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  1. #1
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    Got pulled over...

    On my second ride off campus today (Iowa State, Ames IA) on my bike, I had a little run in with the local police.

    I was minding my own business, keeping to the side of a two lane/two way road and was going down a pretty steep hill to a stop light at the bottom. It was a T intersection which I came to a rolling stop on the side of traffic (a few cars) and decided to go through the red light. I was on the straightaway so there was absolutely no traffic (and I realize I should have stopped but thats besides the point) and I shot off when the light turned green and at the next light... heard a siren and a cop looking straight at me a few feet from the tail of my bike. I turned into an emergency road stop and was immediately told that, "if us bikers want to earn the respect of motorists... you need to obey ALL the rules of the road including stopping at red lights and not biking on streets." there are not any signs on that street and keep in mind this is outside a college campus so the sidewalks are extremely busy.

    The kind police officer also pulled me over on the middle of a hill, which I proceeded to walk up since I didnt feel like making his day watching me fall over trying to clip in. He was not the least bit kind about anything and made it seem like I was some trouble maker when I just wanted to connect to a local road to ride on and mind my own business.

    Rolling reds isn't a good idea, I know... but I went back and found only one street is not bike legal and I was a good couple miles away from it. Thought I would share.

  2. #2
    Yeah, that's Gary Coleman
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    Oh, I reread your post and I get it now.

    So you rolled through a red light and got flagged for it. You shouldn't do that.

    "ALL of the rules of the road...and not biking on streets." That's not a rule of the road and he contradicts himself in that sentence. If you don't ride on the road, you don't have to obey the rules of the road as you have made yourself a pedestrian and, hence, subject to the pedestrian rules/laws.

    Sounds like a misinformed local cop, don't sweat it. He was right about the red light, though.
    Just looking for a place to shed our skins- WSP

  3. #3
    It's all ball bearings
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    Strange...

    in many/most places in WA it's illegal to ride a bike on a sidewalk, but as far as I know, all roads are fine (even the shoulders of the interstates).

    Also, every time I've been pulled over on my bike have been ON a college campus.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenWA
    in many/most places in WA it's illegal to ride a bike on a sidewalk, but as far as I know, all roads are fine (even the shoulders of the interstates).

    Also, every time I've been pulled over on my bike have been ON a college campus.
    The City rules state that sidewalks, and even more so the one that the cop directed me to are illegal to bike on. University walkways are illegal and the one stretch he told me to go on are the two listed. If only I had been pulled over twice

    I know I shouldn't have run that red light and I am not pissed about that, just bitter that he wanted me to "earn" respect from drivers and bike on sidewalks in order for him to scoot through the light faster and not have to deal with a biker.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodeko
    The City rules state that sidewalks, and even more so the one that the cop directed me to are illegal to bike on. University walkways are illegal and the one stretch he told me to go on are the two listed. If only I had been pulled over twice

    I know I shouldn't have run that red light and I am not pissed about that, just bitter that he wanted me to "earn" respect from drivers and bike on sidewalks in order for him to scoot through the light faster and not have to deal with a biker.
    This is Ames Iowa isn't it? Home to Moo U? The cop's reaction doesn't surprise me a whole lot given that data point.
    "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark." -S. Hawking

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodeko
    On my second ride off campus today (Iowa State, Ames IA) on my bike, I had a little run in with the local police.

    I was minding my own business, keeping to the side of a two lane/two way road and was going down a pretty steep hill to a stop light at the bottom. It was a T intersection which I came to a rolling stop on the side of traffic (a few cars) and decided to go through the red light. I was on the straightaway so there was absolutely no traffic (and I realize I should have stopped but thats besides the point) and I shot off when the light turned green and at the next light... heard a siren and a cop looking straight at me a few feet from the tail of my bike. I turned into an emergency road stop and was immediately told that, "if us bikers want to earn the respect of motorists... you need to obey ALL the rules of the road including stopping at red lights and not biking on streets." there are not any signs on that street and keep in mind this is outside a college campus so the sidewalks are extremely busy.

    The kind police officer also pulled me over on the middle of a hill, which I proceeded to walk up since I didnt feel like making his day watching me fall over trying to clip in. He was not the least bit kind about anything and made it seem like I was some trouble maker when I just wanted to connect to a local road to ride on and mind my own business.

    Rolling reds isn't a good idea, I know... but I went back and found only one street is not bike legal and I was a good couple miles away from it. Thought I would share.
    I went to ISU also. Some very nice riding there & very pretty campus. Miss most of it - just not the cold or snow.

    ISU shut down for 2 days after winter quarter when I was there, because no one could get back due to the snow drifts.

    Do you live in a dorm, frat, or off campus? I lived in Workman in Wilson Tower.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHVentus
    I went to ISU also. Some very nice riding there & very pretty campus. Miss most of it - just not the cold or snow.

    ISU shut down for 2 days after winter quarter when I was there, because no one could get back due to the snow drifts.

    Do you live in a dorm, frat, or off campus? I lived in Workman in Wilson Tower.
    Ha thats awesome, I live in the dorms (my second year here) over at Birch Welch Roberts. I am not too sure where your dorm is/was... might have to pull out a map.

    Where did you ride... surely you know some good roads and that. I brought my bike to campus and don't know many of the roads although R38 was pretty nice. Pretty hilly compared to Chicago!

    I don't know what I expected, next time I will pull out the laws of the city and tell them whats up

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodeko
    Ha thats awesome, I live in the dorms (my second year here) over at Birch Welch Roberts. I am not too sure where your dorm is/was... might have to pull out a map.

    Where did you ride... surely you know some good roads and that. I brought my bike to campus and don't know many of the roads although R38 was pretty nice. Pretty hilly compared to Chicago!

    I don't know what I expected, next time I will pull out the laws of the city and tell them whats up
    Please bear in mind that it was some time ago that I was at ISU.

    Wilson Hall was one of 4 towers (Wilson, Wallace, Knapp, & I forget the 4th), the TRC (Towers Residence Complex), south of campus on Hayward & Welch. Workman is the top (10th) floor. Last I heard, the top floors of Wilson had been reserved for grad students. Maybe that's changed again. I remember that it seemed we had to walk nearly a mile just get to Lake Laverne.

    Back when I was at ISU, I'm pretty sure that Birch/Welch/Roberts was a girl's dorm, but I could be wrong. Very close to the MU & campus. Are you an engineering student?

    Since it's been a while since I was there, I don't recall all the streets & HW #'s, but if you head east or west on Lincoln, & then head north you could get out in the country. I think riding NW was good. There were a couple bike shops down town (? Grand Avenue), that I'm sure could point you in the right direction.

    Where near Chicago? I was from Lockport.

    Go Cy!

  9. #9
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    did he write you a ticket?

    If you got off with just a warning, what is your beef? Cops generally say things when they provide verbal warnings they would not say when they issue tickets, as people like to make a big thing out of it if they contest it in court. So if you got off without a ticket, consider yourself lucky and let it go. He saved you some money. (I'm a retired cop).

    End of story

  10. #10
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    Don't let 'em get you down

    First of all this cop had nothing better to do that pull you over. I think you should have made him chase you for a while; maybe three of four miles then stop in a very public place so that everyone can see this loser cop.

    Secondly if the cop wants to earn our respect maybe be he can arrest the people that buzz by cyclists.

    Third, in Pennsylvania the Vehicle code states that bicycles have as much right to the road as a car. No need to earn respect the law provides it for you.

    Lastly, I blow through stops signs and red lights all the frickin' time. If all I had to do was push down the gas pedal instead of crank the pedals I would stop. But if the way is clear do it. The only wellbeing you risk is your own.

    To be honest I would look for the cop and when I found him I'd run another light. Then fight the ticket in court. I want to see the cop go before the judge and justify this waste of tax payor money.
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  11. #11
    Yeah, that's Gary Coleman
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    To be honest I would look for the cop and when I found him I'd run another light. Then fight the ticket in court. I want to see the cop go before the judge and justify this waste of tax payor money.
    OK, so he'd get a ticket, go to court, and it would go exactly as if he'd run it in a car. The cop would say he's guilty of running a red light and the judge would go with the cop. The guy having actually run the red light, would have nothing logical to say.

    You could make some big stink like you seem to be implying that you would, but it wouldn't matter b/c you wouldn't have the law on your side, just your opinion which is, in my opinion, irresponsible.
    Just looking for a place to shed our skins- WSP

  12. #12
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    You blew a light in front of traffic which included a cop?

    Here's what really happened. Biker blows a red light. A bunch of motorists are now pissed off because they have to wait at the light and they know that the biker is supposed to also. They all look at the cop and begin to wonder if he is going to do his job. The cop responds by doing his job. If he was really being an a$$, he would have written you up. Consider yourself lucky. Don't give him a hard time when you put yourself in the situation.

    The cop probably didn't want to pull you over. It was just easier to pull you over and give you a tongue lashing rather than get grief from a group of law biding motorists.

    I admit I don't stop at every red light but I make a point of doing it when motorists are in view. I don't feel the need to gain respect but I want to keep the little bit I'm given.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dinosaur
    If you got off with just a warning, what is your beef? Cops generally say things when they provide verbal warnings they would not say when they issue tickets, as people like to make a big thing out of it if they contest it in court. So if you got off without a ticket, consider yourself lucky and let it go. He saved you some money. (I'm a retired cop).

    End of story
    I am not pissed at the cop, just more or less upset at the fact that I need to "earn" motorists respect as they are honking as they pass me on a two lane, two way road where biking is allowed... and his answer to their respect is by biking on the sidewalk which is clearly violating a law that I was not breaking initially. I never said I have the right to run red lights or that I shouldn't have gotten a chat with for doing that, but I don't believe the answer to the problem was to kick me off the road onto a sidewalk full of students.

    I am lucky that I didn't get a ticket for running the red light, but in Chicago (I am from the north side of the city BTW) I know for a fact that no one cares about cutting through stop sign where there is no cross traffic, and I always slow down or stop for any indication that I might be merging/turning with a car. I guess in Ames, the police can't go ahead and read up on some laws before threatening a ticket.

  14. #14
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    Hehehe

    I was attending Radford U in VA in 86. I left my apartment on my roomates beach cruiser with a bookbag containing a 6 pack and a beer bong. Heading to campus to party with friends. I did a rolling stop at a 4 way intersection. It was getting dark and I had no lights on the bike.
    I heard the siren and the spot light hit me after going through the intersection. The cop must have been focusing on me when he pulled out from his stop sign and he hit another car in the box. He got out and yelled at me to stop.
    Yeah right! I took off with a smirk on my face.


    Alpinist

  15. #15
    Bickety bam!
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    That's the way to go...

    Quote Originally Posted by Whipper99
    First of all this cop had nothing better to do that pull you over. I think you should have made him chase you for a while; maybe three of four miles then stop in a very public place so that everyone can see this loser cop.

    Secondly if the cop wants to earn our respect maybe be he can arrest the people that buzz by cyclists.

    Third, in Pennsylvania the Vehicle code states that bicycles have as much right to the road as a car. No need to earn respect the law provides it for you.

    Lastly, I blow through stops signs and red lights all the frickin' time. If all I had to do was push down the gas pedal instead of crank the pedals I would stop. But if the way is clear do it. The only wellbeing you risk is your own.

    To be honest I would look for the cop and when I found him I'd run another light. Then fight the ticket in court. I want to see the cop go before the judge and justify this waste of tax payor money.
    Yeah, that would be smart, run another red light and probably get ticketed. Be serious. If you do want people to respect you out on the road, you do have to stop at red lights, and stop signs and such. I received a ticket and a fine, and learned my lesson from it from running a red light in town. Buzzing a cyclist is not illegal, unfortunately. Stupid, but not illegal.

    I hope you get pulled over running a red light. It won't be a waste of taxpayer money, as you'll pay a fine, and you'd lose the court battle because you were wrong. The cop doesn't have to justify the so-called "waste of taxpayer money", because hey, guess what? He was doing his job...

  16. #16
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    dont wanna be a judgemental bastard, but i will anyway. have no sympathy for fellow bikers who cut red lights on the road and dont follow basic road rules, it makes it worse for all of us,

    the way you're talking, well, it's either a case of wounded pride or low IQ. you were wrong this time, let it go.

  17. #17
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    Personally, I don't really buy into the whole "if a cyclist runs a red light it reflects poorly on the entire cycling community" argument.

    I bet most motorists don't even notice, and the 10%ers that do notice mostly don't care. We all routinely accuse motorists (rightly so) of being unaware or indifferent to our presence when we are moving, why do so many folks assume that motorists suddenly become more attentive while stopped at a traffic light? Pu-leasse. Provided nothing interrupts their handheld cell-phone conversation (illegal almost everywhere while driving), I bet most drivers could give a crap about cyclists.

    On any given ride, I'll encounter anywhere from 60 to 200+ traffic lights. Am I going to stop for all of them, even if it's 6:00 am and I'm the only one there? If it's safe to roll through, I do it, but that's just me: everyone should ride within their comfort zone. I'd like to take the most judgmental among you for a ride in my area (NJ metro). We'll obey all traffic laws for as long as you can stand it. Prediction: your 5th infraction will come before mile 50.

  18. #18
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    ^ fair enuff. I s'pose the problem i have is that when drivers treat us badly, we have no moral argument when we also disregard road rules. Its pretty simple to me. Of course we'll always be the ones to pay, and will always lose out when it comes down to it. I just don't need another excuse why people in cars like to cut us off like we're not there, however shonkey their reasoning may be.

    Btw, i drive and cycle, but even when driving before i was a road cyclist, i always gave cyclists room and right of way when lawful b/c i was brought up properly. The fact that "most" drivers can't drive for **** and are dumb uneducated selfish myopic bastards is another argument entirely. However, my behavour as a driver and cyclist are the only things i can change, manage and have 100% control over.

    cheers,

    joe

  19. #19
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    Well

    If you go back and read your orignial post you mention nothing about getting "kicked off the road onto a sidewalk full of students".

    I guess one of the lessons you learn in life is that sometimes things are just not fair. I'd probably feel the same way if the same thing happened to me. Where I live (Norcal) a red light ticket is expensive (over $200). I do roll through stop signs, there is one red light on my whole ride route that I have to blow unless I wait for a motorist to trip it for me. But I am also aware if I get caught I stand a good chance of getting a ticket. One of the things I used to hear all the time when I was writing people up (I'm a retired CHP) is "everyone else does it".

    I think you are just venting, which is probably a good thing....but I'd just let and go and try to stop for redlights and stop signs as you now know you will get pulled over.

    At least you saw a cop, they are few and far between here. When I crashed riding my bike 5 years ago, no one showed up at my accident scene (accept the fire dept and ambulance).

    And some cops just don't like bicyclists...

  20. #20
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    Most interstates anyway

    Quote Originally Posted by BenWA
    in many/most places in WA it's illegal to ride a bike on a sidewalk, but as far as I know, all roads are fine (even the shoulders of the interstates).
    Well the shoulders of some parts of the interstate anyway. Usually where no option or less population. Don't try it on 405 or I-5 through Seattle... Besides suicide there are signs at the entrance saying motor vehicles only.

  21. #21
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    Amen.

    It's tough to come to terms with motorist's behavior. Why can't they let off the gas for 2 seconds & safely pass me? Why can't they wait for 2 seconds until I pass this side street before they pull out? Why did they pass me & immediately make a right turn?

    It is very tempting to feel that their behavior is somehow under our control: by riding better we can inspire them to improve THEIR behavior. I wish. I think the majority of people don't give driving a 2nd thought: it's a chore, or a tool vs. something they have to be an active participant in. All of today's gadgets (cellphones, cupholders, Ipods, PDAs) enable people to multi-task while driving, making the problem worse. Also, most can't imagine that a person on a bike can actually do 20-25 mph on the flats. I feel this is why we get cut off a lot. They see a bike & assume it's going 10-15 mph without looking long enough to actually judge our closing speed.

    With all the lights around here, I catch up with motorists pretty frequently: sometimes we'll pass and repass each other a few times. Occaisionally, they give me more room on the 2nd pass (I think because they've now noticed me). A handfull of times I've knocked on the window of an offending motorist to ask why they passed me so close. With 2 exceptions they all said someting like: "I never even saw you", the one exception claimed that 18" was enough room and the other felt I had enough room also, until I pointed out that his landscape trailer was a lot wider than his truck. He was totally shocked & apologetic.



    Quote Originally Posted by wankski
    ^ fair enuff. I s'pose the problem i have is that when drivers treat us badly, we have no moral argument when we also disregard road rules. Its pretty simple to me. Of course we'll always be the ones to pay, and will always lose out when it comes down to it. I just don't need another excuse why people in cars like to cut us off like we're not there, however shonkey their reasoning may be.

    Btw, i drive and cycle, but even when driving before i was a road cyclist, i always gave cyclists room and right of way when lawful b/c i was brought up properly. The fact that "most" drivers can't drive for **** and are dumb uneducated selfish myopic bastards is another argument entirely. However, my behavour as a driver and cyclist are the only things i can change, manage and have 100% control over.

    cheers,

    joe

  22. #22
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    Thumbs up

    One more thing to consider here... In many places school just started.
    Police officers might pick this time to "make an impression".

    You did a bad thing. You got pulled. Pedal more. Stop at lights. Have fun. Its all good.

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