Cops get mad at bicyclists because we are obviously having a good time and they are not and because we play fast and loose with the traffic laws and that kindof works their nerves. If you've ever been pulled over by a cop while driving your car you know they get cranky about cars playing fast and loose with the traffic laws as well. Car drivers! Bike drivers! We really share so much, we should all get together some time and play cards and do shots of tequila and really bond.
But this isn't bad cop. This is good cop.
I was riding home from work on a bicycle that has since been stolen damnit. Hey, asshole who has my Trek 2.1 with the BRC sticker on it, your momma eats kitty litter!!!
Where was I.
Riding home from the preschool actually. In those days I biked from work to the preschool, collected Rapunzel, and then rode home from the preschool. At the time of this encounter I would have been pedaling hard for fifty minutes or so and had reached Palo Alto in the twilight.
Bicycle lighting. I had a red flashing light on the back of my wagon, a second red flashing light closer to the ground, a red flashing light on the back of my bicycle, and a bright white light on the front of my bike. Despite all this I still had to deal with people who could not "see" me.
middle-aged man in silver Lexus rolls down his power window at a traffic light.
him: I could barely see you.
I consider my three red lights and my one white light. I nearly have a seizure staring into the collective flash.
what I say: un-hunh
what I think: see an ophthalmologist before you kill someone.
But that was another time. On this occasion I was coming up to downtown Palo Alto when a cop turned on it's blue lights. I moved towards the right wondering what I had done. Was it my kid? Had I not come to enough of a stop at the last 4-way? What was it?
The cop pulled up on my left. His power window went down.
"I love your little red light!!
I must have looked blank because he pointed back towards my wagon.
I nod uncertainly.
He beams, "Just like on Kojak!!" He looks (channeling Junie B Jones, readers with young daughters will know this series) ...very delighted.
*okay probably not the guinea pig thing but I realized that I'd used up wives husbands and kids and guinea pigs had a certain flow.