Prison Pete

Thursday, August 10, 2006
  Jackass in a Hurry.
You mentioned that while you were out riding your bike yesterday morning you were almost run off the road by some "jackass in a hurry."

But was it not you who was stopped by the police for speeding just the other day? One of the things I wanted to comment on about your speeding incident was that first I was happy that you managed to avoid getting a ticket.

But is it fair that you did not get the ticket and had I been stopped by that same officer doing the same speed and been on parole, not only would I have probably gotten a ticket but it could have very well landed me back in jail? This is because any interaction with law enforcement must be reported to your parole officer even if you did not get a ticket.

Now with computers in cop cars it would not take more than a minute to get my criminal history which would certainly not lend itself to getting a break. Again, I AM NOT SUGGESTING you should have gotten a ticket, but just pointing out the Frandomness of not only the application of law but life itself.

It is very possible that the jackass that you encountered on the road would have been more than able to pass any road test with flying colors. I am not sure that even the proposed five year driver certification testing would make any major difference in this case.

I am only reminded of my bike riding days back when I was in St. Anthony's and I would ride to school from our apartment on Dekalb Avenue in Brooklyn down to Fulton Street and through what was then the major shopping area with all the big name stores. It was basically a nice long downhill ride past Fort Greene, a nice park with no side streets on my right as I rode the one way street. I used to use a nice loud metal whistle to "blow" both jay walkers and errant cars out of my way.

As I recall the last few blocks before the eight-plus lanes of Flatbush Avenue were slightly uphill, but I would usually be able to hit the lights and make it across Flatbush.

The one constant was the old #26 bus which ran all the way down to school. This was the bus I rode when not biking. It was not unusual to have to jockey around the bus as it pulled over to make its stops every two or three blocks. And then good luck trying to get past a stopped bus before he closed his doors and would nose dive right back into the path I was taking!

Once I was pedaling up the hill to Flatbush when a taxi that had just discharged a passenger on the right side curb decided to make a left hand turn onto Flatbush. He did not quite make it. Actually it was I who did not quite make it. I went head first into the taxi's left hand passenger side door.

This was before the days of helmets, although I seem to remember I used to wear my trusty old red construction hat. As I recall I survived the crash but unfortunately my front wheel was mangled beyond repair.

The ride along Atlantic Avenue from 88th Street in Queens through Bed-Sty and then along Flatbush Avenue to Fulton Street was even more hair raising and I did that many a day too.
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