Ah, the sounds of summer: the Saturday morning chatter at Pritchard Park, a quiet bike ride on a country road—but wait! What’s that I hear off in the distance? A jackhammer? A squadron of attack helicopters? Oh, it’s just another motorcycle with a ridiculously loud and obnoxious tailpipe.
I thought there were laws against noise pollution (see “And the Beat Goes On,” [Xpress Letters, Aug. 9, 2006]). When tailpipes can be heard rumbling along the Blue Ridge Parkway from the town of Marion 10 miles below, doesn’t that qualify? I wonder how the wildlife must feel. Maybe that’s why every year I see less and less. I know, “Loud pipes save lives,” right? But most of the noise is directed behind the bike—alerting oncoming traffic? Hmm, I don’t think so.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m not against motorcycles. I’ve owned several myself, but nice purring machines—you know, the ones that don’t break down ‘cause every bolt in the thing isn’t rattled straight off its threads. And why is it usually the guys with the loudest tailpipes who have to “gun it” when they see a group of outdoor lunchers at a downtown eatery or a lone bicyclist on the parkway? Does this make them big, strong men? Well, if that’s the case, instead of that next order of EPO, I guess I just need a really loud motorcycle.
— Damon Rouse