Monthly Archives: September 2005

Tires and Boots

I caught some kind of nasty space virus yesterday, and while not completely floored with the sickness, I called in sick so as to not infect the rest of the company. Because, that kind of thing is not good when there’s only 40 employees to begin with.

So, with a whole day on my hands and nothing to do, I decided to finally do a few of the things I’ve not done in a while. Like get to tires on my motorcycle, and go looking for new boots.

I have around six or seven thousand miles on my current rear tire, a Metzler Sportec M1, and it’s quite flat across the middle. The front tire has been there since around mile 62,000, and I’m now at 74,400.

My boots were purchased around 1998, and while super comfy, are worse for wear. There comes a point when leather is so soft and supple, it won’t protect in a crash. I’d been eyeing a new pair of Daytona Roadstars, which I currently wear, but would like to support an American company, if I could. Stompers Boots, in San Francisco, carries a whole lotta different boots, and I’d been hoping to check out their Chippewa Rally Boots, since they look so neat-o on the web.

So, about 1:00, I hopped on Yahoo, printed out a map and directions to Subterranean Cycles, taped it securely to my gas tank, and headed off into The Worst Layed Out City In The World. Maybe this place made sense 100 years ago, when there were a few hundred inhabitants on horseback, and you could see where you were going from where you were, but the way the city is layed out, with all the skyscrapers, road signs, billions of inhabitants, cars, trucks, delivery vehicles, lack of parking, pedestrians, bums, crackheads, and garbage, the city just sucks to travel through. One way streets will always send you the wrong direction, and so will anyone from whom you ask directions.

Luckily, my map kept me on the side of SF I wanted to be on, and after a good amount of wandering back and forth along cross-streets, I found Geary, found Subterranean Cycles, found a set of streets to loop back around after I passed it, and finally pulled up in front.

The folks inside were quite friendly, and hooked me up with a new pair of Metzler Z6 tires, mounted and balanced, on the bike. The Super Tire Guy even discovered that I had some mis-matched bolts on the brake caliper, told me what bolts to replace them with, and measured my brake rotors. Currently at 3.6mm, I’ll have to replace them when their thickness wears down to 3.5mm wide.

That done, I zipped on over to Stompers, basically right up the street from Subterranean. It was pretty easy to find, because they had signage visible from way up the street, but I had to ride around a big crowd of police cars, fire trucks, and an ambulance, to find a parking spot. Turned out, someone’s pimped-out sedan had been t-boned in a hit-and-run, and one of the occupants was pretty worse for wear. Life in the city.

I quickly found the boots I wanted, and while they didn’t have my size in black, they had it in the very nice, dark red Buffalo hide. They were absolutely beautiful, and nicely padded up along the boot’s shaft, but I did not like that they had absolutely no ankle protection. There are directions that ankles are not supposed to bend, but when you go flying off a motorcycle, the ankle frequently does things that you will regret for the next few months or years.

So, I passed on the Chippewas, hopped back on my bike, and headed on home for dinner.

Maintenance Note: 74,416 miles, New front and rear Metzler Z6 tires.

Wherein I stick it to The Man

Way back on May 3rd, I was pulled over by a CHP officer, and cited for failure to obey a traffic sign. Being the hard-core anarchist I am, I decided to fight this ticket, tooth and nail. I surfed on over to ticketassassin.com, and took out a hit, on my ticket.

A month ago, I requested trial by written declaration, and tomorrow, I am going to deliver this statement to the clerk. If the Officer hasn’t filed a response, or doesn’t provide as good a case as me, I win, and get my money back, and a clean record! Wohoo!
Note: Names have been changed to protect the integrity of the case.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

Defendant’s Name: Le Bolide
Case No.: 007

I respectfully submit this written declaration to the Court pursuant to CVC 40902. I plead Not Guilty to the charge of violating CVC 21461(a).

The facts of my case are as follows: On this day, I was attempting to travel from Castro Valley to a store in north San Leandro. I took a route I was unfamiliar with, from highway 580 northbound, exiting via the Estudillo exit. The exit terminates at a stop sign intersection on MacArthur Blvd. At this intersection, the left lane must turn left onto MacArthur southbound, and the right lane onto MacArthur northbound. I was in the left turn lane, and realized I needed to travel further north to find my destination. In order to reach my destination safely while obeying traffic laws, I turned left, and turned right on the next available street, intending to turn right once more, in order to travel north.

However, as I turned right, I saw a sign indicating “No freeway traffic onto Joaquin Ave. I quickly checked traffic behind me, to see if I could avoid entering the road, but found that I could not safely refrain from completing my right turn due to traffic arriving from the now green light behind me. So, I completed the turn, noted the 15 MPH speed limit of Joaquin Ave, and complied with the speed limit while looking for the first opportunity to leave Joaquin Ave.

However, before I could leave Joaquin Ave, I was stopped by CHP officer Porcine, and cited with violating CVC 21461(a). As I was driving my wife’s car, I was unaware that she kept proof of insurance in her purse, rather than the glove box, and was also cited for CVC 16028(a) – no insurance.

Unfortunately, despite my efforts to obey all traffic control signs and safely conduct myself on the roads, the officer cited me, but did not specify which traffic control device I was being cited for disobeying.

CVC 21461(a) states: “It shall be unlawful for any driver of a vehicle to fail to obey any sign or signal erected or maintained to indicate and carry out the provisions of this code or any local traffic ordinance or resolution adopted pursuant to a local traffic ordinance.”

The text of 21461(a) indicates that this code can not stand alone as an enforceable traffic offense; some other vehicle code provision or local traffic ordinance must be proven to have been violated for a person to be guilty of violating 21461(a). The sign is not enough; there must be some other law that makes the movement I made onto Joaquin Ave illegal and thus make the sign itself based on some enforceable code section or local ordinance.

As the officer did not make any referral to which specific traffic ordinance I violated, and refers only to 21461(a), which itself refers to one of many “provisions of this code or local traffic ordinances,” this should not be enough to sustain a conviction in this case. Without the officer providing the Court the specific code section or local ordinance she believes I allegedly violated, a conviction in this case is not supported by the law.

In my research, it would seem TITLE 6 VEHICLES of the San Leandro Municipal Code, CHAPTER 6-1 TRAFFIC CONTROL: 6-1-255 BARRIERS AND SIGNS, states:

No person, public utility, or any department in this City shall erect or place any barrier or sign on any street unless of a type first approved by the Superintendent of Streets, except in cases of emergency pending the posting of a proper sign. It shall be unlawful for any person to disobey the instruction of any barrier or sign placed in any street by any public utility or by any department of this City, provided the type of barrier or sign so erected has been first approved by the Superintendent of Streets.

Officer Porcine did not indicate on my citation which provision of the California Vehicle Code or which local traffic ordinance or resolution I might have violated when on Joaquin Ave. If Officer Barbour does not indicate on her Written Declaration the specific Vehicle Code section or local traffic ordinance, such as 6-1-255 — with evidence that the sign had been erected and approved in the manner specified by the Superintendent of Streets — that she believes I violated, I ask the Court to dismiss my citation in the interest of justice.

If the court does not find in my favor in this case, I request a fine reduction and a Court assignment to attend traffic school. It is my intention to follow every law I am aware of, doing so in a reasonable and safe manner.

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.

9/22/2005, Le Bolide

The People vs The City of Pleasanton

Filed with the City of Pleasanton, my written declaration against a speeding citation. Hey, I wasn’t going too fast for conditions!

Thanks for the help, TicketAssassin!

STATEMENT OF FACTS

Defendant’s Name: Le Bolide
Case No.: 007

I respectfully submit this written declaration to the Court pursuant to CVC 40902. I plead Not Guilty to the charge of violating CVC 22350.

The facts of my case are as follows:

At about 8:55 AM, on 7/12/2005, I exited Eastbound 580 on a green light, behind about 9 other vehicles. We proceeded south on Hacienda approximately 0.8 miles before stopping for a red light at the Stoneridge intersection. While stopped, the officer pulled up next to me, (we were both on motorcycles) and instructed me to pull over. At the stop, he informed me that based on radar evidence, I was traveling at 54 MPH, and cited me in violation of CVC 22350, “Excessive speed.”

The Basic Speed Law, CVC 22350 states: “No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.”

On my citation, the officer marks conditions as “CDM,” which I believe means Clear, Dry, Medium traffic. On the morning of 7/12, weather conditions were clear skies and sunny, the road was dry, the surface clear, and visibility was high. The group of cars I followed was proceeding at a consistent, safe pace, on the three-lane road. No persons or property were put at risk. As such, the Officer does not make a credible case that I was in violation of the Basic Speed Law.

This being the case, I respectfully request that the case be dismissed as not being a violation of CVC 22350.

In addition, the posted speed limit of 40 mph on Hacienda Drive must be based on a current traffic and engineering survey, in order to avoid constituting an illegal Speed Trap pursuant to CVC 40802(a)(2) which defines an illegal radar speed trap as: “A particular section of a highway with a…speed limit that is provided by this code…[which] limit is not justified by an engineering and traffic survey conducted within five years prior to the date of the alleged violation, and enforcement of the speed limit involves the use of radar or any other electronic device that measures the speed of moving objects.” If the traffic survey on Hacienda Drive is more than five years old, the officer’s use of radar to determine my speed was illegal.

When using radar evidence, the prosecution is required to prove that the use of radar is not an illegal speed trap. Speed Trap Evidence 40803(b) states: “In any prosecution under this code of a charge involving the speed of a vehicle, where enforcement involves the use of radar or other electronic devices which measure the speed of moving objects, the prosecution shall establish, as part of its prima facie case, that the evidence or testimony presented is not based upon a speed trap as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 40802.”

If the prosecution does not attach proof with its written declaration (a certified copy of the speed survey) to establish as part of its prima facie case, that Hacienda Drive is not an illegal Speed Trap, as they are required to do pursuant to CVC 40803(b), I trust the Court will rule the radar evidence inadmissible and dismiss my case pursuant to CVC 40805.

CVC 40805, Admission of Speed Trap Evidence, states: “Every court shall be without jurisdiction to render a judgment of conviction against any person for violation of this code involving the speed of a vehicle if the court admits any evidence or testimony secured in violation of, or which is inadmissible under this article.”

If the court does not find in my favor in this case, I request a fine reduction and a Court assignment to attend traffic school.

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.