My shop does a lot of work on police-mounted bicycles, to the point of sometimes having three or four uniformed officers milling around the shop at the same time.  It’s the safest bike shop in the city for sure.  I think we have some sort of contract worked out with some city and university police units.  They ride on these hulking 21-speed Specialized or Fuji ATBs with 26″x2″ knobby tires, the very antithesis of the typical minimalist ride of that other professional city bike rider, the courier.  While messengers are notorious for riding the hell out of their bikes, I think it’s quite possible that these cop bikes ultimately take more of a beating.  For one thing, while many couriers who are reed-thin due to some combination of 1) the physical demands of their job, 2) living at or near poverty, 3) being vegetarian or vegan, most police officers trend towards the 6’4″, 250# demographic, so that’s some heavy mashing they’re doing.  Secondly, the bikes are shared within the squad and are used by different officers on different shifts, so the bike itself could end up being ridden close to 24 hours a day.  A bike like that might need to be tuned literally every few weeks.
Anyway, I work on a lot of cop bikes, and inevitably the cops will say, “thanks buddy” or “pal” or “jack” or “guy” or whatever other masculinity-affirming nicknames there are to be had.  They’ve all actually been perfectly cordial and pleasant customers, obviously the context of these interactions is key here, but anyway I’m starting to come around to the idea that maybe cops are human, you know in the genetic sense of the term.   (and besides, who else are you going to call when a cabbie sideswipes you on your bike and keeps driving?)  However — this hasn’t stopped me from racking my brains for weeks now trying to think of something devious to do while these bikes are in my possession.  I don’t mean something dangerous or offensive, but just some kind of little clever twist to put on the bike before I roll it over to the barrel-chested sunglass-clad officer. if the guy behind Golden Stash has any ideas, I’m listening.  oh well I’m drawing a blank, and ultimately I know this is a no-go, because there isn’t anything I can do that would only been seen/understood by non-cops while evading detection/comprehension from the badges  themselves.  still just seems like a lost opportunity here…

One Response to “bike cops call me “buddy””

  1. huffypuffy Says:

    it kinda sounds like that story of the mice trying to figure out how to hang a bell on the cat. i think you leave ’em. i believe that we can all outsprint them, assuming that you’re not an actual superfreight carrier or a messenger with a supercustom bike.

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