What’s It Like to be Surrounded by Motor Officers?

On Sunday, May 11, I had the pleasure of riding my Harley with members of the Blue Knights to Law Ride, which is a gathering of police motor officers from all over the country. They assemble at a parking lot at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. Precisely at 11:00, the motor officers begin the procession with us supporters following. We ride down East Capitol Street, past the U.S. Capitol Building, then across Pennsylvania Avenue to Sixth Street, turn right, then right again on F Street, past the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial, left on 5th, then left on G, and park.

My group arrived at the RFK Stadium parking lot about 8:45am. We were there early enough to stage ourselves in the first line of bikers that will follow the motor officers. Then we dismounted and watched thousands of others arrive on motorcycles of all sizes and makes. Of those who came, I estimate there were about 600 – 700 motor officers in uniform. The rest were biker/supporters, like me.

What’s it like? I’ve been asked this question often. For a gay guy, perhaps what I may look for and at may be different from others, but I’m not there for sexual or fetish fantasies. I’m not that kind of guy. I believe that the jobs of our law enforcement officers is tough and they deserve recognition. Yeah, of course, it’s a pleasure for a guy like me who really likes boots and uniforms to be there, to watch, observe, and take pictures.

But what I enjoy most is speaking with some of the officers. I begin by introducing myself. I ask the officer where he is from, and thank him for his service. Usually chit-chat about the job, riding such-and-such a bike, and working in that city or county follows. Because I have traveled to almost every nook and cranny in the U.S. over the years, I find that often I have visited the city or county where the cop is from, so I usually have something to talk about — the cop’s hometown. As for anyone, people like to talk about where they’re from, what they do, and what they enjoy — motorcycling. Most officers enjoy conversations with us “civilians.” After all, they are trained to work with people.

Many of the officers tend to hang out with each other, and swap stories based on their mutual training, background, and experience. I wouldn’t call it cliquish. I would say that people in the same profession tend to have more to talk about with each other. And many of these officers have met before — on this ride or similar rides elsewhere.

If you behave as a normal guy who enjoys motorcycles and appreciates and supports the work of police officers, then there’s not much else to it. You just stand around, occasionally chit-chat with a cop, and take pictures. That’s it. Nothing special, nothing dramatic, nothing difficult. Just hang out, being a biker among fellow bikers.

When the ride queues up to leave, a horn is sounded and a call is made to “mount your bikes.” The cops and the rest of us do that. I put my trinkets that I bought or received as a gift in my saddle bags, put on my jacket, gloves, and helmet, start my engine, and wait to be directed to join the ride, two-by-two. Off we go, down the streets of DC.

Yeah, there is something neat about hearing the roar of all those bikes, seeing all those boots, uniforms, and being one among fellow bikers. That’s what makes this ride fun. The rest — boots, uniforms, leather — is icing on the cake.