With the recent time change, cycling at night becomes the norm. Indoor trainers are an absolute drag, so layers are added to the cycling kit to spend time spinning on the empty bike path and nearby roads. Lights on for safety, since it’s the law here in Ohio.
While spinning in nearby Indian Hill, I noticed a car is tailing me, and not passing when available. I’ve had cars do this before, at night and also in the day, and usually they are just old folks nervous to pass a scary cyclist. After a few uncomfortable minutes, the car is still there. Now, I start to motion them that it is safe to pass.
I motion again.
Starting to feel a little irritated, I turn while riding, and angrily motion for them to pass. Once again, no response from the car. I motion again, with likely a very disgusted/confused look on my face, and still… nothing.
At this point, I give up, and pull my bike over. Immediately the headlights do as well and then:
Crapper. What did I do now. Did I roll through the stop sign? No, I made a perfect track stand stop, with a signal thrown in to boot. That can’t be it. Speeding? I would highly doubt it. After a few minutes standing in the bright flashing lights, the officer is still hanging out in his Indian Hill Chevy Tahoe. I lay my bike down, and walk back to the passenger window.
“Hi sir, is there a problem?” Is my simple query.
“Buddy, walk back to the front of the car please.”
I realize that walking to the cruiser might not have been the best idea. I walk back to my bike and wait a few more minutes.
After waiting again, the officer gets out of the SUV and proceeds to explain to me that I am riding illegally, that I have no taillight. I am invisible. He can see my headlight, and it is awesome, but I have no taillight. I point out my taillight, explain that it was on, but I am told that I am invisible.
“Sir, doesn’t Ohio state law require that I have a light, front and rear?”
“Yes, that is correct.”
“So, by Ohio law I am legal then, correct?”
“Well, the law also requires that your rear light must be seen from a certain distance away.” The officer responds.
“Can you tell me what that distance is?” I’ve never heard of this.
“No. I’m not sure what it is.” Umm… okay.
“Look, I’m not going to write you a ticket, or anything stupid like that. I couldn’t see you. People drive like idiots on this road, so I want to make sure you don’t get hit by a car.” I can appreciate that.
After a few more minutes conversing about the increase in traffic for the evening (football game) and my clothing choice for the evening (flannel shirt, and minimal reflective strips on my MUSA knickers) I thanked the officer and spun my way back to the bike path. My light was on, and working properly, but I still bought a new one the next day. Thanks for being polite and genuinely looking out for the public’s safety Indian Hill Ranger!
A couple days later, instead of riding the road, I was riding in this:
I had a chance to meet up with a fellow Ohio bike blogger Eric to ride our fat bikes at Caesar Creek state park. The goal was to ride some of the old school single track, and test out our fat tires in the mud and creeks that feed into the lake. Awesome ride. Most of the beach areas were rideable, but some spots were downright sloppy. Our drivetrains hated us for the morning.
Overall, a solid way to spend a morning.
It’s been a pretty exciting week! Let’s see what next week brings!