Monday, December 6, 2010

A BROtocrosser's Guide: How to Deal with Cops

As more and more tracks and riding spots are becoming illegal, dealing with the EPA or even the real boys in blue has become a part of the riding experience for a lot of us. Whether it be trails, private tracks, or freeride spots, the cops seem to have it all programmed into the GPS, just waiting for the opportunity to roll that cruiser in and watch kids scurry like cockroaches with the lights turned on. But BROtocross is here to help the people. With this simple guide, you too can avoid having your bike impounded and getting a taste of that sweet Crown Vic hood paint when they shove your face in it.

Rule #1: Don't run. There have been a lot of times where people seem to think that since they know the trails around them, then should the cherry tops show up, all they have to do is hit the trails and it will be clear. Here's the thing, if the cops have already shown up at your local spot, they probably have someone ready to go at the other end of those trails. Once you meet that second car, you are epically fucked. Like, bike gone forever fucked. Of course, should you possess Jedi-like patience and will, a good move to make if running is the only option is go as deep into the trails as you can, shut the bike off and just wait for an hour or so. One thing you were right about in going into the trails is that the cops probably don't have the ability to roll the squad car through there, and unless they have ATVs (dumb), then they aren't going to venture far into the woods.

Rule #2: Mind your manners. When conversing with da po-lice, be kind, be polite, basically, just be like one of those fruity characters in a children's Christmas special, good cheer for everyone and all that business. Police are generally delicate creatures. A lot of them love what they do, which is busting anyone that gives them a reason. If they ask you to come over and talk to them, just say "Sure, one sec", lean your bike on something, take your helmet off, and walk calmly over there and say "What can I do for you, officer?" It goes a long way, and remember, you are representing your people, so you will be doing a service to any others that these cops encounter further down the road. Every good rider they meet affects their opinion of riders in general. It's a good thing. And I have said this before but it definitely needs to be said here: Don't call a cop "Dude". Ever. That cop is not a dude, trust me.

Rule #3: Don't be a tough guy.  This goes along with Rule #2, but if you have already been stopped by the cops, no matter what, you have probably already lost. Your only focus should be getting back to a respectable position. Leaving with no tickets and all your equipment and friends should be considered a rousing victory. Everyone says how much they hate cops and everything, but being a tough guy when you are dealing with the cops is never the right move. You might get laid when telling the story later on, but odds are you will be in jail and it won't be what you originally had in mind. I know that if you are wearing Mulisha gear or have a completely murdered-out bike that you are obliged by your religion to be an asshole to authority figures, and by all means do it, because you belong in jail anyways, douche.

Rule #3.5: Sound like a tough guy at the bar, not at the scene. Everyone is guilty of embellishing the truth when they talk about encounters with the police. We all want to sound like we controlled the exchange and didn't let them call the shots. Sure, it's fine to lie, lying is fun, but don't be the idiot who thinks his friends were telling the truth and is now going to follow their lead. Your friends were begging the cops to let them go, like on their knees, tears streaming down their face, and maybe rocking back and forth in the fetal position. They got away because the cops didn't want to listen to them for a 20 minute ride back to the station. Check their pockets, there's probably visine to hide the tears.

Rule #4: Express your love for the environment. This one is really just specific to dealing with the EPA, but in a last ditch attempt it may work with real cops. The hippies hate dirtbikes. We destroy the world, we know. It's all really terrible and shit. And the EPA, they only exist because of the hippies, and they know it. So when you are walking over to talk to them, maybe gently rub a tree as you go past it. It's a subtle and bold move, but if they notice it, they will think "Oh shit, that guy LOVES trees". How are they going to punish someone who is in love with a tree? Won't happen, not now, not never. Remember, you are trying to get out of this without a ticket, not with your dignity. And trees = environment. Bingo bango, you're a tree-loving enviro-hippie like them. Maybe your bike runs on ethanol and your tires inject plant seeds into the ground. Sounds plausible to me. Hell, they'll probably pay you to keep riding if you can play that card.

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