Hi *****, (as to a fellow Street Luger)
PLEASE see this link:
link to bikeportland.org
I think this is a big deal! I hope you do to. Please read the article linked to above. I am planning at least one or two rides on Timberline Road before summer is out(join me???)...and I am angry that bikes(which means us too...soon enough...you can bet; this is just a start for cops who do now want 'us' there) who are now being profiled due to only TWO (yet unfortunate) injury accidents.
Read the article and you see all the vagueness and threatening attitude that is based on what the cops do not like rather than particular laws. Although it would be easy enough for them to assume and accuse anybody they stop of "racing" so they can ticket or comfiscate! They say they will crack down on bikes and "similar" uses!!! They say we have "no business joyriding"!!!! Really? So...we could get ticketed harassed and/or equipment comfiscated based on NO real world reasons to do so. 'How dare we' go to a national PARK to experience JOY while we RIDE our gravity vehicles!? And you can bet that cop said that with a straight face.
Within 1 to 2 miles of my house SE Portland house, are sidewalk memorials of people who have been KILLED by cars IN town. The average everyday road is FAR more dangerous to pedestrians; bikes than Timberline road has or could EVER be. Even some out of control(or are they?) bikers from time to time is NOT an incident specific to Timberline Road(nor any road)and yet it is VERY apparent that OSP and CPD will use this to promote their own biases against apparently whoever they feel like.
I hope you are not so "busy" that you cannot or will not stand up to this? With me or on your own. Otherwise...get ready to see one more advantage of living in a beautiful state DISAPPEAR....due to the over reaction of those who are paid to protect and PRESERVE our rights; even to recreate in different and even unique ways. I am newer to street luging than you are...but it is my sport and I have already put much time and expense into it. Just because we are a small group(in Portland...though as you know SL is much larger in other states and countries)does NOT make us inherently dangerous or "similarly" dangerous as some of(SOME OF) our gravity bike riding bros. The cops want to limit us once again based on "potential" rather than an overwhelming reality. Yet...Hiway 26 has been the 'corridor of death' for many years and you do NOT see cars banned from it; due not to the "potential" but to the PROVEN facts. And it sure is NOT 'out of hand' gravity riders of ANY kind that have made that a long standing reality. These same cops KNOW this is true...and yet they hop over that to take TWO incidences(that were not even fatalities...something Hiway 26 has PLENTY of)and use them to bolster their intolerance and bias, rather than the greater picture.
WHERE were the cops during the thousands of SAFE trips made by bikes; skaters and even some street lugers down Timberline Road? They say they are trying to protect the "community"...WHAT community???? During the 2009 Memorial Day Funrun(and 2010) law enforcement in OK, Cops(yeah...cops!) supported the many riders and disciplines and the fact that the majority of us ARE mature; respectful and know what we are doing...meant something. Apparently NOT in OR?
Nobody cares until somebody cares...and it is US this time. I resent actually that a police organization thinks they understand the complete picture, based on the few events enacted by a VERY few. They picked out a couple of youtube videos to back up their bias and IGNORED the many others that prove bikes; DH skaters and street lugers are good and safe at what they do. BY FAR if incident to non-incident ratios matter...and they should!
I have seen Oregon change and 'lock it's doors' in many ways since I got here 20 years ago and here we go AGAIN. In ONE summer I am told I cannot fly my rc plane(in multnomah county/Powell Butte due to the "potential threat" of a one 1/2 pound STYROFOAM glider that never goes over 20mph?) and we are at or right on the edge of being told we cannot enjoy our gravity sport(s)in this beautiful state; on one of the VERY few beautiful roads we can. I wish these apparently biased and heavily misinformed cops(one a so called 'information' officer???) would have to spend a few years patrolling AZ freeways...where it is dead and to damn hot to enjoy anything most of the time. They might come back to serve the desire to AID all who live here to enjoy the state, instead of misuse events and bias to guard personal interests of the rights of one group/cars.
This is one of those times when police are working more from general intolerance than us/all and or what is REALLY going on. As busy as I am...I have to and WILL be VERY vocal about it. I have my own 'YouTube video that these "Here's how it's gonna be!' cops can view...posted in a day or two. And if things REALLY start sucking in this state...I will move to a state where I am NOT frowned on or threatened due to my sport choice. no one should feel like a criminal(BTW 'Officer You Can't Do That!...I DON'T feel like nor am i a criminal for flying an RC plane or riding a street luge or bike downhill! UNBELIEVABLE that YOU think I am!!!)
WHERE and WHEN was the public meeting to discuss this Timberline Road usage issue????? None such was mentioned in the article. I am sure they want to proceed with their 'you can't do that!' plans without such getting in the way. I am fwding this to everybody I can think of who may be able to reverse what is obviously aimed at gravity riders in Oregon. Given what I have seen since I got to this state...I am starting to think that the only 'freedoms' left are in video games or 'must be' on the 'list' of what ever more biased law enforcement agencies have ' approved for the populace'. I am about convinced that thyis state will not be happy when we are doing ANYTHING that they cannot directly tax! So I guess ticketing downhill vehicle riders is a great way to extort more money for the state who can't stand 'free' anything...including freeriding downhill.
It is nothing new that many auto operators HATE bicyclists and skaters, anytime and anywhere. Timberline Road is just a target of the police to show the same bias and apparently they think it is peripheral enough an issue to where nobody will pay much attention....OR...they will be happy to find all the allies they need in drivers who do not understand or give a damn about OUR recreation choices and rights on the road, anyway. Maybe Oregon will come to the point where you have to prove you are going to do something TAXABLE or that requires a special permit...before they let you out of your house?
If we (AS free air breathers and free gravity riders!) do not stand up against this...you cannot really say you are a street luger. Nor can I. I'm not that good about giving in that easily and/or for poor reasons.This article sent to you is nothing but half thought out and POOR reasons on the part of the cops.
How many times do you see toddlers teetering down the streets on bikes with NO helmets. Even though the law is being broken in that? How many articles do you see about cops caring or handing out tickets to parents for that? None. Hospitals get far more of these than 'out of hand bikers/skaters or? on Timberline Road'. Once again...those who do not like or understand another(smaller or easier to pick on) group or validity of an activity...choose to move against it. If that is not profiling...then I do not know what is? Apparently they do not know...or much care. And if they are not challenged then such 'uncaring and lack of thought' CAN become law. Won't be the first time by far.
The most valid fights/arguments are not usually the ones that are convenient to make. But they must be made. I don't have time to fight against this ridiculous direction that is being taken by law enforcement. I have even less time to ignore it. I have seen where THAT goes and believe me....SOON ENOUGH...YOU WILL CARE. Soon enough you will wish you had NOT let it go.
I had an angry cop push me around for NO reason at all about 5 years ago. In front of my kid adding insult to injury. I did not receive a ticket, nor was arrested(because I had done nothing wrong!). And yet...my record has a big 'USE OF FORCE" written on it. Which proves he KNOWS he did what he did...NOT that I did anything to deserve it! I STILL cannot get over that...but to the cop, it was just another day of pushing past, the limits of what was appropriate.
Cops do that when they can whether against individuals or groups...and they will (are)do it again THIS time if allowed to. When I got hit by a car on MY bike; IN city limits it took 45 minutes for ONE cop to arrive and he refused to go after the hit and run driver even with FOUR adult witnesses and my being injured. I went straight to the deputy district atty and they refused to do anything about it either. ALL Documented. Yet they have denied on several occassions to me since that that 'could ever happen'. Open your eyes and you will SEE more reality than any cop will share.
I have ZERO illusions about 'fairness' among cops and/ or regarding how they pick and choose what they will and won't do to serve personal/dept. interests rather than 'uphold the law'. When a cops wife drove on my front lawn and threatened me in the name of her husband being a cop and what he 'would do to me'(I had a witness to it all)...20 minutes after my complaint I had two cops on our doorstop giving us the 'glare' and saying:"Things like this do not happen in our dept.". Even though it, indeed just HAD! It was VERY clear to us that they did not want us to push it. NO APOLOGY WAS OFFERED! On top of that...Officer N*******(yes! I remember you!) saw me years later and he LAUGHED about it! We could have sued PPD for what happened and yet he laughed about it. Arrogance.
I would not have believed it if I had not seen and experienced what I have. Sometimes I just HAVE to let it out! If you are naive enough to think it is just me...I am NOT alone by far. So that, even when a SEEMINGLY small issue(gravity riding 'bombing' Timberline Road)presents itself...ALL of what I know about the 'forces' involved HAS to be taken into consideration. I could not be one of those people who rides the same track everyday and pretends everything is 'just fine'. I know better. Timberline Road is a metaphor for a whole lot and here they are, proving they once again, have to exercise UNDUE control AGAIN!
This crap sneaks up and affects your life in ways you never expect or deseve.An old girlfriend had a stalking order placed against me many years ago. The Civil Stalking order legislation was brand new and was soon found to be UNconstitutional. Which means that NOBODY WHO WAS FOUND GUILTY UNDER AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL LAW WAS ACTUALLY GUILTY! So...she took me back to court to try to reinstate it and Judge Roosevelt Robinson struck it down. BUT....OSP ignores that COURT ORDER(which I have)...and continues to hold that overturned Civil Stalking order against me...even with a court order saying there is NO evidence to support it. I am pretty sure that is a MAJOR big deal if I could get anybody to care. So, I cannot buy a fire arm and I am unfairly kept under a stigma that I never deserved and should LONG ago have been removed; based on the testimony or ONE person...and backed up by a state who continues to penalize me in direct opposition to known facts and a court order. TELL me that is not a huge lawsuit waiting to happen!? Do they care? No. In fact...the LEAD public defender in the Portland Office TOLD me(I have it written down)that he had "no confidence in the OSP/Oregon ability to conform with court orders". If it cost THEM something...they are right on it. If it costs me or you....not so much. Oregon has brought that reality to me...so it is the reality I proceed from.
This cavalier attitude on the state's part has cost me peace...jobs/money for my needs and family for many years. I'm NOT worried AT ALL about a guy riding down Timberline road on a bike!!!! I AM worried about what those who pretend and operate under a pretext of doing/upholding what is right will do'otherwise' and 'right in front of or to me...NEXT!?' I do not bring all this up to vent all(believe me...I have not told ALL), but to show what has developed for me that has become my valid 'Portland/Oregon perspective' on cops etc. Only a stupid person ignores the actions of those who are put in positions of authority. This will not ring true to many who do not know or are otherwise naive to it...but to many others you KNOW what I am talking about.
I am SO fed up with it that I can only refuse to accept it anymore....even when it comes to standing up for my right to ride a street luge down a mountain! I KNOW I am not as free as an adult...as I was as a 17 year old 'kid'! And I have NOT earned the negative changes since that time. Too often thanks to a beaurocriacy that just does not care. It seems as if they just are not happy unless(once you are on their radar)they are doing SOMETHING to supposedly 'keep us in line'. THAT is not freedom. It is being JUST free enough to please the ones who need to keep profiting from YOUR efforts and little more. You own NOTHING but a little space inside of yourself that you dare not ignore. If you don't think that is true...try standing up to the ones who are pretty sure THEY own YOU and you should be clear on that reasonably quickly. Cops want you to believe they have the most dangerous job. NO they do not...not by a VERY long shot. YOU do. And you do not get to carry a gun/tazer or mace as you go about conquering the day.
I am sure that 'next time'(as I ride my street luge on Timberline Road. perhaps?!) I get stopped by a cop...those three words he will see when he looks me up will not serve the moment or (again)the truth of what is really going on. I HAVE EXPERIENCED THAT REALITY FIRST HAND. I'd erase it if I could. BUT....I CAN stand up for THIS and us in the here and now.
I still love Oregon but not nearly as much as I did 20 years ago. If this is not going to be a place where I can teach my own kid to fly an RC plane or ride a street luge down a road...then all the rest is hype and a false veneer of 'nice place to live'. As it is...this state seems to ever more want to undermine those things. My kid must already wonder who is his REAL dad???? His REAL dad who is trying to show and teach him things OR the cops who keep showing up(or threaten to)to say "You cannot do that!" What awaits HIM if we do not stand up to all the 'little' encroachments that soon become huge encroachments???? I'm about ready to blow this state off as it is. But while I still live here I have something to say and have learned that I had better say it.
If you are not in the front line...you are in the back. And many are very willing to keep you in the back. THAT is what I really do not accept...and yet it keeps popping up FOR me to look at!
Hope to see you in on this. Guess I will be having to print up a load of 'Free the HoodBombers!' bumper stickers? It is STARTING with them anyway...but you just wait and watch where this goes...if unopposed. You do not need to be a genius to figure it out.
'Low and Fast!'
Oregon Street Luger