Out on Highway 61

Thought of Golby and Savory when I read this article from the Winona Minnesota Daily Blat

Minn. Trooper Writes 205 Mph Ticket

WABASHA, Minn. (AP) — With a State Patrol airplane overhead, a motorcyclist hit the throttle and possibly set the informal record for the fastest speeding ticket in Minnesota history: 205 mph.

On Saturday afternoon, State Patrol pilot Al Loney was flying near Wabasha, in southeastern Minnesota on the Wisconsin border, watching two motorcyclists racing along U.S. Highway 61.

When one of the riders shot forward, Loney was ready with his stopwatch. He clicked it once when the motorcycle reached a white marker on the road and again a quarter-mile later. The watch read 4.39 seconds, which Loney calculated to be 205 mph.

“I was in total disbelief,” Loney told the St. Paul Pioneer Press for Tuesday’s editions. “I had to double-check my watch because in 27 years I’d never seen anything move that fast.”

Posted in High Noise - Low Signal
5 comments on “Out on Highway 61
  1. Mike Golby says:

    I want one… Stu can nurse me around the old Nurburgring.

    Perhaps it was Bob; leaving town :).

    Five years ago, nobody read the Winona Daily News. Now you read it and I read it. Hell, we all read it.

    Whether that’s a good or a bad thing, we’ll probably only know in about five years’ time. But it (connectivity) has certainly made the run in to these elections of yours some kind of fascinating.

    By God, you Americans are a strange people.

    That said, we still love some of you (y’know?). Where will we be in five years’ time? I guess we’re like the 205 mph biker. At the rate we’re going, we certainly won’t be here, and ‘there’ is a long way off.

    The cop kinda reminds me of Winona’s Officer Obie. Five years at 205 mph will probably see us all blogging away at Alice’s Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

    There or the old Nuremburg Ring. Or whatever it’s called.

    And we’ll have front-row seats in the comment boxes :).

  2. Stu Savory says:

    I think you spelled the cop’s name wrong, Frank.

    Not Al Loney, but A.Looney 😉
    To go 205 mph the bike would have to produce over 210hp at the rear wheel, highly unlikely. Commercially available bikes produce 170hp at the crankshaft and thus go about 180 mph at most. They don’t “shoot forward” to that speed either, it takes >=2 miles to get up to that speed, during which they would be leaving the cop’s chopper or plane waaaayy behind. Your average Cessna 172 goes about 120 mph only.
    So the cop would be using a manual stopwatch from a postion at least 200 yards up and over a mile behind at an oblique angle. The resultant parellax and his delayed-start/expectant-stop on the stopwatch giving him at least 1/2 sec error, reducing the top speed to a more reasonable 170 mph.
    I think the story is just Urban legend.

    BTW “Alice’s restaurant”, Mike, is also the name of a Biker cafe’ up on the ridge road between Half Moon Bay and Palo Alto, California, just to keep things in the biker context.

    Stu Savory, currently on an FJR1300

  3. fp says:

    Thanks for the reality check Stu. Of course if it was me that they busted for going 205, I think I’d be unlikely to quibble. Especially if my defense was “But officer, my speedometer said I was only going 170.”

  4. Stu Savory says:

    I have a cartoon like that, about Alex Prigge and I as we headed (2002) for the Isle of Man.

    See http://www.savory.de/125mph.gif

    Stu

  5. So now we know for sure from whence comes the Highway 61 reference.

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