Thursday, January 20, 2005

Let down by the police

I was driving home last night minding my own business - it may even have been that I was singing along to the radio now that I'm a karaoke superstar, well you've got to keep your eye in haven't you? - when out of a side street shot a lad on a bike, he was going so fast down the hill and round the corner that he almost lost control. Had he lost control he would have veered straight into my path - either still on the bike or on his arse. I made to swerve although he'd righted himself before I got to him. Note to self: try harder to maim cyclists in future.

As he did his best to imply that it was my fault with his sign language I noticed that he didn't have any lights on his bike and it made him extremely difficult to see in the gloom. I would have struggled if I really wanted to hit him. Not that having lights on his bike would have saved him from my tyres going over him - unless they were clever life saving, car defying bike lights.

But it reminded me of the time I had a run in with the law over no lights on my bike. I seem to have some history with them.

I was riding home on my trusty BMX from my friends house - I would have been about 14 at the time. It was a bit dark, and cold I remember as I whizzed down the hill getting speed up for the up slope. A police car passed me, quickly stopped and signalled for me to stop - I was lucky that he'd obviously fought all the serious crime that he needed to that day and had time to give me the time of day.

He got out of the car and gave me a lecture on not having lights on my bike, he then knelt down to what I thought was inspect it. He wasn't inspecting.

He felt around the tyre and got hold of the tyre valve

"What's this?" he said in the way that parents ask you questions when they know what the answer is. I was less sarcastic and had no cyncism at all in me at the time and was definitely fully respectful of the nations 3rd favourite emergency service, I might have a few more choice replies given the same situation now, although I don't think I'd fit on my BMX anymore even if I did know where it was.

"The tyre valve" I replied.

"What would happen if I did this?" he said as he put his fingernail in the valve and proceeded to let all the air down in my front tyre

"Don't let me catch you without lights on your bike again" he said as he got back into his car and drove off leaving me to push the bike the rest of the way home.