Monday, April 30’ 2012

Unbelievable but True Story

It’s a wise man that learns from his past mistakes. Or so I’ve heard. If there’s one thing I’m sure of … I’m not that man. You would think I would have learned my lesson from my last encounter with the law when I was cited by North Carolina’s finest, while on a road trip, for passing a slow moving vehicle while there was a double yellow line. But Oh No not me … today … unbeknownst to me, a year and a half later I was about to pull a grand encore performance of that historic event.

Today was a special day in that it was my first full day back home from a trip across the pond to visit my Son’s budding family in England and view my newest grandson, Austin. I was more than eager to get back on the Wing and ride. It had been two long weeks without riding and as anyone knows who rides two wheels ---> Two weeks without being on Two wheels is TOO long. At 10:00 am this morning I was to hook up with BIGCAT (Jim) a fellow Winger that lives south of me and we were going to tear up some roads up my way. Since it had been awhile since I rode I left a little early and had planned to hit some roads near my home to freshen up my skills prior to meeting up with Jim and heading out for a day of riding.

Having lived in the Dover, Tennessee area for many years I’ve rarely if ever seen any LEO (Law Enforcement Officer) of any kind patrolling the back roads around here where I ride but today all that was about to change.

As I glided up out of the woods on one of my first few twisty turns that comprise this back road less than 10 miles from my house the sun caught me and I was feeling oh so good to be back on the Wing again. Just as I was starting to really feel it again I was let down by the slow moving car up ahead that was just toddling along as my eyes slowly began to focused in on it. First feeling for any biker approaching a slow moving vehicle from behind on a great curvy road is … instant depression follow by --> “How in the world am I going to get around this guy”. Many times I will just slow down and let the vehicle go ahead and get some space between us but today would not be that day. First impressions were to just zip pass and continue on my way.

I did think for a split sec it could possibly be a police cruiser in disguise (I think we all do that) but I quickly dismiss this thought when I saw nothing at a glance to support that view so I rolled the gas on passing easily then swinging in ahead all this on the double yellow line. I just figured it was probably an elder person or couple out for an early morning slow ride. I will pass on a double yellow line when there are slow moving vehicles, the view is clear and the road remote and not well travelled. Unfortunately today in my haste to enjoy the day led me to a bad decision to not scrutinize the situation closer and proceeded with greater caution.

As I was putting my legs back out on the highway pegs proceeding on down the highway feeling a little smug I guess I see his blue lights come on in my rearview mirror. It’s just like magic out of no where and the next thing I know I’m pulling over with him rolling to a stop behind me.

To say I was feeling pretty stupid right about now doesn’t quite come close to truly capturing how I felt at that moment but it will have to do. Who passes a police car on a double yellow line? Wait let me answer that one --> Me. I tried to stay positive as I answered his first question. No … officer I was not in a hurry but instead eager to enjoy my days ride. I quickly mixed in a few other, what I consider key contributing, factors that I felt led to my stupidity and he listen intently before speaking.

Amazingly he seemed some what sympathetic to my plight while at the same time admonishing me for pulling such an incredibly boneheaded move like that. For a slight moment it seemed like my fate hung in the balance and could have gone either way but after a quick review of my licenses he lets me go with a warning to slow down and of course stop passing on double yellow lines. As he pulled away I started breathing fully again and almost could not believe what had just happen only minutes before.

How could I have missed the signs that were obviously there giving away his true identity before I decided to pass. Why am I still passing while there is a double yellow line regardless if it’s any car let alone a police car for crying out loud. Unfortunately, I”m no where near smart enough to answer either of those questions correctly. I’ll admit I’m way less than the perfectly legal rider on the road and I’m not well known for my patience in any situation so when you mix those two there could be trouble.

Grateful for the break he gave me and still in disbelief it was time to hook up with Jim at the Shell Station in Dover for our dance around the Trace in Northwestern Tennessee and Southern Kentucky. We spent the entire rest of this day carving up many of the back roads around the Trace. Jim had not had a chance to ride this area in detail before and it was my pleasure to show him some of the great roads up this way. We must have put on about 250 or so miles riding together and Jim another 150+ making the run up here and back. We hit some pretty good rain late in the day but over all it was a great riding day with Jim exploring for the first time many new back roads in this area. Not the perfect map but will give you and idea of some of the ground we covered today …
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Here’s a shot of us as we departed company towards the end of the day each heading back to our respective homes.
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An interesting day all around and as I ride home in the rain reflecting on today’s ride and early morning shinagens I can’t help but wonder how different the day would have been if I had a ticket folded up in my back pocket.

That was an amazing break he gave me today … now is the lesson not to pass while there’s a double yellow line OR is the lesson not to pass a Police Cruiser while there’s a double yellow line?

I’ll have to think about that some more:-)

Donnie

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Brushes with the Law