Saturday, June 05, 2010

BUSTED - our commuter bike gets a police inspection

The police are doing their usual spring bike-law-compliance blitz, and one of these activities involves inspecting bikes for the legally-required set of reflectors.

First, let is say that we ride at night with front and rear lights, and we wear a reflective jacket or vest. Because bike riding at night is hugely more dangerous than in the daytime. And visibility is safety.

How did we do? Well, since we had none of the required reflectors, we failed. but we showed the policewoman our lights and told her that we use reflective clothing at night and she let us go without any penalties, although, as always, it is useless to try to argue or discuss obeying the spirit vs the letter of the law with any member of the police force.

We wonder, however, why this sort of safety blitz doesn't occur at night time, when the need to have reflectors is a bit more evident than in the middle of the day.

We note that many bikes do not come from the manufacturer/store with the legally required set of reflectors Why is this? Because it isn't cool for fancy bikes to be safe!


At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The lack of reflectors on high-end bikes has nothing to do with "being cool," as you put it. It's a performance issue, related to the extra weight of all that extraneous plastic and steel junk. If you don't ride at night and are measuring your bike to the ounce, reflectors are about as right as those useless kickstands that morons seem to love. And spoke reflectors are enough to unbalance a perfectly true wheel. Whatever. Time to unsubscribe.

At 2:30 PM, Blogger Cycle Fun Montreal said...

we agree totally with everything Anon says. Some people sure take their bike fetish seriously. Sorry we used a bit of humour, we're changing the internal policy and you can be reassured that we will refrain from humourous or fun behaviour from now on.

C'mon, the future of mankind looks pretty bleak, so we try have some a sense of humour and fun. If fun isn't part of your life, this probably isn't the blog for you.

At 5:17 PM, Anonymous JulieB said...

careful, some women are *very* sensitive about their weight.

At 9:57 PM, Blogger Pierre le Grand said...

Its a safety issue. Modern wheels have far less spokes then traditional wheels. Extenders must be used to install reflectors in those wheels because of the extra space between the spokes. The long reflectors are fragile and break easily. On my road bike, one of the reflector (of the wrong color according to the Law) broke at low speed and I have removed the other one. Apparently (maybe we should put the Mythbuster on this one), if a reflector break at high speed, serious injuries to the rider may occur when the broken pieces of the reflector enter in the skin at high speed.

As for the pedals, manufacturers non longer make clipless pedals with yellow reflector because the reflector is in the shoe. My shoe has a silver reflector which is not legal but is much safer because is goes to the side of the foot and is visible from, the left, the right and the rear.

The Law is terribly obsolete and I hope that it will soon be improved.

At 2:46 PM, Blogger Cycle Fun Montreal said...

once again we agree totally, but the cops live in a universe where rules are rules and they get paid to ruin your light expensive bike's day.

We pointed out that our spd pedals do not have place for reflectors.We did not receive a sympathetic response from the cop. We'll try the shoe reflector argument next time.

These laws are from the 1970s, when cyclists were getting killed more frequently than today.

It is up to you to have some combination of lights and reflectors to ride safely at night. And a safe riding attitude would help too.

At 2:52 PM, Anonymous G_Gendron said...

If I had a dollar for every "measuring your bike to the ounce" expert rider that blew through the stop sign (without slowing down, stopping pedalling for a second, looking up or around to look for other traffic) in front of my house on Lakeshore blvd, I'd be rich! Expensive bike + skinny rider = DANGER.

At 2:52 PM, Blogger Cycle Fun Montreal said...

good point, but a little off topic.

At 10:55 AM, Anonymous RenĂ©e said...

At least it was a warning/information stop and not a real $$ ticket like the one I got for cycling on Prince Arthur street (the closed to cars section) during the police dept's spring bike safety blitz last year.


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