got stopped by cops on bikes- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    got stopped by cops on bikes

    while riding my bike to the school where i was refereeing basketball... there were 3 of them and as i pulled behind on the red light, one of them asked me something... i had to pull the iphone headphones out in order to hear him... he was asking where my ring bell was... i put an innocent smile on my face and suggested i didn't have it but maybe he should use some common sense and not make it such a big deal... that was it. i was told to pull over and over the next 10 minutes i was schooled on how their actions are for my own safety and how i do not know how to ride safe and they know and they are there to enforce it. when i suggested that i had a whistle in my backpack, they noticed that i didn't have reflectors on my bike, so they could still fine me. also, apparently one can not listen to music while riding, which would amount to some $300 in fines all together... all along i have that stupid smile on my face, thinking WTF... no matter how rational and/or common sense my answers and comments were, they were becoming more agitated and aggressive.

    Finally i decided to agree with everything they were saying, even though they could not explain to me how the ring bell was more important than the helmet and similar nonsensical things... eventually they let me go with a handshake. i guess they saw it in my glowing eyes that i have changed after their schooling...

    so again, what is mandatory and what is not mandatory?

    what do we HAVE to have on our person in order to avoid similar hassles, by no less, cops on bikes... (one of them had Oakley knock-offs with dark lenses and it was a cloudy evening)

    is it against the law to listen to the music while riding?

    what about reflectors?


  2. #2
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    Good work on the restraint, Oggie, and the agree tactic while often painful, usually works. Without looking it up, reflectors and bell are a definite requirement of the HTA. I don't think it mentions listening to music, that I'd have to look up.

    The fine bike constables of the Hammer usually spend a day or so every year on the Lakefront Trail ticketing people without bells on their bikes. Adds to their popularity.

  3. #3
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    The earphones are a definate no, no. It is the same as if you are operating a vehicle, you cannot wear earphones in your car.

  4. #4
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    I got a pair of Filzer Dingding bells at MEC for just this reason (well, that and the MUPs around here are swarming with people).

    The multiple O-rings mean swapping them from bike to bike takes about a minute and they fit every handlebar "standard" on the market.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mail Man View Post
    The earphones are a definate no, no. It is the same as if you are operating a vehicle, you cannot wear earphones in your car.
    There is nothing in law that prohibits the use of earphones, however its just plain stupid.

  6. #6
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    I have always found being polite and agreeable the best way to deal with cops. They get enough attitude all day as it is whether they bring it on themselves or not. It is also pointless to argue with laws that are on the books whether they are stupid or not. It's just not the right place. The cops can't do anything about it. I am never sure if a cop is trying to fill some kind of quota or mandate when stupidity abounds. I wonder if the cops on the Waterfront trail are monitored for the number of bell infractions. Maybe you just get a prick cop. For the amount of time I spend on the road, I have had the next two interactions and that is it. Both were ok. There was really not lecturing and more of a conversation. That might have been because I am a bit older and I took a very casual and non-confrontational approach.

    Apart from that:

    I find the laws around cycling baffling and at times stupid. I understand the use of a bell to a point, but in traffic in a loud environment I don't find bells effective. I think it is better to verbally let people know you are coming with an "ON YOUR LEFT" warning or something to that effect. I was road riding on the Lakeshore past Sunnyside and was asked to pull over by a cruiser. I was on my road bike and asked why I wasn't riding on the path. I just so happens that a few weeks ago, while riding on the path, another set of cops on the Waterfront trail told me that there is a maximum speed of 20 KM per hour. I told them I was not aware of this and they did not ask about a bell or reflectors. I told the second set of cops that I was informed about the speed limit and that it was way too slow for any road cyclist. They said they had not heard of this rule and that if it were to be enforced it would have to be posted. I told them that when the trail is busy, it is too slow to ride there at comfortable speed. They were cool about it, and did not hassle me about bells or reflectors either.

    I think bells are useless for the most part. They are primarily non-directional and don't work unless you are way to close to the person you want to warn. As a person hearing the bell, you are not sure where the person is coming from or their intention. I believe that verbal warnings, and yelling if necessary is way more effective. Yelling in the direction of cars or at open windows and making eye contact is also way more effective. You can also have both hand on the bars (brakes) while screaming.

    Reflectors are also a stupid law. They should make blinkies or some kind of light mandatory instead.

    Helmets should be mandatory.

    You can't listen to your music on the road while you ride I understand, but on the trails you can. You can be a roller blader taking up as much road or trail as you want while being completely oblivious to the world, and you are fine. Do the same thing on a bike and you can get fined.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by secret agent View Post
    Reflectors are also a stupid law. They should make blinkies or some kind of light mandatory instead.
    It may surprise you to know that blinking lights are technically illegal as the law is written right now.
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  8. #8
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    I was going to get a bell, but it seems needless when they could always charge me with this:

    HTA 62 (17) - Reflective tape - a bike must have white reflective tape on the front forks and red reflective tape on the rear forks. The tape must be at least 2.5 cm wide and 25 cm long

    Since none of my bikes have "rear forks" and the seatstays have nowhere near enough surface area to accommodate that much tape.

    Or they could charge me under HTA 148(6) Bicycle- Fail to Turn Out to Right When Overtaken for each of the 100 cars that passes me on Don Mills every afternoon.

    Under the present HTA it's pretty much impossible to construct and ride a legal bicycle on Ontario roads. So the goal is to ride without getting hit, and if I get citations I guess I'll deal with them as they are given to me.
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  9. #9
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    Rear forks? The law says rear forks. Oh my lordy. Here's my take on the handle-bell shakedown. Challenge the officer to a quick 3 round shootout on the HTA. Take turns quizzing each other on these obscurely retarded laws, and if the uniformed officer of the law knows fewer of them than you, then no ticket for the missing handle-bell.

    Now, if I wasn't a scofflaw and had reflective tape on my front forks, then I clearly wouldn't have to worry about this:

    Passing meeting vehicles

    148. (1) Every person in charge of a vehicle on a highway meeting another vehicle shall turn out to the right from the centre of the roadway, allowing the other vehicle one-half of the roadway free. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 148 (1).

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post

    HTA 62 (17) - Reflective tape - a bike must have white reflective tape on the front forks and red reflective tape on the rear forks. The tape must be at least 2.5 cm wide and 25 cm long
    This appears to contradict that....

    HTA 62(17) - Lights
    a bike must have a white front light and a red rear light or reflector if you ride between 1/2 hour before sunset and 1/2 hour after sunrise and white reflective tape on the front forks and red reflective tape on rear forks. Set fine: $20.00

    http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/pub...ction5.0.shtml

    As others have said, I think your attitude is critical if you get pulled over. If a cop wants to write you up, he can find a way. Treat him with respect and show him you are a responsible cyclist, and most of the time they will work with you. I have bells on my bikes, but think they are a waste of time.

    I cant count the amount of times that I have spooked someone on a trail and either got a negative comment, or at least a dirty look. I find that announcing my presence is much more effective than any bell.

    Dont get me started on walkers/joggers wearing headphones giving attitude, when after multiple attempts to let them know you are passing, they give you **** because you startled them....
    It's only pain......

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSteve F View Post
    I have bells on my bikes, but think they are a waste of time.

    I cant count the amount of times that I have spooked someone on a trail and either got a negative comment, or at least a dirty look...
    When we're out on MUPs, I actually use my bell often. Mostly it helps (pedestrians don't know what to do if I yell "On your left" - they kind of panic). Last night, I had the oddest experience with it though. I rang my bell repeatedly to try to encourage the walkers who were 5-wide across the extremely wide paved path to shift a little. They didn't move an inch, but thanked me with a big smile for using my bell. Um, really?

    OTOH, I get a big kick out of it when people ring their bell during the Tuesday night Series. Somehow, it totally cracks me up.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSteve F View Post
    This appears to contradict that....

    HTA 62(17) - Lights - a bike must have a white front light and a red rear light or reflector if you ride between 1/2 hour before sunset and 1/2 hour after sunrise and white reflective tape on the front forks and red reflective tape on rear forks. Set fine: $20.00
    The way I read that, you need the reflective tape whether you use lights and/or reflectors, and since they mention the tape requirement after the dusk--to-dawn restriction, it sounds like you legally need the tape even in broad daylight.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  13. #13
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    I have heard all kinds of laws from different people and even cops. It is not really clear what is going on. I do not have permanently mounted lights on any of my bikes, but I wear two blinkies on the back of my knapsack or Camelback and one on the front. When I ride my road bike during the day, I don't have any kind of reflectors or illumination. However, I can be easily seen at night when I have my lights. This is really about common sense, but you have to regulate against stupidity, carelessness and people that think they are too good for any rules at all. I have seen the type. Those are the ones that ruin it for everyone.

  14. #14
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    Personally Oggie, I think you should have just said "I am undercover.Please turn and walk away." I think it would've worked.
    Cheers, Dave

  15. #15
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    I like how there were 3 of them. They must have sized up Oggies strength and called for backup. As usual, 3 of Ontario's "finest" spending their time and effort to fight the real problems our communities face.

  16. #16
    No. Just No.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dskunk View Post
    Personally Oggie, I think you should have just said "I am undercover.Please turn and walk away." I think it would've worked.
    I can picture the case in court now. "In the matter of the Crown versus Oggie, the defendant is setenced to a $100 fine for failure to equip his bicycle with a bell, plus 1 year in jail for impersonation of a police officer."

    Quote Originally Posted by nspace View Post
    As usual, 3 of Ontario's "finest" spending their time and effort to fight the real problems our communities face.
    I'm glad we can agree that Oggie is a serious community problem.

  17. #17
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    Should have sprinted off and see if they would have chased on bikes.

    How cool would it be to be in a police bike chase.

    Then you would have really had an awesome story to share.

  18. #18
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    I'd love to hear about a good bike chase, but it would be great if we could see a lot more in movies too. The stunt work would be quite as good as many other categories I'm sure. The other day I saw someone try to pass a slow-moving car on the right at about 25-30 kmh. Turns out the driver was lining up a right-hand turn into the emergency driveway at Mt Sinai, which would be illegal since they were just looking for a shortcut, but was illegal because the turn was not signalled. The cyclist initiated the pass just as the driver initiated the illegal turn. Reading the developing play, the cyclist hit the brakes and made a skidding swerve around the right fender and bumper, with incidental contact but not enough for a knockdown, and then continued back onto the roadway, barely losing speed at all. I couldn't have scripted it better.

  19. #19
    sock puppet
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    hey, it did cross my mind just for giggles... imagine the headline the following morning - HIGH SPEED POLICE BIKE CHASE ENDED UP IN THE DONUT SHOP.

    Seriously, when they turned back to me, when I stopped my bike behind them, I knew it was not going to be a quick one... All three of them ganged up, lecturing on different things, with a common theme that they are there to protect me because I don't know how to protect myself which is obvious as I don't have a bike bell. When I mentioned I had a whistle on me, they switched to reflectors and ipod.

    It was funny also that they circled me as if they would prevent me from escaping... Honestly, I was in sheer disbelief that it was happening, from the first to the last minute...

    Then they started inquiring how much the bike cost (I was riding the expensive roadie) etc, etc...

    I believe that my first answer - "c'mon guy, use your common sense" when he asked me about the bell - didn't help.

    I don't buy the argument that they see too much attitude - therefore I am not allowed my basic civil liberties, or else they will fine me for not having the bike bell...

    When I suggested common sense - it was aimed directly at the fact that we do not have to wear helmets but we have to have bells. I can even digest that - it is the stupid law - but do not preach me how they are trying to protect me by fining me for not having some insignificant sound maker that is not going to make me riding safer one bit...

    All the shenanigans that transpired were just that bad because these guys were on bikes and I expected props but got hassled for really nothing. Not good in my books... How do I keep respect???

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    When we're out on MUPs, I actually use my bell often. Mostly it helps (pedestrians don't know what to do if I yell "On your left" - they kind of panic). Last night, I had the oddest experience with it though. I rang my bell repeatedly to try to encourage the walkers who were 5-wide across the extremely wide paved path to shift a little. They didn't move an inch, but thanked me with a big smile for using my bell. Um, really?

    OTOH, I get a big kick out of it when people ring their bell during the Tuesday night Series. Somehow, it totally cracks me up.
    I've tried ringing early, ringing late (scares the s#it out of them) and decided talking to people gets the best reaction. "On your left" really doesn't work with non-riders, as more often than not, they either will veer to the left or have then looking at you all confused. "Bike approaching" or "Is it ok to pass you?" seems to get their attention and usually they will move to one side with a smile.

    I think I may have run across your 5 wide hikers in Bronte park a week ago. Not only did they not acknowledge my request, they made no attempt to share the trail. Even though they were facing me, they felt entitled to the entire trail and weren't moving for anyone. I guess I missed the "no bikes on the multi-use trail" memo...
    It's only pain......

  21. #21
    No. Just No.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSteve F View Post
    I think I may have run across your 5 wide hikers in Bronte park a week ago. Not only did they not acknowledge my request, they made no attempt to share the trail. Even though they were facing me, they felt entitled to the entire trail and weren't moving for anyone. I guess I missed the "no bikes on the multi-use trail" memo...
    Although it doesn't work when you are approaching from behind, I have used the tactic of just stopping my bike on the trail in a reasonable position that I though I was entitled to for 2 way traffic. Then they have to do something to walk around me, since I'm not going to clear completely off the trail and am now the stationary object i.e. I can't be accused of riding into them. Sometimes I find something a few words, sometimes not depending on my mood. Sure, it's a kind of passive aggressive solution and doesn't necessarily result in any cooperative education but at least it removes any claim that I was at risk of causing a collision.

  22. #22
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    What a nanny state we live in.
    Some great sets for the trainer:
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  23. #23
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    Makes Sense

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    Its hard to argue with people that don't have the tools to follow logic.

  24. #24
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    Now I would have thought that an O-cup regular, especially one who has podiumed on probably numerous occasions...would have under these circumstances merely put the hammer down and waved bye-bye to the Timbit Tummies
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  25. #25
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    I'm thinking it is against the law to ride with headphones.

    http://www.chp.ca.gov/html/bicycleriding.html

    it seems to be in California. Other states also have laws against it. I am not sure in Ontario but I am going to ask when I get a chance.

  26. #26
    namagomi
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    Looks like Toronto's finest got their man!


    You must look like a criminal to get terry stopped, but once you started whining like a mutton eater they probably just decided to have some fun with you!

    Oggie, next time play it cool(something obviously very unnatural for you irl as well as here)...

  27. #27
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    People are skirting around the real question here.

    Where the cops riding platforms or clips?

  28. #28
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    Manitoba has laws making it illegal to ride with headphones

    This is copied out of the Manitoba Highway Traffic Act:



    s. 215 Use of radio headphones prohibited

    s. 215 215 No driver of a motor vehicle or operator of a bicycle shall, while operating the motor vehicle or bicycle on a highway, wear, on both ears, headphones which are used for the purpose of listening to a radio or a recording.


    I am still looking for the Ontario law

  29. #29
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    no matter what you do, they will find something to get you on 100% of the time IF they really want to. just do what you do and pay their ridiculous fines if it ever comes to that. most of them are like $20-$40. attitude goes a long way. cops are just glorified club bouncers. you mouth off to a bouncer and they powertrip and throw you out. treat them like a buddy, and they're yours.
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  30. #30
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    There is something seriously wrong when a ticket for no bike light is $35 yet it's $120 for no bell. Only in Toronto.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    I got a pair of Filzer Dingding bells at MEC for just this reason (well, that and the MUPs around here are swarming with people).

    The multiple O-rings mean swapping them from bike to bike takes about a minute and they fit every handlebar "standard" on the market.
    Oh, but wait... this gets even better.

    How many here know that almost all bells on bikes are in violation of the law? Because for most they have to take their hand off the bar to operate it. And it's not allowed.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Oh, but wait... this gets even better.

    How many here know that almost all bells on bikes are in violation of the law? Because for most they have to take their hand off the bar to operate it. And it's not allowed.
    I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that if you have to take your hand off the bar to operate your bell, you've probably installed it wrong.

    A big clown horn on the other hand...

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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Oh, but wait... this gets even better.

    How many here know that almost all bells on bikes are in violation of the law? Because for most they have to take their hand off the bar to operate it. And it's not allowed.
    Wait - I'm confused. You're not allowed to take your hand off the bar? What about to signal?

  34. #34
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    I stopped signalling about the time I started noticing that the potholes were bigger on the public highways than down in the valley.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine View Post
    no matter what you do, they will find something to get you on 100% of the time IF they really want to. just do what you do and pay their ridiculous fines if it ever comes to that. most of them are like $20-$40. attitude goes a long way. cops are just glorified club bouncers. you mouth off to a bouncer and they powertrip and throw you out. treat them like a buddy, and they're yours.
    Careful..you never know how many cops are lurking on here
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    A big clown horn on the other hand...
    Clown horns rule, that's why I have one on my bike.


  37. #37
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    Cops . . . on an mtb forum?!?! Never.

    This thread is totally making my day.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barley View Post
    Cops . . . on an mtb forum?!?! Never.

    This thread is totally making my day.
    Oh no! It's like I'm back in that Police raid at The Paddock! Run!
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by CptSydor View Post
    People are skirting around the real question here.

    Where the cops riding platforms or clips?
    Most cops in my area use toe clips; some strapless, some with straps.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  40. #40
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    Curious - So were their bikes totally upto code - including the tape?
    I've seen a few bike-cops and don't remember seeing the tape since suspension came into wide use. Probably blind, must pay more attention.

    a bit OT...
    My father (RIP) was old-school OPP.
    He was big on the whole community rapport thing, new everybody and only got involved when it was necessary. He was not a fan of the current black gloves, dark sunglasses, and jar-head mentality fashionable as the current form of policing. Far to adversarial and tough-guy, not enough community sense and ability to think - thought things were going the wrong way fast. I agree, I'm the first in my family in along time not to be a cop. Grandfather, Father, Brother, Uncle. I'm not people oriented - would not be pretty if they gave me a gun.

    michael

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by mykel View Post
    Curious - So were their bikes totally upto code - including the tape?
    I've seen a few bike-cops and don't remember seeing the tape since suspension came into wide use. Probably blind, must pay more attention.
    I was thinking about the same later on, but not while they were interrogating me... I am sure they did not have 2.5" reflective tape on the rear "forks" of their bikes...

    a bit OT...
    My father (RIP) was old-school OPP.
    He was big on the whole community rapport thing, new everybody and only got involved when it was necessary. He was not a fan of the current black gloves, dark sunglasses, and jar-head mentality fashionable as the current form of policing. Far to adversarial and tough-guy, not enough community sense and ability to think - thought things were going the wrong way fast. I agree, I'm the first in my family in along time not to be a cop. Grandfather, Father, Brother, Uncle. I'm not people oriented - would not be pretty if they gave me a gun.

    michael
    that is the real policing - the way your father did it (may he RIP).

    I don't know what is going on with today's generation of cops... it is disappointing...

  42. #42
    namagomi
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    The required length of reflective stripping doesn't even fit on the lowers of most modern suspension forks.

  43. #43
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    I can't say how old these images are but ya, they figured how how to incorporate tape with forks (both of 'em)...



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  44. #44
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    I can't say how old these images are but ya, they figured how how to incorporate tape with forks (both of 'em)...
    I think the HTA says they must be one strip 300mm long on each leg? The v-brake boss stops that... Somebody give those cops a ticket!

  45. #45
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    Hehe, TWICE this spring when I was up at Albion I saw a whole crew of Toronto bike cops on the trails. In their uniforms and everything. If you happen to be there midweek, you might see them. Trying to improve their skills so they can chase people into the ravines?
    TRCA
    Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
    Email: [email protected]
    Web: http://www.trca.on.ca/
    Phone: (416) 661-6600

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    Quote Originally Posted by TRCA View Post
    Hehe, TWICE this spring when I was up at Albion I saw a whole crew of Toronto bike cops on the trails. In their uniforms and everything. If you happen to be there midweek, you might see them. Trying to improve their skills so they can chase people into the ravines?
    Or...hoping to catch the old guy who walks his 4 dogs in there while enjoying some funny cigarettes - ran into him last on Gnarly Berms. That would sure freak that poor old guy out!

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by superlightracer View Post
    What a nanny state we live in.
    I'm originally from Serbia and this sort of thing would never happen there; I guess I'm a libertarian in that sense. I don't need someone to tell me that I need lights on my bike, to wear a helmet, or to not ride past a certain hour. If I get hit it's my own damn fault. You can't legalize smoking and then turn around and make riding without a horn illegal

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satan2 View Post
    There is nothing in law that prohibits the use of earphones, however its just plain stupid.
    ....

    In Quebec yes. You cannot wear headphones or earphones or anything that shoot any kind of sounds (because people may not always listen to music) directly to your ears (speakers in a helmet too), that will interfere with the sounds of the circulation... because you need to ear that truck coming and that car honking you.

    Its simple logic. And its plain stupid to do it.

    But you can have a speaker system on your bike (mostly on the handlebar) that can produce non-disturbing sounds (to the circulation, so its got to be music coming out) and not much then a fixed amount of decibels...

    Yep. $300.

    David
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  49. #49
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    Saw 3 cops on bikes today. All were conducting themselves professionally and lawfully.

    Except, maybe. for the tape. One had no rear red tape. The tape that they had on the forks was probably smaller in area than the factory-installed reflective logo on fox forks.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

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