In Part I we left off with a cop yelling at me to pull over on my bicycle. I had just blown through a red light.
The policedick appeared out of nowhere and ordered me to stop. At 7:30am on my bicycle. He was a stereotypical Chicago cop. The southside accent, the reflective aviator sunglasses that even hipsters don’t wear. And, oh yeah, he had a terrible mustache and was overweight.
Now, I know none of this is shocking to you, but just you wait! He was also a massive dick! Oh yeah! Try to suspend your disbelief.
He waddles out of the car with impressive speed for a man of his husk. Fuming mad he yells/screams, “I told you not to go! I told you!”
So, here’s what happened. Apparently while I was waiting at the light to turn yellow, there was a cop parked at a gas station which was right next to me. I’ve blown through that light hundreds of times in the past. I never thought to look for a police car because I didn’t think road rules applied to bikers. I mean, if you get hit, you’re probably going to die and all. So, the need for bike laws seems kind of silly.
While I was sitting there counting the seconds the cop noticed what I was about to do. He got on that bullhorn thing and said, “Don’t do it. Do not do that.” Well, I was pounding away to something hard and fast in the earbuds. I have those really nice ones that expand in your ear canal and block out all sound. I didn’t hear him, nor was I ever expecting anyone to speak to me while waiting at that stoplight.
He goes off for a good minute about disrespectful I was to his wishes, I did the only sensible thing you can do when you’re being yelled at by a community college dropout. I let him win. I did the, “Oh, I’m new to the city, didn’t know that light had an arrow, just jumped it accidentally, sorry officer, won’t happen again!”
Truth is I had lived in Chicago for ten years. By the way, I’m dripping sweat and exhausted. While my patience was starting to wear thin, I just kept my mouth closed. I didn’t think anything would happen other than a stern lecture. I was wrong.
I need to see your license.
Uh… hmm… I guess I do have it somewhere.
I’ll be right back.
He disappeared into his car and started punching up his computer. I figured he just wanted to see if I had warrants or anything. Clearly he would find out I haven’t had any sort of traffic violation in almost fifteen years and send me on my way. But the son of a bitch comes back with a yellow slip of paper.
Okay, I wrote you a ticket for illegally crossing through a red light. You can pay the fine or appeal before a judge. I am keeping your license.
Wait. What do you mean you’re taking my license?
This ticket will suffice as your license until such time as you resolve the infraction.
Do you need a license to drive a bike?
Uh – no.
Well, what would have happened if I didn’t have my license?
I would have taken you down to the station until you posted bond.
You do good work, officer.
– fin –
Okay, I didn’t say that last line. By the way, the ticket was for $150. Plus, this would go against my insurance. Can you imagine that my rates go up because I got a misdemeanor on my Cannondale? Also, I think they have some wacky points system here that I didn’t want to know anything about. This is a bonafide moving violation.
I was so pissed I nearly yelled, “Somewhere a rapist is laughing hysterically!” But I didn’t because, unlike him, I decided that would not be the best use of my time.
I am sooooooooooooooooooooo proud of how I tied those two sentences together!
I swear I am not trying to drag this out. This was meant to be one post, and I guess it will have to finish tomorrow with part III. I hope you’re not as bored as I fear.