Thursday - April 23’ 2015

Sunny day with temps hovering around the upper 60’s. Perfect for riding. Finishing up a Doctor’s appointment in Clarksville, Tn and then some errands up around the Nashville area I’m cruising back towards home on the wing enjoying some back roads to Dover, Tn. I was soon to find out I was enjoying the roads just a little too much. My obsession with speeding goes way back to my youth and rear’s it’s head often always at the most inopportune times. Today was a good example.

The road approaching Dover from the east is Highway 49 and it’s a nice road with gently sweeping turns and long winding straights. This, winding straight, was true for the last 2 - 3 mile stretch going into town where I found myself flexing my right wrist. Why? Who can say? Sometimes I ride transfixed on the sheer exhilaration of the experience itself and find it easy to lose focus that the road just isn’t something there to be devoured when opportunity presents itself. Traffic was light and I passed one lone cage just over the top of the hill. I might add I passed in a legal passing zone and not a double yellow line. That’s just in case anyone was wondering :-) As I glided effortless around the cage and the road stretched out before me in golden sunlight I was quick to realize I was compromised and gave in to the always alluring desire to open it up. Nothing on the road or in sight and still not in town yet I was lost in the moment.

As I zipped along gently weaving in and out of the slight turns I eventually came out of my trance at what I thought was a safe distance from town and any LEOs. Dover, Tn is well known for it’s strict enforcement of the speed limits through town. I had come this way many many times in the past without incident but this was not to be the case today.

I had slowed back down to the speed limit of 55 mph at what I considered to be well before the time I saw the LEO coming from the other direction towards me. In fact my first thought when I saw him coming from the other direction was that - Hum … sure am glad I slowed down - thinking about how fast I was moving just a minute or so before. As we neared each other he pulled into a side street and whipped around and sat there as I passed by. Pulling in behind me after I passed he was quickly up to speed with lights flashing. Never a pretty sight in your rear view mirror but one I’m unfortunately familiar with. I pull off on a side street at a good spot and park as he rolls up behind me. Knowing that I was toast I readied my paperwork and resigned myself to the inevitable figuring he must have had a line of sight of me misbehaving further up the road.

“Hey Buddy” were his first words to me as he got out of his car. Young fellow … of course everyone to me is a “young fellow” :-) I though to myself well this is a good start. How ya doing today was my response. Unfortunately, from there the conversation was all down hill after that. Said he had me doing 74 mph in a 55 mph zone. I didn’t denied it at all. I simply said yeah … such a nice day I guess I let it get the better of me and I let the speed get away from me. He said he didn’t ride motorcycles but that he could understand how that might happen. License, registration and insurance were politely requested after that. I handed him each one not saying much until after he had taken them and announced he was going back to his car and then just as he turned back towards his car I said “I’m sorry”.

As I sat there eyeing him in his patrol car from my rearview mirror I was pretty convinced despite his understanding conversation he was going to give me a ticket. I mean who does 19 mph over the speed limit and gets a warning? I guess the answer to that question is the same guy that was stopped for passing and LEO on a double yellow line a couple of years ago and also gets a warning for that. Me.

He’s only spent long enough in his car to have checked my record and license and he was back out coming towards me with my paperwork in hand. I’m not going to cite you today but you really need to slow down and take it easy. He handed me my paperwork and I thanked him and said I would. He was gone a short time later and I’m just sitting there wondering how on earth did I not get a speeding ticket. 1 more mph and I could have had a reckless driving charge and could have been walking home.

Fired the Wing back up and managed to hit a few more twisty roads as I completed the last few miles home at the posted speed limit reflecting on my good fortune minutes earlier. It was nice to see the officer was willing to exercise some discretion and judgment even though I didn’t deserve any. Thankful he gave me an undeserved break but he could have easily nailed me to a wall. Yet another brush with the law. With only 42,000 miles on this Wing so far I’ve a feeling I haven’t seen the last of flashing lights in my rear view mirror.