Annual hog migration roars into North Country

A proud (and noisy) Harley rider (Photo: Wikipedia)

I know, I know, I’ve written this blog post before.

But until I’ve won over every Harley owner in America, I’m going to keep muttering about you guys and your ridiculous, raucous imposition on the rest of us.

So here goes:

Your hobby is too damned loud!  Wait.  Hold on a second, let me get my megaphone so you can hear me over your absurdly engineered toys:  YOUR HOBBY IS TOO DAMNED LOUD!!!!!

This morning I was working in my garden, minding my daffodils and my own darn business, when a caravan of big trucks went rumbling past.

A logging truck, a milk truck, a fuel truck.  None of them exactly sneaking by on slippered feet.  But hey, no problem.  Those guys are earning their living, doing their jobs, providing important services.

I’m grumpy, and prefer not to have my coffee cup rattled out of my hand, but I’m not irrational.

But then the motorcycles turned up, like the swallows returning to Capistrano, and I swear to the Ear Drum gods, these things were three times louder than the logging truck.

Great brapping gouts of noise, all produced by a few middle aged guys, out for a Saturday drive, blithely invading my air (and ear) space.

I know there’s no cure for this mania.  Dudes who want to roar up and down the North Country on the mechanical equivalent of giant kazoos will cling to their hogs until someone pries the handlebars out of their cold, dead fingers.

(Which, if you read the safety statistics for these goofy overgrown Bigwheels, isn’t exactly out of the question…)

But I can still complain can’t I?   I can point out how utterly, absurdly silly you sound, like a kid on a bicycle with playing cards rattling in the spokes.

I can still stand at the edge of the road and shake my fistful of daffodils, shouting Curse you William Harley, and a pox on your house Arthur Davidson!

Not that anyone can hear me over the unholy din.

15 Comments on “Annual hog migration roars into North Country”

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  1. Mayflower says:

    Ah…the annual Harley blog. It must be spring.

  2. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    In most towns roosters are outlawed for being too loud. When roosters are outlawed only outlaws will have roosters.

  3. Bluette says:

    Amen brother! Enforce the laws that are on the books (Article 9 S 381, Article 10 S 386).

  4. Hank says:

    I hear you Brian (because the hogs are still asleep this morning). But this curse afflicts small town and rural eastern Ontario too – especially on Sundays. And who came up with those asinine helmets (like the one in the photo) that does virtually nothing to protect you from injury? Has anyone manufactured an electric motorcycle?

  5. Kent Gregson says:

    As a motorcyclist I won’t ride with loud pipe bikes. As an audio engineer I know better. The line goes “engineers who fry their ears find themselves with short careers”. You’ll never see me ride with shorts or less than a full coverage helmet either. If you hear that old rationalization about how loud pipes save lives be sure to add, “especially if you ride like an @#$ hole.”

  6. The Original Larry says:

    Ostentatious vehicular displays of size, volume and horsepower are often compensatory mechanisms for shortcomings in other areas.

  7. Brian says:

    Hank – I’ve seen guys actually riding with horns and spikes and other ornaments coming off their helmets. Can you IMAGINE what that would do to your noggin in an accident? But hey, go for it, I say. Knock yourselves out, literally…just go for it quietly…

    –Brian, NCPR

  8. Pete Klein says:

    We’re talking discrimination here. Trucks and motorcycles are allowed to be loud but if your car has a bad muffler, you can get a ticket.
    You know what is really aggravating? Getting stuck behind a line of motorcycles doing the speed limit and in some cases going even slower.

  9. Two Cents says:

    There is a youngster who rode a rice burner past my house very often and very fast all last summer. every time he screams past I listen for the point where the 4-way stop sign is, and listen for his token deceleration, ultimately blowing past the stop, and re-acceleration into silence.
    he’s back on his bike now after the winter break, and listening for his ride past the house has become a morose hobby now, I have friends that visit and I have them doing it too;
    we stop in our tracks tilt our heads and wait for the day we hear the sound of the collision.
    I don’t know if he thinks the loud pipes help him get noticed, but I know ill notice the time when they suddenly go quiet

  10. Peter Hahn says:

    If it was just one load bike ,that would be bad enough, but there’s usually a dozen of them riding in convoy.

  11. Brian Mann says:

    And just in case we slip into the notion that this is entirely a ‘guy’ thing, there’s this bizarre news today. Mary Thom the long-time editor of Ms. Magazine died over the weekend, killed while riding her motorcycle in Yonkers. “Thom was riding her motorcycle—which her friends called her one true love…”

    –Brian, NCPR

  12. mervel says:

    Some states don’t even have helmet laws.

    But it seems strange that in a regulated state like we have in NY, there wouldn’t be a noise regulation on all vehicles including motorcycles?

  13. newt says:

    I probably posted this last year too, but several years, and mayors, ago, I complained to our village CEO about this after I was unable to hear the National Anthem or speeches at Saranac Lake’s Memorial Day event. I suggested all traffic be rerouted around the park ( as is done for other, longer events) during 30 or so minutes given over to recognizing our war dead. Guess how much good it did?

    As a result, I no longer attend. I don’t feel a strong need to stand around on a spring sunny day to honor jerks and their loud pipes.

  14. JimT says:

    Yeah they are loud and obnoxious as they go down the road. But what really gets my dander up is when they are parking and they feel the need to rev the engine 10-20 times before settling into a parking spot or leaving one. ????

  15. dave says:

    “I can point out how utterly, absurdly silly you sound”

    Absurd and silly are good adjectives. I’d add inconsiderate.

    Where I live, the trucks are much more of problem. Air brakes (“jake brakes”) roaring through the middle of our town at all hours of the night… getting a 4am wake up call from an 18 wheeler hammering its engine brake in a 35 mph zone will make the occasional, obnoxious Motorcycle rider seem positively peaceful.

    It was alluded to above, but are there no noise ordinances in the Adirondacks? Would they be town by town, if so?

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