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 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.
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