I got pulled over.

This story comes from the annals of my cycling adventures.

I was in the Air Force from 1995 to 2000 and was stationed at Gunter in Montgomery, AL in the spring of 1997. I rode quite a bit in college but when I was stationed in Nebraska I did not ride much because of the long cold winters. So when I moved to Montgomery I was looking for routes and stopped in the local bike shop.

The shop was Cycle Escape and the owners would eventually introduce me to my wife, but that is a story for another day. I went in and they had the mechanics stands where you could chat and watch the guys work on bikes. One of the part-time wrenches was a sheriff’s deputy and when I asked about routes he told me about a route out by Emerald Mountain. He told me where to park and gave me a couple of different distance options which became some of my standard routes.

When I was in the military we regularly played golf on Fridays. Not every Friday but once a month, your tax dollars at “work.” We had gone to play golf one Friday south of Montgomery and on the way back I stopped to ride in the Pike Road community because the roads and were traffic were both good. I literally just parked on the side of the road, changed into my cycling clothes and got in a quick ride.

After the ride, on my way back home I was followed by a police officer for miles, even though I had slowed to the speed limit. I got it into my head that someone had seen me changing clothes on the side of the road and had called the cops. I had no idea how I was going to tell my Colonel that I was busted for public nudity for changing on the side of the road.

The rest of the cops must have finally arrived because all of a sudden an SUV pulled in front of me, a second cop was beside me and a sheriff was behind me in a rolling blockade. Of course I pulled over. They all got out with their weapons drawn and one of them over the load speaker told me to move to the back of the car with my hands up and get spread eagle on the trunk.

I was wearing spandex, I couldn’t hide anything if I wanted. They asked if they could go through my car and I said yes. When the sheriff popped my trunk he said, “Nice bike.” Then they went through my golf clubs in the back seat.

Finally the sheriff turned to me and said, “You don’t remember me do you?” I replied that I did not and he told that he was the mechanic who had told me to park up by Emerald Mountain. A woman was abducted around that area and because my car was parked there I became a suspect. If it hadn’t been for the sheriff who told me to park there, and the fact that he was involved in my traffic stop, who knows what would have happened.

Needless to say I have been more careful where I park and especially where I change into my cycling gear.


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