Getting pulled over by five police vehicles while riding our bikes

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I got a bunch of questions about my Strava pic from a ride I uploaded last week, so I figured I’d color in a bit more detail.

It would only be appropriate that while on a group ride with the Cycliq crew that we’d collectively manage to get pulled over by two police vehicles and three police motorcycles.  For those not familiar though with the company, Cycliq’s singular purpose in life is making front and rear facing bike cameras that double as full bike lights.  They’ve made a few generations of cameras now, and since they’re based in Perth, I figured I’d catch up with them last week.  Like virtually all meetings in the cycling industry, those meetings start on a bike.

The ride itself wasn’t technically Cycliq’s, but rather, a group ride from a nearby bike shop (Glen Parker Cycles). The Cycliq folks are regulars on that ride, and the route seemed appealing and scenic enough.  So I met them at the shop and we quickly got my bike outfitted with the Fly6 CE and Fly12 CE. These were announced back in the fall, and then started shipping a few months ago.  Sooner or later I’ll drop my review of them.

With them already fully charged and now attached to my bike, we headed on out.  The first 45-60 minutes of the ride was mostly on bike paths as we worked our way out of the center of Perth towards the mountains (err…hills).  It was pleasant, and the folks off the front were rather efficient at these paths and streets.  It wasn’t so much hard physically to keep up, but rather, just mentally trying to figure out which last second banking sharp turn past middle of the trail poles we’d take next.

Before I knew it though we had cleared the city and were starting our ascent up into the hills.  It was mostly quiet in terms of neighborhoods, with only a handful of houses on these streets and only a handful of streets before it was just the bush. Virtually no cars around this time of the morning.

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(Note: The Fly6 and Fly12 time wasn’t set, so they don’t 100% match. That’s normally done when you sync it to your phone, but I didn’t finish doing that before we headed out.)

Most of the time the group was riding two abreast, except on the far busier streets where it went single file.  But like most group rides, riding two abreast is safer because it shortens the length of the group by half – rather than this unwieldy long snake going down the road.  It also makes people more visible, and ultimately forces drivers to pass more safely.  All of this is well understood in cycling circles the world around.

So it was slightly odd that out of nowhere an unmarked police white SUV coming towards us parked his vehicle in the middle of the road, turned on his lights and siren, and communicated his apparent desire for us all to stop.  Our total group size was maybe 10-12 people at this point.  So stop we did. My front camera was initially tilted slightly down, apparently the thumb screw wasn’t as tight as I thought. I fixed it a few seconds later.

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At the time the one who had been on the front was none other than Cycliq’s CEO.  That’s important to remember, because when your entire company is based upon cycling safety products – it’s likely that you’ll know the laws applicable to those products fairly well.  Especially in your hometown.  And since he was on the front, he was the defacto person that the police officers wanted to talk to.

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The police officers wasted little time pulling into a nearby driveway and beginning to explain our wrongs:

Police Officer: “You’re meant to be single file where there’s two lanes in one direction.”

 

Cycliq: CEO “That’s not the law.”

 

Police Officer: “It is the law!” [Police goes to get ‘the law’ book out of backseat of vehicle]

 

Second officer interjects: “If it’s one lane each you can’t, if it’s double-lane each way you can, but it’s one lane each way it’s single line [for you].”

 

First Police officer: “Do you know what we did last week? We had a pursuit going down here, it’s dangerous. For your own protection…” [The conversation faded a bit as the direction turned back to the book]

At this point there was a bunch of chatter among the group and asking questions from the officers, who were probably starting to get an inkling that they were in the wrong.  The pursuit thing was thrown out as a ‘whataboutism’, which has no real bearing on the conversation at hand.

Still, they were set on arguing the point while trying to find it in their manuals.  Along the way, a few people let the officers know they were being recorded – as there were probably half a dozen Fly6 or Fly12 units along on the ride on various bikes.

But in meantime, backup police arrived. Three police motorcycles and another police car (the white SUV directly in front is the unmarked police vehicle that originally stopped in front of us).  I think we had half the police force from this town now surrounding our little peloton.

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The main police officer then started digging more deeply through his manual.  As did the nearest police motorcycle.  It was like an open book test session.

However, a few seconds after the police moto started digging through his book, he motioned for one of the officers to come over.

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Around that moment, you could probably tell that the police moto officer told the lead police officer something roughly akin to ‘no such law exists’ (the cameras mics didn’t pick up that conversation well).  As it didn’t take long until the officer went back to the main discussion and clearly aimed to wrap things up.

They offered to take the Cycliq CEO’s contact e-mail information, and e-mail him the applicable information a bit later.

And by and large the conversation was quite pleasant between everyone.  In fact, it was actually funny.  As an American, I thought the entire conversation was about as polite as ordering afternoon tea and crumpets. Whereas the Australians I was with thought the conversation seemed a bit edgy at best.  Sounds like they need to watch more American episodes of COPS to see what edgy conversations are really like! [Side note: Can you believe that show is still on TV?!?]

At this point the officers let us go and we headed out to continue our ride into the hills.

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We didn’t expect to ever hear back from the officers who had the e-mail address of the Cycliq fellow.  We expected that to be tossed in the trash can at the nearest opportunity.  No worries though, everyone here knew we were in the right, and everyone knew the law.  We figured the officers would soon realize they were wrong and we’d never hear from them again.

A few hours later the ride was wrapped up and onto the day’s worth of meetings I went.

But then, around 4:30PM we got a follow-up e-mail from one of the two police SUV officers, which sits within the Warwick Traffic Office, within the Western Australia police force. It was simply titled “Regulation 130 Road Traffic Code 2000”.

The e-mail wasn’t long, merely stating:

“Further to our discussion this morning in Swan View.

 

It would appear you are correct and my understanding of the regulation was mistaken.

 

I refer in particular to regulation 130 Road Traffic Code 2000 that allows for a rider to be alongside another, both dual and single lane.

 

My apologies for any confusion caused.

 

Kind regards,”

Well then, color us impressed. None of us ever expected them actually to respond.

In fact, after the ride and before the e-mail came in, I had done some digging using the power of the interwebs.  By typing in the highly secretive phrase of ‘Australia bicycle laws’, I found the second result was updated just a few days earlier – on the Western Australia’s Department of Transportation site [Note: Google is smart enough to know where I was physically, so that result ranks higher for me here than if I was searching from Arizona or Tokyo].

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Inside of that page was a link to a handy dandy PDF file, complete with tons of pretty diagrams covering every possible bicycling scenario that one might encounter in Western Australia.  On page 7, you’ll find this (highlighting mine):

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Regrettably, there were no pretty cartoons related to this ruling, but no worries, if you’ve made it this far in the post, I presume you’re capable of reading.  All of this being based on the original law cited by the officer in their e-mail, which was last amended in 2009.

Of course, this isn’t me picking on the Western Australian police force for believing alternate facts – hardly so. In fact, I’m giving them props for e-mailing back within hours saying they were wrong.  I’d bet the vast majority of people out there (police or otherwise) would never have bothered e-mailing back a stranger they were unlikely to ever meet again saying they screwed up.

Ultimately though, they just picked entirely the wrong group of cyclists to enforce an imaginary law on.  Nobody knows these laws better than the Cycliq folks. And while it might have made for an epic viral video if things turned out differently, everyone on both sides was calm and respectful.  Sometimes boring is good.

With that – thanks for reading, and oh – thanks to the whole group for the ride, some beautiful scenery up there!

2018-03-13 10.37.17 HDR

[Side note for Perth peeps, I’ll be joining the PCITP group tomorrow morning – Weds the 21st, at 6:00AM at the Bell Tower for their group ride around the river.  Looking forward to it…well, except the 6:00AM part.]

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86 Comments

  1. AndrewInHelsinki

    Kudos to the cop for appologising!

  2. Adam

    1000+ strava notifications…. lol.

  3. Andy

    Does ‘path’ refer to cycling paths and ‘road’ refer to motor vehicle roads? – “Riders must travel in single file on all paths, though they can travel two abreast on a road.”

    (Also minor typo @ “And by and large the conversation was *quiet* pleasant between everyone.”)

    • Nick

      Andy, by paths the mains roads website was referring to PSP aka principal shared paths, which are shared between cyclists and pedestrians. Perth does have a few kilometers of cycle only paths, but the great bulk is PSP. Including an 80km stretch from Perth to South Yunderup were you cross one street, the rest is underpasses and the last 60km is great for training. But you are not allowed to ride two abreast.

  4. Velt

    I’m not surprised the cops thought they were in the right. It’s a common misconception proliferated by angry Perth motorists I think.

  5. Jeff bennett

    Respect to the police for admittimg their mistake.! … however it is also really bad that they would try to enforce a law that doesnt exist based on their personal opinions only..! …. maybe the cyclists in your area will now get a fairer go from the local police.! ….. all is well then.!

  6. Crank

    I wonder if it would have been the same outcome if you were aborigines , no troll here but as someone looking like an aborigines I had multiple issues with the police force when I was staying in Sydney (maybe that was just bad luck of NSW)

  7. Jonathan Isles

    Nice story…hope it is picked up and promoted elsewhere. A few folks in other parts of Oz need to read the rules, and not take to shouting indiscriminately at cyclists for essentially keeping to the law and being respectful of other road users by being doubled up.

  8. gingerneil

    Awesome. If I were the CEO, I’d be emailing the mayor (or whoever the appropriate person is), to give significant positive feedback for the cop. Credit where it’s due…

  9. Dr. D.

    The short story is to have the confidence to stand your ground and be proven right.
    Sadly many would have agreed to the Officer and not argued their case.

    Good to hear that the officer was human enough to admit they got it wrong.

  10. Australia looks like a nice place, but their attitude to cycling needs some work.
    From what I heard this is also regional, but there are a lot of stories like this or worse out their.

    But they apology is pretty cool and nice to see.

  11. Tim

    Glad you enjoyed the ride with Glen Parker’s motley crew! I’ve ridden about 100,000km in and around Perth in the last 7 years, lots of it in pelotons two abreast, and NEVER been pulled over by the cops or heard of anyone else getting that treatment, until now. I am amazed that you found some that had the rules so wrong, and thought your group was worth talking to while on quiet roads. I’m not surprised that the conversation was polite and that they followed up – the cops here are very good in my experience and plenty of them ride themselves. Hope PCITP look after you tomorrow.

  12. Cop

    Never had any problem admitting it, when I was wrong. The real problem is, usualy ppl think they’re right when they’re not, then blame it on the law enforcment officers and think that they (the cops) got it all wrong. Then they get all social media about it, telling/showing a one-sided version, without any real knowledge of the matter. This usualy comes from lack of knowledge about laws and Police work/procedure (everyone else always knows best, though almost none went through police academy). But since there are so many laws a Police officer has to know, it can happen that sometimes a citiziens knows something specific a bit better then a Police officer, like in this case. So said officer here did the exact right thing buy looking it up and give a feedback. Wouldn’t have done it any different if I hadn’t been 100% sure. Also, having several more cops coming on place when there are 10-12 ppl is also standart procedure, if possible.

    BTW, in Switzerland single lane is the general rule. Only on bike paths, bike touring-paths (really have no idea how to translate this properly) and in groups of more than 10 ppl are two bikes abreast allowed (and always minding not to hinder traffic).

    Sorry for the rant… Nothing to do with you Ray. And also sorry for my bad english.

    • Torbjorn

      I live in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, and I believe you are somewhat incorrect regarding riding abreast here. According to this documentation (link to lausanne.ch & link to tcs.ch), cyclists are allowed to ride side-by-side in these situations (“as long as traffic is not hindered”):
      – When riding in groups of more than 10 people
      – When riding on marked cycle routes or secondary roads
      – When riding on bike paths
      – When riding in meeting areas

      The important difference from what you said is the second point, which says that cyclists can ride two abreast on secondary roads. Secondary roads are roads with white road signs (link to le-permis.ch). My experience is that many of the roads around the city and in the country side actually are such secondary roads, so there are in fact many roads in Switzerland on which cyclists can ride abreast.

    • Cop

      Art. 43 OCR (Ordonnance sur les règles de la circulation routière). C‘est bien défini la.

    • Cop

      Sorry, made a mistake, my last post got cut. Here the rest:

      Les conducteurs de cycles et de cyclomoteurs ne circuleront pas à côté d’autres cycles ou cyclomoteurs. A condition que cela ne gêne pas les autres usagers de la route, la circulation à deux de front est toutefois autorisée:

      a.
      lorsqu’ils roulent sous conduite en formation de plus de dix cycles ou cyclomoteurs;
      b.
      lorsque la circulation des cycles et des cyclomoteurs est dense;
      c.
      sur les pistes cyclables et sur les chemins de randonnée pour cyclistes indiqués par des signaux sur des routes secondaires;
      d.2
      dans les zones de rencontre.3

  13. Jason

    I’m surprised the Cycliq guys don’t have little laminated index cards with the laws on them printed that they could show to the police (or other cyclists as is sometimes needed) when the question arises. I’ve often though of printing something myself for the states I ride in just so I have something in writing when the debate inevitably happens.

    • Bikeman

      I used to carry a copy of the bike specific section of the New York State Vehicle Code in my saddle bag. Showed it once to a police officer and once to a motorist. It made no difference in either case. I don’t carry it anymore.
      Stand your ground sounds good but you have to let the situation dictate your response. There a number of things we can’t control and those have consequences.

    • RyanS

      I have thought about doing this, but I doubt it would make much difference. Generally cops think they’re in the right even when you cite specific statute (or conversely ask them to cite it); and if they get backed into a corner, they’ll try and use other arguments.

      In the USA if things go bad, you can generally ask for commanding officer who likely be a little more reasonable when it comes to specific laws that may help you. Of course the best scenario is to just be polite, reasonable, and sensible.

  14. Dean Tucker

    Superb narrative. And the fact that the local constabulary had the time to respond and be polite and courteous, and then follow up. It says a lot about their training.

    Your article and commentary says a lot about you and the team at Cyclq. I have been looking at the various lighting/camera option, and your reviews and commentary have helped my search. This helped seal the deal. Thanks.

  15. Murray

    I still thinks bikes should not be allowed on main roads at peak hours

  16. fiatlux

    This made me check my local laws (in Belgium).

    It looks like two bikes abreast are allowed unless:
    – this would prevent crossing oncoming traffic (sensible enough)
    – you’re being passed by a car outside of city limits (a bit less practical if you have to be constantly on the watch for cars coming from behind).

    An issue is that this is only applicable to roads and you’re not supposed to cycle on the road if there is a bicycle lane, even if it is very rarely adapted to road/racing bikes (bumps, holes…).

    On the other hand, if you cycle in a group of 15 or more, you can cycle on the road and two abreast at all times.

  17. George

    Don’t understand how you can play games (recreation) on the road.
    Can I play footbal on the road?

    • Crikey Cadel

      I hate it when bogans play on the road when they drive their bogan cars or motorbikes around for their bogan RECREATION. I think they should be subjected to random police checks. When they get pulled over, if they can’t prove they are driving to or from work, on the way to buy fuel, go to the shops to get their smokes or KFC, or somewhere else important, then they should have to hand over their keys. It’s just not fair that they take advantage of being kings of the roads. All road use should be purposeful . 🐊😂

    • Andy

      Motorists use the roadways for recreation all the time, why would you prohibit cyclists from doing so as well?

    • Nik

      As was explained in the article, the law explicitly allows bicycles to use the road, even 2 bikes side by side. That was the entire point of the article: the law states clearly that this is allowed.

      Is there a law that allows playing “footbal” on the road ? Please go ahead and find out, then report back to us.

    • RyanS

      You might be a bit of a fascist if you think people shouldn’t have equal access to public area for doing the same thing.

      The truth is the roadways are so bottlenecked because people believe they need to go for a drive for the most trivial of things. Need some sugar? Let’s drive 30 minutes just to get one pack of sugar at the grocery store. Thirsty? Let’s drive 15 minutes to the corner mart and get a drink. I want chicken tendies, let’s drive to McDonald’s. I read a research article several months back that if people planned and actively tried making minimal car trips, and stopped “single purpose” car trips (excluding commuting to work), traffic numbers could drop by over 1/3.

    • Andrew

      It’s embarrassing that some of the people paid to enforce road safety in this country don’t actually know the road rules? I recently had an irate motorist like George yell out the usual “single file, pay rego” mantra which made me realise he/she didn’t know the road rules either.

  18. Brian

    Further proof Australia is better. My last trip there, the security guy offered to hold a ladies coffee while she put some things in the bag scanner. He looked at me and said “I bet they don’t do that in the states, do they?”. No, no they don’t….

  19. Augsburg

    My wife has always been very interested in her bike computer’s data (Polar V650), but only mildly interested in my video collection (Sony HDR-AS200 Action Cam). However, after one too many conflicts with cars on the road, she got a Fly12. She first got the previous Fly12, but then the CE was announced and she was able to return it and order the CE when it became available.

    She loves the Fly12 CE. Then, after a school bus driver tried to “right hook” her at a traffic light, she found she needed better all-around coverage and ordered the Fly6 CE.

    My wife loves the Cycliq cams. She now slings lingo like “footage” when she gets back from a ride. As in, I am going to review my “footage”!

    As the installer, I’d say the Cycliq gang needs to work on their mounting systems a little more (for bikes other than race-ready road bikes), I was able to get the camera mounts located front and rear on her workhorse Dutch city bike (Workcycles Secret Service) and her “urban assault” bike (Salsa Fargo). This meant overcoming brake and shifter cables on the handlebars, short seat posts (on a woman-sized bike), seat bags, suspension seat posts, high rear racks, etc.

    That said, the CE versions are much improved and Cycliq customer support has been very good (e.g. firmware updates).

  20. Alex

    Awesome result, welcome to Perth dude! Never thought you would come to our humble little City, thanks for all your reviews and I use them to inform many of my purchases. Fenix 5 was a recent one. Enjoy your stay!

  21. ManilaRaf

    “It happened. It’s on Strava”

  22. Jason

    Ah mate, I would have paid money to see Singo in that situation.

    I speak from experience, Perth isn’t a bad culture shock for a Seppo ;)

  23. John

    Is reddit down?

  24. MartinR

    Respect! ;)

  25. Jordan

    Here in Michigan I was cut off in a traffic circle by an aggressive driver who then brake checked me, causing me to impact his car and end up on the ground. Four County Sheriff’s Deputies showed up, the first set was not nice and antagonistic to, both directly to me, and our group of riders in general, and a second set who were much nicer. Though the second set was dealing with me, they said citations were up to the first set to arrive.

    Even though I had been following all traffic laws, and had witnesses from other vehicles who were passed by this aggressive driver (with his 3 year old grandchild in the car!), the first set of deputies claimed they were passing my information on to the District Attorney. I sure never did get an apology phone call from that deputy. Of course, no citation was ever issued against me.

    Sadly, we don’t require front vehicle license plates, so a rear facing camera wouldn’t necessarily help here as much.

    • RyanS

      Your last paragraph is a very good point. I have the same dilemma: No front license plates on cars in my state. Even if I have cameras front and rear, I will never get a license plate number if I get hit from behind, because there’s no front plate, and me and my bike will be airborne by that point.

  26. Sam

    I think cars shouldn’t be allowed on main roads during peak hours. Seriously, that’s the exact time there isn’t enough space for them. Only the space-efficient modes; buses, trams and bikes, should be allowed at peak hour.

  27. SkepticCyclist

    Of course they let you go. They had no legal justification to do anything other than argue what they incorrectly perceive is the safest cycling practice.

  28. RyanS

    What surprises me the most is that police continually harass avid/experienced cyclists. I mean, it’s pretty easy to tell someone suited up in a cycling kit from an elderly lady on a Sunday bike ride for coffee. Generally, police will prey on the ignorant and use intimidation tactics. But of all people to know the law, someone who rides their bike several times a week, and actively puts their life at risk, probably knows the law pretty well. So why do police continue targeting avid cyclists? I cannot answer this question. Surely it must be outside forces… politicians, public eye, etc.

  29. DLinLV

    Good the police recognized the error and communicated it.

    I have been stopped enough to know that its easier to let the cop think he is right (whether or not he is) and let happen what he plans to have happen. Confronting police is never a good idea, regardless if he is wrong. That is what courts are for if you get a ticket. Police are not the judge, and they are not always right.

    Best to just “yeah, sorry bout that, wont happen again” and politely walk yourself out of a ticket and ride on down the road. But what do I know…I got a ticket for no light on my bike when I was 12 years old because of my smart ass mouth. True.

    DL

  30. RayG

    An apology from the police! You must be Very Important.

  31. Stuart

    There’s a lot of misunderstanding of the laws around cycling in the general Australian population, and some of that has permeated into the police, unfortunately. Credit to this officer for taking the time to check and admit that he was wrong.

  32. James

    While it’s good the officer acknowledged his error that hardly makes up for getting pulled over in the first place, let alone by a horde of police. That incident would take me along time to recover from. If the officer were indeed concerned for the safety of the cyclists he could have just explained the dangers instead of been the typical bully motorist. All the officers definitely deserve a complaint filed against them for their aggressive over reaction.

    • Andrew M

      James,

      It seems to me that the police involved were corteous, checked their knowledge of the road law against the manual, and apologized afterwards – in short, while their initial knowledge of the law may have been lacking, all their ACTIONS were quite correct, and in the case of apologizing, above and beyond.

      But if you still think that all of the police involved deserve a complaint being filed against them, you go right ahead. It would of course then be karma for you to experience a very slow response from police the one time in your life you really need them – and perhaps charged with an offence when your knowledge of the finer details of the law was lacking.

    • James

      I don’t think it’s sufficient to just characterizing the officer as having a lack of knowledge. This implies he just innocently pulled a whole group of people over because his check-list of laws indicated there was a violation. It’s readily apparent to any observer that cyclists are not the source of danger on the road, and rolling along two-abreast or single file is makes no difference in that. Quite the contrary as Ray wrote, for cyclists it is always safer to ride fully in the road for clear visibility.
      So what would trigger an officers to react like this? His version of the law would not make it safer for cyclists. It doesn’t take much thought to recognize that. And his story about high speed chases just means it’s all that more important for cyclists to be visible (notwithstanding sirens).
      That leaves the real motivation behind the two-abreast rules, which is to bully cyclists out of the way of drivers…at the expense of cyclists safety. And this officer certainly comes across as viewing it with that purpose. Then add on all the intimidation antics of having a large group of police officers descend on a group of cyclists, and keep them from leaving while the officers try to straighten themselves out. Who wouldn’t be shaken by such an encounter? The officer could have simply pulled over when he saw the cyclists and checked his book, or with a colleague before approaching the riders. Knifing one’s car across the road does not indicate a concern for others but a contempt for them, thereby warranting a complaint.

    • Tim Parker

      Please don’t try and turn this into a Michael Bay movie James. This isn’t road.cc …..

  33. David

    Thanks for posting this. If nothing I’ve also managed to brush up on the current laws for cyclists.
    I’m impressed with your group’s handling of the situation and also think the coppers at least did the right thing and made themselves aware of the laws they’re meant to enforce.
    Road cyclists in Perth are not exactly flavor of the decade right now for reasons that really elude me. We’re supposed to be moving to a ‘Greener’ way of doing things transport-wise and it seems every motorist in the country doesn’t want bikes to be a part of the solution – go figure!
    Thanks for posting.

  34. Veloaficionado

    IME, about 80% of Australian police, in all states, are calm, professional and polite. Maybe 5% leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. Glad you struck some of the 80%.

  35. Kat Buckley

    Good to see the police responded. Seems to me they are trying to remain impartial, which has made my jaw drop! A small step in the right direction for all road users. Thanks for posting. Cheers Kat

  36. Yes, our cops are awesome. Not jumpy and trigger happy like those in the US. Thank gos (and John Howard) for our gun laws.

  37. Michael Coyne

    Wow. I was expecting that email to be an after-the-fact ticket or the like. Color me very impressed! I don’t know if that cop will ever read this comment praising such behavior, but then he probably didn’t expect to ever see the people on the other side of that email again either, like you said. So here’s my comment!

    Well done everybody, keep being wonderful people :)

  38. Eric N

    Hi Ray

    A great story with a great ending.

    Living in Perth does mean that you do get more than your fair share of drivers dealing out unwanted attention to cyclists. This is where the WA police are fantastic as they really are serious about the safety of all road users including cyclists. They absolutely love it when you “report a hoon” (bad driver in non-Ozzie English) on their website and even more so when you give them some video for the report. That’s where the Fly6 and Fly12 have really been so good. The Cycliq guys have a great product and are great people. No wonder the conversation went smoothly and the follow up from the SUV driver is just another endorsement of the boys in blue.

  39. Kook

    Always nice to hear about interactions between LE and public that are positive and respectful of both parties…we’re all human and most often just trying to do the right thing on both sides.

    In defense to the LEO who initiated the stop, he probably sees all the horrific catastrophes on that stretch of highway and a two-abreast peloton surely looked like a dangerous affair that he needed to address, only to realize when looking up the law that it was legal….as I’m sure he read with a wince, knowing all the crazy drivers in the area spending more time on their phones than paying attention to who they’re about to share the road with…sure hope it’s safer to roadie in Perth than some areas where I live.

  40. Ben

    Great post from the Cycliq team. The new products; Fly6 CE & Fly12 CE are killer products!

  41. Sean Ormerod

    I think it’s safe to say any cyclist would be amazed with how this story went!
    That being said the Police really stepped up in their email, Australia I have read many scary stories but this shows you are indeed very lucky in a lot more then weather!

  42. This is really nice and informative, thanks for sharing it

  43. ben triefus

    we recently tried to protest the mandatory helmet laws that have restricted public cycling for a couple of decades here in Sydney, NSW cops fielded 7 patrol cars to enforce a bunch of perhaps 40 people.. talk about misappropriating public money for jackboot diplomacy. The ride was duly oppressed and two unfortunates were charged for riding without a helmet in a public park

    • Cop

      7 Patrol cars means usualy no more then 14 police officers. You were 40. So where is this “misappropriating”? Ask yourself how a cop feels, being 14 against 40. Sure, you can say you all remained calm ecc. But a cop never knows how ppl will react. I’ve myself experienced many times over that seemingly calm and nice ppl were capable of attacking cops, often without any indication beforehand.

      Anyway, didn’t know that the helmet is mandatory for bikes in Sydney (all Australia?). I don’t think such a law could realisticly happen here. Though with all the accidents I’ve seen, I would argue that it’s not such a bad idea.

  44. When the police let you go, did you carry on the ride single or double file?

  45. Props to the australian police.

    Had a totally different experience here in Austria (maybe because the AL is missing). Was riding (guiding) with a group of journalists for the upcoming UCI Road Cycling World Championships 2018 here in Tyrol, and on half way from the Elite Man races start to Innsbruck the police on a red traffic light stopped next to us. They were telling us in a very unpolite way, that its not allowed to ride next to each other, we were about 20 peoples – journalists around whole of europe and some people from the tourism association, who
    advertise/sponsor this. He was such an dick, and more important totally wrong, that i was nearly up to ask about his police number, and he will get a call from higher positions… but I didn´t. In Austria – when you are in training – its allowed to ride next to each other in groups >1 ;-) For safety its the best you can do, i got hit 5 times by cars already. In Germany next to me its totally different, you really have to be a group (15+)
    I was in Teneriffa at the beginning of march and I am quite often for cycling in Italy… well these countries have a heart (and some brainmass) for cyclists, or know what could happen, when 2 tons of metal hit a body…

    To my person: owned a licence as a Mountainbike Elite Rider, and a Mountainbike Guide, both issued by the austrian cycling federation (called ÖRV), and was riding the UCI Marathon World Championchips in our nationalteam in 2016.

  46. David in Perth

    An unmarked car stopping is outside of their duties for routine marked traffic police work, evidenced by the actual traffic police schooling them on it. Officer has been acting this aggressively when 10 years wrong?
    No matter, skip to the cyclist victim blame for being vulberable to the high speed pursuit of criminals in other motor vehicles… lost perspective.

    This event with the notable celebrity is very rare, it was polite and innocuous in the end, but a huge dose of discretion and not feeding off media trash could go a long way for Police to avoid it. It’s a pretty thankless job, so I guess we can be kind by consolation.

    Good ride report and elaboration DCR.

  47. Benedikt

    Because you ride here in Germany sometimes:

    You have to stay behind each other. Exemptions are only possible if you don’t interfere with the rest of the traffic or if you are in a closed group of at least 15 People (pelotons).
    If you want to overtake, it is allowed but you have to hurry up. Not like it is with two trucks on the autobahn taking 5 Minutes because both are going full speed at 94km/h.

    • Mark

      Kudos to the policy for admitting they erred and helping the community by sharing their findings!

      I for one would try to compromise, despite being right, to cut such an experience short. For example, acknowledge the concerns of the police and offer to leave the village asap, or cycle closer, or in one file for a while. Or lift them up by asking for a police to drive behind the peloton because it were so dangerous here, for the next clicks or so.

      Little known fact for our German crowd:

      You don’t need to cycle on the very right side of a street anymore. It’s “cycle rightmost” now. This includes a safety-margin of 0.7 to 1.0m, depending on what is on the right side, and especially so if cars park on said side. If you have an accident and didn’t observe that safety-margin, then you will have to cover all or part of the damages! This even applies to country roads where wind and drag could push you.

      Furthermore, you are not allowed to ride on the sidewalk (or any left side!) unless permitted, like by a blue sign. Absent one you have to share the street with any cars.

      Always report anyone honking and urging you to the police (at no cost to you), better yet include a recording. It’s “Nötigung” and will be punished. If you let it slip the DA will never learn about the “Böswilligkeit” of the driver and the driver will keep endangering cyclists.

  48. Adrian Fahey

    That’s what all cops should be like. I am a kiwi living in the States and I am often frustrated and disappointed at the hard-line tactics used by the police here, often unnecessarily.

  49. Douglas Smith

    I wish that all the police in the US especially where I live was a easy to work with as you were with as these police did.

  50. Jeffrey B Shultz

    Kudos to the officer(s) for finding and refreshing the regs for their understanding (as it will help all concerned going forward). And KUDOS and HUZZAYS for what was truly an apology. That would be considered a big deal in the Balt./DC area if an officer took to time to do that and admit his mistake.

    RideOn!

    tG

  51. trevor

    Lucky they didn’t know the rules otherwise you may have been pinged for not having a bell on your bikes

  52. Shaun

    a lot better than my brush (literally) with a Honolulu plain cloths cop on Monday – two of us single file and he is the only vehicle on the road, passes us from behind so close he is within two inches of me, i swear just after he goes past, he slams jams his vehicle to the right while and slams on brakes to stop us continuing the ride – opens his window, takes out his ear phones and very aggressively demands to know who swore at him. My ride partner said no one swore at him (which technically i didn’t i swore in general) and how could he hear with the window up and head phones in….his response was “i hear things” and “i’m a police sargent brah” with a final “you better not swear at me” with chest puffed out….before storming off and turning into what appeared to be the local armoury – it took all my self control not to escalate the issue …just in case he pulled a gun. I guess i should pull the trigger on the cirliq products!!!!! and spend my tourist dollars somewhere else!!!!

  53. Sci

    Looking forward to your review of the latest from cycliq. Their products for bikes (and similar ones for cars by other companies) make so much sense. I’ve been holding off until I know if I’ll be commuting by bike again once we move this summer. If I’m not commuting, then I’ll basically only ride Zwift, Trainerroad and MTB on trails … so no real need.

    • Duncan Tindall

      Yes, also eagerly waiting for the review. Been checking the website and re-reading the review of the last versions for a while now in a perfect demonstration of fence sitting.

      As well as the technical review of the system I’m wondering what I’ll do with the film I record. I mean clearly someone smashes into me and drives off then that’s great evidence. But I’m wondering if armed with video just how much time I’ll spend reporting drivers. Honestly most days someone breaks the rules and endangers me, but I don’t want to turn my daily commute into a cause of stress.

  54. Megan

    ACAB
    Police states, even polite ones, are horrific.
    It seems from these pics that there were no people of color, or other marginalized groups that have a very real right to feel fearful of mishandled situations and true disregard for justice by authorities in many countries. An email reply is usually insufficient when real human rights have been violated.
    I appreciate you sharing this, but… If this happened to my ride, under no circumstances would I allow such a blatant show of force to remain little more than a Strava pic (I am a white woman so have more privilege of publicly resisting). Let’s all work towards a more just world and demand accountability for abuse of power, even small incidents, whenever we are able.

    • Megan-

      When you use acronyms such as the one you started your comment with, you marginalize and value your comment might have had otherwise.

      Further, when you use terms like ‘human rights have been violated’ for an officer briefly stopping us to chat, you marginalize those real life stories of the groups you identified in your comment.

      Accountability goes both ways, and in this case the officer held themselves accountable for their mistake without any prompting. Anything else distracts the community from coming together, unless of course, as your initial acronym implies, you don’t really want that.

    • Megan

      Sorry you misconstrued my reference – I did not mean that this incident you experienced was on par with the very real violation of human rights by police that only sometimes find their way into the media.
      I meant that it is not helpful to make it seem ok for such a lengthy stop and heavy show of personnel against such a small if even possible infraction to seem “normal.” That is not ok, it is not normal, and it is not ok for police to abuse power. Their job is hard and challenging, but it is their job to act fully withIN their powers and not intimidate, harass, or overreact. If you stopped in a coffee shop and the barista made you a decent cup of coffee, would you applaud them for it? Say that they were so polite? Or if you were accidentally overcharged, to not follow up with you about that mistake? No, because as a society we expect people to do their job properly. Especially ones that can very easily take away your rights.
      However you’re from DC, do you not even have a little Dischord?

  55. Joseph

    What a contrast to US law enforcement officers who seem to travel about with the proverbial enormous chip on their shoulders that so frequently impedes common sense. If that scenario had played out on the streets of our U.S. of A., the officer would have (as they did to me) issue some BS citation just to waste your time contesting the alleged offense, ultimately culminating in the officer’s failure to appear in court and the judge dismissing the case.

    Thanks for sharing. :-)

  56. This really had me laughing. I’m impressed that they had the humility to email you an apology. I mostly bike solo, but this inspired me to look up my local rules and be more informed. Thanks!

  57. Kevin

    It would have been funny if they actually pulled out crumpets and a kettle for cups of tea!

  58. Peter Andersson

    A simple but preventive idea for future events like this would be for the organizer to simply mail the local police athletics organisation beforehand and invite a cop or two to come along for the ride!

    They’re usually as interrested in new tech as anyone – and might even offer their own unique perspectives/ideas for new product features. Win-Win!