Wet Cops Ride in Rain

Over the past weekend, I finally had some time to crop and post 96 photos from the Mid-Atlantic Police Motorcycle Riding Competition that was held earlier than usual this year (June 25-27, 2015) in Chantilly, Virginia.Pbootcops19I was there one evening and for two full days on Friday and Saturday. The weekday evening practice and orientation was warm and sunny. On Friday, it was cloudy. On Saturday, the skies…

…opened up and it rained and rained and rained. But nothing stops a “rain or shine” event (except lightning, which thankfully we didn’t have.)

The event time was coordinated with the World Police and Fire Games and was supposed to attract more competitors from all over the nation and the world. Actually, there were fewer competitors this year (89) than last year (over 120), but competitors came from as far away as California (one of them, anyway.) There were a few cops from Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Federal DC, and Maryland, but as usual, the vast majority were from law enforcement agencies from Northern Virginia. As usual, the host agency, Fairfax, had the largest number of competitors because they have the largest police motorcycle unit of any area jurisdiction.

The competition was well organized and the hosts were gracious and efficient.

What I noticed as most different this year was that there must have been a rules change within law enforcement agencies as well as within the competition, because there were a lot of cops — about half — wearing tactical boots instead of tall black patrol boots, such as Dehners or Chippewa Hi-Shine engineer boots. Example here:CopsTac05The cops who wore tactical boots also had a tactical uniform of sorts — at least something like utility trousers — and most tac-booted cops wore t-shirts instead of a uniform shirt with patches.

Hmmm… interesting change. I’m not so sure I have adjusted to motorcops not wearing equestrian-style boots, but as one cop said, “enjoy your ‘horse boots,’ mine are much more comfortable.”

Saturday, the precipitation varied from drizzle to a downright downpour, but mostly, it was a gentle rain. There were fewer cops who had problems like dropping their bike while riding in the rain than when the pavement was dry. Most cops seem to think that wet pavement provides more traction, which I guess is true after the oil deposited from numerous vehicles in the parking lot washed away due to the volume of heavy rain.

In my opinion as an experienced rider, I think there were fewer mishaps during the competition because cops were riding more carefully and less aggressively. I could tell that because the times of the fastest riders were a bit longer than in past years when the weather was dry.Wetcop11Come see the gallery on my website which this year has five albums: Motor Officers in Patrol Boots, Motor Officers in Chippewa Boots (enough for its own album now), Motor Officers in Tactical Boots, Patrol Boots on Motor Officers, and “Motor Officers Riding in the Rain.”

Life is short: admire genuine skill.