Guilty, I am.
I was riding southbound on San Tomas Expressway yesterday around 6PM when I got to the Winchester offramp and found it was coned off and flares were set. I rode up to the cones but couldn't see anything going on, so I went down the ramp a ways. Just past the turn I saw a car stopped, a cyclist standing alongside the ramp, and a CHP officer. Once the officer saw me he signalled me over to him and asked for my drivers license. The other cyclist told me we were being cited for crossing through the cones.
Hard to argue that one; there I was, standing on the wrong side of the cones.
The CHP officer asked, "Did you see the cones and flares?!"
"Well, yeah," I replied, "kinda hard to miss 'em. Especially with those flares going."
I then asked the officer, "What was I supposed to do when the last safe offramp on the road is closed?" He told me I had 3 choices; to ride the wrong way on San Tomas Expressway back to Budd Avenue, to continue on over the Camden overpass, or to sit by the cones and wait for the offramp to open again.
Well, I had run the first two options through my mind before I even crossed the cones and ruled them out as suicidal. The 3rd never occurred to me since there was no one in sight at the cones!
The officer then proceded to tell me, and the growing group of cyclists with me, how he thought we were crazy to be riding on this road in the first place and that I shouldn't complain about riding the wrong way on San Tomas Expressway, since I chose to bring a bike out there in the first place.
"You should see the things I see on this job," the officer continued, "then you'd think twice about riding out here. Cars don't care what happens to you guys. Just look at what happened on Stevens Creek Canyon last year."
"That was one of your guys, wasn't it?" I replied. "What lesson were we supposed to take away from that one? The cyclists were obeying the law, as far as we know." I realized that now (or possibly earlier) was a good time to stop talking.
The bottom line is that this officer is right; I really didn't like the choices I had at that cone line, but I didn't have to cross the cones. The CHP expects cyclists to follow all the rules of the road.