To the editor:
I found your recent article by Francis McCabe about the cyclists winning another victory on state Route 159 extremely unsettling.
To assume a cyclist will survive a direct impact with an average vehicle weighing 4,700 pounds just by lowering the speed limit from 60 mph to 50 mph is poorly thought out at best.
I would be more in favor of a dedicated bike lane where the cyclists were to ride, leaving only by using proper signals and looking to see if they can safely merge with traffic.
The biggest problem on the Route 159 loop between the cars and the cyclist is when a cyclist who has been riding on the shoulder suddenly decides to retake the traffic lane without considering if it is actually safe to do so.
Probably more unsettling was the trooper’s comment in the story saying you would probably just get a warning for a while if caught going 60 mph. As a 59-year-old professional man with no criminal record, no driving record, never detained, I have experienced a different view of this area and one of the officers who patrols it.
I do have one vice: I own several motorcycles and have ridden for 40 years. Each year there are fewer desirable areas around Las Vegas to ride due to the congestion.
While riding on the Route 159 loop I was followed for a couple miles by one of the enforcement officers assigned to the park area. I knew he was there, as he was right on top of me, so I can assure you I was not breaking any laws. Eventually, the red lights and siren came on and I pulled over. I got off of my BMW motorcycle, removed my helmet, turned to face the officer and smiled.
As he climbed out of his SUV he told me to turn around and put my hands on my head. I did so and he walked up and immediately handcuffed me. I inquired as to what I might have done that he felt that I needed to be handcuffed. The officer then made an extremely derogatory comment about all motorcycle riders in general and told me he had the right to protect himself and to use any means he thought was necessary.
He aggressively started searching me. I told him what was in my pockets and where to find my license and so on. All I could think of was all of the questionable shootings involving the police over the past 10 years we have lived here and I did not want to be the next statistic on page six. In the end he removed the handcuffs, handed me my belongings — which included a small handgun for which I had all the proper papers and permits. He did feel the need to totally disassemble the gun and gave it back to me in pieces.
His parting comment was, “You should find a new place to ride your motorcycle.”
He did not give me a ticket of any kind. He just left me standing there basically traumatized. I have been able to make it though 59 years without any dramatic events with law enforcement. Now I’ve been handcuffed, detained and searched just because this officer has a specific opinion of all motorcycle riders.
The state of Nevada has now seen fit to structure the speed limit in the 159 loop area in favor of the bicycle riders and the joggers. At least one of the enforcement officers assigned to that area has a specific profile that he thinks should not be in this area and has told me to find a new place to ride my motorcycle. So my question is: Just what piece of scenic highway can I as a motorcycle rider look forward to being designated in favor of motorcycles?