And the nominee for “High Performance” in the Speeding category is: Miss Busa!

Something catches my attention and as I check my mirrors I am shocked to see a copper on a bike with his pretty lights going flashy-flashy. Oh no! Crap. I look around. Yup. It’s for me. Damn! What the hell did I do now? I glance down at the speedo: 57 indicated. So, I’m probably doing, what? 51 in a 45? Nah, that can’t be it. Maybe it was the drag race start and the pseudo lane-splitting action between two cars at the last traffic light? Maybe a pissed off cager called me in? That has got to be it. No way he’s going to pull me for 6 miles over. They’ve never done that before and I habitually go 5 miles over the posted speed limit, unless I’m in a residential area. I come to a red light, position myself in the right-hand third of my lane and slowly ease to a stop. The motor officer pulls up next to me, and yells something semi-intelligible while motioning in a general 11 o’clock direction with his gloved throttle hand, then gets back in line behind me. I have a hard time understanding what he’s saying, because I still have my iPod playing through my stereo ear plugs, but I figure he must mean that I should pull my BusaButt in somewhere so we can conduct this embarrassing and costly transaction in relative safety. We sit there, through two red cycles because the cagers around here can’t drive. This is just quintessentially stereotypical, to the point of being tragically hilarious: [Chica on a] Hayabusa with MotoPopo in tow. I feel like I’m on display in a medieval town’s square. I feel myself starting to sweat. The kind of perspiring shy people with stage fright do while climbing the stairs to the podium to conduct an over-rehearsed public speech. I’m getting a little embarrassed as we sit there and wait for the light to change. I’m still wondering what exactly I was doing that caught his unwanted attention and how much it’s going to set me back. I’m curious if I could get a pair of Sidi boots for the price of one High Performance Award. The light changes for the second time…

I pull into the gas station at the corner, park myself off to the side, kill The Fat Lady’s engine, pull off my helmet, and get off the bike. Then I just stand there, facing the cop, leaned half-heartedly against my ‘Busa, trying to look innocent. No, not innocent, naïve. I’ve lost all innocence by association. Riding around on the fastest production motorcycle made by mankind to date. (Long live Suzuki!) I really do not have a clue why he stopped me. I hope he isn’t an asshole. Officer M. does his 10-27 thing: He approaches me, asks me for my license and recites the mother of all traffic enforcement questions: “Do you know why I stopped you?” I raise an eyebrow, cock my head to one side and think on it a little. After my 5-second reflection I say something to the effect of: “No, not really.” He equally cocks an eyebrow (I notice he’s kind of cute) then says: “Think back.” More quiet reflection on my part, then: “Ummm… I was going 45 in a school zone and it’s 3:37pm, and I should have been going 25 instead?” He shakes his head: “No, after that.” Another pause, before I answer: “I don’t know.” – He gives me another hint: “In front of Prompt Care.” I stand there, not comprehending. He adds patiently: “The curve.” My eyeballs widen in truthfully delayed recollection, then I make a longish ‘oh’ sound and reply, as naively as humanly possible: “I must have gotten a little overenthusiastic.” He smiles and nods. I can’t help myself: “Hmmm… well… how fast was I going?” – He steps back over to his bike and fiddles with something on the tank. I can hear my credentials being announced over his radio: “Tag M – S – B – U – S – A: Mike – Sierra – Bravo – Uniform – Sierra – Alpha” – my full name, followed by my current address, insurance status, that my record’s clean (so much for that…) and have no outstanding warrants. He depresses the button on his shoulder-mounted mike: “10-4” and steps back over toward me: “I clocked you going 79 in a 45. But that was in the middle of the curve, tried to get another lock but you were gone, I couldn’t keep up.” – My jaw drops, and my right hand reaches up to cover my wide-open mouth: “Oooohhh my GAWD! No way! SEVENTY-NINE? Are you serious???” He nods, but says nothing. Maybe he’s waiting for me to incriminate myself. All I can think of saying at this point is: “I am sooooo sorry. Holy crap! I didn’t think I was going THAT fast. I am sorry. Holy Helena!” To that he says: “You really should be careful there. All these old folks coming out of the doctor’s office have a tendency to pull out right in front of you. Accidents happen there all the time.” He pauses, I say nothing, but apparently my mouth is still hanging open in disbelief. He adds: “I wasn’t going to pull you over at all, I was just going to pull up next to you and tell you to slow it down, but all these people in the surrounding cars were doing fist pumps as I caught up behind you. I had to at least make it look like they were going to get satisfaction.” I give him a questioning look: “?” He proceeds to tell me that he used to have a GSX-R1000, but his wife made him get rid of it… we start talking shop: Biker to biker chica. At one point he briefly interrupts our conversation to tell his dispatcher that he’s going 10-10. He directs his attention back to me: “Don’t want them to think I’m getting my ass kicked by a girl.” I bust out laughing. Anyway, he misses his Gixxer, he hates that he has to ride a Hog on duty, since the thing only does like 109 on a good day downhill with tailwind, he couldn’t catch an evading crotch rocket if he tried. He also totally understands ‘the need for speed’, that he was quite the squid himself back in the day. Oh yeah! At one point he puts his hand over his badge and tells me to not pull over in the future, to just keep going: “We have a no-chase policy and the people who willingly pull over and stop are the ones that get the tickets, so just keep going, don’t stop.” – “Really?” He explains how said policy came to be, which is quite a sad story in itself, and I just stand there not believing that he’s telling me all this. I feel like I’m behind enemy lines collecting intel. We stand there shooting the breeze for a good 30 minutes. He also confirms my suspicion about the increased presence of law enforcement being due to cagers calling in ‘crotch rocket activity’. Apparently, according to Officer M., it doesn’t matter what you do when you’re a sportbike rider. You can go the speed limit and they’ll still get on their cell phones and call it in, and the police has no choice but to investigate. Ah, the curse of merely looking fast.

As we go our separate ways, he says in parting: “Take it out of town.” I can’t help but notice the big-ass grin plastered on his face, as he mounts up on his Harley, no doubt reminiscing about the good ole days on the Gixxer. Ah, ya gotta love the Squid in Blue. ☺ I resume my previous travels, unwarned and unticketed. I was nominated, but I didn’t win the award. Very good. Very good indeed. Maybe now I have learned my lesson…

I saw him about an hour later on the same road he busted me on; he waved and smiled at me. I waved back, also grinning. I see him occasionally around town; we still wave to each other rather enthusiastically. Big deal. Bikers wave to each other. No, this is different. I think Officer M. would probably trade wives with Joe, if he could. ☺



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