3.19.2010

cop talk... and the bicyclist

it is like a Rodney Dangerfield comedy routine from the 80's no respect... no respect the cyclists get no respect it may sound like a comedy routine but it is really not funny somehow people feel a right to treat people on bikes or in cycling gear differently when on the bike I find that far more people on car or on foot feel the need to bark instructions to me while I am not sure anyone has ever tried this when I am in my car when I walk into a store with my cycling gear on... well... I am more frequently called "dude" than "sir" this all goes a little further I have had a number of encounters with police officers when I am on the bike and not in cases where I have done anything wrong somehow I feel that the cops turn the cop speak up when they talk to me when I am on the bike with my cycling gear my guess... they talk to me differently than they would talk to a man in a suit in a Range Rover the other night I went to the 4-H in Bethesda to attend a Stoddert Soccer Coaches meeting the logical way to get there? by bicycle of course it was a short ride from Northwest DC to the 4-H Center in Bethesda hardly enough to call "a ride" which is one of the reasons that the bike is more logical than the bike when I get there I scan the area for bicycle racks there are no racks in site I move about the area and find a sign post that works such that my bicycle will not be in anyone's way and will more than likely not get run over by a car or truck trying to park then I go into the meeting another cyclist brings his bike into the center the meeting goes well I am pleased with the ideas presented to us while also be frustrated at the reminder of the boy's basketball teams as I listened to the ideas about coaching I could not help but think that the basketball coaches should go through some sort of coaching clinic as they do not get some of these basic concepts like less talk and more play coaching that flows with the practice and coaching the appropriate concept to the appropriate level of cognitive development wow... it hurt to watch this great training session on coaching while thinking of the coaching styles of my older son's basketball team when everything was over coaches met and discussed issues with their division knowing that I had things to do at home and that the U6 Coaches have a seminar for their group and only their group I decided to get on my way before heading out the door I put down my bag and started to put on my helmet and gloves then it happened I was approached by one of the security guards he wanted to talk... I said "sure... talk" the tone was condescending and direct then I realized he did not want to talk to me but rather the guy behind the counter wanted to talk to me so I walked over it was that classic cop speak he called me sir and said things that were supposed to be nice but all the while I felt like I was under some scrutiny any time I tried to open my mouth I was shut down it was a less than interesting and somewhat awkward exchange he wanted to know if I was staying there and if so... had I brought my bike into the building and for me to know that I am not to bring my bicycle into the building but no... I was not staying there and no... I had not brought the bike into the building "oh... sorry... it was someone that looked like you" well... I had a hard time believing that my height? my weight? my absence of hair? the presence of my beard? this guy looked like me? I feel sorry for this guy once he was done I tried to let him know that they need to get some bike racks on the premises but he was not done being rude to me he shot me down my words were not for his ears being who I am... each time he interrupted my effort to talk just had me trying to get my words across then I stopped he kept trying to stop me and well... he is more than likely the guy to talk to so I walked away I was not the guy that they were looking for and I had spent enough time being grilled at the 4-H center outside as I unlocked my bike I had a pleasant exchange with another person unlocking their bike he had heard that the man had told me "bikes are not permitted on the premises" which shocked this man... this other man with the bike told me that he wondered what 4-H was about if it was against bikes to that I had a simple answer 4-H is about raising swine if your kid does not ride a bike you are well on your way to raising swine it is true I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder but I could not help but think that this man would have walked out from behind the counter and politely approached any of the other men in suits if he was looking to talk to the I thought that maybe he would exhibit a little more respect to the exchange of one of these men in the suits yet somehow because I dress the way I dress and travel how I travel I get less respect and no it is not a comedy routine no... it is not funny

No comments: