There you are, riding down the highway. The weather is beautiful, not a cage in site. The road is yours except for other occasional riders out enjoying life. Your bike is running like it never had before; she is humming (or chugging as the case may be) along as if something or someone had tuned it to perfection.
You see a small, two lane road. It looks like a beautiful ride. You take the exit. It is beyond expectation. The asphalt is smooth and well aged with plenty of bite, sweepers are wide and graceful, twisties are challenging yet exhilarating.
Then, in your rear view mirror, you see flashing red and blue lights. You are being pulled over. A glance at your tracking GPS shows that you may have gone over the speed limit by one or two MPH. 'Maybe it is just a tail light or some little thing,' you think, pulling to the shoulder.
The officer walks up as you pull off your helmet and shut down your machine.
"You didn't stop back there."
"Where?" you ask.
"By the big oak tree about a mile back."
Confusion is setting in. "Officer, I didn't see a stop sign or stop lights. There was a caution sign about two miles back."
"You were supposed to stop at the oak tree. It is in the county law books. It is a mandatory official warning, but the judge may decide to revoke your license or disallow you from riding here again."
Now you are a little irritated. "There was NO sign! NO indication a stop was necessary!"
"Doesn't matter. The judge may even close this road of to bikers if riders continue ignoring the law. To tell you the truth, that would piss me off. I ride here on the weekends!"
"Well, put up a sign!"
"That is up the county, not me. Here," he hands you the written warning.
"Well, is there anyplace else I need to stop on this road that isn't marked?"
"Not that I know of," he says. "There may be other places that other officers may know about."
You are done and through and just want to get back to the highway. Carefully you ride to the next cross-road, turn around and head back the other way. There... THERE is that damned oak tree. You slow and stop, look around, take off.
Lights are now flashing in your rear view mirrors again. 'What the...' you think, pulling over again.
A different officer gets out of his squad and walks up. "Hey buddy, any idea why I stopped you?"
A somewhat disgusted chuckle makes its way past your lips, "He, mmm, No clue. I stopped at the oak tree like the other officer told me."
"Ah," the officer smiled. "That stop is for east bound traffic only, not west bound. If you want to stop west bound, you need to pull off to the shoulder." He finishes writing the warning. "Here you go, buddy. Ride safe!"
You are speechless. The officer gets in his car and drives away. More than ten minutes pass as you sit there, just looking at the ticket. 'Better leave before I get a ticket for loitering.'
You get back on the road and speed toward the highway.
No, I didn't get a ticket for anything, and let it be known that I hold nothing but respect for law enforcement. In life there just seem to be so many unwritten rules, some of which make little sense. All one can do at time is just keep on riding.
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