Dave Campbell: As a biker, I have loud pipes, so what?
I like loud pipes. I have loud pipes. Do they save lives? I don’t know. I know they have woken up many a distracted driver, maybe saved their lives. It doesn’t matter, I like them. I think it is an American right, like guns, hot rods, apple pie and all that.
I think it is totally hypocritical for the weekend squire who starts his rickety old lawnmower at six in the morning or the disconnected mother who allows her screaming children to free range all over creation while she dries her nails to complain about the noise of motorcycles, or anything else for that matter. (One of my peeves is motorcycles being a scapegoat, with nary a mention of those utterly annoying tuner cars, but more on that later.)
First we need to understand something. Noise is everywhere. I used some examples already, but there is so much more. We can be tolerant of one another within reason, or we can place all kinds of regulations against each other in a constant battle of “You’re offending me!” vs. “You’re stepping on my rights!”
No one wants that. We all like our freedom too much, and as well we should! We are Granite Staters. We had our constitution first. We are part of the cradle of the revolution, but are we not also the nation of respect of neighbors, of civility? Are we not the respecters of boundaries?
No one should have to endure some idiot doing burn- outs in the neighborhood at 11 p.m. There is no reason other than to make noise for keeping your bike in first gear at 6,000 rpm. If you have to keep blipping your throttle, maybe you should get that thing to a shop for a good tuneup or something.
We have laws against abuse of power, street racing, stunting. These are the things that annoy people. Most sensible folks don’t care if your pipes aren’t stock; many appreciate that for its hotrod roots. They just want a little respect, the same as you want from them.
Now, to the unspoken problem: tuner cars. These are, to me, worse, and not because I hate them (which I freely admit). Yeah, they annoy me, but I still appreciate the dedication to building them. However, the gatherings are something else. I have seen up to 40 gather in city parking lots late at night, doing burnouts, doughnuts, the works.
Which leads me to ask, where are the police? I don’t want to scapegoat them; they do have their hands full, kind of. The question really is: Why aren’t the police being effectively used? Some would say it is because of the usage of road blocks, which ties them up. Given the poor return vs. the manpower roadblocks take, maybe it’s time to use a few cruisers in the trouble areas that have been overlooked or ignored (like, say, the Mill area). Think of the revenue possibilities: park curfew violations, parking violations, abuse of power violations, maybe a drunken driver or two, or five. That is a better haul than a road block.
The sad thing is that all it takes is common sense. How many laws could we remove if we just used more of it?
I love loud pipes; I don’t want to see bikers being pulled over simply because their pipes are loud, to be singled out even if they are proved to be within legal limits. It’s a hassle, and it’s a hassle we can avoid by showing a little respect, everybody.
Oh, and newspapers and TV stations might also help by shedding the light on things with a little reporting of their own.
Dave Campbell is a warehouse associate in Manchester.