Using electrically-assisted bikes: lazy cheaters or healthy travellers?

D

Deleted member 4366

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One of our customers recently came into the shop in a highly indignant state. He rides an electric bike, and said he had just been stopped by the police and warned that smoking a fag as he rode could cause an accident. He was not impressed. I would say he is in his sixties.
Too true. A friend of mine was killed when a motorist chucked his lit cigarette end out the window . My friend was riding with his visor up and the cigarette end went straight in, burnt his face and caused him to crash into a lamp-post. They didn't find the driver, but the cigarette end was still wedged in the helmet.
 

Taff

Pedelecer
Mar 19, 2011
239
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Wrexham
I agree with your sentiments; however, if local statistics show that the majority of crimes are committed by black people, logic would suggest that it would be appropriate that the majority of people stopped should be black. Some neighbourhoods are almost entirely black, so I wouldn't expect an equal number of non-black people to be stopped there.

The main point is that when things don't look right, it makes sense to check.
Agreed! I had to type more letters here.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
52,872
30,417
Not really - I'd liken this to stopping a man for a search because he is black.
Sorry Alex, don't agree. Being black is not an unusual condition, riding an out-and-out drop handlebar road bike in normal street clothes is.

After all, reversing that last state, wouldn't it be very unusual to see this chap riding this bicycle dressed as he is? But that police officer wouldn't stop him if he did since it would not be an indicator of a possible offence, he'd probably think of it as eccentric.

I see nothing wrong in a police officer acting in response to the highly unusual when there is a clear possible connection to an offence being committed.
 

103Alex1

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 29, 2012
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Sorry Alex, don't agree. Being black is not an unusual condition
Perhaps not in the SE, flecc but I think you'll find that it's perceived as an inherently unusual "condition" in certain parts of the country still. I am sure those of advancing years know exactly what I'm driving at by drawing that analogy to a copper's reasoning for stopping someone. But let's drop this one as it's clear the whole thing is far too loaded to be sensibly discussed.

riding an out-and-out drop handlebar road bike in normal street clothes is.
... given that the majority of regular commuters ride road bikes (or that's my perception anyway) is seeing someone in jeans and a t-shirt on one really that unusual ? I see drop handlebar road bikes outside the supermarkets every time I go and none of those getting on them after shopping for their backpack full of .. a sandwich and a bar of something .. are in cycling shorts / jerseys. Especially the younger generation .. and especially in provincial towns. There's a big difference between a TT bike and a regular road bike.

After all, reversing that last state, wouldn't it be very unusual to see this chap riding this bicycle dressed as he is? *But that police officer wouldn't stop him if he did since it would not be an indicator of a possible offence, he'd probably think of it as eccentric. I see nothing wrong in a police officer acting in response to the highly unusual when there is a clear possible connection to an offence being committed.
... why one way round and not the other then ? I agree with the last sentence, but still disagree with the officer's reasoning for drawing his conclusion that there might be a possible connection to an offence in this instance.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
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still disagree with the officer's reasoning for drawing his conclusion that there might be a possible connection to an offence in this instance.
I see an analogy with detection here, which is part of a police officer's job. An officer sees a clue to a possible offence in a street clothed man riding a sport bike of a type that a lycra or at least partially cycling clad person would most often be seen riding. In the absence of a number plate, the only way he can discover if the possibility might become a probability or certainty is to ask the rider.

In my experience those riding out-and-out sport bikes usually make at least some concession to wearing cycling apparel. The difference between us amounts to whether the street clothed sports bike rider is unusual or not, but I don't think either of us can really judge any incongruity without seeing the bike and the clothing of the rider.

So ultimately I'm giving the officer the benefit of the doubt due to my not having the fullest information to make a personal judgement.
 

Marctwo

Pedelecer
Dec 1, 2012
182
1
Well, the analogy with the search of a black person seems to be implying that the police officer in this case was being negatively discriminatory. So the question is what was he discriminating against? White men with short hair wearing jeans?

Maybe he was discriminating against that rider juxtaposed on that bike.
 

ghouluk

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 11, 2013
329
11
heh, i think if i was wearing lycra the police would have just cause for stopping me as that is simply a crime against all humanity and a site no one should see.

when i was 17, i was given 31 document producers in a month - no crime, no probable cause other than i had a friend who worked in a pizza shop who i used to give a lift home to (which meant free pizza, and contributed signifficantly to my current status of crimes against lycra) and as such was often driving around late at night in a car full of young people. I got a written apology from God's cop (james anderton - remember him?) it was very annoying having to go to the police station once a week with my documents, especially as my car was stolen twice, and they never caught who did it.

Its anecdotal vs. statistics, but a little bit of discrimination against us (the white, unfit, non lycra wearing cyclists) doesn't really put me out that much, now if that was a campaign of serial harassment against me an individual, or my grouping as a minority, i might have a different view, and hence support this as more of a problem.

Maybe they could do what they used to do with seatbelts when they were optional, which is pull you over and have a chat with you about the benefits of wearing a helmet when they see a cyclist without a helmet - i bet not many self respecting bike thieves bring their own helmets, so this would be a double whammy (it'll be interesting to see how many 'i ride safer without a helmet, blah blah' replies this will get (as the MTB forums are full of them, and its a constant raging argument)

as an aside, if anybody is feeling serially harassed, you're welcome to come and live in my village - as we only have a policeman on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10am and noon, the rest of the time you should be fairly safe in your non lycra wearing states ;)
 

Croxden

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2013
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as we only have a policeman on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10am and noon,

Twice a week, you lucky thing you.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
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(it'll be interesting to see how many 'i ride safer without a helmet, blah blah' replies this will get (as the MTB forums are full of them, and its a constant raging argument)
It's no different in this site, this subject always a heated topic. In terms of numbers of views expressed, freedom of choice is always the overwhelming winner.
 

103Alex1

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 29, 2012
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it was very annoying having to go to the police station once a week with my documents, especially as my car was stolen twice, and they never caught who did it.
.... .... ........ ..... ... %^&$£ ... :)

Nah they were probably too busy trying to dream up crimes to pin on old ladies ... or regular guys riding their bikes in streetwear lol.

So ultimately I'm giving the officer the benefit of the doubt due to my not having the fullest information to make a personal judgement.
Ho very er sporting of you :). Looked like a perfectly normal guy from the photo. In terms of "detection" logic levels the analogy which springs to mind is that of Inspector Clouseau lol.
 
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jazper53

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 20, 2012
890
18
Brighton
.... .... ........ ..... ... %^&$£ ... :)

Nah they were probably too busy trying to dream up crimes to pin on old ladies ... or regular guys riding their bikes in streetwear lol.



.

The police in a effort to increase its detection rate have started blaming Badgers for a spate of garden thefts
So if anyone can identify the photo fit below, please contact Crimestoppers.

suspect.jpg
 

50 Hertz

Pedelecer
Mar 6, 2013
172
2
Nah they were probably too busy trying to dream up crimes to pin on old ladies ... or regular guys riding their bikes in streetwear lol.

Ho very er sporting of you :). Looked like a perfectly normal guy from the photo. In terms of "detection" logic levels the analogy which springs to mind is that of Inspector Clouseau lol.
EDIT:
Added after gohuluk' post

I get what you're saying but I deliberately used an inflammatory analogy to make the point that the PC's reasoning suggests (in fact reiterates) his view that it doesn't look right or normal for someone not to be wearing sport cycling clothing on a bicycle. The guy was wearing normal clothes and for that to be a reason to stop him as it doesn't look "normal" is just ridiculous. As ridiculous as some other prejudiced viewpoints which have sparked debate.

Stereotype pigeon-holing policing. If you don't slot in to what everyone else does or wears you must be guilty of something.

The concern is that the PC thinks it's odd in the first place and seriously expects people to take his viewpoint as credible grounds for suspicion. It surely calls his judgement into serious question. It's no surprise the crims run rings round them.

Would you care to provide us all with instances of where police officers have fabricated evidence against elderly females in order to secure convictions, and then it has been proven that they have done so?

I believe that the police often work on instinct. If something doesn't look quite right, and that may be based on a stereotype, a good copper will investigate. That, "investigation" may be very low level and be a simple good morning and an exchange of pleasantries. The other person may not even realise the copper was checking them out. At the other end of the spectrum, the officer may need to put them self in danger and forcibly detain someone so that their suspicions can be confirmed or negated. Then there is everything else in between.

People like you criticise the police when you perceive that they have failed to act, and then you criticise them again when they actively seek out wrong doing in order to protect people's property. What also comes across in your posts is the unpleasant stench of superiority. That you, in some way, occupy a higher intellectual plane and can see, with great clarity, all of the flaws within British policing.

Perhaps you could share with us precisely what does and what does not constitute grounds for the police to approach a person and investigate a suspicion. I can guarantee that your list of conditions will either be none existent or incomplete. The reason for this will be that it is impossible to list every circumstance. Much is based on gut instinct built up over years of dealing with every type of character known to mankind over a wide spectrum of circumstances. It's not a perfect system and it sometimes fails which results in an innocent person being inconvenienced to some extent. Other times, a criminal is caught and a person gets their property back. What's wrong with that?

You see, people like you are always wise after the event. They always know how it should have been done, when all of the facts are disclosed and they have had time to analyse all of the information in slow time. They then emerge from the shadows, pale, full of wisdom, and eager to display their intellectual prowess with a sneering, stomach churning superiority. It's simply awful to witness.

What would be more impressive would be if you were to share your knowledge of how it should be done. You could join the Special Constabulary, or volunteer police service as I believe it is called now, and demonstrate to the police where they have got it all wrong. Or, alternatively, you could continue to snipe from the sidelines and leave the dangerous stuff the the real women and men to get on with. I doubt that they will miss you, but they will always be there to put themselves in danger in order to help and protect you when you need it.
 
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ghouluk

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 11, 2013
329
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bit harsh tbh, there is a 'lol' at the end of each sentence, seems meant in a light hearted way as part of the conversation to me. I also haven't seen anyone blaming badgers, i think that might also have been a non serious remark ;)

too sunny for typing! time for pedalling!
 

ghouluk

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 11, 2013
329
11
I believe that the police often work on instinct. If something doesn't look quite right, and that may be based on a stereotype, a good copper will investigate.
Maybe i'm moving beyond the point of the discussion here (if so apologies) as i've already said in this case i don't see it as a problem - but its not right to investigate based on a stereotype, most of the police guidelines that i've seen clearly state this - thats how i got an apology of the chief constable of Manchester.

In this individual case I can agree with your points, if not the harshness of your comments, but what you've said appears to be justification for systematic harassment on the ground of a perceived stereotype.

I can appreciate that in the majority of cases its applied with intelligence with makes it OK, but for the minority that abuse, we need people to question and indeed police our police (and others in positions of power in our society) so a kind of blind faith "because we need them" doesn't really cut it.

Right really going out now - knew it was a bad idea to look at this again after coffee ;)
 

50 Hertz

Pedelecer
Mar 6, 2013
172
2
but its not right to investigate based on a stereotype, most of the police guidelines that i've seen clearly state this - thats how i got an apology of the chief constable of Manchester.

In this individual case I can agree with your points, if not the harshness of your comments, but what you've said appears to be justification for systematic harassment on the ground of a perceived stereotype.


Right really going out now - knew it was a bad idea to look at this again after coffee ;)
I agree. I was trying to keep the language simple and judging on stereotype is of course wrong, as you point out. It should be based on a combination of circumstances such as time of day, a persons behaviour, prevalence of a particular type of crime in the area etc.

Enjoy your ride. Gardening for me today I'm afraid.
 

jackhandy

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 20, 2012
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bit harsh tbh, there is a 'lol' at the end of each sentence, seems meant in a light hearted way as part of the conversation to me.
Putting lol at the end of an, often unsubstantiated, criticism is merely ducking behind the sandbags to avoid the flak.

IMHO, of course.
 
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103Alex1

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 29, 2012
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67
Good grief .... [ buries head in hands and decides to go out for a ride as sun finally coming out ] .... lol.