Last night, I slogged through the slow bumper-to-bumper traffic between my home state and Virginia to attend a training session for judges at the upcoming motorcycle police skills competition that will be held tomorrow and Saturday.
Man, traffic during “slog hours” (I have no idea why they call it “rush hour.” No one is rushing anywhere!) is a nightmare. I am sooooo very glad that I do not have to deal with that traffic on a daily basis, or I would lose whatever is left of my mind.
Anyway, when we arrived, some cops…
…who are organizing the event along with the lead judge gave us an orientation of how things work and what to expect. Nothing different from the 10 times I have served as a judge for this event before, but the refresher was good.
The motorcycle police skills competition — also called a “police rodeo” — involves a number of courses designated by traffic cones strategically placed on the ground of a level parking lot. The courses all have names like “Snow Bowl Slolam,” “Crackerjack,” “Harp,” and so forth. Cops have to ride quickly and skillfully through tight turns, figure-eights, and u-turns, left and right and often. These courses are very difficult to get through, and only the most skilled riders avoid penalty points. Penalty points are given when a rider touches a cone, knocks a cone over, plants his boot on the ground, does not follow the proscribed path of travel, or worst: drops his bike.
After the orientation briefing, a motorcop demonstrated riding through each course. He made it look so easy, but I know from trying some of these courses myself, they are very difficult. I do not ride enough or have enough skills to get through any such course “clean.” That is, without screwing up, putting my boot down, knocking over dozens of cones, riding out of the course, or all of the above.
The cop who demonstrated skills to us was not in official uniform. He wore utility trousers, a t-shirt, and (guess what?) Firefighter Boots! Just like the boots I rave about regularly! Short (about 8 inches/20cm) tactical boots with a boot zipper up the middle.
Ya see! I’m not the only fan of this style of boot for non-duty, regular wear for motorcycle riding.
The weather last night was gorgeous — warm but not incredibly hot, not humid, and sunny. Unfortunately, it will be quite the opposite when the real event is held. Grrr… nothing good about wet cops.
Anyway, it was interesting to watch this cop so skillfully demonstrate riding through each course. Life is short: admire great skill!