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Sudbury officer’s motorcycle skills rank high in his field

GSPS Const. Andrew Hinds took home the hardware at two police motorcycle competitions in the United States earlier this month

Sudbury motor cop Const. Andrew Hinds brought home hardware from two police motorcycle competitions when he arrived back home from the United States earlier this month.

Included in his accolades was third top rider out of 78 participants in the Palmetto Police Motorcycle Skills Challenge, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

“That’s pretty flattering considering the level of skill that was at the competition,” he told, adding that it was particularly surprising to have placed well due to the fact he was still dusting off the cobwebs after being without his motorcycle during the winter months.

Many of the riders, who came from throughout North America, have been on their motorcycles year-round.

He also placed third in the expert Harley Davidson windshield division and second in the overall team division, with friend Gary Machell of the Toronto Police Motor Squad.

At the Music City Police Motorcycle Skills and Training Competition in Bristol, Tennessee, he placed second in the non-fairing category, first in the slow ride competition and first in the teams slow ride competition with Machell. 

A lot of the competitions rely on precision, he said, noting that “precision is what’s going to keep you safe” on the road.

Motorcyclists maneuver their machines past cones along a path and are judged on their precision. In other competitions, such as a slow ride, they’re judged on their ability to operate slowly without dropping their bikes, while speed runs are judged based on speed.

The competitions were borne from the annual necessity of police officers brushing up on their skills, Hinds said, noting that riding a motorcycle is a perishable skill that requires refreshers.

Hinds has been riding motorcycles since he was 16, when he opted for a motorcycle over a car due to its affordability. A police motorcycle demonstration he witnessed in the early 2000 inspired him to pursue policing, and he joined the GSPS traffic unit in 2012.

“Then I was hooked,” he said, adding that he began competing in 2014.

There’s something about riding a motorcycle that Hinds said jives well with his personality.

“I can have the world’s worst day at work, but I jump on my bike after work and it’s just me and the road,” he said. “It’s just my way of letting loose.”

When it comes to policing, he said motorcycles offer police an edge by allowing them to maneuver their way through spaces police cruisers can’t. While searching for missing people, such as blueberry pickers and dementia patients, he said they’ve been able to quickly make their way through ATV and walking trails.

There’s also an added danger associated with motorcycles, he said, noting that police are always looking around their surroundings, which makes quick responses all the more important.

It’s on this front that Hinds drew attention to the fact May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. May was selected because motorists are coming out of winter and aren’t used to having motorcycles around them.

“There's an adjustment period for our motorists to begin recognizing motorcycles,” he said, urging people to check their blind spots to ensure they don’t cut off or strike a motorcyclist.

“Sudbury roads are hard enough to navigate with potholes.”

There are more motorcyclists on the road than there have been in past years, he said.

“It’s one of those sports that’s really taken off,” he said, adding that the stereotype of bikers being big burly guys no longer holds up, with people of all ages and types now riding motorcycles.

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for



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Tyler Clarke

About the Author: Tyler Clarke

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for
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