Palo Alto resident and local bike nut Martin Krieg often rides his high wheeler "ordinary" bicycle around town. I see him cruising around downtown. This article in the Palo Alto Weekly talks about how police stop Martin to cite him for violations of some aspect of California Vehicle Code, but he always talks his way out of a ticket (and I can imagine him doing it, too -- he's very talkative, very positive and always does it with a smile). There's also a pretty cool photo of him taking the lane in heavy traffic on his slow, historical bicycle in the rain. Read more.
There's also this article about Martin's ordinary bike and the definition of a bicycle under the California Vehicle Code. Sgt. Paul McCarthy of the Redwood City division of the California Highway Patrol agreed Wednesday that "this device" does not seem to be classified as a bicycle. "Legally, it doesn't appear he has an obligation to follow the sections of the vehicle code pertaining to a bicycle." The article describes rolling in circles at intersections waiting for traffic to pass, but I seem to recall seeing Martin do trackstands on his high bike.
Speaking of Palo Alto, dozens of bicycles were stolen during Stanford's "Big Game" against Cal State last Saturday night, including one that was stolen from a player from the locker room. Apparently, organized groups of thieves went around with lock breaking tools and a truck during the game stealing bikes locked to bike racks, poles and fences around the stadium. If you ride your bike to Stanford football games, volunteers from the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition provide guarded bicycle parking during all home Stanford games. During the Big Game, SVBC volunteers parked 1,461 bicycles. The service is free, but donations are appreciated.
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I dunno, fritz, but i suspect the cops could get 'creative' about finding applicable law. The practice of riding in circles at an intersection is dangerous because it confuses motorists, but I'd have to read the relevant CA law as to the definition of a bicycle, and I'm just too lazy to look it up!