I’d finished the group trainer ride shortly after 7pm, packed up my gear and waddled uncomfortably to my car. Still dressed in full bike kit and carrying bike, trainer, mat and bag, I awkwardly shoved said items into my jeep as the rain came down in long hard sheets, soaking me entirely. After several minutes of juggling these items I finally sat in the drivers seat. Realizing in that moment I had about a half hour back to home and didn't have a pair of sweats to change into, only my dressy work attire from earlier that day. Sitting outside in my jeep at Pro City I wiggled out of my bike shorts and bike jersey, dressed myself in my overcoat and made the executive decision that I would drive home like this. I was wearing a sizeable overcoat that came down far past my hips and had a large cowl neck collar. I'd have no problem getting home wearing just the jacket, and I wouldn't have to sit in my sopping wet bike clothes for the duration of the ride.

I suppose this is when I should have realized I was doomed. Not for any reason other than I am me, and I seem to attract troublesome or bizarre situations wherein I feel my life may be temporarily suspended for stupidity.

I am driving, singling along to Airborne Toxic Event on the radio when I make a right handed turn onto West Saanich Road, a mere few minutes from home. There is a long line of sirens going, and at first I thought it must be an accident. Upon closer examination, and looking at the line of cars stopped, I realized with a sinking pit in my stomach that I had just stumbled across a Checkstop. Victoria loves their Checkstops. I have been through four since February, which actually beats my grand total of all-time rolled through Checkstops before my move here. Because the drunk driving law is airtight here, it seems to be a common occurrence, not that I made a practice of having a few cocktails and then trying to dodge the law home (rest assured, Mum and Dad).

I don't like Checkstops for a few reasons. 1. They make me very nervous. Although I never drink + drive, for some reason the lights, the suited-up cops, and cars pulled over increases my resting heart rate and overall anxiety. 2. I am always afraid more unrelated questioning will follow. Ie: Why do you have Alberta plates? Do you know your right blinker only occasionally works? Have you paid your recent parking ticket? Unfounded these fears usually are. I don't have anything to hide! This time, however, I kept swallowing down big gulping worries. I was completely naked under my jacket, and I wasn't sure if somehow this was breaking a law. Indecent exposure? I would have grabbed my phone and done a quick google search, but I also didn't want to get nailed on driving + texting. They take that stuff pretty serious now a days.

So I slowly inch my car up to the officer, hoping to God it is a young guy.

No luck.

The officer taps on my window and I roll it down. I likely have the appearance of someone who is about to lie to a police officer about drinking and driving. My heart is pounding inside my ears, I can feel sweat pooling on my temples. Shit, shit, shit. I manage a weak smile and a squeaky voice.

He takes a quick look at me and shines his flashlight into the car. He asks me where I am coming from (downtown), where I am going to (home) and if I have had anything to drink (no). He smiles at me and for a moment, sweet relief. I am in the clear! I'm going to have managed my way through a Checkstop with no problems, without having to step out of the car to reveal my blue coat and red Toms as the only items I am wearing, and will live to tell the tale. I am jubilant in my smile as I thank him and begin to roll up my window.

Wait, he suddenly says.


He leans all the way into the car, so sure I am he can see my bare legs, I can almost feel myself begin to cry. He is going to ask me, are you wearing any clothes? Are you aware I can arrest you on the spot? What makes you think you can get away with this?

He shines his light past me into the back of the jeep.

Is that a road bike you have there? He inquires, his face a genuine question mark.

For the next few moments we chatted. Yes, that is my road bike. Yes, I did ride it on a trainer. Turns out the cop just bought himself a used Trek bike and had been fiddling around on it. I can't figure out those clips, he chuckled to me, and I assured him that the pedals would come easier to him the more he practised. In fact, I said, most cyclists when they begin take a few hard falls. Thanking me, and sharing in our little cycling secret, off I drove into the dark, homeward bound.

Saved by the bike!