I was minding my own business, thank you very much, when I was riding my Harley yesterday to the gas station to fuel up.
I noticed in my left mirror that another motorcycle was gaining speed and headed right for me. I thought to myself, “oh great, here’s another sport biker who has to go faster than me.” I have learned long ago not to try to hog up a lane and prevent them from passing if they want to — doing that causes many of them to make dumb maneuvers which could risk their life, and my own. I pulled toward the right side of the lane I was in, so if he wanted to pass, he could do so safely.
Then I noticed as this motorcycle drew closer that it wasn’t a sport biker after all, but a huge Harley… with red and blue lenses instead of running lights, and a guy with tall patrol boots riding it. A cop. Pointing at me with that “pull over” signal. Oh crap!
We all feel that way … when a cop pulls you over, you think back quickly to ask yourself, “what was the speed limit? Was I exceeding it? Did I make a turn that I should not have made? Did I run over a pedestrian and only now am noticing that the bike is slowed from dragging her along?” … well, not quite the latter… but you know what I mean. Countless questions about your driving and what would warrant a cop to stop you.
I pulled over at the next safest place that I could. The cop stopped behind me. Following directions given to me by motorcop friends, I killed my engine but stayed on my bike and kept my hands on the bars. No quick movements, and no dismount. If the cop wanted me off the bike, he would ask me to dismount when he was closer and in a better position to stop me if I tried to run.
But then it dawned on me — all in a matter of a few seconds that felt much longer — that this was no ordinary bike cop doing a traffic stop. It was my friend who I went to school with and ride with on occasion. He had this big grin on his face as he walked up to me.
He said, “man, you’re nervous! Ha! What do you have to be nervous about?” Then he shook my hand, wished me a happy birthday, and gave me a birthday card. He said, “take this as your ‘citation.’ Drive safely, now!”
Man, I could have beamed him one. But I wouldn’t assault a cop. Well, not on purpose, anyway.
But next time he’s on a ride that I’m leading, I am giving him a set of different directions!
Life is short: enjoy your friends — even those with evil senses of humor!