Spring has come early this year. People are out enjoying the unseasonably warm weather, including motorcycle riders. While most riders are considerate of others, a few insist on ridiculously loud exhaust pipes that can be heard from a mile away. I don’t know what reaction these folks are going for, maybe “Look at me, I’m cool.” Trust me, most people’s reaction is more like, “Wow, that’s obnoxious.” Some people say loud pipes save lives, but the people with the loudest bikes are rarely wearing helmets, so I doubt safety is a primary concern. I like the sound of a hog as long as it’s not splitting my eardrums, and I’m all for personal freedoms as long as you’re not negatively affecting others. If you interrupt my conversation within 100 yards, you are negatively affecting others. I like going for walks in the local parks such as Castle Rock, Mississippi Palisades and Starved Rock. It is impossible to enjoy these walks when it sounds like you are trackside at a NASCAR race. I assume people ride through the parks to enjoy nature. How you can enjoy nature riding a machine that’s louder than a wood chipper is a mystery to me. On top of that, you are ruining it for everyone else. Loud pipes weren’t an issue 15 years ago, when it was only a couple dozen rebels out on the weekend. Now that the Harley “lifestyle” is the newest fad, and there are literally thousands of bandwagon jumpers out every weekend, noise has become a serious problem. To those considerate bikers, I wish you a safe and fun summer. To those with loud pipes, I hope you can pull your head out of your tailpipe and consider that not everyone wants to hear you coming from a mile away.
From the April 4-10, 2012, issue