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law enforcement is not the same as public safety

Patrol Bike (BMW R1200RT-P)

It was a long day for me on and off my BMW. I made the Sunday Morning Breakfast Club run. That is an hour ride on straight, boring Highway 93 to the marshalling parking lot, then a con-brio group ride on lovely, winding Highway 12 over Lolo Pass for breakfast 47 miles away. After a lot of camraderie, having the group’s tech wizard get my keys out of the trunk I locked them in, we rode back.

From Lolo, I followed one of my new friends to his yard in Missoula to tour a most amazing collection – around 100 classic motorcycles, only a few of which have been restored to excellent operating condition by an interesting guy with his own machine shop and A LOT of unique experiences.

After that I rode over to, and recorded the testing session for my wife’s motorcycle training class. It was hot and I was quite dried out by the time I loaded Piglet onto the trailer. We then made our own ways home. I was looking forward to a couple more liters of drinking water.

On a 4-lane section of highway 93 I had just cleared a significant clump of semi-conscious, marginally attentive car, pickup and SUV drivers plodding up the highway, made some space in the gap between that unsafe glob and the next one up ahead when some kid playing with his game console found a reading he could have fun with, turned on his overhead lights, and flipped a U-turn on the highway. I pulled over, he parked behind and wrote me up for 83 in a 70.

I presented ZERO hazard to myself or the public. This stop was not about anybody’s safety. The boy-child admitted he took every opportunity he could to write tickets to bikers; singled them out for his special attention. He pointed to the Valentine One I custom-installed on my ex-patrol bike, saying something about me being a more regular speed limit violater than average. He also pointed out it didn’t help me this time. “Yeah, I didn’t turn it on” (cuz I was just cruising).

“How long have you been riding motorcycles?” I thought some. Oh, 40 or 50 years … since before you were born. Yeah, I was born in the 90s.

Needless to say, the kid did teach me one thing. I won’t fail to turn the Valentine One on again.