Yes Emily

Yes Emily, girls can ride motorcycles!


Saturday, July 26, 2014

"Hogs Descend On Kingston"

This weekend, according to the Kingston Whig Standard, about 1200 Harley Davidson riders descended on Kingston to attend the 2014 rally. Based on the online comments, the citizens of my town had mixed feelings about the event; lane splitting and loud pipes were two complaints. My personal objection was to the featured photo of a rider and his pillion with more bare skin than I show in the shower, I just don't get it.
My son actually phoned me though to tell me I'd missed seeing members of 'Kingston's finest' motor unit demonstrating their slow maneuvering skills on their huge Harleys and according to him, they were more than impressive. I'm sure they were more than impressive.
I may have missed the festivities as I headed out on a lovely little day ride to Lake on the Mountain with friends but didn't miss a few hundred Harley Davidsons on the road, some on seemingly organized group rides plus many more like these happy riders behind me on the Glenora Ferry.
Much to my surprise (or not) a young woman working on the ferry approached me. At first I thought she said, "You're the shortest person I've seen on a bike today" (okay, so I was wearing ear plugs) but when she continued I realized that she had said, "You're the smartest person I've seen on a bike in two days." She had a nasty scabbed up knee and a story about Bambie and her Motorbike that just confirmed my (and her) opinion of all the gear, all the time. She summed it up nicely when she said, "I wear it for the slide, not for the ride." I think I might have more respect for the Harley Davidson Culture if they supported safe riding along with the notion of the joy of motorcycling.
And did the loud pipes (on several models,) as they felt the need to crank the throttle in front of The Inn patio where 30 people where enjoying lunch, nearly send me into cardiac arrest ... you bet they did. Was anyone impressed by what the Whig reporter called the "bikes' signature throaty growl?" I didn't hear a single person (once the noise stopped) cheering for them to come back and do it again. Smart, aware riders will save more lives than loud pipes ... but that's just my opinion! Enjoy the ride.

18 comments:

  1. Karen:

    If it weren't for the HD mentality of wearing skull caps, showing skin, having MUCH TOO LOUD exhaust pipes and always having to BLIP your throttle for no reason, then perhaps I would consider one. In the meantime I crave a bike which whispers in the wind

    It is so inconsiderate to blip your throttle when passing by a restaurant. Often times they are beside me when I am in the car, and even though I roll up my windows, I still can't hear the radio

    bob: riding the wet coast

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    1. Bob you summed it up ... a bike that whispers in the wind. That's what makes it feel like flying.

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  2. This is exactly why I ride a Honda and wear ATGATT. I think the argument of loud pipes save lives is a pile of Hardly Driven MANURE! It's skill that saves lives, most cars nowadays are so acoustically sealed you don't hear the pipes. Oy I don't get the mentality of the majority of the "look at me and what I ride crowd". As a motorcyclist I am not defined by brand or cc's, but how I ride and that I practice good road craft.

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    1. Dar, what I don't understand is that many of the HD riders feel the need to advertise for the company wearing all the HD bling they can get their hands on. If HD wanted to promote safe riding they could bling up some real/full riding jackets, pants and helmets - best of both worlds for them.

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  3. Safety doesn't seem to fit in the HOG mentality, at least not in on events, however I recently made acquaintance with a local HOG chapter that not only wears gear but also offers bi-weekly motorcycle training (one of the members supposedly is a licensed driving instructor. So, there's hope ;-)

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    1. Sonja, I'm glad your chapter is a responsible one (and I've heard your pipes, they do not jolt the life out of unsuspecting riders around them.) North Americans could take some lessons from your group. Though I have no doubt that most of the riders this weekend were very skilled - most were riding naked (so to speak.)

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  4. I am not a fan of loud pipes - they annoy the crap out of me, so to speak.

    The noise exits the back of the bike and most dangers to a rider come from the front (ie - left turners, etc) so the theory doesn't hold.

    I am glad you were able to get away for a nice day ride.

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    1. I agree Trobairitz...and it was a lovely day for a ride. I am appreciating the moderate temperatures we're having here, absolutely comfy in all the gear =D

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  5. Extremely well said, Karen

    What these self-absorbed, selfish, narcissistic, noise makers don't realize is they're leaving every non-motorcyclist with a poor impression of motorcyclists in general. We all get to pay the price for that. Poor image for the sport; increased legislative scrutiny and exorbinant insurance rates based on the immature behaviour of a few.

    There has never been any credible study conducted that demonstrates that loud pipes save lives, despite all the helmet stickers and crested vests to the contrary.

    Years ago the Marketing Director of a very well known multi-national motorcycle manufacturer told me "We don't sell motorcycles. We sell products that allow people to fulfill their fantasy images of themselves". Riders dressed up in leather vests and jeans sporting porridge pot helmets and wrap around sun glasses are fulfilling their fantasy images of themselves. Personal safety? That's not part of the fantasy

    Come Monday morning it's back to reality for the wannabe's. Unfortunately for the rest of us, the damage has been done.

    Ken

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    1. Ken, if the rider featured in the Whig had even been wearing jeans and long sleeves, but no he was wearing shorts and running shoes (even Peter Fonda had the good sense to wear big boy, long pants) ... Wish that I could get someone to pay a high price to me for advertising for me as Harley has done; unbelievable marketing. And the Whig said these riders were all professionals, oh, how easily duped by the media and none that I saw even looked remotely similar to the Easy Rider.

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  6. The HD lifestyle and dress does not appeal to me, but it has thrived for decades, through many general fashion changes. Beats me...

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    1. Ed, beats me too. Not sure if I am too young or too old or just not as easily swayed by the media and marketing genius of HD (I've always been a 'make my own style' kind of person.) I love the freedom of the road, but you will always find me quietly meandering through, fully dressed of course.

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  7. Ever seen of those folks with earplugs?

    Loud pipes kill hearing.

    Serial cologne users end up applying greater and greater amounts because their brains filter out the aroma over time.

    In this case, maybe the pipes get louder as the rider's hearing dies.

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  8. David, I can't imagine riding all day sitting on top of and having to listen to some of those machines I heard on the weekend. When I was in Gettysburg last year during bike week, the sound of the loud pipes constantly roaring actually made me nauseous and I had to leave town, go back to my campsite to recover in quiet.

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  9. Karen, I'd only be piling on.

    I agree.

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    1. I hear ya Coop - but I think we're wasting our breath.

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  10. Great minds think alike I guess because I took a short trip over to Lake on the Mountain last week too. It was mid-week so not the show you saw but I had my dual sport so was sticking to mostly gravel roads anyway.

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    1. The 'county' is a great ride, maybe not on gravel - not yet anyway ... more later!

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