It was a beautiful morning to be cruising the Meadowbrook State Parkway on a motorcycle - but 88 riders found out their bikes or paperwork weren't up to snuff.
State Police from Troop L had set up a motorcycle safety checkpoint early yesterday morning on the parkway, about two miles south of the Merrick Road exit.
At least 10 troopers, three investigators from the Department of Motor Vehicles and an inspector from the National Insurance Crime Bureau descended on the parkway at 5:30 a.m. and began stopping all southbound motorcyclists to inspect their bikes.
In the span of four hours, 156 bikes were inspected, 88 tickets were issued and one bike was towed because the rider didn't have the proper license.
Troopers even arrested on drunken driving charges a motorist who was going more than 80 mph on the parkway around 6 a.m., Trooper Frank Bandiero said.
The team of troopers and investigators looked at everything from helmets and eye protection to license plates and vehicle identification numbers. Motorcyclists' licenses, registrations and insurance documentation were also checked.
Trooper H.M. Thomas, a motorcycle patrolman who was performing safety checks, said the majority of riders didn't mind being stopped.
"For the most part, everybody was receptive. They were well-behaved," he said.
One motorcyclist, Arcady Shteynberg, 34, of Long Beach, said he didn't mind the checkup if it would make the streets safer.
"I think it's actually a good thing, to get people that have illegal bikes off the road - I have no problem with that," he said.
Incidentally, Shteynberg was cited for not having an inspection sticker on his 2006 Yamaha R1.
But Michael Vollkommer, 40, was a little annoyed by the interruption early in his morning cruise.
"I live in Merrick," he said, so it's a bother "to just start off the ride and I've gotta stop."
Hindrance or not, Thomas said the checkpoint is about the safety of the riders and the motorists on the road around them.
"It makes people aware that we are out here checking," he said, "and it keeps people on the up and up."