I got pulled over by the cops yesterday. While riding my bike. To set the scene, it was around 5pm and I was riding the wrong way down the busy, two-way street I live on. This is a practice I feel mildly bad about but engage in all the time. I wanted to make a left at the end of the block, so I tend to ride the wrong way for the half block for ease of turning, even though I do think it’s kind of dangerous on my street, since traffic moves pretty fast and there tend to be a lot of double-parked mini-vans. I hear a siren and glance behind me, and to my surprise a cruiser is pulling across a lane of traffic to pull me over. The conversation went something like this:
Cop: You know it’s illegal to ride on the sidewalk, right?
Me: The sidewalk?
Cop: Yeah, the sidewalk.
Me: (looking down to double check) But, um, but I’m not on the sidewalk.
Cop: Didn’t you just ride off the sidewalk onto the street?
Me: I live in that building. I walked my bike out the front door, got on, rode 10 feet to where there’s a dip in the curb and got onto the street. There was no one walking on that 10 feet of sidewalk.
Cop: Oh, you live right there?
Me: Yeah, I couldn’t fit my bike between those double parked cars so I rode down the sidewalk for like, 10 ft.
Cop: Oh. Well be careful, you can get a summons for the smallest thing.
Me: (Thinking, isn’t it illegal to ride on the wrong side of the street? Ok, thank you.
Cop: Have a good one.