Motorcycle patrol wins friends, writes tickets at Americade

LAKE GEORGE Standing by his Harley on Montcalm St., Patrol Officer Peter DiFiore watched an Americaders motorcycle get reeled up onto a tow truck. He had just written a couple of tickets late Tuesday for a man from near Rochester who was riding with a suspended license and expired registration. My Harley patrol motorcycle is a great tool, DiFiore said. Its easy to manipulate through traffic, and people see a common bond with you before they come up and start talking with you its a great icebreaker. Minutes later, DiFiores comments were proven true, as Americade motorcycle rally attendees walked up and struck up conversations. Warren Countys new motorcycle patrol squad has been patrolling on 2008 Harley Davidson Road Kings in Lake George Village during Americade this week. Through this weekend, patrol officers are also manning a booth at Americades Tour Expo in the Lake George Forum, handing out motorcycle safety booklets and bumper stickers reminding motorists to be considerate of bikers. Warren County Sheriff Bud York said this week that the patrol is proving itself at Americade, considered the worlds leading touring motorcycle rally where crowds of thousands of motorcyclists are jamming the streets. Motorcycle patrols are particularly useful in Americade and other large events, York said, because the two-wheeled machines can easily navigate through the routine traffic congestion and crowds that sometimes spill into the streets. Although DiFiore characterized the motorcycle patrol as an icebreaker, hes not merely socializing with bikers. Hes been writing a lot of tickets, particularly to bikers who wear novelty helmets that may look suave, but offer no protection, he said. Along with Difiore on the squad are Haley Grace and Rob Gould of Chestertown, Ken Smith and Jesse Whittenberg. The group is overseen by Sgt. Lee Corsones. The motorcycle patrol participated in a mandatory motorcycle checkpoint set up Friday in the I-87 Northway northbound rest area. The checkpoint, staffed with state and county patrol officers, stopped 123 bikers Friday, some of whom were heading to the upcoming Americade rally in Lake George. They checked for safe helmets, valid licenses, unsafe tires and inadequate mufflers. At this checkpoint, 48 tickets were issued, 15 of which were for the unapproved novelty helmets. Another southbound checkpoint is planned to be held as the rally ends. Warren Countys motorcycle patrol also has its ceremonial uses, with patrol officers riding in the Memorial Day parades two weeks ago in both Lake George and Hague. Wednesday at 8;45 am, DiFiore was back in the saddle alongside patrol officer Robert Gould, plus Glens Falls Sgt. John Winchell on his Harley patrol cruiser. The three pulled over an Americader and wrote him a ticket for an unapproved helmet, or skid lid. But the arrest didnt deter the man from chatting with the officers about his trike, the police Harleys, or Americade, DiFiore said. Even a ticket wont stop the motorcycle chit-chat, he said.

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