Friday, May 12, 2006

Ride Across Maryland

I'm just out of the shower. The GPS needs to be loaded with local maps after the trip to New York because the model I have only has 28 MBytes of memory. So I grab a bathrobe and head to the office so that it can be loading while I dress, but then I think to put a note here.

I could cook bacon and eggs for myself, before heading out. Having left the $$$ government job, and needing to get by on what my teaching at night and the motorcycle safety classes bring in, I should do that. But I know that this is too good an excuse to have breakfast at Daniels Biker Bar up in Elkridge, and that is what I will do. I hope I will be early enough to rub elbows with the good-ole-boys who don't have bikes but meet there for breakfast--the guy who teaches the labor union apprentices, the guy with the flag on his hat who planted the idea that I needed a flag on my bike even though I'm ashamed that we think courage means having to bomb poor Iraqi homes, I know the country is greater and that we will, by the grace of God, rise to a higher standard before we are done.

So, now I go to dress, having listened to Garrison Keillor's description of Katharine Hepburn who he says said, "If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun."

A Motorcycle Policeman

If I get another life, I want to live it as a motorcycle policeman.

I pulled up beside one sitting in a trap at the American Legion, near my residence. I suggested that he join the legion, as it is so close to where he works and the lunches there so affordable, and I admired his close-fitting goggles/sun-glasses.

In his job a full-face helmet would not work.

He acknowledged the wisdom of the suggestion, briefly, then: "Woops, I gotta get to work." He flicked on his lights and went after a van that had just run a light.

When my grandfather died, my brothers and cousins helped carry the coffin out to the herse. The memory of two of Denver's retired motorcycle policeman getting off their bikes and saluting the flag draped coffin brings tears to my eyes to this day. Their courtesy and regard was a surprise that comforted me far more than a twenty-one gun salute.