Wow, what a day! It's not one that I ever want to repeat, but all turned out okay. I'm writing this, aren't I?
The day started very early. I woke up at 4:30 to use the toilet, got back in bed and fell back to sleep pretty easily. At 5:00am, the alarm clock from the room went off! Damn whomever did that!! I hope someone does it to them sometime. I tried to cut it off, pushing every button I could feel on the clock, but it kept ringing. So, I grabbed the cord and yanked as hard as I could. It came unplugged and shut up.
Then I flipped the high beam on and off, and that made no difference either! The high beam was burned out. So, out of a total of 5 lights on the front of the bike, only one low beam was working. Not good... I rarely ride at night, but today I was driving in the dark and I had only one bulb working. Drat!
In Harper, I came across an open restaurant, so I stopped for breakfast. With it being Sunday morning, and with most towns being so small, I was surprised to see the restaurant open and it had quite a few people having breakfast. It was very good.
Leaving Harper, headed towards Wellington, I was riding along, not in a hurry, running at about 71mph (speed limit was 65), when I heard a noise behind me and looked in my rear view mirror. It was full of blue lights and highway patrol cars! I had just taken a couple of pictures of the road in front of me and the fields on the side, so I had to put the camera away and slow down and pull over. When I got stopped, I looked back in my mirror, and there were two policemen out of their cars, with guns trained on me!
They were yelling something, but with the helmet on and earplugs in, I could not hear any of what they were saying. I pulled my helmet off and pulled out my ear plugs, and they were screaming for me to get off the bike and to lay down face first on the pavement.
In a few seconds, one of them ordered me to put my left arm behind my back. I did. I felt some kind of fastener close around my left wrist. Then another order to put my right hand behind my back. I did, and felt something close on that wrist. I learned later that they were handcuffs; the first time in my life that I had worn handcuffs.
I had no idea what was going on; as far as I knew the only thing I had done illegal was to speed 6 miles over the speed limit, so I was totally confused and very scared.
They left me laying face down with my hands cuffed behind my back for a few minutes while one of the partolmen moved his car so the road had one clear lane of traffic. They head the whole road blocked!
When he came back, he told me to roll over and to get up. I could roll over, but with my hands behind my back, there was no way I could get up. So, he grabbed me and he pulled while I pushed. It worked, and he pulled me to the side of the road.
Over the next 30 minutes or so, they quizzed me about where I had been, where I was going, how long I had been riding (this morning), and many other questions that I can't remember now. I had recently read an article in one of my motorcycle magazines about how to behave when the cops have you. The recommendation was to answer their questions, keep quiet, and to be polite. So, I did.
They said that I had blown by one of the patrol cars at a high rate of speed (which I hadn't done), and that he took off in pursuit, and that because I didn't stop, he believed I was trying to get away from him. Then he called in the other patrol car to help in the pursuit.
I told them that I was riding at 71mph, and did not hear their siren or see them. The bad cop replied that I was lying, that he could see me in the mirror looking at him. They said they chased me for about 4 miles. I never saw them or heard them until the end. I explained that I wear earplugs to save my hearing. The good cop asked if ear plugs were legal. I said they were in NC, but I didn't know about in Kansas. He said he didn't know either. I explained that my duffel bag on the passenger seat blocks some of my view to the rear (I had been thinking about getting some better mirrors for a while, and just decided to get some before leaving home. I had hoped that I could find some at the MOA rally, but didn't. I will find some now!).
The bad cop said that they were going to take me to jail for trying to elude the law, for not stopping for blue light and siren, for excessive speed, all of which were felonies. I was in deep poo poo and hadn't done anything wrong except speed a little.
The bad cop backed off to call in my license number, plate number and whatever else. While he was busy with that, the good cop started talking, commenting on my being cooperative and polite, and asked if I could see why they were so excited in stopping me. I replied that I did, and, under those circumstances, would feel the same way. He had seen the glint of the camera in my hand when I was taking pictures, and thought it was a gun. I told him that I was very nervous and scared, and he said he was as well. I apologized for not seeing or hearing them, but I just didn't hear or see them.
I could tell that he was beginning to believe me and what I told him. I told him that I was a grandfather and had no reason to try to elude the police, and I was not in a hurry or traveling faster than 71. At one point one of them said I was going over 80 and they had to drive over 85 to catch up with me. I don't know what they were seeing, but this was one time when I was just riding along, not in a hurry or trying to drive fast. Glad they weren't there when I topped 100 a week or so earlier!
The bad cop kept interjecting comments that were very abrasive and argumentive. It was hard, but I decided to keep my cool and to answer any questions honestly.
At one point, the good cop asked if I had any weapons. I replied that I had a handgun in the glove compartment, that it was loaded, and that I had a carry permit from NC. He responded that Kansas and NC shared an agreement on concealed carry requirements. He got the gun, emptied it, and remarked that he had one just like it. I told him that I travel a lot alone and wanted to have some protection if needed. He asked me if I had shot a newer model of the same gun, and I told him that I had not.
After what seemed like hours, they took the handcuffs off and the good cop said that he believed he would give me the benefit of doubt about trying to elude them. But he said he had not decided whether or not to give me a speeding ticket. I was happy to hear that my charges were now just for speeding. I could handle a speeding ticket, but I have no idea how to get out of jail!
I told him one last time that I was riding at 71 and no faster, that the cruise was set on it, and that's what I was doing for quite a few miles. Then he said "Well, I've decided not to write a ticket, but you had better take it easy". I responded that I would for sure! He added that when he called in for support, it was broadcast in a 100 mile radius to all law enforcement folks, and that they would be on the lookout for me. I decided to not ride faster than the speed limit until I got out of Kansas.
The good cop and I shook hands, and we parted. Whew, that was scary and a close call. At one point, I believed I was going to jail. The bad cop was just like those portrayed on TV that cajole and torment people to admit to something just to get them off their back. Even as they were leaving, the bad cop said to me "Comeon now, you really were putting the gun into the glove box when we were stopping you, weren't you?" I responded that the gun had been in the glove box for days prior to this incident. I feel for people like him that live lives as assholes. Gotta be a miserable human.
I really don't know how long all of that took, but it seemed like a long time. In the meanwhile, the temperatures had jumped almost 10 degrees to 98. Then it got hot.
The rest of the ride was slower and uneventful. I did see several cop cars along the way, and, while I can't be sure, believe that they were watching me. Might have just been paranoid, but It felt like they were keeping an eye on me.
The temperature got higher and higher, running from 105 to 113 as I rode west, with quite a few miles at 110. It was hot the rest of the way to Springfield MO, where I stopped for the day. I rode about 425 miles, not so far, but the events of the day left me pretty beat.
All of the pics were taken today, and offer some proof that I'm not the criminal that they thought they had.
After checking into the motel, I rested a bit and then went to Lambert's, the home of the Throwed Rolls. It was good, and they do throw rolls across the room if you want one. It was quite a show, and the food was good. After dinner, back to the motel and this blog as I watch the Olympics on TV.
Tomorrow, I have no idea what I'm going to do except to continue heading east towards home. So far, I've traveled 4,025 miles, with about 1,000 to go to home.