Miles riden today: 7 miles (26.4 so far this week)
Total Miles riden since Sept. 19, 2005: 588.4
(Mileage totals by bike: 523.6-New Schwinn Hybrid; 2.8-Old Schwinn; 8.0-Graziella Folding Bicycle; 57-Rental bicycle in Portland)
Another warm (and incredibly unseasonable) day. Kinda windy but otherwise, it was just downright lovely (I can’t believe I’m wearing shorts today on the bike)
Today’s ride took me from home to auto parts store at NW 23rd & Classen (took a scenic route, not really the most direct way to get there), to buy one of these little spot mirrors which I stuck on my bicycle side mirror (definitely an improvement… I don’t know why the bicycle mirror I bought has a flat mirror instead of a convex one… Without the added spot mirror, the mirror is practically useless.
After that I rolled southward on Western but the traffic was a little hairy so I cut through a parking lot. About this time the rent-a-cop said “Sir!” to me. I first planned to just keep riding but he said “Sir!” to me again, so I stopped because I thought maybe he wanted to tallk or needed something. He then proceeds to tell me that the owners of the parking lot have “declared this to be private property” and that they prefer for folks to ride on sidewalks for safety reasons.
I don’t why but for some reason this really irritated the tar out of me so I argued with him. I told him that I normally ride on the streets but when traffic is busy like it is now I will ride through the parking lots and your boss will just have to deal with it. (what I wanted to say was “safety reasons, my ***”) The guard interrupted and said that I can and should use the sidewalks, I told him that it is illegal to ride on the sidewalks (well truthfully that is a big maybe, but I think in that area you could make a good argument that one can’t safely ride on the sidewalks, and possibly also you can’t legally depending on how the cops would define a “business district” under the municipal ordinances) and that I would ride in the parking lot if I need to and I don’t really care what he says.
The guard then asked for my name, but I decided I had had enough of this conversation so I rode away. I probably took this way too seriously but I guess it really bothers to me to see a corporation control so much public space (this company claims as it’s own 2 blocks of parking lots! I’m sorry but that just isn’t right. No company should own two blocks of open space, or two blocks anywhere. I’m all for respecting private property rights of people, but companies aren’t people even if SCOTUS thinks otherwise). I also didn’t like the idea that this guard’s boss was so anti-bicycle (there’s no way that they question every car that drives through the parking lot) I did feel a tiny bit bad for the guard as I know it isn’t his fault for the company’s policies, but then again to quote a good movie, “saying that it’s your job doesn’t make it right.”
Well anyway after the confrontation with the rent-a-cop I rode on down to Homeland to get a few grocery items and then after that headed east and then south to the Downtown Library where I left my bike locked up for the evening.
The ride home after the bar class was pretty uneventful. Still pretty warm (low 50’s). The improved mirror does make night riding much less stressful (I don’t know why, but at night I’m always more nervous about cars seeing me… which really is goofy given the amount of lights and reflectors I have on my bike)