Not a member? No admission. Sorry.
That is what I wanted to know almost forty years ago. I never did get to find out what a MAP check was, but I came very near getting a ticket for my attempt to find out.
Since the meet began fairly early, I was late. But not too late as it turned out. I arrived just in time for my first match. In fact they stopped everything and waited for me to shower and dress in my fencing togs.
(I guess I was a celebrity of sorts since it was unheard of for someone to ride a bike that many miles to a meet. My celebration didn't last long, however).
With a hail of hardy: "Come on! Hurry!!'s," I scurried up to my fencing strip and hooked myself up to the electronic score box. After a quick salute, I donned my helmet, and the match began. Less than two minutes later my opponent had made all five of the mandatory hits on me for him to win the game. I ripped off my helmet, shook his hand and said: "I hope I didn't wear you out." (He hadn't even worked up a sweat the match was over so quickly), and I was out of the game altogether, dragging my teammates with me.
I'm getting to that now. Be patient.
After a five day stay at the Canyon, I zoomed down the mountain to Phoenix, had a tail wind pushing me 125 miles to Yuma (that was my longest day), and tried to find somewhere off the ground to keep the scorpions, rattle snakes, and Gila monsters out of my sleeping bag. I finally found a bill board with a foot rail about 6 feet off the ground. It was two boards laid across a cross member where the sign painters stood to repair the sign. I locked my bike to the posts, climbed to the boards, slept in my bag with my arms dangling over the sides to keep me steady, and hoped I didn't roll over in my sleep and fall the six feet and land on my head.
I woke up in exactly the same position I fell asleep. Had I not, I fear I wouldn't be here to tell you this story.
Then, back to the highway.
All through Arizona, and the Eastern part of So. Cal it was legal for bikes to ride the freeway because there was no alternate route. I finally reached a turn off where there was a side road a few miles east of San Diego. There before me was a big sign that said: "No bicycles allowed on the freeway." But just beyond that sign was another sign that said: "Map check two miles ahead."
Just a couple miles, I thought, no one will care. For some reason finding out what a "Map check" was, was very important to me.
So I continued on the freeway.
I hadn't gone 20 feet and there was a red light behind me. I pulled over and the young officer approached me like I was Jesse James and he had just witnessed me rob a train. While he sternly bawled me out ("These hippies think they can ride any where they want to" was the gist of what he was saying), I real friendly-like told him about my trip, how exciting it was, and in general portrayed myself a traveler, and not a local hippie out for a joyride.
The officer eventually cooled down, decided not to give me a ticket, and told me to walk my bike down the ramp to the side road. I did so. And I never did get to find out what a Map Check was.
Why did I start my own MAP check? Because perhaps there is someone in this big, wide world who might be interested in my journey to seek out a MAP.
In some ways it was worth the 75 bucks I had to pay the "man."
Do I have the attention of anyone out
there in cyberland? If so, and you would like to learn
more about the foolhardy adventures of misguided
Tumbleweed, read on.
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