|This is about what Val's bike looks like|
[Interruption—my wife just called and I told her I was working on this post. She told me that she had said "smoking hot wheels," not "smoking hot wife." Myself, I like the wife version better.]
So I loaded a few things into a duffel, strapped it onto the wannabe, and headed south. You might be aware that route 50, with the Bay Bridge, is a major route between the entire greater DC area and the ocean. You probably also realize that Sunday afternoon is when all these people return home. Bumper to bumper, stop and go for miles. Motorcycles don't do well in this kind of traffic, —and the bike has a small tank, too, remember? Criticize me if you will, but I slipped onto the large left shoulder and carefully (25mph) got the bike into some airflow. And passed about a million cars and trucks. And a clutch of kids on crotch rockets, two of whom decided to follow me. I'm sure I saved more than an hour of travel time (but that's neither here no there, right?), not to mention the possibility of running out of gas. Eventually the kids switched to the right shoulder and were gone.
Eventually I saw a highway patrol car in the median.
I decided to seize the bull by the horns, as it were, and do a little motorcycle PR. I parked near the crossover and approached the patrolman. He was monitoring the eastbound traffic and didn't see me. I could make out through the slightly tinted window that he was playing solitaire on his laptop while he waited to his radar to buzz. I tapped on the window and he cleared the monitor and rolled down the window. I explained that in the traffic I was anxious about the bike overheating so I had been going down the shoulder, carefully. Can I do that? He looked at me (a distinguished-looking guy with grey hair and full riding gear), and he looked at the bike 20 feet away, and said. "Well, let me put it this way. I'm not going to stop you." I thanked him, promised to be careful, and went my way. Nice guy. I hope he got his quota.