Sunday, August 6, 2017

Swat Team on Wild Pasture Road

Eager to get out on my bicycle, upon my return from New York City, I took off along one of my favorite paths, which takes me down Towle Farm Road to Nason Lane to Drinkwater. I actually pass through borders of three townships, Hampton, Hampton Falls and Kensington, on this route.  Just after entering Kensington, I start to ascend Wild Pasture road, which is canopied by tall sycamores and other sorts of trees.

Today, as I huffed and puffed up the hill I saw something I'd never seen before, never expected to see. I could see it half a mile off, a long black sedan with blue lights flashing fore and aft, T boned across the road, blocking it. 

Slowing as I approached, I tried to guess what this might be about.  Police sometimes stop their cars to slow traffic for work crews, tree trimming, but this was a Sunday when no work crews are out, and in any case, they usually just slow everyone down and there was nobody with one of those slow/stop signs, no workers in hard hats, in fact, no police visible.

Suddenly, I remembered where I was:  New Hampshire! That drug infested den!  I have it on the highest authority, that's what this state is now. And this might be some sort of drug bust. 

About fifty yards from the police car I could just dimly perceive someone sitting behind the wheel. He was tough to see because he was dressed in all black and wearing a black baseball cap and as I approached, he leaned from the driver's side so he could shout through the open right door window,

"Hey, the rules apply to bikers, you know!"

I started to ask him to which particular rule he was referring, but I thought better of it, and simply turned around and headed back in the direction from which I came and another biker, who I hadn't noticed, just behind me, wheeled about and passed me saying, "Well, he was a little over the top, wasn't he?"

As we headed back I noticed  utility truck pulling up near the police car and a drooping over head power line.

I looked  to see if there might have been a power line 0n the road, but if it was a wire the cop was worried about, why was he not standing outside his car in the road to stop traffic?

Meanwhile, a steady stream of cars, half a dozen at least, headed past me toward the cop, and I presumed he would remind them the rules applied to cars as well and they would be turning around and following me back down the road.

I thought of the cop. He was one hostile cop. Maybe he had seen bicycle riders just swerve around roadblocks and continue through. Bicyclists do sometimes do things which motorists would not do.  Coming up a blind curve to my house, I cut across the road and ride facing traffic as if I were walking because if I stayed in the lane I would force trucks and cars into the oncoming traffic. I also cross a closed covered Bridge which has a sign, "No vehicular traffic" and I rationalize a bicycle is not really what they mean by vehicle. Clearly, the intent is to prevent the weight of cars and trucks on the bridge.

Some of the cop's reaction may have been based on prior anger at what he'd seen other bikers do which had offended him.  More likely he was just a cop, like most cops I know: Basically volatile to the point of explosion, high strung. I suspect if President Obama had invited the two of us to the White House for a beer, I might have seen his point of view. But I don't think either of us will be invited to the White House any time soon. I would not be interested at the present time, even to get to know the cop better.

I had just spent the weekend in New York City, where you see cops who walk the sidewalks.  They go by in cars, too, but mostly you see them in pairs on the sidewalks, on street corners. These NYPD cops do not seem ready to explode. They look annoyed, amused, sometimes indifferent, but they are not the sort of people you cross the street to avoid. 

I was happy to get back to Hampton, where the dens are less drug infested. The worse infestations we have in Hampton are borer beetles who eat birch trees.

Up here in the Live Free or Die Drug infested Den, the police are cooped up in their cars and it seems to make them resentful and irritated.

Can't be fun having to deal with this drug infested population.

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