One of my most favorite things to do in Southern California is to ride PCH whenever I can. Feeling the cool breeze in your face and smell of the ocean for me is hard to beat. There’s a certain energy you feel when riding there and whatever is troubling you slowly fades into a permanent smile. Now that tourist season is gone the road is back to normal with only a few spots like Laguna, Newport, and Huntington Beach that slow with traffic. As I have lived here my entire life I have dealt with cops on a few occasions as a skateboarder but with California in a major recession it seems like more traps are being setup to generate revenue. Which brings me to the reason I am writing this right now.
This past weekend my girl and I were had cruised up to Cooks Corner for some food but the weather was hot so we decided to head to the coast. The day was going good and PCH was open and ours to cruise and have fun. We had a destination of heading up to Mothers Tavern in Sunset Beach which is about an hour ride with traffic and lights from where we were. As we were cruising past Newport Beach and beginning to ride into HB I immediately noticed a flurry of motorcycle cops cruising around. I even commented to my girl that I thought it was strange why there were so many around this part of town and not downtown where most tourist and bars are. As the traffic begin to back up we had pulled up to two other bikes both with out of state plates. We rode with them for a bit but as we hit the other light I noticed flashing lights behind me. Granted we were only going about 35 mph so I knew it couldn’t be for speeding. I pulled over puzzled as to why I was being stopped and shut off my bike. The cop was your typical douche bag barrel chested, small mustache looking dude who looked like he couldn’t chase a dying dog down an alley much less get on his brand new BMW bike.
He comes up to me and stares at me without saying a word, so I ask what’s up? He say’s “what’s up…I need your license and registration” with a very condescending tone as to imply I dont have one. Now I’m not your typical clean cut guy, I have long hair and a long full beard and probably look closer to an outlaw than a surfer. Needless to say we weren’t doing anything wrong. I then ask “what seems to be the problem officer” as he refuses to answer with a 2nd reply of “I need your license and registration.” I get off the bike and hand him my license while I searched for my registration card, handing it to him. As I do he then proceeds to give me crap for having two different addresses between my drivers license and registration card as if trying to catch me in a lie or something. My frustration starts to grow as I still don’t know what I am being pulled over for. I explain to him that I just moved and put the tags on the bike but forgot to put the new registration card in my bags. He then goes back to his bike calling it in and I can hear them saying that I was clean with no violations. I haven’t had a ticket in about 4 years so now I know I’m being profiled and getting pissed. Meanwhile another bike cop had pulled over and proceeded to walk right behind me. As I ask for the third time what I had been pulled over for he begins to tell me that I should know better than to wear a helmet that is not DOT approved and do I think that the law is BS and I can just do whatever I want. (I had my half helmet on and had given my girl my HD helmet to wear.)
Now I’m about ready to blow up luckily my girl was there to calm me down. After all this hassle you’re going to tell me that you pulled me over for wearing a non approved DOT helmet? The original cop had came back to join in the lecture about how Huntington Beach has a reputation for not allowing such a thing to happen and that I got to be stupid for trying to pull of such a thing off and should’ve known better. So I ask the cop if he has any common sense was I riding too fast or revving up my engine or causing havoc with traffic? He then proceeds to tell me “no you were actually driving really good but I saw your helmet on backwards and it’s a sign it’s probably not legal.” I try to reason with him about being a motorcycle cop and that my girl was wearing my normal helmet so I had to put on the half but he wasn’t having it and continued to lecture me that he didn’t write the laws blah blah blah. He then tells me he could just confiscate my helmet and have my bike towed or I could just take the ticket and not ride there anymore. I knew I was getting know where fast but in my head I was fuming with the words of “excuse me…Not ride here anymore? This is my state and I pay your salary and I pay for that fancy ride you and your butt buddy ride on,” but I stayed quiet so we could just move on with our day. He gave me the ticket and rode off smiling as if they had saved the world or their precious reputation. My advice to you pigs is leave the good people who love this state and are not creating problems but to go after real criminals and do your job to protect and serve the ones paying your salary!
This is a perfect example of how these guys think they can tell someone what their freedoms are. I just rode 3000 miles going to Sturgis and back with NO HELMET and was just fine. I have been cruising around with this same helmet for years now and never ever had a cop stop me including the cops in Huntington Beach. So now I have to pay an expensive ticket for wearing a helmet that I deem as safe. This is my life and I choose how I live and what I drive or ride. I ride a Harley-Davidson because I love it, I love my freedom, and I love my home state but more and more this great state of California is becoming less attractive with people like this becoming the authority on a place I’ve lived my whole life. When you can’t just take a cruise with your girl down PCH to clear your head and enjoy the coast without being hassled for how you look, it’s time to think twice! So to all you out there who actually read this be careful they will get you but don’t let them stop you from expressing yourself and don’t let them take your rights and your freedoms away. Ride safe out there and be aware if you are coming into Huntington Beach watch out for dick cops on fancy bikes who think their reputation is above common sense!
– V-Twin Life