Sunday, May 23

Discretion and Valor

Sometimes I like to tease. In response to "Babble" members Chandra and Paul telling us about their cool bike trips for the day, I replied "Steve A to cyclebabble. Hope you BOTH had fun. I was busy with the Euless PD." THAT was the "valor" part of this post. Those guys, as most police, most places, are mostly pretty good guys trying their best to do well for the citizens of their jurisdictions. Actually, I'd say the same of those police that keep tossing ChipSeal in the hoosegow, but THEIR leadership is a bit confused about the law and its application to cyclists.

Anyway, I was at the Euless Main branch of a major national coffee chain when I wrote that email from my iPhone. And it was true, if a bit misleading. You see, I had an unusual encounter with a "nice" motorist shortly before.

At one of the four way stops on my way for my caffeine fix, I sighted a motorist coming up to the stop on my right. Really, we both stopped at the sign at the same time. As the motorist was ON MY RIGHT, I waved him on. He waved back. Rather than my usual practice of putting my foot down to further encourage the "nice" motorist with the right of way, I went and waved my "thanks." Yup, y'all figured out it was the man in the Euless PD cruiser that was waving me on. THAT is the "discretion" part of this post. A policeman waves me on at a stop, I'm NOT going to argue with the officer, they outrank my usual motorist who will normally take his/her turn even if I have to unclip and put my foot down. BTW, I can't say I can confirm eye contact at any part of this encounter. After going, the thought occurred to me that a salute might have been more apropos than a civilian wave, but it seemed a minor point.

On this little trip, I saw two more police. Another Euless Officer who I did salute as I rode by (he waved back at me), and a Bedford Officer who passed me going north on FM157 (technically in Euless at the time) as I headed home. It was a real "officery" day. I'm almost surprised they weren't lined up in front of my house.

Those guys have a tough job. Experiences such as this keep me positive that the police are really NOT looking to ticket cyclists, other than as a byproduct of things that most motorists object to.

PS: None of those guys were around when I was exceeding the posted speed limit a smidge on Cummings Dr. In my defense, the motorist behind me would have been their target of choice anyway. Had HE been ticketed, I would have come back and stuck up for my motorist, claiming he COULDN'T have been speeding since he was behind some durn cyclist. Discretion has its limits if the police want to go after one of MY motorists!

"The Road Bike, Often Known as 'the bike with no name.' "


Chandra said...

I have a gift for you on my blog,

Please come check it out!

Peace :)

Chandra said...

Glad you are okay!

Velouria said...

Interesting! I would have thought that a salute would be interpreted as a sarcastic gesture and could actually get you in some hot water. At least around here that'd probably be the case.

Steve A said...

It was a nice salute, properly executed and understood.

cafiend said...

I must say I did share Velouria's concern with the salute.

I could never be a cop. I am equally repelled by the completely lawless and the overly lawful. But as a public servant you don't get to choose what you enforce. If you do make a judgment call it may be questioned and penalized.

Anonymous said...

Loved the post......they should all (okay...most) be saluted.

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