As my memory serves, the Mid-Atlantic was the very first police motorcycle rodeo and training competition, dating back to 1979 – 29 years of service to the police motorcycle community. It’s not true that I attended the first Mid-Atlantic training venue, as has been alleged, but over the years I have been to many of the safety competitions.
What really sets the Mid-Atlantic apart is a team of very dedicated committee members. The Mid-Atlantic Police Motorcycle Riding Committee, Inc. (MAPMRC, Inc.) is mindful of every aspect of the event and works carefully to ensure that the expectations of participating motor officers, vendors and spectators are met – and then some!
As background, the committee was incorporated in 1988 as The Mid-Atlantic Police Motorcycle Riding Committee, Inc. with its emphasis on increasing the “safe operation” of police motorcycles and increasing the skills of individual motor officers.
Ten years ago the committee voted to make C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors) the official charity of this event and since that time they have raised just under $150,000 for that laudable charitable endeavor.
This year, the event was jointly hosted by the Arlington County Police (VA) and the Pentagon Police. It was held in a large parking area near the Pentagon. Alright, it was adjacent to the Pentagon through a long tunnel running beneath I-395. As an aside, I would have loved to have ridden through that tunnel – it looked to be a challenge. There’s just something about riding a Harley-Davidson police motorcycle through a tunnel. Regardless, the location was great and the late summer weather was perfect.
Participants came from as far as Broward County, Florida (Broward Sheriff’s Office Motor Unit, Fort Lauderdale, FL) with some sixteen officers. They were also accompanied by a long-time friend of mine, Mr. Barry Kuhnly of Fort Lauderdale Harley-Davidson. Mr. Kuhnly is a former motor officer (Pompano Beach PD); however, I don’t know if Barry really ever convinced himself that he’s retired – it’s simply in the blood, just as is the case with most of us to this day.
Apart from a great deal of practice before the actual event began with the Challenge Ride on Friday, the committee also gave some officers the opportunity to enjoy the Washington, D.C. area. One night the committee hosted a boat tour of the Potomac River and the sites along its banks and the next night they hosted a personal tour of the Pentagon. These opportunities are few and far between these days.
We’ll publish the actual rodeo results once they become available to us; however, Fairfax County Police Department remains the department to beat. Their skill levels are difficult to replicate anywhere else in the country. In the future, if you have a chance to compete against any of the motor officers participating in this event, then I would encourage you to come prepared.
I’m proud to say that I’ve ridden with many of the participating officers during Police Memorial Week each year, but I admit to being just an average rider when compared to the talents of these competent officers and the teams participating this year.