Earlier today, around 6:30 PM, I was riding my bicycle in my hometown of Charles Town, WV. I was minding my own business and obeying the traffic laws. The road I was riding on was in town, with a speed limit of 25 mph. I was probably going between 17 - 20 mph. As I was riding along, I heard a police siren blip behind me. When I looked over my shoulder, I saw a police SUV right behind me. Thinking he merely wanted to pass, I rode over on the far right side of the road. The police SUV then pulled up alongside me and the officer rolled down the window, motioning me to stop. When I did, the officer said to me, "Get off the roadway." When I responded that I was riding as far to the right as possible, given that there was no shoulder, he responded "I don't care. Go ride someplace else." He then rode off.
Knowing that it was legal to ride there, I continued my ride before he was even out of sight. However, I was fuming mad. When I got home, I looked up the West Virginia traffic laws just to be sure. There was nothing to indicate that it was illegal to ride there. I decided to call up the police department and ask about it. Unfortunately, there are several jurisdictions that operate near the area that I was - the Charles Town police department, the Ranson police department, and the Jefferson County Sheriff's department. Since I thought I recalled seeing "Jefferson county" on the vehicle, I called the Jefferson county sheriff's department. A receptionist there informed me that I was in Ranson's jurisdiction, and said she'd forward my call to the Ranson police department. Shortly thereafter, a Ranson police officer called me back. When I described the incident to him, he first asked if I was riding on a motorcycle. When I informed him that I was riding a regular bicycle, he confirmed that it was completely legal for me to be cycling in that area. However, he said that the officer must have been a Jefferson county officer, not a Ranson officer. So basically I was kind of getting the run around. I guess I won't pursue it further, although I'm tempted to try to track down this officer who was harassing me.
Just wondering what you all think, and if anyone else around here has had a similar experience.