Monday, May 18, 2009

Law Ride: A Cop's Influence

I saw these nice-looking Chippewa Hi-Shine engineer boots with lug soles on a handsome cop last year at Law Ride.

There was something that just caught my eye about these boots. The man filling them and his uniform was attractive, but nice looking uniforms on a fit cop all look nice to me. He was among a very few who wore a leather jacket. That was an added element of attraction.

But still... I kept looking at those boots. What was interesting to me
(in my self-conversation) was that I already had two pairs of these boots, so why was I attracted to yet another pair of the same boots? I dunno. I really don't know. Don't try to ask a Bootman what attracts him to boots. It's just one of those things I live with (and really don't mind!)

Soon thereafter, I took a pair of my own Chippewa Hi-Shine boots to a cobbler, and asked him to put lug soles on them. He did, but to be honest, I wasn't all that happy with the results. He installed a sole plate -- a rather thin addition to the sole. He did not remove the old sole (which was still in good shape) and replace it with a new Vibram 100 sole. The cobbler looked at me as if I were from Mars when I asked if he would install a thick Vibram 100 lug sole on top of the existing nitrile sole. Instead, he just p
ut on the sole plates, thinking that's what I wanted. Nobody really wants a double-soled boot (so he thought).

Oh well, fa cosi sia. I learned. I wear those boots from time to time. As the year progressed and as I continued to chat with Mike, the owner of Stompers Boots, I felt rather badly that his business was suffering from the downturn in the economy. So as a Christmas present to myself, I ordered another new pair of Chippewa Hi-Shine engineer boots from Stompers. As a favor to me, Mike ran across town to get a cobbler to install a thick Vibram 100 sole for me (and I paid extra for that). Mike knew what to ask for, and I f
inally got what I wanted.

That cop last year influenced this Bootman, and I am very happy with the results. Very fine-looking tall black boots with a snow tire on the sole, so I have excellent traction when I wear them while riding my Harley. In fact, very early yesterday morning when I rode my bike to the University to swim for an hour, I had those boots on. I arrived at the empty parking lot and noticed that it had been swept clear of residual cinders and sand left over from the winter. So I began to do some practice on tight turns, trying to beat my record of a complete u-turn in a very tight space (within 1-1/2 parking slots). These boots provided the traction and stability I needed as I turned and had to put my boot down to avoid dropping the bike on the few times I turned way too tight. That boot sole planted firmly on the pavement held me up. If it slipped the slightest amount, I would have dropped my bike; that simple.

Funny how these influences go 'round. While last year I was really interested in that cop's boots and got myself a pair, this year, several cops came up to me to ask me about my pair of these boots that I wore to Law Ride. I was happy to talk with them, answer their questions, and refer them to Stomper Boots, the best boot shop in the world.

Life is short: wear your boots proudly!

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