Bethlehem (PA) Police Chief Jason Schiffer was patrolling the 2012 Musikfest on his bicycle when he encountered a group of teenagers. One of them yelled, “Hey cop, ride a wheelie!” Little did they know they had just challenged a former BMX champion and six-time winner (and eight-time medalist) of the International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA) competition. Without skipping a gear, Chief Schiffer popped a wheelie and rode the length of a city block, with a group of local BMXers giving chase.
As his front wheel finally returned to earth, he stopped to spend some time with the teens. When they asked about his skills, he explained that he started riding as a kid and just kept on practicing until he was the best he could be, and that he never passes up an opportunity to learn from others. He demonstrated a few other tricks before continuing his two-wheel patrol, leaving smiles in his slipstream.
It wasn’t long before photos were posted on Facebook. Within a matter of hours, it had been viewed by nearly 2,000 users and shared 43 times. The comments it garnered reflected the positive nature of the interaction, such as: “The Bethlehem Police Department’s bike patrol guys totally rock.” “You go, Chopper Popper Copper!!!” “If this is our Police Chief—we all have something to brag about.”
Musikfest, a ten-day music festival featuring the likes of Sheryl Crow, the Goo Goo Dolls, and Jane’s Addiction usually attracts one million concertgoers, who are generally more interested in watching the performances of headliners than hanging out with their local police chief. But at least for 100 yards, Chief Schiffer stole the show!
International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA)