On Bike Night and the Police

Thursday rolls around again which means bike night. Those of you that were here last week will have seen that I got into a fairly heated discussion with the police about what I saw as a heavy-handed approach to coming down and issuing warnings about guys on bikes. This may be a manifestation of my apparent problem with authority or it may have been an officer that just didn’t like me.

I am pleased to report that I have just returned from a meeting with the cops to discuss my concerns. They have listened to me and have advised me that we are not seen as a troublesome bar. It’s funny, we go into the meeting on opposite sides of the table, talk for 30 minutes and conclude with the realization that we agree on everything (except for whether boy racers should exist – but that’s a different discussion for a different day).

The fact that we are on Victoria Street puts us in the spotlight. The public has identified this area as troublesome and the Police have reacted to public/political opinion and begun policing the street more actively. This police presence will only increase over summer as the binge-drinking season kicks off. My hope is that if you see the police in here, you will interact with them and show them that our customers are not drunk retards. Introduce yourself, ask them how their day is going, talk abut speed limits… I don’t know, just get involved and help me show them that this is a nice establishment.

You may have noticed a lot of talk about how much alcohol costs our society has been in the media. I acknowledge that we are part of the problem but I think it’s important to note that we are also part of the solution. As a culture we need to stop getting so fucking pissed that we hurt ourselves and become a burden to the healthcare system. Have a few drinks, have a nice night, but try to keep it under control to a point that you don’t end up in A&E.

Part of our discussion was what I see bike night as. You may or may not know that traditionally the bike world and the police have had a pretty fraught relationship. I’m hoping that people can behave themselves enough to change these perceptions of bikers; but everyone involved need to participate in this. This means if you are coming down to Bike Night, please make sure you don’t drink and ride. It’s a stupid thing to do in the first place, but it also means my license can be compromised if you are pulled over and fail a breath test. Also remember if you are on a learner or restricted license that the limit is pretty-much zero. So have a ginger beer and do some work on getting your full license. Come down to bike night, have a couple of beers and a feed and talk some shit about bikes. Then ride home safely. If you have had too much to drink, then leave your bike here (Paddy does). We’ll lock it inside for you and you can collect it on Friday.

So thank-you to the police for listening to my concerns and thanks to all of you that continue to show up week-after-week and behave like responsible adults. I’m hoping that our relationship with the police moving forward will be one of working together to reduce alcohol related harm and not one of butting heads to prove who is the alpha male.

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