Tuesday August 13, 2013
I am enjoying a ride through Richland Hills (a suburb of Ft. Worth Texas) going south on Hwy 183 at around 3:30 pm. It is sunny, there is a mild south wind and traffic is mild and calm. There is a 45 MPH posted speed limit.
This is my first experience on this road, and I like it. A four lane with a median and nice 11 foot bicycle/automobile lanes. I am driving in my classic Mike Beck Disapproved lane position- Yes, I am in the left tire track! (GASP!) I am wearing long sleeves, long pants and no helmet.
At the sound of the electronic klaxon I do a shoulder check to see flashing red lights. I am being pulled over by one of Richland Hills finest.
I stop, and discover I am quite nervous. I work at calming myself. I remind myself to keep my mouth shut as much as possible. "Don't argue," I tell myself, "and don't make statements, try to couch everything as a question..."
The officer gets out and walks up to me and says; "Traffic was piling up behind you; You can't be blocking traffic that way."
"Was traffic having trouble passing me in the next lane?" I ask. My jitters are going away and I am returning to a calmer state.
"Well, a bunch of cars almost swerved into you back there."
"Am I to be held responsible for the actions of others?" I speak in an even tone. He seems surprised at my question.
"Well, I'm concerned about your safety."
"I doubt that." I say in a disgusted tone. (I couldn't help myself.) He gives me a funny look.
"You from around here?"
"Do you have ID?"
"Can I see it?"
I reluctantly hand it over.
"Wait here, I'll be right back."
He retreats back to his patrol SUV to discover that there are no warrants out for my arrest.
After a short while he returns and says; "I have taken down your information just in case you get hit down the road." Handing me my ID he says; "You are free to go, but it would be safer if you used the shoulder."
"Actually it wouldn't." I say.
"I am not here to argue with you. You obviously dislike cops, and I just don't want you to be hurt."
This time I manage to keep my mouth shut. But it was hard.
I put away my ID, wait for a gap in traffic and proceed on my way.
Where the West Begins
2 weeks ago