September 18-20 was the The Mid-Atlantic Police Motorcycle Rodeo
, hosted by the Pentagon Police and Arlington County Police in one of the annex lots of the Pentagon. Conveniently, that lot is about 200 yards from my office. Thursday was a practice day, so I wandered over and watched for a few minutes while some of the early arrivals ran through the courses. Friday I came back with my camera and watched some of the practice in the morning, then some of the Challenge course work in the afternoon.
The bikes are divided into three Divisions (plus Over 50) based on type. Division I is Harleys with solid fairings (Electra Glides). Division II is Harleys with clear windshields (Road Kings). Division III is everyone else. Division III was about four BMWs and that's it. Division II was about a dozen Road Kings, and Division I was the overwhelming majority.
The whole event is like one big Harley commercial. Watching these guys drag their floor boards like it was no big deal is very impressive. Those things weigh in the neighborhood of 800+ pounds. On the other hand, the nature of the Challenge course meant it was almost unfair to put them up against the BMWs because the latter had too much of an advantage in speed and maneuverability. It might be a different story in events like the slow-ride. I look forward to seeing the results of the event posted.
All these guys (there was one female, about my height but longer legged) seem to have 36 inch inseams or more. Considering your legs are your stabilizers when necessary as well as your reverse, this makes some sense.
The emphasis is on riding the same way they do on the street, which means everyone had all of the belt stuff like guns, and tasers, and handcuffs, and collapsible batons, and even had their normal stuff in their saddlebags. Bag inspection was part of the course.
I had never seen one of these events in real life before, but I will be on the lookout for the next one.Click to see the photos.