Man thought we had it bad.they used a stopwatch?WTF
205 mph earns biker citation
Speeding ticket may be Minnesota record
BY HANK SHAW
Al Loney couldn't believe his stopwatch.
The Minnesota State Patrol pilot had been flying near Wabasha on Saturday afternoon, watching a pair of motorcycles racing each other along U.S. 61. When one of the bikes accelerated dramatically, Loney was ready — clicking his stopwatch when the cycle reached a white marker painted on the roadside.
A quarter-mile later, he clicked it again. It read 4.39 seconds, which Loney calculated to be an astonishing 205 mph.
"I was in total disbelief," Loney said. "I had to double-check my watch because in 27 years I'd never seen anything move that fast."
The bike was moving nearly twice as fast as Loney's airplane. After about three-quarters of a mile, the biker slowed to about 100 mph and let the other cycle catch up. By then Loney had radioed ahead to another state trooper, who pulled the two over soon afterward.
The State Patrol officer arrested the faster rider, 20-year-old Stillwater resident Samuel Armstrong Tilley, for reckless driving, driving without a motorcycle license — and driving 140 miles per hour over the posted speed limit of 65 mph.
Several law enforcement sources said Tilley might have set the record for the fastest speeding ticket in Minnesota history.
No comprehensive records are kept, but a search of speeding tickets written by state troopers, who patrol most of the state's highways, between 1990 and February 2004 shows the next fastest ticket was for 150 mph in 1994 in Lake of the Woods County.
Tilley, the son of a Washington County sheriff's deputy, did not return calls to his home Monday.
Few vehicles can reach speeds in excess of 200 mph. Only a handful of cars, such as the Dodge Viper, the Porsche Carrera and several Lamborghinis, can hit the 200 mark. But many of the so-called "crotch rocket" motorcycles popular with young men can top 175 mph. With minor modifications, they can top 200 mph. Tilley was riding a Honda 1000, Loney said.
State trooper Steve Stromback, one of the officers who arrested Tilley, said the biker was taking part in the semi-annual Flood Run, a motorcycle rally that started in Hudson, Wis. The ride, in which thousands of bikers participate, raised money for the Gillette Children's hospital this year.
Stromback said most of the participants obey the law, but added that police cited another eight bikers for driving more than 100 mph last weekend. Speed demons show up every year, Stromback said, which is why the State Patrol had aircraft and extra troopers in the area.
Kathy Swanson of the state Office of Traffic Safety said unless Tilley was wearing the kind of protective gear professional motorcycle racers wear, he was courting death riding at such a velocity.
"I'm not entirely sure what would happen if you crashed at 200 miles per hour," Swanson said. "But it wouldn't be pretty, that's for sure."