I was confronted by a cop while riding my bicycle yesterday.  Alright,  that sounds worse than it was, but juxtaposed, in retrospect, with it being the day the guilty verdict was announced against the Minnesota officer  in the George Floyd murder case, I found myself pondering it further during my post-ride shower. At the time this happened, I didn’t not know the outcome of the case – I do not watch television – because I had not checked my Android headlines yet, that day.

I write this with a smile and not a frown.  The officer did not turn my world upside-down when he noticed my bike was inverted – he simply wanted to help – unlike much of the banter about policing is these days.  No. Today I come down on the side that most police people really want to help – not hurt good citizens.

Oh yes, by the way, I am a black American man and this officer is Caucasian; I only mention it to accurately paint the word-picture.  I was wearing my “California Republic” kit (very stylish), my helmet, gloves and white wristbands.

My bike is relatively new, having been gifted to me by a former boss, and recently had it “tuned-up” at a local bike shop; my second time riding it since, and this day it threw the chain twice in less than a mile, when I tried to shift gears and this was the second time I had to stop.

The first thing that briefly ran through my mind when I noticed his cruiser’s police striping from the corner of my left eye was that, “Oh, here we go, he’s gonna tell me I’m not allowed to be in the parking lot of a closed business, or something…” As ridiculous as it sounds, during my six decades on earth, I’ve been told many silly rules!    However, the officer quickly dispelled that thought with his genuine concern!  He offered to help and told me about some tool he had that might assist my situation.  When I described what I was going through, the interaction conversation continued friendly, with him telling me about a biking trail and me bemoaning the lack of bike lanes and safe cycling-friendly ways to get to it, which he related to.

We could have kept conversing that day, but I was anxious to get in whatever might be left of my riding exercise and so, I tactfully flipped my bike back upright and thanked him for checking on me, (making sure I used the word “officer” in the sentence) and it was smiles all around as we continued our separate ways, on a beautiful spring afternoon in my new neighborhood. I almost extended my fist, so we could do a sanitary and manly fist-bump, but thought better, not wanting to push it.