Saturday, May 23, 2009

I meant to do that

Some time ago while I was working as a motor cop in North Town we used to run Lidar on a frontage road. When the interstate traffic was way backed up, motorists used to use this road as a bypass. It made for easy pickings.

While I'm posted up beneath some shade, I see this nice BMW sedan haulin ass. The posted speed limit for this section of road is 40 mph. I estimated that she was doing around 60 to 65 mph. I had her speed locked in at 64 mph. I pull onto the roadway behind her waiting to get further south to where the road widens.

I turn on my emergency lights as she begins to move to the right side. She pulled onto the shoulder of the road at the same time I was on the radio with dispatch when she just slammed on her brakes and came to a quick stop. I mean real quick.

I remember grabbing all the brake I could as I saw this clean, shiny pristine rear bumper of a BMW. I'm thinking to myself, "Aw shit, this isn't going to be good."

As I rode onto the white painted fog line for the shoulder of the road my rear tire locked up due to the slickness of the paint compared to the asphalt. Well the back end of my motor began to slide to the right as the rear of the BMW came closer and closer.

The rear of the motor stopped sliding as the motor came to a stop, then high sided as motor and I fell to the right. Luckily I had missed the rear bumper of the BMW. The driver got out of her car and came running back to the rear of her car, you know those tiny little running steps in high heels with arms held high bent at the elbows.

I watched as she stooped down, looked at her bumper to check for damage. When she saw her BMW wasn't touched she then turned and asked me "Are you okay."

Thankfully no damage to the motor and the only damage was to my pride as I stood there embarrassed as motorists drove by looking at the scene of a police motorcycle on its side. It's a sight that any motor officer dreads.

Now to pick up this Harley Davidson Road King..... I could radio for my fellow motor partner to come and help and probably hear about this incident till retirement. The same thing would happen if I called a beat car to come out and help. The driver was kind enough to offer her help, but I asked her to take a seat in her car.

I was able to get the motor upright and I hope to never have to do that again. Next time I think I'll put up with the ribbing from my fellow officers. Luckily I didn't throw my back out. Too eager and being a new motor officer, I figured I had better tone it down if I want to become an "older" motor officer.

Lesson learned: New motor officer, riding too aggressively = bruised ego. I was very lucky. I could have bruised or broken a lot more to the point of a medical retirement if not worse.

I was too eager being a new motor officer. I figured I had better tone it down if I want to become an "older" motor officer.

Since that incident years ago I've learned that you won't catch all the violating motorists and some are not worth my safety to even attempt to catch.

Yeah, she still got her ticket and thankfully she never took it to court.


  1. Since we're sharing New Motor gaffes, I'll share mine. New motorcop, working speed enforcement like you. I get the car pulled over and stopped all fine. Put the kickstand down, or so I thought. On the Harley you have to make sure that the kickstand is fully extended. I in my haste put the kickstand down only about 90% of the way, then set the bike down. TIMMMMM-BERRRRR!!!! I never knew I could pick up a 900-lb bike so fast! It's amazing what adrenaline will do. And yes, the dude still got his ticket.

  2. I've read about how hard it is to 'right' these motorcycles on other blogs, how much do they weigh?

  3. Few months on my new BMW & pull in the rear of the station, stop the bike and start bullshitting with a buddy...he hits the road and I turn to toss something in the saddle bag...all is good, or at least I thought as I stepped off and suddenly realized I forgot the can imagine the rest. I just walked away, in the rear door, sucked it up and asked my partner to lend a hand...not the first, won't be the last...

  4. Rebecca, the Harley Road King I was riding weighs in at about 828 lbs with all the bike fluids. This doesn't account for the added equipment necessary for traffic enforcement. We currently ride the Harley Electra Glide Standard with our agency which weigh in at 831 lbs minus the weight of the equipment.

    BTV, your comment "not the first, won't be the last" is so true. The last time I dropped the bike during one of our quarterly training sessions I learned a new crash bar costs $300. Better to drop the motor in training instead of traffic. Ride safe, rubber side down!

  5. Wow! I had NO IDEA they weighed that much.