The police are your best friend. But not always.
In New York, a Dutch girl on her bicycle almost got a fine because she wore a skirt.
Apparently, this is not allowed in the American metropolis New York City. Other road users might get distracted, with all its consequences.
It has happened to Jasmijn Rijcken, the general manager of the Dutch bicycle company VANMOOF, who was in New York to visit The New Amsterdam Bicycle Show. At the moment the police note down her name and address, he found out that she was from the Netherlands.
She convinced him that wearing such clothing on a bicycle in the Netherlands is very normal, so she received a warning to wear pants next time.
Jasmijn: “In NYC the POLICE told me NOT TO WEAR A DRESS! I distracted cars and should only wear pants while biking! he was NOT joking, death serious! I cannot believe it… how can they say they are a bike & woman friendly city? So discriminating!”
Only when he discovered I was not from the U.S., he calmed down somewhat, and I could drive on, but had to promise to put on pants next time. ”
It is not the first time an NYPD officer has stopped cyclists for completely frivolous non-offenses. In April, a private school administrator received a ticket for biking with a tote bag on her handlebars. The police have not responded to a Streetsblog inquiry about Rijcken’s allegations.
Her harassment at the hands of the police has colored Rijcken’s perception of not only New York City but the United States. “I was shocked,” she said. “In Holland, people refer to America as the country of freedom.”
Together with almost 150 New York City bikers VANMOOF completed an extremely glamorous and positive protest ride to support free and fashionable biking. It was a huge success, and they hope to encourage everybody to stand up and bike the way they like!