Every year the police services crack down on noise violators, illegal helmets, side mounted license plates and any other thing they can find wrong with you and your motorcycle.
So why is it we always allow ourselves to get so pissed off and frustrated?
It is an annual ritual. It's like spring time - WE KNOW it's coming.
Is there something about following the law that rubs against the grain?
Or are some of these laws worthy of change?
I understand that custom builders like to mount plates sideways so as not to detract from the line and visual appeal of the motorcycle. I get that - it's illegal in most places but I understand why they do it.
Is there some way we can, instead of getting pissy about it, pouting and whining when tickets are handed out, perhaps lobby the government to affect a change? What about license plates for handicapped riders/trikers...there are so many things that frustrate the crap out of riders here in Alberta and in other Canadian locales - but here in Alberta there is NO ONE who goes to bat for us.
How about the helmet issue.
There are many riders that want to either wear a beanie or wear no helmet. Should they as adults have the choice as to what risk factor they deem acceptable?
Should those who choose to ride with no helmet or with a beanie perhaps be subjected to Medical Insurance Riders, Special Premiums or be forced to sign an Organ Donor Card?
Then there's the whole HOV lane thing - we in redneck Alberta are so far behind the times when it comes to commuters etc but there are many metropolitan areas in Canada with specific High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes...
I had approached BCCOM about the potential of resurrecting ACOM here in Alberta - told them there were a group of people interested in fighting for the rights of enthusiasts here in Alberta- finally. Guess what - they are using the name ACOM again - I haven't talked to the gals at BCCOM yet to see if they are thinking of trying ACOM again.
If we here in Alberta actually wanted to start some kind of lobbying committee we would either have to join BCCOM/ACOM or figure out some other really unique name as the AMA - Alberta Motorcycle Association name is owned by a guy in Ontario. I for one have no time left in my schedule these days to start or run such a group. However - I would sure be willing to support, sponsor and promote any group that decided it was time we had a lobbying voice. The unfortunate thing about some of the various biker's rights type of organizations is that they are seen to be defenders of the criminal element as opposed to simply looking after all riders rights. Right, wrong or indifferent that appears to be the case right across Canada - perception is everything in politics.
If we don't like the way we Canadian taxpaying riders are treated there are a few things we can do:
Number 1: Act responsibly when on our motorcycles
Number 2: Form or join an association to lobby the government
Number 3: Get involved on the local level - start talking to your Mayors, councillors, MLA's etc and business people who ride
Number 4: Act responsibly when on our motorcycles - I know I said that once already but It is the MOST important piece of this whole equation.
Number 5: Do something - when confronted with an idiot on a motorcycle. Either talk to them or report them but do something besides shaking your head. If calling the police to deal with a situation/an idiot goes against your grain - then find another way to voice your displeasure - perhaps, just perhaps if enough people tell a guy he's acting like an idiot and we are not amused - PERHAPS we can get him/her to change their way of conducting themselves - I know it's a tough pull but people - WE HAVE TO TRY.
If we want to be taken seriously, if we want laws that more accurately reflect our community and it's needs then we need to get off our asses and do something instead of whining and we need to act responsibly.
Freedom isn't free - Riding a motorcycle or driving a motor vehicle is NOT a right it is a PRIVILEGE.
I empathize with those who love loud pipes but I also empathize with moms who have sick babies and the elderly who live in an old folks home. I empathize with the shift worker who sleeps during the day and the person who is in the hospital. I empathize with the person who is trying to conduct business or the person having a glass of wine and conversation with a friend at an out door cafe/bistro or patio. When you are riding your motorcycle don't be a selfish, self involved moron.
Remember that if you were sick, trying to sleep, if you were trying to have a conversation or conduct business and some jack ass in an import car with a mind numbing stereo went by how you would feel when the windows in your house/business rattled or your conversation got lost in the ensuing noise?
Inconsideration - sadly our community attracts a lot of people who think it is their God given right to be LOUD, OBNOXIOUS and RUDE.
Remember the Charter of Freedoms and Rights applies to EVERYONE.
Your rights stop where your exercising of those rights infringes upon the rights of the guy beside you.
It is too bad we as humans in our thousands of years of sharing this planet have never gotten that simple fundamental. Live and let live - it means a lot more than most realize.
Do I believe that loud pipes save lives? In urban riding situations - I SURE DO.
Do I believe that we should have the privilege/right to own them? I SURE DO - but remember with every right/privilege comes responsibility and if you abuse it, you deserve to pay the price.
There is a right time and a wrong time to use those loud pipes.
Using them at the wrong time for the wrong reason penalizes a whole community, tars us all with the brush of inconsiderate boob and makes the whole community a target for that police officer who either does not like motorcycles or has an ego bigger than his body and a point to prove.
The average police officer is not going to target a rider unless they are doing something blatant and stupid, but the cop with something to prove or an attitude as bad as some of the cowboy's in our community - he's gonna target every rider he sees because of jerks that feel the need to show off or be noticed. The problem with this whole topic is that the police have far too much power and discretion. If a police officer doesn't like bikes or feels he has something to prove - he/she can and will cost you time and money.
This riding season I do not want to hear any snivelling - it is time to pull up your big boy pants or your big girl panties and do the right thing.
Either fight for your rights or LOOSE THEM. Either act responsibly or pay the price.
Either be considerate of your fellow man or shut the hell up and pay the fine that you earned.
If your ego is so freaking big and it needs to be fed so bad that you are willing to take away MY RIGHT to safety in urban riding by being a selfish, attention seeking moron be forewarned - if I SEE YOU - or more appropriately hear you - I WILL either have a serious chat with you, give you a forehead slap or call the freaking cops myself. (that goes for stunters too but that is a topic for a different day).
I AM A RESPONSIBLE MOTORCYCLIST AND I AM FED UP AND I AM NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY MORE! I want the freedom to have loud pipes on my bike to have the right to defend myself in urban riding situations by having those loud pipes when I need them the most.
If you are riding today, please ride like everyone is out to get you, like everyone around you is blind and PLEASE USE YOUR HEAD for something besides a helmet rack - that right hand - use some respect with it PLEASE.