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Beware of the Rengade Cop

Posted by Jim Kaese on Oct 13, 2008 3:19:52 PM

This past weekend I was out on a group cycling ride that leaves from Nytro bike shop in Encinitas, CA. As our group of 35+ riders (a relatively small group due to the Fiesta Island Time Trials the next day) rolled out from the shop, we were immediately scolded by an irate San Diego County Sheriff officer from his patrol car. "All cyclists pull over now!" After we glided to a stop and pulled over to the right, this young...and i mean very just out of the Academy young...officer jumped out of his cruiser and yelled at all of us, "Let me see all of your IDs!!" I knew this wasn't going anywherethis cop isn't going to check 30 IDs so I didn't even bother to reach into my saddle bag. He was miffed that we were riding 2-3 wide at a slow pace--obviously he didn't realize we were just getting started/assembled for our long ride.


Once the first 3 or 4 cyclists in the group failed to produce identification, all of us were chastised and told that California Vehicle Code mandated that we carry identification. Certainly a Driver's License is NOT requiredI'm still determining whether cyclists must carry some form of IDi'm guessing that IS the case.


One rider was scolded for wearing headphones and told that ipod earphones and the like are also against the Vehicle Code. This is FALSE. Here is the relevant code section:


Bicyclists - Earphones & Headsets 27400. A person operating a motor vehicle or bicycle may not wear a headset covering, or earplugs in, both ears. This prohibition does not apply to any of the following: Note: Sub-sections (a) through (d) omitted for brevity. (e) A person using a prosthetic device that aids the hard of hearing.



So, listening to your favorite jams in one ear is fine.



After a few more condescending remarks, we were allowed to leave and told to ride "single file" -- also not required by the code.



North San Diego County cyclists be on the lookout for a newby sheriff on the roads. We might be hearing more about tickets written to cyclists for coasting through stop signs, speeding and failing to signal for a turn.






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