The trip is on

Spring is here and the trip is on! I booked a flight to Victoria, BC today after a glorious ride this morning. The decision that this summer was the summer for the bike trip came together slowly. I kept making small decisions and feeling out the possibilities but always with easy room to back out. Somehow I assumed that a clear sign would present itself and declare, “Good idea. You should definitely take the summer off instead of being a good little student.” No sign appeared so I just took the plunge. Now that I’ve got the tickets, it feels official. I am cycling across Canada this summer.

The Bedford Minuteman Company carries the Liberty Pole to Wilson Park where it will be raised, and a red Liberty cap will adorn its top. (image & caption from The Bedford Citizen)

As for the ride today, I came across some more of the quirky New England small town traditions and sights that make cycling in the area so pleasant. Bedford’s annual Pole Capping and Colonial Parade was happening today. While the parade portion seems fairly self-explanatory, what is pole capping you might ask. After some research, I can report that colonial rubble rousers used to clandestinely scamper up a pole and pull a red cap atop as a declaration of liberty; it was a way to stick it to the British as one is wont to do. It sounds so comical. I can just imagine some commander glancing out the garrison window over his tea and seeing that some colonial agitator had dared to besmirch the public order with that d***ed liberty cap. Maybe he ordered his men to chase that trouble maker down and thrown him in the goal.

Obviously pole capping arouse out of serious concerns and yearning for a better life. The costs of the subsequent revolution were staggering. Nevertheless, I think we would do well to remember the comical element of this resistance, especially as the US Supreme Court continues to erode the laws governing financial political contributions. We need more irreverence for the few with the very deep pockets. I wonder what a modern version of pole capping would be?

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