Friday, 9 March 2007

Bike Patrol!

Another week.

One more week and I can put my helmet on.

And then I can ride again.

I walk into the garage a couple times a day at least and just look at my Vespa. We have had some sunny days (and some rainy days) this week and it would have been so nice to ride. The temperature is warming up ( it got up to 16°C. on Wednesday) and it seems that spring is on its way.

Another two wheeled endeavour that I am involved with is the Maple Ridge Volunteer Bike Patrol. This is a volunteer group that is sponsored by ICBC, our provincial insurance agent (everyone in BC has to get their basic auto insurance from ICBC) but is a volunteer group under the umbrella of the RCMP.

No, I don’t carry a gun on a bike or give out speeding tickets. The bike patrol’s motto is “eyes and ears”. We ride around on our bicycles, mostly in the downtown core, checking plates of suspicious vehicles against a database of stolen cars, and talking to people around town whether they are elderly folks, teenagers wandering around on a Friday night, or homeless people eager for a quick word. We also try to get involved in doing some good things for the community.

The people I patrol with are all from different walks of life. There are, like me, a couple of teachers. Some of the other members that I know of are: paramedic, university student, electrician, city engineer, accountant, security guard, and doctor. Some use the bike patrol as a stepping stone to get into the RCMP and many others are like me, they want to give back to the community they live in. We can’t expect the police to take care of a community all by themselves - it’s just too big a job and too little funding. So, instead of just complaining about negative things in the community, I have been able to find out first hand what the problems are and try to make a difference by contributing my time.

It’s great to get out on my bike, feel that I am doing something worthwhile, and get some exercise at the same time. Only another week and I’ll be able to get on my bike as well!


Bill Sommers said...

I really like the Bike Patrol concept. It takes the neighborhood "Block Watch" to the streets where you have more of a positive impact. It's better to get out and look for things than to wait for them to come to you.

Hat's off to you for taking a proactive part in this.

Have fun,

Combatscoot said...

Sounds really good. Hope you will be well-enough to ride the scoot soon, too.
That Neighborhood Watch thing that Bill mentions is kindof' a joke in my eyes, as most people in neighborhoods that have it these days are either gone or stuck in front of the tube. Not a way to notice suspicious persons.
The Sherrif's department here just started neighborhood bicycle patrols. They use some really low-key unmarked uniforms that make it hard to identify them as law enforcement. Kinda' neat to have them around.

CodyandMichelle said...

Good deeds are done by good people!

Dave Dixon said...

The bike patrol is definitely a more positive and more interactive way of getting involved in the community.

I believe that neighbourhood watch in this part of Canada is beginning to disappear. I guess some unscrupulous people were posting the signs in their windows and then abusing children that came for help. Very sad.
We have police that are on bikes as well but they only tend to go in the warmer weather - and they beat the heck out of the bikes (which they share with us)!