Law Enforcement Agencies Biased Against Bicyclists?

Anne Macquarie of Muscle Powered sent me this to post:

After several unfortunate incidents, Reno cyclists think law enforcement agencies are biased against bicyclists. Terry McAfree of the Nevada Bicycle Coalition and Procrastinating Pedalers, and others, have arranged a meeting with local law enforcement agencies to talk about what we can do about it. The meeting will take place on February 5th, and will be attended by representatives of local cycling clubs, including Anne Macquarie of Muscle Powered, and law enforcement officials from Washoe County, Reno, Sparks, Carson City, the state, and tribal governments.

This is a great opportunity to talk directly to law enforcement on issues of concern to us all. If you have something you want Anne to bring to the table, post it here in comments. Or, if you’d like to attend the meeting, email Anne (“contact” button at and she’ll give you the details.

I personally haven’t seen much interaction with cyclists and law enforcement here in Carson City. In fact, I talked to one officer who said they don’t normally stop cyclists during the day…only in the wee hours of night when something looks suspicious. That’s my experience though. What about you? Have you experienced or heard of any cyclist/law enforcement issues in Carson City? I’d be curious to hear what the issues are in Reno too.

15 thoughts on “Law Enforcement Agencies Biased Against Bicyclists?

  1. A couple years ago, a local group in Reno was doing a version of SF’s Critical Mass. They started downtown and were escorted by the Reno PD to Wells.

    All was good with the PD’s help. Then things went way astray. The PD had a bunch of, I’ll call them snipers, waiting at the round-a-bout where they began ticketing any of the cyclists who were clowning around. Riding on the sidewalk, going on the round-a-bout in reverse, riding recklessly, all got you an expensive ticket.

    It was ugly.

  2. In carson city people that come into my shop get stopped for one of 4 things. 1) no front light and/or no rear reflector 2)ridding on the sidewalk and getting into an accident with a car(car pulls out of a driveway hits you,you get the ticket).3)looking like a crackhead.4)any adult ridding a bmx bike.long live bmx.

  3. It’s just like the MAN to keep a brother cyclist down. :^)
    I hate to say it, but the word “bicyclist” is thrown around pretty loosely here and even a vagrant collecting cans while walking his bike along the road, is considered to be one.
    Therefore, any incident that happens concerning that person is reported that way.
    And speaking about words being throw around loosely, can we talk a minute about the word “architect”! I am really getting tired of it being used for negative descriptions of tyrannts and despots! Give it a break, will ya? :^)

  4. Just got back from a planning meeting with reps from Nevada Bike Coalition, Muscle powered, Reno Bike Project, Reno Wheelmen, Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway and others.

    Very productive. We basically want the Feb 5th meeting to be a place where we can ask Law enforcement what procedures are for reporting incidents and how we can efficiently document them. Mike Gallioto was there and said that he’s had cops blow him off on a number of occasions.

    But it was an encouraging meeting. I think it’ll go well. Rest assured that you’ll get a report.

    For MY part I don’t have any horror stories from the roads. And I think our greatest risk is sounding like the area sucks for riding, which would be far from the truth. NorNev is a great place for cycling in every way.

    In my experience if you do too much complaining and focusing on the problems you get nowhere. If we hype the positives and get more people riding awareness and law enforcement will follow.

    Thanks for the post Jeff! Look for more on these topics @ (coming soon)


  5. My name is Bob and I’m a bad bicyclist. 🙂

    No horror stories here and, in honesty, I don’t have a rear reflector (broke off in crash) and have ridden sidewalks.

    Not an expert but suspect law enforcement already has a full-time job and won’t bother us if we use our heads and common sense.

    Now if they could do something about drivers and the intersection at 10th/Division…,+89703&sll=39.154957,-119.761362&sspn=0.019534,0.046864&ie=UTF8&z=16&iwloc=addr&om=0

  6. The officer I mentioned in the post said they use the “no light/reflector” excuse to pull someone over in the night time if something looks suspicious. And yeah, they are usually busy will real crimes…

    I used the sidewalks during the icy days a couple weeks ago. They were the only place that had traction thanks to people shoveling their walks.

    Jeff P – I saw you today, and you were quite debonair in your uniform. I even noticed you had a gold chain. Hardly a crack head.

    The only thing I know about 10th and Division, is that when you are coming north on 395, and you want to cut over to west side, left on 10th over to Division is the way to go!

    On another note…I got a big gulp or something chucked at me on the way home tonight! I heard a big splash behind me as a truck sped off. I was in too good of mood to let it even phase me. Green POS Chevy Truck though. I’ll remember it!

  7. For XD:
    Yes, well, that’s the sort of blinkered, philistine pig ignorance I’ve come to expect from you non-creative garbage. You sit there on your loathsome, spotty behinds squeezing blackheads, not caring a tinker’s cuss for the struggling artist. You excrement! You whining, hypocritical toadies, with your colour TV sets and your Tony Jacklin golf clubs and your bleeding Masonic secret handshakes! You wouldn’t let me join, would you, you blackballing bastards! Well, I wouldn’t become a freemason now if you went down on your lousy, stinking knees and begged me!

  8. 10th/Division has stop signs that are ignored by lots of drivers. Many, many folks turning north from 10th going onto Division barely slow down. Just glad no kids living around there have gotten hurt.

    I’m turning into an old grouch. Next thing you know, my polyester pants will be hitched up to my waist and I’ll be reminiscing about the Stones being the last real rock group. 😉

  9. In Carson City or Reno – no. Here, yes. I’ve been yelled at by “the man” for running red lights. No tickets, though. Although I’m trying to get one – a speeding ticket. There’s a nice hill coming down into a 20 MPH zone. If / when I get a speeding ticket on my bike – I’m framing it!

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