I was cycling around the north end of Lake Tahoe, Cal Highway 89 as I remember. I knew that through the trees between the highway and the lake was a bike path, but California never has had a mandatory bike-path law (I had stopped that from being enacted). I was stopped by a cop for using the highway. I told him to radio his supervisor to see whether there was a law that I was violating. It took 45 minutes or so, but I informed him that he had no business with me and I had no business with him, so I was moving on.
Cycling into downtown Washington DC from Dulles airport, I crossed the Potomac on Chain Bridge, and noticed that the road paralleling the river was posted NO TRUCKS and carrying a lot of traffic headed my way. OK for me, I figured. A cop stopped me after about a mile. He really couldn't figure out what statute I was violating, but wrote down something inapplicable. I was attending a three-day meeting in DC, and needed to return to California, so I got an early trial date. Once I arrived in court they changed the charge (not legal in the courtroom, but legal once I left it). There is or was a Federal Regulation saying that cycling is prohibited in the National Capital Parks, except upon roads and such other places as permitted by the Superintendent. Great swathes of area around the national center are part of NCP, cyclists use the roads there all the time, and nowhere is there a sign saying BICYCLE RIDING PERMITTED ON THIS ROAD. There should have been a comma separating "roads" from "and such other places as permitted by the Superintendent", but there wasn't. So the court read the regulation as prohibiting cycling on all roads except those on which the Superintendent had posted permission, despite the fact that cyclists used these roads daily (I knew some who used park roads during their commute, and who were experts in traffic law). The trouble was that I had followed traffic into town along a normal commuting road, the Something or Other Memorial Highway, which had some special status, although there were no signs posted to inform users of its special status.
I was stopped by another Palo Alto cop. I was traveling on a road with four 10-foot lanes without parking, that transformed, at a signalized intersection, into the same width with only two lanes and residential parking each side. While on the outside lane of the four-lane portion, a motorist came up behind me and swerved left almost hitting a cop car that was in the inside lane. We all reached the intersection at a red light. When the light turned green, the traffic sorted itself out into one line that was overtaking me on my left. The cop insisted on staying behind me, turned on lights and siren, and got me prosecuted for delaying her progress, when there was no lane left for her to move in.
I place these examples before you-all readers because they illustrate that Americans all know that cyclists are supposed to stay out of the way of motorists; there are laws that say so (the FTR and mandatory bikeway laws), so that whenever cyclists get in the way of motorists they must be violating some law or other. All that remains is for the cop and prosecutor to find that law, no matter how twisted must be the logic that makes that law apply to the case. The only real way to get out of this legal nastiness toward cyclists is to repeal the laws that prohibit cyclists from obeying the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles and thereby make cyclists second-class road users, subservient to motorists. These are the side-of-the-road laws (FTR) and the mandatory bikeway laws. With those laws repealed, cops, prosecutors and judges would have very little on which to hang their prejudices.