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There but for the grace of Mike Valentine go I, I thought.

Yesterday was the first nice day we’ve had out here in The Woods in almost a week. So I took my ’03 ZRX1200 out for a run. The pork to people ratio in The Woods is relatively favorable and on a fast motorcycle, you’ve got few worries anyhow. Breaking contact is a simple matter of tucking in and letting the Keihins breath free. Bye-bye, now.

But, once out of The Woods it’s a different story.

Valentine One Radar De... Best Price: $325.00 Buy New $1,399.99 (as of 10:47 EST - Details) The odds are less favorable, in both directions. The pig-to-people ratio is higher. And while it’s always possible to make a break for it, your chances of getting away with it are lower because disappearing is harder. This is critical. If you’re going to successfully leave a pig fuming, steam pumping out of its nostrils, its trotters kicking angrily at the earth, you must vanishwithin 90 seconds of initial contact. Leave him with – at most – a brief glimpse, not enough to work with. It was a green sport bike… not sure what make or year. Couldn’t see the rider’s face. . . .

If he gets close enough to read your plate, you’re done.

If he gets within 100 yards of you, you’re done.

This is hard to manage in an urban – or even suburban – environment. Not enough open space to work with; much more likely there’ll be another porker in the vicinity. Against the State: An ... Rockwell Jr., Llewelly... Best Price: $5.02 Buy New $5.52 (as of 11:35 EST - Details)

Which is why it’s better policy to avoid The Encounter altogether by keeping a low profile – and running under the radar.

Literally.

I never, ever, leave my driveway without my Valentine 1 running interference. Other high-end radar detectors are good, too – but (to my knowledge) no other detector on the market has the sensitivity that the V1 has. “Apps” are great, but for me, the single most important quality a radar detector must have is the ability to smell bacon. And the V1′s electronic nostrils are simply superb.

How America Was Lost: ... Roberts, Dr. Paul Craig Best Price: $5.35 Buy New $2.99 (as of 10:30 EST - Details) Which brings me back to my ride.

I left the bike shop – Star City Powersports, located on the outskirts of Roanoke, Va., in case anyone reading this is local or familiar with the area – along with three other riders, also on sport bikes.  There is a magnificent sweeper of an on-ramp to I-581 from Peters Creek Road. Pure leaned over joy. All of us took the turn at Ludicrous Speed – the only way to take such a turn. It was at just that moment, mid-corner, when my V1 began to get hysterical.

Ka band.

Shit!

Standing a bike up mid-corner is not a pleasant – much less safe (huge irony there) thing to do. This pig – waiting at the mouth of the on-ramp – was setting up the conditions for a nasty wreck. Bike – or car. Imagine it: You’re coming around a sharp turn – and yes, you’re “speeding” – but in control and no problems… until you’re freaked out by that cop up ahead. No time to think, you just react. And what is the usual reaction?

Jam on the brakes.

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