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FREE SOUL OUTLAWS RIDE!

This weekend, while riding my Wing <required reference :-)> I witnessed an event that would be funny, if it hadn't endangered so many motorists.

Saturday afternoon as I was riding along one of our state highways, I watched about a dozen bikers from the Free Soul outlaw group sweep onto the highway with a blast of noise from their un-muffled Harleys. Almost immediately (and co-incidently???) two police cars pulled in behind them. As the group rode down the four-lane highway in the left lane, deliberately revving their engines to make even more noise, the two police cars followed behind them, coming up beside them from time to time, reminding me of a couple of dogs chasing a car, nipping and darting this way and that. At one point one police car was beside them in the right lane, while the other police car came up beside them ON THEIR LEFT in the TWO-WAY LEFT TURN LANE. He wound up having to cut to the right, through the middle of the bikes, to avoid rear-ending a pickup that was stopped in the left turn lane, duh-h-h-h, waiting to turn left. If the bikes hadn't given way, the cop would have had to gone to the left into opposing traffic, hit the pickup, or run over a couple of bikes. The bikers, of course, were on their best riding behavior, (with the exception of noise) but the actions of the cops effectively prevented any traffic from getting by.

This went on for a couple of miles, with the cops activating NO emergency equipment until the group pulled into the left turn lane at a traffic light, and the cops picked their victim. He was not even a Free Soul, but, as his colors plainly showed, a member of a local Christian biker group. He was, however, the last bike.

There were two left turn lanes at this intersection, with the bikes occupying one lane, and the cops stopped side by side each other, 50 feet back from the intersection, blocking cars from pulling up to the light in the second turn lane. By this time, I had found a position to observe the circus in action. It was obvious that the bikes, although two of them were abreast in the turn lane, were not activating the traffic sensors, so everyone waited through a couple of light cycles, til the cop car blocking the second turn lane pulled far enough forward to trip the light. When it finally turned green, the bikes pulled through, with the rear bike pulling over to the side, where yet _another_ cop car was waiting - for a total of _three_, was waiting.

I talked to him later and found out that the cops knew that he wasn't a Free Soul, wanted to know what he was doing riding with them, where they were going and what they were doing, and warned him about his pipes. (Yep, he likes the loud, straight ones.)

Oh, and what sinister plot were the Free Souls up to? Why, they were doing their version of a poker run, using bars for check points...

and playing their part in the adult game of "Big, Bad Biker" versus "Big, Bad Cop" - kind of a dumb game on the part of the bikers, because the cops will always win. But, who really stands to lose? That guy in the pickup waiting to left turn, or any other innocent by-"standing" motorist.

And... The rest of the LEOs, whose chosen job - that of providing protecting and assisting the public - is made harder by the actions of a few.

Lewis Battle Ground, WA (near Portland, OR) 95 Aspencade - Magenta/Black KC7MZ MARC (Motorcycling Amateur Radio Club) 83 GL650 - Wineberry (wife's) CMA 22,011 GWRRA 31387 NRA Life http://www.teleport.com/~losborn