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Monday, January 25, 2010

Civil Obedience

There's this other blog and online friend of mine called ChipSeal. Other than blog comments and the odd email, ChipSeal and I don't really know each other. ChipSeal has always been very kind in his comments on this blog and civil in every way otherwise. Anyway, ChipSeal rides a bike everywhere - no car for him.

This dude knows Texas traffic law backwards and forwards, particularly when it comes to bicycles. He chooses to ride in the left hand tire track of country highways because he deems it the safest place to be. He has every right to do so under the law. Motorists don't like it, and lately the police have been backing them up, despite the fact that ChipSeal has broken no law. Some might say that ChipSeal has been asking for it... in some ways I think he has in that he has remained steadfast in asserting his road rights fully in the face of much antagonism. The question is how or why obeying all laws can be considered "asking for it" in the first place, I guess.

ChipSeal seems to be without fear when it comes to police officers since he knows that he is on solid legal ground. He's been posting on some of his recent adventures with police officers from two counties. In every instance he praises officers for their kindness and consideration while they proceed to jail him for riding his bike. I don't know how he manages to remain so civil in recounting episodes that would leave most of us screaming blue bloody murder.

Hats off to you ChipSeal, you madman. I know I wouldn't have the stones to do what you do. I would do as I was told in the interest of making my life easier despite the fact that I would be facing greater risk on the road and failing to stand up for my rights and those of cyclists everywhere. I sincerely hope that the letter of the law prevails for you and for all of us.

If you want to read a little about ChipSeal's recent encounters with the law, you should probably start with this.

Yer Pal,

R A N T W I C K

7 comments:

Steve A said...

Well said. Chip has certainly given me stuff to think about.

[dented]

Keri said...

+1 for well said! I like your title very much.

Rantwick said...

Thanks both. It is good to know that people other than me have roughly the same take on our man Chipseal.

CarFree Stupidity said...

thanks for highlighting this... what a story. Been to his blog before but not in a long time. Now I think I'll be hooked.

jeff said...

I've been engrossed in ChipSeal's story also. I loved the line:"I complain that he was out of line in pulling over a law abiding citizen on the flimsy evidence of Texas drivers who know little about traffic law." Great fodder for his blog, I'm going to go ride on the sidewalk and see what I can stir up. :)

Rantwick said...

CarFree - No problem! I think it deserves attention.

jeff - I really glad he has chosen to blog about it all. It turns some badness into some goodness and interestingness. Stay off the sidewalk. If Chipseal can be charged with "operating a bicycle in the roadway", you may get the chair.

fowgre said...

Chipseal appears to be a kindred spirit. Don't presume that the police will enforce your legal rights. Too often, police exercise "discretion" in laying charges based upon their read of current public opinion and their own resources. Pedestrians and cyclists must know their rights and insist upon respect for them, else the risk is that those rights will continuously be diminished.

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