the little desert rose that could.
Wasn’t really planning to work on Monday night, was looking forward to the Bayou Bash, but of course I had to go in. No worries though.
Decided to pick up Jeff’s Desert Rose Huffy bicycle at Koshu on the way home from work since I had pretty much left it there for the entire weekend. I had ridden it over there on Friday looking like a big skinny bear in the circus. The bike is designed for a small child, so my legs were basically going from 20 to 30 degree angles to pedal. The back tire is flat and the chain is rusted something fierce. Needless to say, it’s not a travel worthy-ride. But, it was Friday and we were all high on chilling with each other and going to celebrate at the Board Room.
So, I had my bike (full-size) and went to grab Jeff’s toy and had it rigged backwards to pedal it holding the back tire up along side me. I made a few passes in the parking lot and decided it was going to work and started home toward Aspen. Not too far out of the parking lot I started getting high-beamed and tail-gated by a car behind me. I kinda figured it was a friend fucking with me and gave them a look over the shoulder, but couldn’t see much because the lights were so strong. I kept pedaling, but the car kept tailgating me and I turned around to give them a look and the Desert Rose lost track and slammed into my back tire. The pedals got caught in my spokes and the fender got ripped up sideways by the handlebars and I came to a hard stop.
Pissed, I got off my bike and turned with a “what the fuck!?!” directed at the car now stopped behind me. At this same time, two Jackson town cops were getting out of the car. Great. I had both of my lights on and was within all the legal limits of operating a bicycle within town at night. Including, but not limited to being stone-cold sober. I was pretty worked up, but tried to calm myself down to save some time/trouble.
They asked me to step back from the bikes and to show some identification. I pulled my ID and gave it to them asking why they were following me so damn close. They said they were trying to get a good look at me and what I was carrying.
I explained that the bike belonged to Jeff and that I was taking it back to him because he asked me to pick it up. They asked if I could prove that it was Jeff’s bike. I said, “let’s call him.” They weren’t going to have that.
The cops then explained that when they come across someone with two bikes, they have to assume that one is being stolen. OK, I said, pulling the business card from the group that built my custom bike (“the Colgate”) out, and then they asked if they “could run the serial.” I agreed and they proceeded to flip over the Desert Rose. Yes, that’s correct, they wanted to check and see if I was trying to steal the shitty little kids bike and not my nice custom bike. That’s like having a bottle of Rothschild and trading it in for a fucking Bota Box.
As frustrating as it was, it did prove one thing to me: these assholes were just interested in ruining my night, and had to find an excuse. There I was standing out in the cold wet street of Millward with a pair of jerks checking to see if the serial on the bottom of this child’s bike matched one on record as stolen at the Police Station. I mean, FUCK! As I watched a couple other patrol cars drive-by I stated that “(they) must be pretty bored,” and asked what they normally do on a Monday night. They took offense to this and got a little blowhard with the questions.
Jeff bought the bike at a yard sale in Idaho he says. Nothing came up on the radar for stolen bikes, but they decided to make it more interesting by asking me questions about my bike, like where I got my lights, whose face was on the sticker on the back, and what I did for work. This all took about 30 mins and by the time I started telling them my job at the ‘Trombone’ and that I have a column for JH Weekly, they backed off.
They said I could go and I asked for the badges, which they asked why I needed and I explained that A. they didn’t have a choice and B. someone was going to have to pay for the damage to my bike.
I doubt that it will go over with a letter of complaint, but I was unnecessarily stopped with all proper identification and required night-bicycling regalia and they took a ridiculous amount of time to questions me there in the street. These were also the same two guys that used to poach outside of Stone Table and hassle JZ for shit like cigarette butts…
It’s shit like this that makes small-town cops look bad. I started getting my shit together and thanked them for “protecting and serving so well,” and started to walk off. One said, “looks like you have an long and arduous walk up to Aspen ahead of you.” Seriously?..
“Arduous: big word,” under my breath, though.