Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tom Joad - Day 12, still mile 2,493.9, Rousted by the Rozzers...

I enjoyed another sunny Texas day today to a warm and calm 56 degree day. I decided to take advantage of the calmness to run my motorcycle down to a local car wash in Lake Dallas, TX to wash off all of the dead bugs I hit coming eastward across the desert southwest. On the way back from the car wash I missed my turn off to the street Mary and Dale live on, and had to take a few back roads to navigate back to the main street to reorient myself. Somewhere in the midst of this reorienting process I apparently failed to come to a complete halt at a stop sign. After finding the correct street to turn into, I heard a short 'blurb' sound behind me. I glanced in the rear view mirrors and saw a police car following me with his lights on. I pulled over to the side of the road just down the street from Mary and Dale's place, and patiently waited for the bad news.

Evidently the one, and only, cop in this small town was cleverly hidden somewhere along one of the side streets I had just crossed, and watched me do a rolling stop through a stop sign. I explained that I wasn't from this area, which he probably figured out immediately after seeing the Oregon state license plate on the back of my motorcycle.

I produced my driver's license, and I guess he ran it for any outstanding warrants, which were none, and he gave it back to me with a warning to watch stop signs in the Dallas area. I was handed a written warning which I had to sign.

Immediately after signing the warning, the cop starts into the 20 questions about my BMW F800GS. Something to the effect of...

Cop: A BMW, huh?

Dave: Yeah, they're terrific bikes.

Cop: Did you ride that all the way down from Oregon?

Dave: Yep, 2400 miles so far, and I start back for Oregon again tomorrow.

Cop: How do these handle on the highway? How fast do they go?

Dave: (blushing under the helmet and not quite sure how to admit I'd been speeding for the past six days) Oh, about 70 to 75mph.

Cop: Nice, it looks like fun.

Dave: Yes, they are.

Cop: Thanks, have a good day.

Dave: Thanks, you too.

Obviously the local constable was a bit bored on a Sunday afternoon, saw a nice shiny BMW ride by, and had to come up with a reason to get a closer look at the bike. I've got this a lot from passers-by just curious about the bike, but I've never gotten a written warning before as a lead in to a bike conversation. Oh well, 2,400 miles and no tickets. If this is the worst that happens to me on this trip, I'll be very happy.

Tomorrow I depart for the long way home. As usual, I will post my observations here. Stay tuned...

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