OK this afternoon i said I would stop posting all this emo crap on my blog because it's not really me, just the part of me that will write. Well I got one more, but it's a little angsty too.
Back in June I was headed home from a delicious lunch and shop with some friends. I was a little peeved because i was getting calls from work, and ended up pulling the battery out of my phone to rectify that problem. I was also on my motorcycle.
Traffic wasn't too heavy, and was moving fast. Average speed was 85+. Being on my bike, I would manouver past a grouping of cars, and then accelerate a bit. By manouver, i mean i would come up to a car, match speed, then switch lanes then accelerate past. This wasn't weaving, it was actual lane change, pass, lane change, pass, etc. Turn signal, looking over my shoulder, watch surrounding traffic...i was actually being a safe rider. The problem begins because I was on my bike, able to switch lanes in a much smaller area than a normal car would even attempt. Additionally, wind prevented me from hearing behind me. The officer's distance behind me was so close that my mirrors, which only show cars that are behind me to the left and right, not direct, made it impossible to see him too. I'm sure the entire event it looked like a very safe police chase to anyone watching.
Eventually I did see the lights in my mirror. I checked my surroundings, signaled, and pulled over. I stopped, removed my helmet, got off the bike and stepped to the side. The officer questioned me briefly, explained how someone on a bike without any gear on had been going 120 (holy shit that's fast!) and slammed into the back of a truck , dying instantly. Not sure how relevant this was to my situation but i wasn't going to bring my thoughts into the discussion.
He asked for license, insurance, registration.
This is where I screwed up, and completely accept the penalties for they are truthful and appropriate. Here's the charges, in addition to speeding:
No proof of insurance
My registration was in fact expired. I do not remember receiving a reminder notice, but that isn't relevant. I went into the DMV and fixed this. My registration does in fact show that i was current, so I was only late in payment.
My insurance was current. It was only a few days past the date on the insurance card. I went home and printed a new proof of insurance card and put it in the bike.
My license is a permit. I have yet to get a full license. The cause is that obtainging a full motorcycle license requires an appointment with the DMV or a 3-day class. Both of these options are only offered during the day. You know, when I work. The limitations include no riding on the freeway.
Fine, I'll deal with it. The plan was to go into court, show the docs that said i've fixed these problems, and hope that the judge will lower the fines and allow traffic school.
Well i find out the day before my court date that in order to get these things signed off, i need a sheriff to sign off on them first. So i gather my paperwork after i get home from the office, and run down to the sheriff office, which is closed. I go to the police dept, they tell me to go to the San Gabriel office, where a sheriff is available to check it off. So I go, wait in line, listen to two other people complain about parking tickets for about 30 minutes each, and then get my chance.
It will be $19. Exact change only. Crude, I only have a $20, but oh well, $1 donation isn't going to kill me. BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!! They need to see the bike. Apparently documentation showing that the bike is registered and insured is not enough. They must physically see that tags have been applied to the bike. WHY? I have no clue. So, the officer says to bring the bike back. Limitation #2 on a permit...no riding at night. Yes, it's night by now. So the officer says to come back during the day, they have someone available all the time. My court date is tomorrow. He says, "No big deal, just take the bike to the courthouse, a sheriff will be available to sign off there".
I had NO intention of going to court dressed in my bike gear. I had my suit, tie, etc all laid out. Gotta impress the judge, ya know? DENIED.
So now i get to show up to court disheveled. This angers me. I'm so angry that the cop spent an hour playing around with the two parking tickets when he could have said "Submit a form to request review...next please." which would have provided me with time to get my bike back before night settled.
To further cause me stress, tomorrow is the day i MUST take my car to work. It's street cleaning day. I will get a ticket if I park anywhere in the area on the street. i already have a car in the driveway so I'm out of luck there, and since I have to take my bike to court, I can't take my car.
In conclusion, I'm surprised that I am in such good spirits. I've awarded myself two hard ciders tonight for all of the stress and frustration this is causing me. I expect that tomorrow will bring much more annoyance and disgust in the inner-workings of our justice system.