I hear a lot of grumbling. The chair I sit in can be alternatively entertaining, heartbreaking and frustrating.
Today I am frustrated.
I hear so many people who whine, snivel and complain over the new motorcycle noise bylaw in Edmonton, the proposed bylaws in Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Windsor and countless other cities across this country and yet...who is doing anything about it?
I'll tell yah - about a handful of women on the Edmonton scene and from what I can tell - no one anywhere else - lots of noise, but no organized movements at all. (Unless I am blind and deaf I am not reading or hearing about anything concrete being done.)
In a recent discussion with Ivan from Medicine Hat Harley-Davidson I learned that the MMIC somehow caught wind of the fact that a federal law was about to be rewritten that would have seen motorcycle exhaust noise be limited to 86 decibels and that the MMIC intervened at the second reading and managed to get the limit raised to 96 by having the SAE create a noise standard test. Now that somewhat contradicts what the EPS (Edmonton Police Service) memo states but hey - let's not split hairs. Having this standard set means we as a community can force the issue over semi's and their noise, vehicles with no mufflers, boom boxes, leaf blowers and law mowers! We are actually in the drivers seat here folks - we just need to grab the handle bars and so something with it but...will we?
I got an email from a riding club that had the answers to a survey taken of their membership which is about 1100 strong.
349 people actually took the time to answer the 4 questions...
Here are the questions:
1. DO YOU THINK WE ARE PAINTING A TARGET ON US!
By going to bike nights in Edmonton.Where the EPS can easily setup and wait for bikes that night.
yes, 73.0% no 27.0%
2. SHOULD WE MOVE OUR BIKE NIGHTS OUTSIDE EDMONTON
yes, 52.5% no 47.5%
3. Should we ask Events like Toy Run to move outside Edmonton.
yes, 52.5% no 47.5%
4. IF I RECEIVE A NOISE BYLAW TICKET I WILL TAKE IT TO COURT or no I WILL JUST PAY IT.
YES 69.9% NO 30.1%
Now folks - this sucks if you really think about it - only about 33% of this riding club responded to an issue that affects all of us - discrimination. And I am not singling out this club - they are just the best example of what we face as a community period - no matter where in Canada, no matter which group.
This is the same complacency that KILLS riding clubs, events and charities.
Complacency is the enemy here folks, not the establishment - they shove these laws through because they know we will whimper and snivel and bend over and take it - no Vaseline required.
If you are not part of the solution then in this case you really are a part of the problem.
Look at the news today. St Andrews NB has the police working with them over the HUGE crowds coming to ride their motorcycles and spend their money - the community wants the tourism dollars. Shediac NB is hoping for the same boon in August as is the Red Island Rally in Charlottetown PEI that same August 27/28 weekend. The Wharf Rat Rally in Digby NS sees 20K plus riders spend HUGE money in their province.
Tourism by motorcycle is estimated conservatively to be a 300 BILLION dollar a year industry folks (only dealing with the 2 weeks of vacation a rider takes) in North America and in this economy the province of Alberta can not afford to let their police service dictate where our income comes from. Neither can any jurisdiction really. And if noise is really the issue - then let's deal with noise in some manner that actually addresses all of it, not one small, small part of it.
Oil and gas revenues are down, forestry income is down and tourism by motor home and air are down. If we look at the whole situation - take a macroscopic view as opposed to a microscopic view - you will see that most people want health care, infrastructure and certain other benefits looked after. All of those things take money and if we are only circulating our money and not getting in funds from tourism because the other revenue streams are suffering - then we end up getting nowhere.
I read some news articles on noise complaints this morning from people who bought homes in a sub division in Leduc AB - the sub division is by a highway that has been there for longer than I have been around and I am 50. Now folks - I hate to bring up the obvious - but - if you didn't think it was going to be noisy living next to a major highway - what the HE double hockey sticks were you thinking? It's like those who buy near an airport, race track or sporting facility and then whine and snivel about noise and traffic congestion - people, pull your heads out of your arses...
Complacency in the rider community is going to see successful bylaws across the country.
The whiners out number us and as in anything political - the squeaky wheel gets the grease!
So folks - get off your duffers, spread the word, sign a petition and then please join FIRRe - the Foundation for Injured Riders, Rights & Education.
A united voice of the some 600,000 motorcyclists in Canada will carry far more wight than the efforts of 10 here and 30 there...
If you are not a part of the solution then you ARE the PROBLEM.
In the news today:
In the good old US of A there is a movement on by LAWMAKERS to get the NHTSA to put the focus on motorcycle accidents and helmet use.
An accident in Nevada took the life of a Canadian Soldier, Lt-Col. Nancy Ouellet, 41, reportedly died instantly June 22 when her motorcycle was struck head-on by a car trying to pass a transport truck. Ouellet a 23-year veteran of the military, had been until recently the commanding officer of the Canadian Forces Support Unit with NORAD in Colorado Springs, Colo.
In Lincoln NB a father and son were severely injured when they collided with a car that cut them off.
Another report from/on riders in the Hoka Hey Challenge...
Vintage racing will take place at the O'Keefe Ranch near Vernon BC next weekend.
There's a ton more news - so to get your dose of it tune in to www.beltdrivebetty.com where we sift through everything to bring you JUST the news that affects our communities and lives!
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Foundation for Injured Riders, Rights & Education