Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Law Ride: The Beemer Ballet

Like a well-choreographed ballet, the cops from Sacramento who arrived to participate in Law Ride on Sunday went through a serious dismounting routine. It was both interesting and amusing to watch.

First, they all drive up and line up like the other police bikes are lined up, two-by-two, side-by-side. Some of the cops have bot
h boots planted on the ground while holding up their bikes.

Once the Sergeant in front is assured that everyone is there and in line, he gives a small signal. Then everyone lifts his left boot and places it on the riding peg. He only has his right boot down, flat on the pavement.

Then another signal follows, and he lowers the side stand with his left boot. He then shifts his weight to the right side, and then leans his body way down as he lifts his left leg over the saddle to dismount.

That's what was amusing to me: as tall as these BMW police bikes are, the cops have to lean over quite far so their left leg will clear the saddle. Look at the photo shown here.
Once they dismount to the right, they then reach up and take off their helmet, leaving it precisely on the right handlebar.

They do this all at the same time. While they are trying to demonstrate a graceful dismount, it still appeared awkward, even if all movements were (almost) simultaneous. It's quite a choreographed procedure. They must have practiced quite a bit to do this maneuver so precisely. When they were done, the crowd gave them a round of applause.

When we arrived at the National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial, these guys had designated parking on E Street in front of the National Building Museum. Again, they all lined up, walked their bikes forward until they all were in line, then on cue, walked the bikes backward until they hit the curb, then danced their choreographed dismount again. What a sight.
There were other cops who said other things about this procedure -- some in awe and some less so (jealous, perhaps?) Anyway, I enjoyed watching them do this neat little trick. (Hmmm... I wonder if my bike club would be up to practicing a choreographed dismount when we arrive at a destination. Ha! That'll be the day.)

I talked to one of the Sacramento County cops about this. He laughed and said that the sergeant thought it would be a good idea, and they began doing it a few years ago when they were all together in rodeos, parades, and other events. Since there are so many of them, their sheer numbers are impressive. Having a stylized dismount added to the camaraderie as officers, and perception by the public that they were in excellent control of their motors.

Life is short: Let's RIDE!

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