Yuba Life

Metro Police 1 : Go Getter 0

Many Yuba riders leave Go-Getters on their Mundos year round without mishap. Unfortunately for this Yuba rider in Washington DC, the Metro police mistook his Go-Getter for something much more sinister.

Hello to the wonderful folks at Yuba!
imageI have a tragic (although sort of humorous) story to tell about my go getter bag on my Yuba, from our Nation’s capital. I biked to a training session up on Capitol Hill, parking my bike outside of Library of Congress and House office buildings. It was locked on a bike rack the way I usually park it with the Go Getter bag empty but still attached to the bike. Later that afternoon it was raining a little bit and I looked outside from the fourth floor window where we were having our training session, to see how wet the bike was getting and noticed a number of Capitol police blocking off the streets.

image_1A friend of mine was also commenting on the large police presence outside wondering what was going on, when we both saw a person with a bomb squad flak jacket approaching the bike rack. This is when I started to get worried. The policeman in the flak jacket had a device on a tripod which turned out to be a portable x-ray device. I hoped that he was approaching the trashcan that was near the bike rack but then my heart sank as I saw him walk over to my bike and set up this portable x-ray machine to look inside the Go Getter bag. At this point I said ‘oh crap I better get outside and tell them that it’s my bike’. So I went down to street-level, found a Capitol police officer and told them that I thought they were investigating the bag that was attached to my bike.

At this point the streets were shutdown in a two block radius and they were stopping people from coming out of the metro station which was nearby. This was causing quite a stir and there were quite a number law-enforcement officials around. I felt really badly because my bike and bag had caused such a headache for people trying to get around and all the law enforcement responders. Eventually he brought me over to the portable command center which was a number of different SUVs and and various other law-enforcement vehicles. I spoke with the lieutenant in charge; I told him the story that that they were investigating the bag attached my bike and they questioned me and collected my personal information. They kept asking me do you usually leave your bag on the bike and why is this bag so large. They also wanted to know the details of what I had in the bag. I think that point I had two yuba cargo straps, a bungee cord and a very small rear taillight – there was really nothing much in the bag. They kept asking me about what was in the bag. I assume they were doing this because they had seen the x-rays of the bag and wanted to know what they were seeing. After they were satisfied, they walked me over to my bike. At this point I was still feeling really badly about causing all the commotion and I had been apologizing profusely about it but also explaining to them that I always left my bag on my bike.

Then when I saw the bag I let out a cry because it was in tatters. They had cut it off the bike at the buckles and Velcro straps, sliced through the wall of the bag, and opened up the panels to get to the internal foam and plastic pieces inside the (well-built) double-walled bag. I couldn’t help myself and I said holy crap that’s a $150 bag. They offered me no sympathy and told me I shouldn’t leave a bag on the bike near the Capitol buildings or anywhere around DC. So I collected my sliced Go Getter bag, a martyr for the cause of promoting bike commuting and goods movement, and returned to my training. (See photos attached) My colleagues were surprised to see the bag, the casualty of bomb squad false alarm and training, and amuses that such a little thing had caused such a big stir.

2 thoughts on “Metro Police 1 : Go Getter 0

  1. I have seen one person riding a Yuba around Capitol Hill so I think I know who this is. I also ride a cargo bike with two kids in DC, although it is an Xtracycle. I LOVE the bags for the Yuba, and I loved the Yuba too, especially the electric one but it was a little out of my price range when I went to buy. This is a typical case of the DC Police overreacting. They should have at least apologized. I mean…was it really necessary to destroy the bag?? Good grief. No, of course it wasn’t. I would have been pissed off! I also would have been pissed off for being made to feel like a criminal for biking and leaving my own bag on my bike. I mean…come on. That’s like telling someone who parked their car in the street next to the bike that we had to slash your tires and break your windows because we saw you had an old coffee cup and and a plastic CVS bag in the back of your car and well, we were suspicious. Turns out, it was just crayons in the CVS bag and 3 day old coffee in the cup…good luck getting home Sir. Secondly, the DC police bike around the city themselves with bags on their bikes. I have never once seen them dismount the bike and take the bags with them. Shame on them. I am sorry you lost your bag and the next time I see you and your Yuba and Stanton Park I will probably come give you a hug.

  2. surlyseabear says:

    I am sorry, for as long as I have been working in DC, and parking my Xtracycle in a federal building, I never have had anyone threaten my belongings. This needs to be addressed and compensation needs to be made. They, once again, went too far. Please tell me you are at least contacting your congressman about this.

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