. She called the cops to complain that you were blocking traffic! One of the cops replied that he’d just gone by as you were riding north, and you weren’t doing anything illegal. He said that people get impatient this time of day, and they don’t like to get behind a bicycle. She said you made some gestures at her! The cop said he’d probably make some gestures at motorists too!”

It’s true. I waved at her and used ALL my fingers for emphasis. It does two things: First, it keeps my blood pressure down. Why should I escalate right along with some moronic motorist? Second, it’s a lovely way to say that I don’t give a rat’s ass.

I have to write something nice to the local cops. Apparently they’re staying abreast of the bicycle laws, in contrast to another local agency that I won’t name.

But there’s another possible bright spot in this. Maybe it was Deputy Cupcake’s wife back there! That means I can expect another bogus traffic stop real soon.

2 Comments:

Blogger Fritz said...

That's really cool about the scanner traffic about you. I've been thinking about buying scanner for ages. Maybe I'll get one for Christmas.

10:55 PM  
Blogger hereNT said...

"But I’ve never read anything about a cyclist refusing to pull over because he or she didn’t feel safe."

This Guy

Got pulled over and the cops have taken his protesting the 'resisting an officer' part and brought it up to a felony level. He didn't feel safe stopping and pulled into a parking lot at the first available stop...

11:47 PM  

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