9.11.2012

today...

today I was riding across town after grabbing lunch at the Eastern Market
was looking to attempt the "drop in"
tried to cold call a few friends
found one friend painting his roof
the other friend was MIA

no luck
no dice rock slice

the morning had been spent working an abbreviated shift at my old job
not unemployed... but underemployed
there has been a change in my work status
a little more than the semi regular on call situation
a set schedule... an every day early morning schedule

only 20 hours... but a consistent 20 hours
it is a good thing
I am excited
ye ha!

so...
after a morning at the old job I did a loop with the camera
on the Karate Monkey... the Karate Monkey set up as a single with a gear smaller than I would ride off road... an over spinning machine that is nothing short of crusty
no shots captured
impatiently I kept moving around
chasing a fish jumping on the other side of the pond

after grabbing the Prego Special on Capitol Hill I rolled back downtown
hustling with traffic trying to time the lights
trying to ride the wave
then somewhere around Thomas Circle it happened
I came off the circle and there were multiple parked cars double parked
my trajectory was off the curb
because the car traffic was such that I was more comfortable cutting the curb than fighting for my space to the right of traffic

approaching the double parked cars I thought that my place on the right was better than on the left
so I split the double parked cars and the parked cars
the first car was a police car
the second car was a taxi cab

car doors can open from either side of a double parked cars
car doors open all over the place
I was alert and aware
checking through the windows for people who may be getting out 

I saw nothing
making the fluid pass to the right of the double parked cars made sense
I thought nothing of it
on my left was a woman on a scooter
the woman in her business suit with her legs exposed kept my attention

then it happened
a few blocks away from the pair of double parked cars I heard a quick click of the siren 
a glance back and I saw the lights
I drifted to the side to let the police cruiser pass
then I heard the loud speakers... "you on the bike"

just as I dreaded
the siren was for me
the lights were for me 
the police officer was was talking to me

the light was red
I stopped and put my feet down
officer friendly pulled up to my right
attentive, respectful,  and polite I listened

his eye contact and his tone was not the classic "cop speak"
I listened as he spoke
I did not argue his perspective
he had the floor... I tried to hold my tongue and listen

a few times my mouth opened... but I was able to catch myself

in short the officer spoke about the dangers of being "doored"
although he may not have used the term "doored"
he was well aware of the dangers
his observation was correct... passing the taxi cab on the passenger side did have a high risk of being doored... if there was a passenger getting out of the taxi cab

I did not argue the fact
the notion that the cars were blocking traffic when their were vacant parking spaces just up the block was not mentioned
there was the simple thanks for his concern and thanks for him not issuing me a ticket

the light turned green and I pedaled forward
trying to put myself in a place that was not offensive to him
the light ahead was red
I stopped at the red light
there was enough space in the passing traffic that I would have normally proceeded forward
but out of respect I did not run the light

the light turned green
the police cruiser accelerated ahead and I pedaled on with my day
reflecting on the police officer who was in fact concerned for my safety and my well being
in these times it is nice to have these moments

people that contradict the stereotypes
so often I encounter police officers who treat me like a child because I am on a bicycle
police officers who bark at me like a sergeant talking to a new recruit in boot camp
but no... apparently all police are not like that... they are not all the same
there are good cops
people who are out there to "protect and serve"

No comments: