A Vicious Cycle

wacobikersRioting motorcyclists are in the news. They’re disregarding the law and exhibiting antisocial, malevolent behavior.

Why would anyone be surprised?

The great majority of bikers (not all) flout the laws every time they ride. They’ve modified their bikes to increase the volume of the exhaust system to illegal, even dangerous levels. The alleged reason is summed up by their pithy slogan, “Loud pipes save lives.” A great catchphrase, brief and made up of words with a single syllable – even a biker can remember it. Only one problem: It’s complete nonsense. (See this article for more details on the whole motorcycle noise problem.)

But even if it were true, does the imaginary safety of a single person outweigh the health of all the people who are subjected to dangerously loud noise? Noise pollution is dangerous, causing all manner of health problems, the most obvious of which is hearing loss. Stress, which is of particular concern to those of us with MS is another serious issue with excessive noise.

To be fair, motorcycles are an efficient method of transportation that are also, according to my friends who use them, a lot of fun to ride. No one in their right mind should complain about them in general. Breaking the law and threatening the health of everyone within a quarter of a mile of their path, however, is another matter. A dangerous matter.

IMG_20150406_140128752I’m a biker. Rather, to avoid confusion with my leather-clad distant relations, I prefer being referred to as a cyclist. No motor, no noise, no emissions, yet still lots of fun. And health benefits instead of harm. I’ve written all manner of posts on the topic of cycling and the benefits for not only MS patients but everyone. (Search for “bike” or “cycling” or any word of that sort in the search box to the right to get a list of all of them.)

airhornAs a cyclist, I’m in much greater danger from other vehicles than a motorcyclist. I don’t have the acceleration and I have less protective clothing and vehicle mass. I’ve considered carrying an air horn with me wherever I ride and blowing it constantly to warn other vehicles that I’m in the vicinity. Guess how long that would be allowed.


About rickconti

It's not about me, remember?
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2 Responses to A Vicious Cycle

  1. Shawn West says:

    Fairly sad attempt at trolling a tragic incident to complain about a completely unrelated subject.

    In truth the great majority of cyclists (not all) flout the laws every time they ride. The perfect example where I live is all motorcyclists wear helmets yet you rarely see them on cyclists even though it is the law to do so.
    You also are not in more danger as a cyclist because you have the option of not playing in traffic. A motorcyclist does not. You can also put your bike on the bus rack for the congested parts to get to where you are going.
    It’s also a fact that you will suffer greater hearing damage from a car stereo or earphones while riding a bicycle than you will from my bike exhaust. Same is true from the leaf blower or lawn mower being used next door.
    The straight pipes on my bike are stock. It is loud because it was built that way. It is not illegally modified. And besides, I enjoy listening to bikes go past my place unlike the import sports cars with coffee cans as mufflers or your typical car stereo that is in fact louder.
    The article you link to actually supports the use of loud pipes. The article points out that the loud noise could be a distraction. That it then goes on to paint this as a negative is curious since in 82% of crashes caused by cars the driver claims, “They didn’t see them.”

    Obviously didn’t hear them either.

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