how those interactions with cops would have gone had you been young and black, instead of middle-aged and white...
Middle-aged? That's about as accurate as the WSJ complaining about the Obamacare taxes that kick in at 200K/250K for single/joint and being killers for the middle class. The proper word is old.
Absolutely it would have gone different. But realize that I was actually being very careful with what I was saying even though I shouldn't have had to. And I had no dope or booze in the car, or in me, nor a rap sheet, nor any defects with the car, nor any outstanding warrants. Nor was I giving them any possible probable cause to do anything.
Even at the end with the state cop, when he was trying to impress me with how dangerous the world was, and I wasn't buying it, I wasn't bringing an attitude to the conversation. Or at least I was trying not too, even though I thought he was being a jerk. (The town cop seemed to be doing exactly what he should be, and in a friendly but also professional way.)
But put a young black person in the same spot, yeah, there could be a lot of bad outcomes. A whole lot.
I have to wonder if he saw an old guy getting on a mountain bike, and it just seemed implausible, so he figured something odd was afoot. But you can't just shoot an old white guy.