Monday, June 10, 2013

Cycling and Law Enforcement

Recently here in Montreal Police Officers have been handing out tickets to cyclist for various infractions. Some are saying that they are being more aggressive on enforcement than before.

Man gets a ticket for riding in a pedestrian zone.
Tickets issued vary from crossing on a pedestrian light, riding on the sidewalk and having no or missing reflectors on the bike. Reports coming in from some riders indicate that some Officers are not being discerning in their Law enforcement and going heavy on the pen. One noted anecdote states 3 tickets were issued for 3 missing reflectors on the same bike instead of just one ticket for the general infraction. It is also good to know that Montreal PD does not issue any kind of warnings. If the pen comes out, it will cost you.

What to do then? One thing for sure is to pay attention to your surroundings, making sure you don't commit an infraction right in front of a cop. Check your bike for missing reflectors and replace them according to your local law. Here in Quebec reflectors are required as follows: One white in the front, one red in the back, yellow on the pedals front and back, yellow in the front spokes and red in the rear spokes. Quebec's highway code does not specify a definition for a reflector or a standard size, so if you cannot fit a standard reflector somewhere on your bike, you can use reflective tape of the required color.

One element that has been prompted by all that recent MPD activity towards cyclists here in Montreal is a Facebook Group that lets riders know where the fuzz is at during the day. Same kind of thing already done by our car driving counterparts. Don't have one in your area? Start one, it's not illegal (Here anyways).

Lastly, if you do get pulled over for something by a Police officer, identify yourself and shut up. Keep your arguments for court, anything you say will be used against you in the report. Send in your "not guilty" plea with the section for explanation blank if you choose to challenge the case. Would you show your hand at a poker game?

Keep safe and ride free.

Gerry :)

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Big Bike Ride, epilogue

For those curious on how the big ride went, here's a little post to satisfy your curiosity.

Mechanically the bike did good except for developing a tendency to throw its chain at the end and no it didn't rain. That fender did pay off!  :)

My body aches all over today, especially my butt. The price to pay for not having done any serious riding in the past year.

Hopefully I'll be more on the bike this year.

The Tour rides always finish with a big party. This was the scene at the Olympic Stadium.

Until next time, ride safe and free.

Gerry :)