Ackkk! I totally got a ticket today while biking. I can't believe it. I am the biggest goody-two-shoes on a bike that Heidelberg has probably ever seen. I wear a helmet, dutifully obey red lights even when no one is coming, slow down for jerks who get in the way instead of practically bowling them over, etc. Heidelberg is a sea of flagrant bike violations; I probably see a hundred a day! But I never saw anyone get pulled over. I'm such a freaking goody-goody that I pulled right over for the cops today, having no idea what could possibly be wrong. I'd already forgotten the whole thing.
I was at an unfamiliar intersection with a confusing light. (I think it never turns green or something.) Well, the intersection is not unfamiliar entirely - it's just that normally I walk through it, not bike. I was with Damon. So the light was yellow or flashing yellow for a long time but no one was going. Then people started to go but I was still a little confused by the yellow, thinking it might go red any second. Well, it did go red, and Damon had juuuust taken off without me. (I think he might have gone through it too. He thinks they picked on me because I'm so easy to identify with my dorky helmet.) I sat there for a bit, wondering what the hell the deal was with this intersection anyway. Some bikes were still going through. I figured they know better than me! So I went with them to catch up to Damon and get out of what is actually an uncomfortable and weird intersection to be sitting at. (I can't figure out if it's also a place for cars or not - it's marked all bikes - but it's wide enough for cars - I just don't freaking get it.)
Haha! We should have thought about what those two on the corner with giant walkie-talkies might have been doing. They stopped us all about a block later - about five more cops. This is what happens when you live in a low-crime country. All the cops are hanging out nailing you for this stuff.
Not to mention we both ran another red later, I think. This is the other confusing thing about this stupid intersection. After you turn left from where we started, there appears to be a stopping line and another red traffic light, but the line and light would have bikes lining up right in the middle of an intersection, seemingly in the way of crossing car traffic. (...IF you don't know the intersection. It could be that there IS no crossing car traffic here. But, it not being totally familiar, I don't know.) So again, I really felt like I was in the wrong place despite seeming to be lining up and obeying a red light appropriately. So, when Damon ran the red light because there didn't seem to be anything we were waiting for (no crossing traffic ahead - it's all straight ahead from there - it's REALLY weird), I said to him, "Uh isn't that a red light!?" and I didn't hear what he said, but I tried to keep up and went through it too.
And I'd forgotten all about both a block later when I got stopped. They didn't even stop him. UGH! At least they were not dicks about it. Every encounter I had with Boston police was not good (and I was the victim in those cases, not the crime-doer) but these guys were alright.
Still, grr. I will remember this for every of the 100 flagrant bike traffic violations I see tomorrow. In fact as we left the cops you could see people going through a red light at the next intersection, and none of them got stopped. Dammit.