So, I pull into Garberville this past Friday. I find all but a few of the parking spots on Redwood Dr. blocked with orange traffic cones, and labeled “Reserved for Motorcycles”. Like its not enough for us to put up with those loud smelly bikers, and their motorcycles for a whole weekend, the Chamber of Commerce expects the rest of us to make ourselves scarce while the local merchants seduce them.
I shop in G,ville every week, how about reserving me a good parking spot. No, for me they put up signs reminding me not to spend more than an hour in the Town Square, that restrooms are for customers only, and no loitering! But, they sure know how to roll out the red carpet for those bikers.
Every other week of the year, the Chamber of commerce calls the cops on anyone who doesn’t look busy. But, show up on your Harley, they’ll put out chairs and port a potties, save you all of the best parking and whip you up some barbeque. If local merchants treated me as well, I wouldn’t begrudge them every dime I have to spend in Garberville, and if they treated the kids who roll into town with just a backpack as well, they probably wouldn’t shit on their door-stoop.
I want to sympathize with the G,ville merchants. I know that landlords around here suck blood. Profit margins are razor thin and everyone, it seems is looking to sell out before the economy totally tanks, but I’m sick of local merchants whining about the people in town, especially when they push me aside to make space for those biker douche bags.
I really hate Harleys. Specifically, I hate the noise. As a musician, who’s been run off of numerous sidewalks for busking with a small battery powered amplifier, and drowned out by engine noise when I played acoustic, unnecessarily, unapologeticaly and obnoxiously loud motorcycles really bug me. I’ve seen the bumpersticker that says: “Loud pipes save lives”. Well, not if I can help it.
Even teenagers have learned to respect the commons. You never see kids with big boom boxes, blasting everyone out with their favorite pop music anymore. They’ve all got their ipods or whatever. With little earbuds in their ears and their thumbs on their phones, teenagers today don’t make a peep. I wonder what kids listen to these days. I actually miss the boom boxes.
I’d never miss the Harleys, if they’d ever go away. Maybe they could go the earbud route. Nice quiet motorcycles with headphones built into the helmet that amplify the engine noise for the rider. With digital sound modeling, riders could choose from hundreds of “virtual tailpipes”. The iHarley, that would be considerate.
Engine noise sucks! I don’t know why anyone wants to hear it, or wants to be the source of it, but it is everywhere. Just try to record bird sounds, crickets or frogs in the evening, or anything outdoors. You’ll hear engine noise. Even in the quietest meadow, you’ll hear some engine roaring away in the distance. Does every fucking creature on the planet have to listen to your goddamned Harley?
Harleys make more engine noise than big-rig trucks, but carry less than sports cars. I don’t care if they get good gas mileage. They get terrible noise mileage. I can hear Harleys cruising the Ettersburg Rd. three miles away from my home. I don’t care whether you’re a veteran, cop, or the fucking King of Jordan, when you ride that Harley, you’re just an obnoxious asshole on a loud bike to me.