My ride in the back of a police car.

by | Sep 1, 2008 | Life | 16 comments

Here follows the story of how Martha (that’s my friend) and Jenny (that’s me) ended up in a police car…

My ride in the back of a police car…

We had no idea the adventure that awaited us. We even took pictures before we left – in innocent anticipation of all the fun we would be having… She in her tiara and I with my sceptor…

Would you like to guess how we found ourselves in the back of a police car?

Here are your coices:

  1. We got in a chick-fight at a bar?
  2. We stole a road bike? Or two?
  3. She threw Twinkies at people while I yelled “Neener, neener, neener!!!” and poked at their bellies?
  4. We embezzled millions from a major financial institution??? 
  5. We got stranded on the side of the road in a remote locale due to a flat tire.
True… true… It COULD have been #3.
But it was actually #5!

Martha and I headed out at approximately 5:09 in the p.m. Sunday evening. The weather was perfect, and we were excited to get a few miles in before the close of our day. The ride started out nicely as we climbed easy hills and hugged a narrow shoulder. The traffic on the road less traveled was cooperative. And, once again, I found myself downwind of a superior bike-rider. 

We made our way further and further from our vacation-home-base in Seabrook, Washington.

The coastal view was intoxicating… the breeze – awesome and refreshing. The bugs in my teeth… just kidding…

Somewhere along the way, Martha saw a sign saying the road was ending in 8 miles. We discussed our options and decided to head to the end of the road. We were aware that we had entered a reservation, but we live near several reservations and knew roads weren’t closed to non-natives, and we proceeded.

Early on I saw a cop speed by. I judged him harshly for going so fast. He passed by another time or two and I found myself wondering, “Hmmm…”

A different officer soon sped by. I felt a little warning flag go up and it poked my insides, but I’m a worrier.

At one point a car slowed to our bike pace. The passenger-woman asked Martha (I’m so glad it was Martha – she handled it so well) where we were going. She asked if we were lost… and where we were going.

Martha answered them to the extent she felt safe to share and the car went on… the passenger craning her neck to watch us as they drove away.


Pedal, pedal, pedal… pant, pant, pant… so the story goes as I tried to keep up with Martha.

The hill had a decent grade, but it wasn’t THAT bad. Why was this hill so difficult???

I noticed that the road sounded louder than normal. I looked down and it seemed the the usual “pep” in my bike’s front tire was less, uh… “peppy”.

My suspicion was correct. Lolli’s front tire was flat and I had no cell phone or anything that might aid in repairing a tire that was………. flat.


***crickets chirping, wind blowing***


She heard me that time and flipped a U.

Neither of us had a cell phone – but she had a tube and all the items needed to repair a flat.

Neither of us had repaired a flat. Of course that doesn’t mean we COUDN’T have.

We worked decisively to remove my tire, all the while that little warning flag from earlier was poking my insides again.

I inspected the tire pump with a CO2 cartridge and the contents tumbled out of my nervous hands. I looked up and down the road and said, “Maybe that cop will come by again…” I think the wind was blowing the theme song from The Twilight Zone.

As Martha was removing the tube when I saw a car in the shape of a cop-SUV. Perfect timing!

I waved at him with the “If I had a white flag I’d be waving it right now” wave. He flipped on his lights and stopped to help the two vulnerable (yet capable!) ladies stranded on the side of the reservation road.

In our conversation we learned that we were probably not in an ideal situation. The officer told us that while on our bikes we might have been O.K…. being stranded on the side of the road basically made us equals with… let’s say a bloody wounded animal near a lion’s den at dinner time.

My words, not his. But I think I’m not exaggerating.

He spoke of such things said as, “big drug area” and “many violent offenders” and “many around here don’t like non-natives”. Then he said something like, “And now that you are out here in this position, I can’t leave you alone. If anything happens to you, it would be our fault…” or liability… or something.

Basically, “You are two very fortunate ladies and I am going to be your knight in shining armor and call you a courtesy transport, and thuswise save your lives.”

Somewhere in our waiting for our transport Martha leaned in and said, “You know, Jenny. Just 30 seconds before you called me back I prayed that if we weren’t supposed to continue on that God would give us a sign.”  

It seems we both were feeling a little warning flag poking our insides.

While she prayed for a sign, I was praying I could keep up a little better. I’m thinking I may need reassess my priorities.

With growing nervousness, Martha and I loaded our bikes into the trunk of our “courtesy transport”.  We noticed a car had pulled over during our *rescue*. It seemed to be watching us as we loaded our bikes into our harbor of safety.

The car soon made it’s way toward us. It passed us painfully slow… accompanied by curiously cold stares. With each passing car it was becoming quite clear, at the very best, we were not welcome.

The officer made sure our bikes were in tight while we climbed into the cruiser. I told Martha she would be sitting in the front. Since it was MY tire that went flat – I would pay the price and sit on the hard plastic seat… in the back. I even put my hands behind my back and clasped them together to see how it would feel to be cuffed.

The door could not be opened from the inside. It was so tight I was practically sucking-face with the plexiglass window between the front-seaters and me. It was stuffy. I am not given to manifestations of claustrophobic symptoms, but that night I had a moment.

The officer had compassion on me and opened the plexiglass. A bit of panic faded.

Lemme tell ya, that whole “being arrested” thing – doesn’t seem all that physically comfortable. I don’t recommend it  You don’t have to take MY advice, but if you were smart…

I guess that is kind-of “it”. The officer took us all the way back to our cushy residence in Seabrook.

The ride that should have been 16-20 miles turned out to be closer to 8-10. The ride that eventually would have been filed in the annals of my memory as “another ride”, has now been given a special place of horror honor.

And Martha and I? We are forever bonded as we stared in the face of fear and death and peril… and a ride in a police car.


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