Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Riding a Bicycle on a Roadway" Now Illegal (in Texas)

For days I have been enthralled by the slowly unraveling story of fellow cyclist and carfree blogger ChipSeal who has been arrested - more than once - for driving his bike on a public roadway (in Texas) in the last week. Each day he reveals more details or more of his inner thoughts on the utter stupidity of the situation.

I won't cover the whole story, since ChipSeal does it so well with very well timed wit, for the real thing go to his blog, or visit Commute Orlando for a great commentary largely inspired by ChipSeal's ordeal and the ordeals of other cyclist's in similar situations.

Essentially he is being harassed by law enforcement at the behest of whinny motorists for obstructing their right to go fast without any impediments to their forward progress. In his last post ChipSeal prods bicycle advocates to give a shit and show it by doing something other than lobbying for laws and infrastructure and get down to something that will be real and solid in protecting/enforcing cyclist rights in Texas.

I might be a long way from Texas... but it sounds like small town Texas could be infused with some of the enthusiasm for theme rides that the cyclists of Portland are infected with. Seems to me that a "Solidarity Ride" needs to be organized to bring cyclists from all over Texas (or the nation) to ride through these small towns that are trying to restrict cyclist's rights, or harassing the few cyclists present on the road, as a show of solidarity and numbers.

But what do I know about Texas from my perch in the snowy mountains of Montana.

And I was going to do a short post on the little parking ticket I received on campus yesterday... though I still managed to slip it in there.


Daniel said...

You got a bicycle parking ticket? How does that work?

CarFree Stupidity said...

Not a ticket in the sense of being fined monetarily... but a warning and threat that if I parked in the same place again they would cut my lock and confiscate my bicycle... at which point I would have to pay a fee to get it back.

ChipSeal said...

Thanks for the moral support!

Funny how I rode 12,000 miles on these same roads, in a similar manner over the past four years, but it has been a enforcement crisis since Oct 2009!

People used to say that the world was flat, and now most say the world is round, but from my perspective, it seems to be mostly uphill!

Tailwinds to all!

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