Since today happened to be a beautiful, hot, summer day, and my husband and I finally had some free time together, he decided to take me for a motorcycle ride. I wanted to check out a few potential parking lots for work, and also to verify that I knew where to report for jury duty, which I am to reluctantly participate in for the next few days.
What a wonderful feeling to get out in the wind on a day like today, which by the way, was also my first ride of the season. Cruising along the streets of Albany, I'm smiling at all the people we're passing who are smiling and waving to us from the sidewalks. I'm relishing the warm breeze in my hair and on my face, wishing this could be an all-day journey. It's been a rough week for both of us and we really needed this relaxing hour to ourselves.
So now, here we are, cruising slowly past the Cathedral and I notice the Bishop standing out on the top steps in his bright green robes, which makes me smile. I had the opportunity to hear him speak at a class I attended back in May and I really enjoyed his words. Anyway, I say, "Oh hey, Dino, there's the Bishop, that's cool, we get to see him today, while we're passing by." I thought to myself, that's a good sign, nice, sunny, perfect day on the bike, and it's Sunday, and I think even God is happy for me (yeah I know that's corny but I'm Catholic).
We turn the corner on Park Avenue and we're about 100 feet from our destination, which was a parking lot behind the Cultural Education Center, when my husband suddenly stops the bike and asks me to hop off. Only then did I realize that we were being pulled over by a New York State Trooper. My afternoon of pure summer bliss was now over. The Trooper tells my husband that he stopped us because of the loud exhaust on his bike. Then, he immediately began to talk about how nice Dino's bike was and how great the paint job is. Dino told him how just two nights earlier, his life was saved because of his loud pipes, when a car was about to cut him off on the road until Dino laid on the throttle and got the driver's attention so that he saw him and moved away in time to avoid hitting Dino's bike. Apparently, this had absolutely no affect on the Trooper since he proceeded to issue a ticket for loud exhaust anyway. We are told this will probably cost somewhere around $150.
I know I'm just another person complaining about a ticket, but my point is this: To the members of Albany law enforcement--surely you must have bigger fish to fry. Must you interfere with the law-abiding citizens who just want to enjoy a peaceful motorcycle ride on a Sunday afternoon? In the grand scheme of all the crime and punishment of this world today, are loud pipes really worth all the time, money, and staff resources it takes to issue these tickets? Not to mention the paper? When Dino unraveled the ticket, it must have been at least three feet long.
Go chase a fire-starter, or go after those punks who mug little old ladies. Leave the bikers alone and let the lions roar as they were always meant to!
*Ride safe, my friends, and think twice before you enjoy an afternoon on your motorcycle in Albany, New York.