Don Bauder 4:30 p.m., Dec. 9
I slowly squeeze the brakes bringing my bike to a stop at the intersection. In Tijuana stopping at the lights is optional for bicyclists. It is a warm day so the cop in the car next to me has his window down and his arm resting on the door. I look over at him and smile.Then I say, in a meek gentle voice "Jew tink dat jew can cash me. I M beddy beddy past. And jew can not cash me. So maybe jew jesgo and easamoe donus." I smile. There is a good chance that the police offcer doesn't speak any English. In that case, he will interpret the tone of my voice and my body language and think that I might have been paying him a well deserved compliment. When the light changes I ease away fom the intersection, I don't want to appear as if I am fleeing. By the time I hit the other side of the street I am shifting through my gears and quickly pulling away from the cop car. At the next intersection I weave between the two cars waiting and shoot through without even slowing down. Even with the repaving most Tijuana intersections have large drainage bumps that force a car to slow down, way down. At the next intersection I turn left, the wrong way up a one way street. Then onto the sidewalk To turn right, the wrong way up another one way street. Nobodee can cash me.
The Tijuana police pretty much let me run ruff shod across their streets, onto their sidewalks and up into their callejons. I don't speak much Spanish so I don't know why the laissez faire attitude. All I know is that the only thing that slows me down is the desire to live. They probably don't see a lot of bike on pedestrian accidents. I'm sure their attitude would change if I got drunk and mowed down a few by standers eating at a taco stand.
One time a Tijuana Police Officer chased me down. I was riding across the plaza in front of the main church on 3rd street. He yelled something. I pretended not to hear, headphones. He chased me down and I think he may have tried to tackle me. Some of those guys over there are not so big and they don't grow up playing real football so if he was trying to tackle me he was doing it wrong. I shook him off my arm and walked my bike.
Anyway, I like to cross late at night when there is no line. I would come down the bus lane full speed, hit the sidewalk ramp, five point dismount just in time for my front tire to hit the turnstile letting my momentum carry me through. I only did this when there were no people around, zero. I have brakes and I use them when peds get in the way, but the CBP agents still yells at me to slow down. I would just look around at no one to point out that I was solo at the turnstile. Then one night there they were. Placed specifically to thwart my fun.
Coming into Mexico at the old crossing there was nothing to slow me down. Late at night I would hit the turnstile at full speed and remount on the other side as soon as my front tire hit the ground. They had a separate sidewalk to the right separated by a railing. I liked to see how fast I could make the transition.
More than once as I rode down the right side sidewalk I came across a Mexican Soldier walking towards me, fully armed. I thought it was strange the way they squeezed up against the rail to let me pass. Where I come from the guy carrying the rifle always has the right of way.