The Chainlink

Hassled again by bike bag
Last week, near zero, I went to buy stamps at Loop Station post office at Adams and Dearborn. I locked my bike to the inverted- U rack near the Divvy corral. I pulled my shoulder bag from the single rear pannier and went inside. I got in line to buy stamps. While inline I removed my helmet, mittens and neck warmer and hung them from my shoulder bag and watched snow melt off my pants and shoes and waited in line.  While in line I put stickers on eleven letters and waited in line.  While in line I checked for text messages, cleaned some of cell phone pictures and waited in line.   While inline I , well I waited in line.   It was getting to be a long wait. Finally I got one person from the head of the line and the end of my waiting was in sight….
Then a security guard came up to me and asked, “ Is that you bike outside?”
”Yes”
“You have to leave or bring the bag inside”.
“ Can I just by some stamps before I leave? ”
“No”
I went outside and removed the pannier and its frozen straps and went back inside. I strode to the head of the line and asked the person there if they saw what happened. They said ,”Yes”. I bought my stamps and came home.


This is the second time I have been hassled about a bike parked at in inverted-U rack. You can read about the first here. link

http://www.thechainlink.org/forum/topics/i-rode-today-did-you?comme...

Anybody else have this experience?

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That's just someone's power trip disguised as paranoia.  I rode around all the major monuments, White House, Capitol and Supreme Court last fall with a loaded bike and never got hassled, though the motorcycle cop on the far left did stop to ask me how the bike handled with the load.

What a dick...

Probably just doing what he's paid to do. If anyone's a dick, it's the person who came up with the policy.


wig [ isaac ] said:

What a dick...

To date, suicide bombers are much rarer in the United States than in other parts of the world. I second Cameron's explanation.

Jeff Schneider said:

I find it interesting that, if they suspect a pannier might contain explosives, they prefer you to bring it in rather than leave it outside.  Personally, prefer to be farther away, rather than closer to, any explosives.

Cameron 7.5 mi said:

It's probably considered to be an unattended and therefore "suspicious" package left in a federal plaza. The same way you read about the bomb squad being called out because someone left a backpack in a federal building.



Jeff Schneider said:

I am confused.  Why do they care if you leave panniers on a bike?

At least the guard's behavior was in line with the overall behavior of USPS post office employees.

They don't even pretend they care anymore.

They did for a little bit when rumours abound that post office locations were being closed.

Like night-and-day their attitude changed and was really friendly out of fear that their location might be closed.


Duppie said:

At least the guard's behavior was in line with the overall behavior of USPS post office employees.

They don't even pretend they care anymore.

And a friend of mine posted just the other day the experience she had at the main Post Office at Dearborn and Adams was worse than anything she remembered in East Germany or North Korea.

I think all Federal buildings have been on a paranoia watch for over a decade. I think its less power trip than somebody doesn't want to lose their job. I don't begrudge the person who has a good job with benefits and doesn't want to give the boss a reason to to take the job away.  After the Boston marathon last year this paranoia is only heightened. That, and I love my panniers and don't want them stolen. I bring them in unless its literally a minute away from the bike. 

only reason they want the bag with you is if the bag is left on the bike you can walk a few blocks away

and de*ona*te the you know what. if it is on you and you do that; well then what kevin just said.

yes; rules sometimes can be pretty stupid at times when compared to common sense.

Kevin C said:

To date, suicide bombers are much rarer in the United States than in other parts of the world. I second Cameron's explanation.

Jeff Schneider said:

I find it interesting that, if they suspect a pannier might contain explosives, they prefer you to bring it in rather than leave it outside.  Personally, prefer to be farther away, rather than closer to, any explosives.

Cameron 7.5 mi said:

It's probably considered to be an unattended and therefore "suspicious" package left in a federal plaza. The same way you read about the bomb squad being called out because someone left a backpack in a federal building.



Jeff Schneider said:

I am confused.  Why do they care if you leave panniers on a bike?

The current safety protocol is:

Airport terminal* full of people with luggage at gate, at baggage check-in, etc. - No Problem;

A single unattended backpack anywhere within the airport - Clear the Building! 

*and government buildings


dan brown said:

only reason they want the bag with you is if the bag is left on the bike you can walk a few blocks away

and de*ona*te the you know what. if it is on you and you do that; well then what kevin just said.

yes; rules sometimes can be pretty stupid at times when compared to common sense.

Kevin C said:

To date, suicide bombers are much rarer in the United States than in other parts of the world. I second Cameron's explanation.

Jeff Schneider said:

I find it interesting that, if they suspect a pannier might contain explosives, they prefer you to bring it in rather than leave it outside.  Personally, prefer to be farther away, rather than closer to, any explosives.

Cameron 7.5 mi said:

It's probably considered to be an unattended and therefore "suspicious" package left in a federal plaza. The same way you read about the bomb squad being called out because someone left a backpack in a federal building.



Jeff Schneider said:

I am confused.  Why do they care if you leave panniers on a bike?

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