Mondays are the day of the week I hate and dread, just like many of you.  But my reasons are going to be much different than yours are, I am pretty sure.

I don't work 9-5 or Monday to Friday.

Monday holds no "jail like" meaning for me about trudging off to work for 5 days.

Just like it being Friday really means nothing to me. I work 7 days a week.
And I love my job, just not all of it...

So why do I hate Mondays?

Every morning I generally sift through the news feeds to ensure that there are no mountain biking stories mixed in with the motorcycle news for our web site.

And every Monday, more than any other day of the week, I have to read and post about the motorcycle crashes that have taken place over the weekend.

Some involve people I know personally, some involve severe injury, some death and yet others walk away.

As a rider, everyone of these crashes affect me.
Reading the stories, seeing the crash site images, watching the videos...everyone one of the breaks my heart.

In far too many cases, dumb choices be it from the rider or the other vehicle driver (when another vehicle is involved) have contributed to the crash.

For the riders - going too fast, not being aware of surroundings, not using emergency techniques, target fixation, riding in blind spots, riding without good gear, riding over their ability.

Our roads are in such disrepair across this country...and have been contributing factors in crashes.

For the drivers of other vehicles - going too fast, pulling unsafe u-turns, turning left without looking, changing lanes without looking, target fixation, texting, well, the list goes on...

Then there are the crashes that involve game (wildlife) - these tend to be the true accidents of our community...

I have hardly scratched the surface of the ways these crashes happen.

Every Monday my heart breaks just a little bit.
Every Monday those images, the stories and the senselessness of it all hits home - HARD.

There are people who think I am far too opinionated for my own good, far too serious about things.

To those people I say: "You don't sit in my chair and see the things I see. When you read the news, it's about the things that interest you. For me, I read it whether or not I want to because it's my job."

The stories I read, daily harden me in some ways.
I work really hard to keep a balanced perspective on everything.
I work to see both sides of every situation, but - the stories I read sometimes make it really hard to not be a pissed off human being, to not be hard nosed and vocal.

Monday is the day for me, when I have to screw up the courage to do my job because I know I am going to be sad, mad, disappointed...

Well, besides the motorcycle crashes the took place in Toronto, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Vancouver Island this weekend (see the Riders Down news feed on our site, the news had a ton of articles about the Hells Angels Annual run from Nanaimo to Victoria in BC.

According to the article on Castanet: 
Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit spokesman, Sgt. Lindsey Houghton said: "the bikers ignored red lights at intersections, were seen speeding, and unsafely passing other vehicles.

He says the group blocked traffic and refused to pull over for safety inspections by police.

Houghton says those who did not comply with police direction have been noted and will face appropriate enforcement action.

He says police won't allow bikers to intimidate communities with their noisy rides.

Houghton says May is designated as Motorcycle Safety Month in BC, and police used the opportunity to conduct road safety checks on members of the outlaw motorcycle gangs."

And yet, according to a video of their ride, they observed the rules of the roads and did not appear to be speeding, running red lights and their pipes did not seem to be overly loud.

So - besides being sad today, and frustrated over the deaths and injuries this past weekend, I am PISSED at the RCMP again...

Motorcycle Awareness month is not an open ended license for discrimination.
And yet this RCMP spokesman blatantly admits "police used the opportunity to conduct road safety checks on members of the outlaw motorcycle gangs."

The problem with Mr. Houghton's commentary is that not all who wear the patch of an outlaw club are 1% and the police too often stop and unlawfully detain all kinds of riders based on the erroneous assumption that a three piece patch means gang.

Ask members of the Falcons...the Veteran's Canada MC and on and on...

Not only that, but it would appear based on the video evidence above, that yet again, the RCMP are lying about the conduct of the riders in question.

And then there is his most ignorant of comment: "police won't allow bikers to intimidate communities with their noisy rides."

In other articles like the one from the Province: “Seeing a large group of bikers rolling down the highway and through towns can be intimidating for the public and that is their intention — to intimidate,” Houghton said. “Today was yet another example of groups like the Hells Angels thinking they are above the law. CFSEU-BC and its policing partners will continue to monitor events like today’s and ensure the public’s safety by seizing every available and appropriate enforcement opportunity against those involved in organized crime.”

The article from the Times Colonist was equally PRO police.
“Our goal was to stop them and let them know we are aware of their activities and that we will continue to monitor them like this in the interests of ensuring public safety. We will seize every opportunity to look at appropriate enforcement action against the people engaged in organized crime in communities around B.C.”

Houghton said traffic on the highway was at a standstill for 15 to 20 minutes.

“Understandably, on a nice day like this, it was an inconvenience for people. We did have a very large area off to the side of the road, and if the bikers had complied, there would have been no delay in traffic. But they chose not to,” he said.

“Seeing a large group of bikers rolling down the highway and through towns can be intimidating for the public, and that is their intention — to intimidate,” Houghton said.

“Today was yet another example of groups like the Hells Angels thinking they are above the law.”

The spin doctor in all of these articles, Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit spokesman, Sgt. Lindsey Houghton would have the general public think that ALL large groups of riders are out to intimidate.

He would also have the general public think that the Hells Angels - READ BIKERS IN LARGE GROUPS do not respect the rules of the road and should subject themselves and their motorcycles to a traffic safety stop that they know full well will be filled with questions about their patches, tattoos, associations and other discriminatory/harassing questioning.

Their motorcycles would have been safety checked by people who are not mechanics and whose sound testing equipment is not "certified".  Now let me clarify a few things:  The RCMP have reportedly in the passed used noise testing equipment that is not standardized by anyone.  And under Federal law - the officer's opinion is what counts when it comes to whether or not a vehicle is noisy.

We all know that the J2825 noise test for motorcycles that the SAE put together for the MIC and MMIC is subjective to the officer's skill level and the surroundings in which the test is conducted. 
And we know that most officers do not follow the testing requirements hence why so many of these "violations" get thrown out of court if a person has time to fight them.

And remember, if your bike is damaged during such a test - your motorcycle is NOT covered by YOUR insurance - your only recourse is to sue the officer.

On a side note, that I am aware of, the RCMP federally has not as of yet been trained to do the J2825. 
I will attempt to find out about that...

The spin doctor would have the general public believe that the bikers are at fault for traffic being halted, when in fact, the RCMP are the cause.  Staging big public displays at exorbitant expense is something we have seen done time after time with no positive results. This time appears to be no different.

The RCMP, it appears, want the general public to be pissed at large groups of bikers. Period.

Time and again you read and hear this man say - "police won't allow bikers to intimidate communities with their noisy rides."

I ride without a patch, I ride a stock motorcycle, I have ridden in large group rides that have been pulled over for "motorcycle safety checks".  

I have never been ticketed. BUT I have been inconvenienced, asked ridiculous questions about "who is holding the drugs", where are the Hells Angels and other equally intimidating and disgusting questions that have nothing what so ever to do with the ride I am on or the safety of my bike - which was never checked by the by. Only my helmet and papers were ever checked.

This mentality of the RCMP disturbs me.

And it should disturb you too. 

There are many who never ride in group rides for any cause or charity simply because they have no wish to be labelled or tarred or inconvenienced.  There are some who never ride in large groups cause it isn't their bag.

BUT - whenever a police agency starts saying discriminatory things with the sole purpose to mis lead the public - it should concern every citizen.

You and I both know that there are those in some of these 1% clubs that are bad asses.  
But there is nothing illegal about going for a ride as a club.  They are after all members of a motorcycle club - motorcycle being the operative word.

You and I both know - if you have been around this community for any length of time, that it is a very, very rare thing for a full patched member of any 1% motorcycle club to do anything in public that will reflect badly on their club.

The RCMP however would have one believe that they are all criminal and the only reason they get on their bikes in large numbers is to intimidate.

You and I both know that sweeping statements like that are ridiculous, dangerous and highly mis leading.

It is too bad the general public only has the mainstream media to rely on for their information, that they are never subjected to the mannerisms, demeanour or attitude of a police officer who wants to be an intimidating, fight provoking jerk.

Don't get me wrong - the job of a cop is not easy, it is filled with danger and there are many cops who do their uniform a great credit. There are those on police forces everywhere who know how to use critical thinking skills - who understand you get more with honey than vinegar. Those who know it is wrong to label everyone based on the actions of the few.

But there are enough of them out there who are in no way polite or courteous - those who look for and instigate fights, who are adrenaline junkies that thrive on anger...that should cause very citizen to be concerned.

I am tired of the never ending spins that the RCMP and other police services use when it comes to the riding community and the main stream media that seldom ever prints the other side of the story.

So, if you start noticing more aggression and push back towards riders, you can thank three groups of people.

The RCMP and police services for their special brand of spin. 
The mainstream media that does so much one sided reporting.
And you can thank the people who lend credence to the police services myths about ALL bikers and ALL BIKERS IN BIG GROUPS.

You know, the guy/gal who rides 300 KPH through traffic.  
The guy/doll who uses their loud pipes, not in times of danger but as fashion plate attention seeking accessory.

Or the guys/girls who wheelie in traffic...or on big group rides.

These people are the people who are our "Bad Press" spin doctors. 
Their conduct is a black eye to all riders.

And the conduct of those riders polarizes the non rider against the rider because the actions of a few combined with the spin by the RCMP/Police forces as printed and un -investigated by mainstream media creates a hatred.  

We have had people killed because of motorcycle noise.  Not long ago a guy in California stabbed his neighbour over motorcycle noise

We have had riders purposely run off the road by other drivers who hate motorcycles.

And then we have riders who when they realize a guy is trying to purposely run them off the road -  put themselves in really dangerous positions TO BECOME A STATISTIC.

I am sad and angry and frustrated...that's how I can tell it's Monday.

Join Kickstands Up on Reality Radio 101 as I join Lou to have a frank discussion  about our riding season and the ways to successfully enjoy it...

I hope you have a good week and if you are fortunate enough to be taking advantage of the glorious if late riding season, PLEASE ride like everyone around you is blind and can not see you.

I leave you with a few funnies shared with me by friends on Facebook and via emails.  After a crappy start to my day, I like to balance it our with laughter and meditation.

Here's to the laughter.

I am going to meditate now.

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

Post a Comment

  1. sharon robertson10:31 AM

    Great article Betty, if the publc really knew what it costs them in tax dollars for these litle MOC's (motorcycle only checkpoints), they too would be infuriated.
    The AMA in the US has so far gotten 5 states to declare this kind of "profiling" and MOC's illegal (after large issues at Daytona and other large events), wish we could get some of the same kind of progress here.

  2. sabre2:30 PM

    Perhaps every time the Police set up one of their checkstops, we should tally the cost to the taxpayer against what they accomplished. As we know you can't prove a negative, so we can always have the police saying they are preventing crimes, but we need to see proof that they are doing a service. We see fundraisers for the Childrens and Stollery hospitals ended. We see toy runs and Motorcycle Awareness for URSA seriously hampered by the police intervention. I have major issues when the police decide guilt or innocence by themselves without court. nazi Germany did this in the 1930's and it allowed the police to kill, steal, beat and jail anyone who had the nerve to say "NO".
    Whether it is noise bylaw, (we have seen the videos of the tests been done wrong and fines handed out) the .05 bylaw (WHERE A POLICEMAN WHO DOESNT LIKE MY LOOKS OR DRESS CAN IMPOUND MY BIKE AND TAKE MY LICENCE ON HIS WORD ALONE.) My handlebar height, my Chrome. My cell phone on my handlebars, etc etc etc. I don't need big brother trying to show me his gang is meaner and nastier than my wife and mom on their motorcycles.
    The difference I see between the police and the 1% clubs is the police wear their guns in sight.
    Bikers seem to have more integrity. much more than the police now seem to have.