Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

 




A Collection of Articles from the Archives of

Harry G. Pellegrin

Novelist and Musician






 

Read on, my man!


Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx

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Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch...

While sitting in the Tavern, I heard an interesting story related by a rider.  It made me pause and think about some similar and related incidents in my life.  It seems this rider was heading on down a local road, I’ll not mention the jurisdiction in case Johnny Law reads the Pony, when a police car that had been sitting off in the bushes swung out to give chase.

With a big smirk on his face, the rider said that all he had done was goose the throttle and,  after a brief while, lost the guy in the hills.

Two years ago, while I was still living in New York City, I had a number of friends on the NYPD.  They always used to tell me that if I got into trouble on my bike, I should  have the citing or arresting officer give them a call and they’d sort it all out, nudge, nudge, know what I mean?  One buddy even gave me a mini-shield which saved my bacon on more than one occasion.

Once, when I told my friend that the mini tin had saved me a bundle, he asked me why I’d even bothered to stop when the cop tried to pull me over.  You see, he had had a GSX-R750 Limited Edition that he’d had worked on by some high performance shop out in Jersey.  This thing was FAST.

Although he was a police officer, he’d never stop if  someone tried to pull him over!  He couldn’t believe that I just didn’t crank that wick right on over and skip a few zip codes.

I read in the newspaper that in some states, the police have been sued repeatedly by people (including perpetrators) who were injured due to high-speed police pursuits.  In a number of these states the law enforcement agencies have decided that if any motorist fails to stop for the pursuing unit, they are to break off pursuit within a certain predetermined distance.

Hopefully this will keep the perp from driving his vehicle at 100 mph into a crowded school yard.

I wonder if New York State has such an enactment.  If so, I haven’t heard about it.  It reminds me of the time I was blissfully speeding on the Bronx River Parkway, a little four lane divided highway that was built to be scenic and twisty rather than for speed.  I had picked up a cop somewhere in North White Plains and hadn’t seen him in my rear view elbow checkers until just north of the city line.

He was a bit peeved to say the least -- until he saw my mini tin, then we were old buddies and got to chatting.  I told him I honestly hadn’t seen him in hot pursuit behind me.  Forget hearing that siren, my old Bieffe B-9 was as quiet as a Deep Purple concert. 

I don’t know what finally attracted my attention to the fact that there was someone who desperately wanted to talk with me following along, but I guess he hadn’t heard about this pursuit break-off idea.

Maybe three or four months ago, I was passing through a particular town in my car.  I wasn’t in any particular rush, but I wasn’t monitoring my speed either.  Of course I picked up Officer Killjoy as I was doing 45 mph in a 40!  The law must be pretty bored around there.

Anyway, he didn’t give me a speeding ticket, just an equipment violation (made up so as not to incur points.)  I was glad to eschew the points, but it did tick me off quite a bit, the brazenness of their revenue collection!

So, just the other day, I’m heading down this same stretch of road on my bike.  No particular hurry, minding my own business.  Around the corner comes Johnny Law heading in from the opposite direction.  As he passes, I look down at my gages.  Fifty!!!.  I look in my rear view elbow checkers and see his brake lights blaze.  Fortunately for me, there was a line of cars behind me and no shoulder for him to swing around on.

I thought about the cop with the GSX-R750 on the job down in Manhattan.  I thought about my five mile over the limit write-up.  I thought about the laws in other states regarding high-speed pursuit.  I thought about that guy at the VT and his story at the bar.  I thought about all the times I’ve had to put up with other’s attitude about bikers in general.

Hasta la vista, baby!  Welcome to the next zip code.

Harry G. Pellegrin

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LOW END is Published by Bedside Books, an imprint of American Book Publishing.

ISBN 1-58982-074-6

LOW ENDCopyright 2003 Harry G. Pellegrin

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