On October 22nd I made a stupid mistake on my bicycle. Of course I know that bicycles are supposed to ride in the same direction of traffic and of course I know that to run a stop sign on a bicycle is also illegal. The fact that I did both these things at the same time while holding a steady pace of 25mph+ at a crowded intersection in Costa Mesa while riding a bike with little to no brakes is flat out inexcusable. I am not writing to you now to try and argue my case with an elaborate poster drawing of the intersection, by no means. However I do require your help in the most direst of ways.
Officer Dibble seemed to be quite impressed with the rate of speed I could move around town while wearing sandals so he was kind enough to give me the choice between the two violations described above. Dibble was not aware of the cost for either ticket and since I had heard of someone getting a stop sign ticket before, I decided to try something new and go with the ticket described as …”Bicycle operation on roadway, same direction as motor vehicles.” In my opinion far less of a crime than flying into an intersection with blind corners and stray poodles with a bag of chicken bowl bouncing around your left wrist.
I went home and told my roommates about this situation and we argued about the cost and what I should have done. In the end a bet was made. I took the under on a $100 fine and my roommate took the over. Loser paid $100. Several weeks later the ticket came and it was for $118. Shit!
I intended to speak with you then regarding the cost of this fine however there was not enough time before I left for Argentina which is where I am now. I requested an extension online which was kindly given to me however it was only until February 22nd and I will not be back in the United States until May 1st. This deadline came and went and I have been recently sent a scanned image of a “FINAL NOTICE” going to collections type of letter unless I pay $453. I can understand the courts concern for my absence but there is no need to get testy with the fine. I was riding a bicycle and in turn helping our fine city become better. In fact I am tempted to say that you should be paying me money but that can wait for another time.
So in conclusion I am asking for one of two things:
- Can you extend the time it will take until my case is sent to your collections vendor to allow me to come visit you in person at the Harbor Justice center.
- Could you just reduce the fine to $99 and we can call everything settled. I am coming back from a 5 month trip through South America and have been on a fixed budget for a while. $453 could get me to Antarctica and back and that would be a very cool trip. You should come.
I look forward to hearing from you with your decision.
Sincerely and Respectfully,