Monday, August 24, 2009

Cannonball Run Part III


German Police...Again(August 24, 2009 - Near Frankfurt, Germany)The lights on the German police car light up in front of me like a slot machine, only I haven't won anything. I just went through this about a half an hour ago so its old hat to me. I don't even wait for the marquee on top of the cruiser to inform me what to do. I flash my high beams a couple of times to acknowledge them and follow them to the next pull out on the Autobahn.

News of my arrival in Germany must have preceded me. I didn't think I was famous enough to warrant my own police escort. I wonder if David Hasselhoff gets this kind of celebrity treatment?

The next pull out is a gas station and with the presidential escort in front of me I can see that I'm going to draw a crowd again. The cops stop and I pull around them and park in front of them making sure to point the nose of my motorcycle downhill in case I'm here awhile and I need to push start it again. I glance down quickly to check if my tail light is still working. It glows red when I pull the brake lever and I'm not sure if I'm relieved or not. I wonder what they're pulling me over for this time?

This time it's a couple of young policemen. They walk up to my bike and have a quick look around it. I extend my hand to give him my papers but he shrugs it off. That's a first. A German who doesn't want papers? What has this world come to?

"Kanada?", he asks.

"Yes, I'm from Canada". I was expecting a followup question but it never came. The two officers started to speak to each other in German and I just sat back. I think they were deciding who would use their broken English to talk to me.

"We had many calls OF your motorcycle driving without license plate."

Many calls? What is wrong with German drivers? Is it just a cultural thing to call the police about any small infraction? My goodness! How can a country that makes such good beer be so uptight? I point at my license plate and state the obvious, "I have a license plate." To which he just nods his head shamefully.

"I think in Canada they do not let you put license on this way?", his attention to detail is astounding. When I built this bike I overlooked adding any provisions to mount a plate so I ended up buying an l bracket and mounting it off the side of my bike vertically instead of horizontally.

I just shrugged my shoulders daring him to take the conversation further when his partner walked up and started talking to him and pointing at my bike. He faced me and walked to the back of my bike. I knew where this was going.

"There is no rubber on your tire." He ran his finger over the exposed steel belt that was starting to fray, "You can not drive this motorcycle it is too dangerous."

There were large patches of missing rubber, it was dangerous a thousand kilometers ago. It was far beyond dangerous now. Now it was a ticking time bomb just waiting to go off. Of course, that's what I was thinking on the inside. On the outside I was cool and collected and I casually said, "Yep! She's a little bit worn out. Lucky I just need to get in to Frankfurt. I have a mechanic there waiting for me with new tires so I can continue on." Wow! Where did that load of bs come from?

Again my two new peace officer friends took a time out to kibitz in front of me in German. This conversation went on a bit longer than I was hoping for. Having a couple of policemen talking a foreign language while repeatedly pointing at your motorcycle can only ean one thing. They are deciding which statute they're going to use to have your bike impounded. I wait it out and wait for their conversation to end. It was bound to happen sooner or later. Fortunately it happened so close to the end of my trip. Perhaps I should ask them how much they charge to store my bike for a year. If it's cheaper than the guy in Heidelberg then perhaps I shouldn't fight having the motorcycle impounded.

The policemen who hadn't talked to me to this point turns to me and says, "This mechanic? He lives in Frankfurt? Or his mechanic shop is in Frankfurt?"

What's this? A glimmer of hope? I respond calmly, "Both. His shop is at his house. And he actually lives on the outskirts of Frankfurt. Not very far from here."

"And you will have this tire changed?" I could tell he was looking for reassurance.

"Of course. He has my new tires waiting for me.", I say this but I'm thinking, "These are not the droids you're looking for."

"Then you may continue on but you must change your tire."

"Of course officer." I'm free to go, hooray. "Could you do me a favor?"
German Police...Again
The policeman pose for me and they head out. I roll the motorcycle down to the gas station and fill up. When I go in to pay I realize something.

I'm really tired.

I pass by the energy drinks. Maybe I can caffeine up and continue on. No I probably shouldn't. It''s almost three in the morning I should probably find a place to sleep.

That tree looks nice.


Post a Comment


My Blog List