Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dinner with Sneakered Bike Cops

Last night, I went to dinner with a buddy who is a motorcycle police officer. We joined a group of other motorcycle officers who have arrived in town for Police Week.

The dinner was at a brew pub, which was located in Lower Slobbovia (a term I have used to refer to that state across the Potomac River from mine.) I rode with my buddy in his truck; he doesn't own a personal motorcycle, and he didn't want to ride as a passenger on mine. (When you operate a motorcycle all day for your job, the last thing you want to do is ride as anyone else's passenger.)

When we were seated at the restaurant, the guys ordered appetizers and beers all-around, trying the various samples of microbrews that the pub had to offer. I just smiled and sipped a ginger ale. (I am unable to drink alcohol, and the appetizers weren't something I could eat.) Dinner -- a steak -- was okay (not stellar, but chewable.)

I didn't know anyone other than my buddy, but the others were friendly and easy to talk to. The conversation we had was about the usual stuff: work-related stories and stresses, experiences, family, and motorcycle riding. When the conversation turned to family, those who were married talked about their wives and children as a natural part of the conversation. When I was speaking and mentioning my partner was part of the story, I would say, "my partner, he...". The other guys didn't bat an eye or make any comments or seem to care that I'm gay and have a partner. If my buddy vouched for me, that was fine with them.

I enjoyed listening to they way they described how they use their motors on their jobs. Interestingly, six of my eight dinner-mates do not ride a motorcycle off the job. And further, none of the eight motormen gathered for dinner in casual wear (jeans, t-shirts) had boots on. Each one wore sneakers -- even my buddy.

As the night went on, I finally asked about wearing boots. Almost all of them said, "fine for work; off the job, I want to be comfortable," or similar. They said that the boots they wear for work were okay, but the boots
were part of the uniform, and that was that. I guess that's about the same as what I see among the members of my motorcycle club. They wear boots while riding, but often when they're not riding, they wear sneakers.

Me? I was the only one in boots last night, but then again, I always wear boots. I don't own any shoes. No one noticed, cared, or said anything. But no one ever does. Shown are the boots I wore (short Wesco harness boots.)

Life is short: wear your boots!

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