So how many cops does it take to bring this Bonebell rider down.  One? Two? Three? Well the answer is 4 coppers in three squad cars.  That’s right – this little vato has so much mayhem apparently that a little ‘lip’ apparently went a long way and I got the attention of Chicago’s finest in front of one of my favorite establishment – a whole crowd mesmerized by the interaction of the blue lights pulsating in the Golden Apple on Lincoln and School.  Gasps were seen.  Vato brethren from the kitchen came out to the windows to give me fists pumps in the air.  A couple of drivers actually did roll right in front of me and rolled their windows down and yelled ‘BOGUS!!’.  My crime?  I “allegedly” blew a red light at Lincoln and Diversey – and after sprinting down Lincoln after this “alleged” red light cruise – I got pulled over and asked to produce identification.  I couldn’t believe the words coming out of the coppers mouth. 

Now, I was in a great mood – I had just left Yojimbo’s Garage  and had some great conversations with Jeff and Brean from The Cuttin Crew.  I had just picked up my deck of Chrome Aces, lube, and brake pads – and I was en route to a grocery store to get my daughter some prune juice.  I was doing my intervals – the way I like them – on the streets, sprinting light to light.  LIGHT TO LIGHT – meaning I was not blowing through lights.  The lights were my ‘break’ to catch my breath and regroup quickly before doing another hammer down on my trusty steed loaded down with my daily gear.  When I got to the intersection I “allegedly” blew the red light at – I distinctly remember seeing the cop car.  I went to the right and rolled ever so slowly through the crosswalk – and then I paused at the next crosswalk and rolled neatly across that crosswalk – both slowly, cautiously, and out of breath.  I took that last soft left onto Lincoln and gave a sprint – and then the lights flashed.  Nah not me – but then I saw the spotlight affixed on the sidewalk and by my wheels – I turned around and was blinded quickly by the light and slowly rolled over as by now the officer announced that ‘You, on the bike, pull over’.   I complied, and had one foot still clipped in and I was panting – the occifer came up and pretty much announced that I was getting a ticket because “I was not above the law and I blew a red light”.  My biggest mistake at this very instant which is a classic stupid kneejerk reaction I have – was to protest.  “YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING!”  “Oh no sir, I don’t kid about thuh Lawww”  I then said I was on my way to get prune juice for my girl – I have no idea why I thought that was going to defend me – but it seemed to antagonize the copper more.   I gave one more, “You seriously are writing ‘me’ up?” – he then said “Oh, a little attitude eh?”.  

I was screwed about that point – he went back to his car and within a few seconds a 2nd squad car pulled up, lights flashing, pulled over and this time a female officer asked me to get off my bike, put the bike aside and sit on the bench while she gave me a look over.  She asked me repeatedly for my name, my address, and told me to drop the attitude as she was just doing her job – the Golden Apple (Bless You People!) were doing great gawking out the window and just amazed at what spectacle I just brought them.  The fist jabbing in the air by the crew in the kitchen must’ve done something as a 3rd squad car pulled over and asked if they needed any help.  Because you know, in Lakeview, on Lincoln, in front of the Golden Apple, in front of the ginormous Church – the guy that looks like an alien in bike gear a bike rack with a bag and blinky lights – is an ample threat to the three officers already at the scene.   I am also pissed because this is now the 2nd time in 30 days that I have managed to get my license taken away – the 1st offense I can stomach and I’ll take it like a man because I was wrong.  This one – bullshit.  The amount of resources it took the city to prove a point to me was not worth the effort, the atttitude, or the sheer stupidity of everyone’s time wasted (35 minutes of 6 city officers, running cars, me, and the gapers traffic).  

I didn’t pick up the prune juice, sorry girl, but my wifey understood and is still to this minute appalled that this is where our taxes have paid for.  I am pissed as hell – and it’ll go away – but damnit, there is seriously some shit that needs cleaned up in this city – and my ass wasn’t one of those items.  

See you in court, officers – you ain’t getting my money.   

  1. joeyTWOwheels on Tuesday 25, 2008

    I didn’t think they could take your license. In Austin, everyone is told not to produce it if asked, or to request that any violation not be written against your DL.

    Either way, it might be a good idea to carry a state ID as well.

    I never knew those Chicago coppers to be such dicks. Good luck.

  2. idlewildnorth on Tuesday 25, 2008

    Damn…blowback. The Mayor said he wanted to get the bikers more security on the streets. But in order to get that passed the aldermen said they needed the bikers to follow the laws that were on the books. I hope our cities finest have not been told to look for those on bikes running amok in the streets and just start giving them tickets. This is an awful compromise. Sorry for the crap sandwich.

  3. Rooster on Tuesday 25, 2008

    What happened is simple. It gets so bad that I get to feel awkward for the cops when they do this crap. They have committed to being big dick enforcer of the law, they realize what they are doing is absolutely silly and, since you had such an audience, they had to commit to making you out to be the ass instead of them. I’ve got these stories too man…breaks your heart but, ultimately you know who and everyone around know who the real jackass is.

  4. yobdlog on Tuesday 25, 2008

    It’s all bizzaro. I did think calmly about this today to reflect on the particular reason I was most upset – and really it boils down to this:

    To protect and serve is the motto of the boys and gals in Blue. They did not protect me, or anyone else, nor did they serve the community by teaching me an ill timed lesson. Had I blatantly broke the law – then perhaps even then, I’d still balk at the process, but would really understand that I put myself or others in a situation with undue stress. In this instance the police officer that stopped me – had no reason to particularly single me out to prove any point for anyone other than having a bad night and perhaps getting back at a cyclist for whatever reason – I’m not an ass in general, but I certainly picked up on his vibe the moment he opened his mouth and it was not protective, or to serve the public in the least regard but it was on the offensive as I stood there clipped in and breathing heavily from exertion – what could I have possible done ‘in addition’ to a minor infraction displayed to warrant the ire of the boy in blue (he was brass too by the way not just a boy in blue) to demonstrate police force by having me sit in front of three squad cars and 4 police officers {NOTE: I mistyped in my post, it was only 4 coppers not 6 – two squad cars were single officer driven – I also turned ‘right’ onto Lincoln crossing through the pedestrian crosswalks at about 1-2mph creeping through around a light} to ‘prove a point’ that a cyclist must abide by the traffic laws.

    I don’t disagree with the law the way it is written – however – discretion in enforcement is ‘always’ in a coppers hands. To asses the threat to the public, to themselves, and to the own citizen committing the act. If the assessment led to what happened to me – then I could only suspect other motives as any threat by me was super imposed on a neighborhood that deservedly deserves better policing by way of cops that actually catch criminals and not sleep in parking lots in banks as I so usually see them on that same route to work every day. Perhaps I’ll document that and post up.

    They could’ve let me slide – given me a public lecture and perhaps even made a friend out of me – but that is just idealistically stupid thinking – they say they are doing their job, I disagree, they did not do their job last night. They could’ve had it easier and to say they made a statement, oh boy they sure did.

    Time to cash in on my free coffee from the Golden Apple – citizens who couldn’t understand the message being driven but only that I was clearly taken as public fodder for overzealous cops.

  5. yourduncle on Tuesday 25, 2008

    always, always, always,”yes sir”.”no sir”, “sorry sir”. “I did not mean to cause a problem, sir”. Submit and move on. You will never be right.