Ramblings - The New Helmet
I broke in my new helmet recently. It’s an Arai Vector, the camouflage model – all black, silver, white with a piercing neon orange and red pattern on the top and back, making it highly visible, like a magnet to our friends in law enforcement.
On Friday, July 4, I rocketed out of Houston, headed west on I-10 with two buddies I had lined up, and stopped in Fulshear for gas. From there, we were going to head northwest, cutting and winding on the back country Texas highways, which are beautiful to Austin and San Antonio and far beyond. It was a perfect, blue-sky but hot day.
Then the phone rang. Work. A water main break, news media, problems and no one else to deal with it. (Funny, how three people that work for me couldn’t quite find their phones.) So I shoot these guys a look, apologize, they shrug in sympathy and around I turn. The only good thing about it was I blew some toad off the road in some Nissan, slowed down over the overpass (gotta be a dummy to keep going, right?), and then watched him get pulled over at about 110 mph since he kept moving on down the line. The weekend evaporated as I worked and then shuttled the family over to Louisiana.
Last Sunday morning, I closeted my church-going self and decided to properly break in the helmet on a rebound trip back to the Hill Country. Yes, I skipped church and rocketed westward at around 730 am. I shadowed about 6 riders – two Busa’s, one Buell, one Yamaha FZR 1000, a GSXR 750 and some other bike… I kept my distance but to make a longer story short, I hooked up with them for a while.
They were extremely cool and invited me along to Fayetteville (near La Grange) on some great roads. We stopped for a while and I drank coffee while they ate. Told them I had to haul a back to Houston before I got a beating back at the homestead (we are selling our house and moving to Chicago and we’re a bit unnerved by it all).
Well, I was booking along at 85-105 mph on several stretches of roads, jumping from county to county, trying to keep my eyes peeled for cars or anything crossing the road... as well as sheriffs. Oops. Got snagged by a deputy driving directly toward me down the hill. I should add that I recently got a speeding ticket heading to work in my car about 3 months ago... ended up in an arrest warrant b/c I was so freakin' annoyed by my own stupidity and the ridiculousness of getting caught crossing over an overpass at 82 in a 65 that… well I forgot about my court date, especially as I travel so much.
Okay, so now I get pulled over by this deputy. Got me going 82 in a 60 (which is much better than 105 in a 60). And no up-to-date registration tags. Well, crap... I have to tell you, it takes much more than this to get my adrenaline going and so in my best respect-for-the-military and law-and-order fashion, I very plainly apologized, confessed that I thought I was going 72 in a 65 – not 82 in a 60, told him I was moving to Chicago, that my wife was gonna' beat me for being late at the in-laws, that my life was quite busy and crazy, that this was probably my last Hill Country run before moving, and could he please, please cut me some kind of break.
I just looked him very plainly in the eyes, called him sir every other word, told him the truth... and he took note of it all.
I should add that before he got out of his car, he took 5 minutes to run my license... (meaning he saw my recent stupid history and arrest warrant) and I figure I'm totally screwed. Then he gets out, sees my registration is 4 months past due. And I figure I'm totally screwed.
We discuss all issues, he returns to his car to "do some paperwork." And when he returns he says, "Mr. Edwards, I'm going to issue you a warning ticket and tell you that I never saw your registration issue... I would like you to sign here, slow down, ride safe and I wish you the best of luck surviving those Chicago winters."
Yes! He lets me off the hook! I tell you, Compassion was at work that fine and memorable day! I think I'll frame the yellow Austin County warning ticket! I still regret not taking a photo.
The ride home was great and I tested my helmet at higher speed (a very short burst upward to amuse a fellow fast traveler). I’m pleased to report that my new helmet was in proper working order.
When I pulled up to the house late, my wife wanted to know where the heck I’d been and why I was late.
“Hey, I couldn’t help it,” I said. “Some deputy liked my helmet so much, he pulled me over to get a closer look.”
2007 K1200R Sport w/ Leo Vince EvoII titanium slip-on. They say that moving sucks. I rather like it, when it's on my bike.