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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Arlington, VA
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    Arrested in Texas for riding on the road

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    http://let-him-ride.com/

    This guy has been jailed twice for riding his bicycle in Ennis, TX.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
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    5,639
    note to self:

    I don't want to move to Texas
    I like Bikes - Mimi
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
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    161
    Wow, that was quite a read. I can't believe the prosecutors/courts/police are actually spending any time on this. Good on him for fighting it.

    That said.. the pictures of the road in question do depict a very wide shoulder. Why wouldn't he ride it where it is practical to do so? I ride in the shoulder when one is available. It makes a more pleasant ride all round - I can ride unimpeded, motorists can drive unimpeded.. what's the hassle? If the shoulder runs out, I just do a shoulder check and merge into the traffic lane. The motorists can just be patient and/or overtake me safely. When a shoulder becomes available again, I ride in it.

    I note that he mentions that this particular shoulder contains an unsafe road surface, or that parts of it are unsafe. I accept that. But he surely knows by now which parts of the shoulder are rideable and which are not?

    My comments should not be interpreted to mean that I think he was in the wrong. I do not believe he was. I also support his right to claim a lane if he needs to do so.

    Max

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
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    13,645
    Apparently LAB doesn't have a legal defense fund? Nor is there any statewide or local advocacy organization that does?

    Max, from the story, the shoulder isn't consistent. There's nothing more dangerous than weaving in and out of traffic. If traffic's backed up behind you, sure, pull over and wave them on, but then re-take the lane as soon as the line clears.
    Trying to live every day as though it were my first

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
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    161
    Oakleaf, I'm not advocating weaving in and out of traffic. I concede that not all of the shoulder is rideable. But if part of the shoulder is rideable, why not use it?

    Out of interest, it looks like he was found guilty in at least one of the trials. This is a very disappointing outcome. I believe he's appealing it, and that another trial is still to be commenced. Hopefully they will see things in his favour.

    Max

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
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    5,310
    This is not a statewide problem, looks like a police department with an agenda. The problem in Texas is a lot of close minded people not wanting to see other's lifestyle as acceptable. I am a native Texan but lost a lot of my love for the attitude of people that their way is the only way. In Texas roads can be made illegal to cyclist and several in Austin are although they are highways. I do question what road he was riding, it seems to be highway. Were there alternate routes? Highways do go down to low speeds in towns here but they still are heavily traveled by passing through traffic. He should not be jailed though, this police department must be getting complaints from someone with a lot of pull or money.
    Amanda

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    10,561
    We were almost arrested for riding on the road in South Carolina...
    Granted, it was in Hilton Head, but when I looked up the statute, it clearly said that cyclists need to be off the road and on a path if there is one.
    Sure, along with the 2 year olds and the tourists on beach cruisers.
    But we obeyed and didn't ride the road bikes anymore, except for bringing our mountain bikes into an approved trail area.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Looking at all the love there that's sleeping
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    4,172
    Quote Originally Posted by Aggie_Ama View Post
    This is not a statewide problem, looks like a police department with an agenda. The problem in Texas is a lot of close minded people not wanting to see other's lifestyle as acceptable. I am a native Texan but lost a lot of my love for the attitude of people that their way is the only way. In Texas roads can be made illegal to cyclist and several in Austin are although they are highways. I do question what road he was riding, it seems to be highway. Were there alternate routes? Highways do go down to low speeds in towns here but they still are heavily traveled by passing through traffic. He should not be jailed though, this police department must be getting complaints from someone with a lot of pull or money.
    Bikes are generally prohibited on limited access highways - like the interstates.
    I'm not familiar with Texas law, but if that road's not limited access, unless State law prohibits it, he should be able to ride it, particularly in an area with a 30 mph speed limit (unless it's signed specifically prohibiting bikes, which I'd have to wonder..."why?"). Does the County P.D. have jurisdiction on that particular road which is labeled a US highway?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
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    5,310
    I am not sure how the county jurisdiction works, I believe in Texas they keep much of the power at the local level but I would have to really look into that. My knowledge is going off the state and local government test I took for college credit 10 years ago. I know of one farm to market road locally that recently outlawed bikes, I believe they felt it was too dangerous given the road and the urban sprawl engulfing the city. We also have a toll road they made it illegal, the toll road is part of US 183 but other parts of 183 it is legal to ride, in those parts it is not a freeway but more like what Hwy 287 looks like. I still believe it is a police department with someone complaining that likely has a lot of pull or money. Seems like a waste of time and money to be locking this guy up not to mention the court costs.
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    493
    We used to take regular trips to Texas when I was growing up. I haven't been there in awhile but back when we did go there were "Drive Friendly" signs all over the place. We used mostly State highways and in the two-lane sections with wide, well-maintained shoulders, drivers would almost always scoot over onto the shoulder to allow faster traffic to pass. I don't know if that's as common now but if it is, bicycling on those shoulders would sound like a bad idea to me. Great for cars, bad for bikes.

    If it's still legal to drive a car on the shoulder in Texas (I think in Kansas you can only use the shoulder for emergency stops, etc. - they're not usually maintained for use at highway speed), then maybe bikes aren't supposed to be there. But going to jail for it? Sounds like there's something more to that story - one way or another.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    8
    I don't live too far from Ennis. I don't get on highway 287 except to cross it to get to another back country road. I've seen way too many drivers weave on and off the shoulder to want to risk my life. I've seen 18 wheelers run through red lights with out bothering to even pretend to put on their brakes. I like living. :O))

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    8

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Middle of nowhere Texas
    Posts
    42
    Yikes,
    I plan on moving to Greenville, hope this isn't a Statewide prob! I was told by a local cyclist that H.Head isn't a good area for riding. Figure Greenville should be, G. Hincape is there, right?
    Livin' for summer...

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    1,565
    Yeah, I've crossed 287, but never ridden ON it. Ennis is about 20 miles or so south of me and was driving there several times a week when daddy was in rehab.

    Very country, lots of pickup trucks, and bubbas. 287 is a state hwy so it may be illegal to ride on it. I'm really not sure.

    spazz
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Walla Walla, WA
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    5,411
    Quote Originally Posted by wawaski View Post
    Yikes,
    I plan on moving to Greenville, hope this isn't a Statewide prob! I was told by a local cyclist that H.Head isn't a good area for riding. Figure Greenville should be, G. Hincape is there, right?
    Sorry to disappoint, but I'm assuming you mean Greenville, Texas (I had to look it up as I'd never heard of it). Hincapie is in Greenville, South Carolina!
    Emily

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