and he was setting me up.
Not that I needed setting up. I was going up toward State Street, in Marysville, when the crossing bars lowered and a train began to cross. I took my motorcycle onto Fourth Street, a side road running parallel to the railroad tracks, and kicked my speed up to about thirty five miles an hour. I figured that the train would be doing about twenty five miles an hour through town and I knew that about a half mile down the road, if I hurried, I might be able to cross the railroad tracks before the train got there.
Glancing over, I saw that the engine of the train was pulling ahead of me, doing closer to forty-five miles an hour than twenty-five. I had only a couple of blocks left, before the stop sign and the right hand turn that would take me across the rail road tracks. I downshifted and gave the CBR some gas, lifting the front wheel off the ground.
When I passed the State Patrol, Marysville Police, and Sheriff’s cars parked at the road side, I was doing seventy with my front wheel up in the air. They were standing by their cars talking, and they all watched as I roared passed. I knew that I was going to have to do some fancy maneuvering to get out of this one.
I came up fast on the stop sign and slid around the corner. The crossbars were dropping and I gunned the motorcycle and hugged my bike, skimming under them as I jounced across the rails. To my right, the train engine blew its horn as it barreled toward the intersection. As I came clear of the rails, I caught a glimpse of a police car approaching the other side of the tracks with lights flashing. I laughed, because I figured that I’d won this round.
To my surprise and consternation, the police car pulled around the crossing bar as the train bore down on it. A blast of wind buffeted me as the train plowed past and I winced, expecting to hear the sound of metal against metal as the train impacted with the police car. I glanced back and saw that the police car had pulled through the crossing bars with inches to spare before the train rushed past, barely missing her.
Chagrined, I admitted my defeat and pulled over to the side of the road. I couldn’t believe that she had wanted to a speeder bad enough to throw herself in front of the train. Cystic Fibrosis was going to kill me sooner or later, anyway. What was her excuse, I wondered?
Fortunately, she stopped short at hauling me off to jail. She wrote me a hefty ticket and berated me for my lack of protective clothing. I was wearing a tank top, some spandex shorts and a pair of boat shoes with no socks.