Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Freedom Rant

You know, one of the reasons I've always enjoyed the biker lifestyle is the freedom... Never allowing someone else to tell me how to do it. I was going to be a biker, and I was going to do it my way. But more and more I find everyone has their own ideas of what a biker is and what they should or shouldn't do. This really pisses me off. OK, I can understand the Helmet law, I don't necessarily like it, but I understand people not wanting their tax dollars to be spent taking care of someone who could have avoided a debilitating injury by wearing a helmet. I also understand that a helmet will not solve all problems, and I really wish proponents of the law would start being factually accurate when they spout off their reasons for wearing a helmet. They provide some measure of protection against long term brain damage resulting in fewer dollars spent on state care. Other than that they provide a handy carrying case for whatever parts the HIghway dept. scrapes off of the highway. Don't act like they're the end all be all protecting my ass 24/7. A helmet is only needed in case of a motorcycle collision. And even then they are only marginally effective.
Ok, So I understand that one, but lay the fuck off of loud pipes. You don't like them, fine, don't buy them for your bike. No where in the constitution does it say you have a right to not hear loud pipes. My pipes don't cause you physical pain on any lasting level, they don't cost you anything, they don't cause any more lasting effects to the ecology or environment than the average car. Leave them alone. You don't like them, I don't care. If they keep you alert to my being beside you get as pissed as you want, just don't forget I'm there and run over me, after all my government required helmet only helps so much.
When I bought my bike it came with a couple of give-away magazine subscriptions, one to H.O.G. Tales, and one to Harley Enthusiast. Every issue of both mags has had some kind of bullshit argument going in the letter section about loud pipes, but no one acknowledges the freedom of choice aspect. They all seem to feel like if they don't like them they should be outlawed... SO much for living in a "Free" country.
And recently the letters have taken aim at another biker anomaly, Waving. For some reason people are getting mad because fellow bikers (gulp!) wave... Ummm, So when you go into Wal-Mart and the little retired greeter person says "Hello, Welcome to Wal-Mart" do you respond with "FUCK YOU!"? Exactly what is your reason for being hostile towards another person who shares a common interest and is openly offering you pleasantry? Unless they're waving at you with only one finger... Or maybe if they're putting them self or someone else in danger, but I rarely see anyone risk dying to wave at a stranger.
I, for one, Like the acknowledgment of other riders that I'm being seen. It makes me feel a little safer and on some level like I'm part of a bigger world.
Look, I'm not trying to tell people what to believe. Those who know believe, and those who don't won't let you tell them. But at the end of the day, I'm not bitching about how you live your life, leave me to live mine in peace.


FLHX_Dave said...

Amen, funny how people don't have the time to acknowledge each other anymore. We have become so self absorbed that we can't see past ourselves. I wave and wont be offended if you can't wave back. Some of these bikers just take themselves way too seriously. They talk about respect but offer little in the way of giving it.

I prefer a loud set of pipes over a leaf blower or a blaring siren anyday. Hmmm...loud pipes may be the equivalent to a siren. They let people know you are there.

Rick, aka Sable said...


You go, boy! I'm behind you 100%.

I've got loud pipes and I've seen the deer turn and run from the road before I get there -- the deer that probably would have run out in front of me. I've seen people notice me because they heard me. I don't care how they know I'm there, I just want them to know. If the bitch in the Hummer had known I was there last May, maybe should could have slowed down and not run over my bike!

As for helmets, I'm with you there, too. I teach motorcycle safety classs. Yes, we stress the use of a helmet -- as the best choice, not the only one. I've reading sans lid in states where it's legal (not Tennessee!). At the end of the day, the choice of what protective gear to wear -- or not wear -- is up to each individual rider. Anybody who doesn't think so... well, like I always say, "Joke 'em if they can't take a fuck!"

Ann said...

We're very lucky to live in Arizona, where there is no helmet law (for now). I love having that choice. However, there are many towns/cities that have loud pipe ordinances, and it sucks. Our loud pipes have saved our asses on more than one occasion!

The 'wave' complaints must be a So. Cal thing, because nobody's complaining about that here, yet.

Myself... said...

I know I'm late on reading this, but I just have to comment! I totally agree with you man! I love the loud pipes. Some woman pulled out in front of my husband a few months ago and she didn't hear his horn (or mine for that matter) but he revved the pipes she saw him and slammed on brakes! It scared the ever livin out of me and I wasn't even on the bike!
And I can't imagine why anyone would bitch about bikers waving... All ice ever seen is people putting their hand out to the side. Not waving obnoxiosly like an idiot!
People always need to bitch about something I guess!