On one of the final legs of his 458-mile bike tour around New Hampshire, presidential candidate Gary Johnson made a brief stop at the Village Bean for a quick rest and recharge.
Accompanied by his fiance, Kate Prusack, his son, Erik, and a supporter, John Foster of Baton Rouge, La., Johnson pedaled into the Village Green Plaza just before 11 a.m.
Although he was on a tight schedule, he still had time to chat with a couple of supporters and try his first ever pumpkin chai latte, which he insisted Prusack try as well.
Johnson also explained the frustration of being left out of debates such as the one taking place tonight at Dartmouth College.
"Being excluded from these debates is something I never factored in," said Johnson. "There are 210 candidates for president and out of those 210 i'm just going to guess that maybe 40 of them are Republicans and you have to draw a line. I just think I should be contained in that line."
According to Johnson, the reason he hasn't been invited to the debates has been a direct result of his exclusion from the polls that serve as barometers to be invited to the debates in the first place.
"CNN comes out with a national poll every two weeks," said Johnson. "Three CNN polls ago I'm at 2 percent of the National vote, which ties me with (Herman) Cain and puts me ahead of (Jon) Huntsman and (Rick) Santorum. Two CNN polls ago as a follow-up to the poll that they had me in, I wasn't even in the poll. One CNN poll ago, I'm not in their poll. They're doing a debate on the 18th where you have to be at a certain percentage of their polling. I'm not in their polling so that counts as a zero."
That debate he spoke of will take place in Las Vegas next Tuesday.
Waiting for Johnson's arrival was Hardy Macia, a supporter from Canterbury, N.H. who showed up early to prop a giant "Johnson 2012" campaign sign on his car facing Indian Rock Road. He said that he has biked with Johnson on some of the other portions of the week-long journey.
For Macia, he sees Johnson as someone who shares a lot of his views and has a good business and political background to turn the economy around.
"I have a candidate in the race that matches my views exactly or very, very closely," said Macia. "Fiscally our country is going to hell in a hand basket. We need a balanced budget. To have a $14 trillion debt and a $1.6 trillion deficit is outrageous."
Eric Jackman, the Western N.H. Field Coordinator for Johnson's campaign, also arrived early to set up signs. According to Jackman, he wasn't going to be part of a campaign for this election until he heard Johnson was running.
Jackman said that if Johnson were elected president, he would be the most physically fit in history.
"Part of this bike trip is just showing the qualities he possesses, (such as) his endurance," said Jackman.
Johnson wasn't holding out too much hope of making his way into the debate tonight, although his fiance was looking to track down her dress pants just in case.
The four riders took off toward Nashua to try to make it for a 12 p.m. appearance at Freewheel Cycles. The crew will hit the finish line for their trip just before 2 p.m. at the Milford Downtown Oval.