You're sitting quietly in your backyard, enjoying a beautiful summer morning.
You’re sitting quietly in your backyard, enjoying a beautiful summer morning. The sun is shining through the trees; the garden offers a glorious mix of rich colours. Birds are flitting from tree to tree, singing and chirping the perfect soundtrack to this scene.
You turn to your loved one and begin to say ‘Isn’t this the most beauti… – suddenly your words (and all other sounds) are drowned out and you cringe as the entire sky seems to fills with a booming BA-BA-BA-BRA! You know exactly what it is.
It’s a Harley-Davidson bike stopped at a red light, three blocks away from your house. You hold your breath and close your eyes, waiting for the inevitable deafening, obnoxious, green-light sound: BRRRRRAAAA! As the driver kicks it in gear and continues down the road.
Eventually the birds begin to throw nervous chirps out to each other asking if it’s safe to come out of their hiding spots, and you’re left sitting dumb-struck, wondering what this world has come to.
Why have people become increasingly inconsiderate and rude to others?
When did we stop caring about ruining other people’s days with our loud noises, cellphone etiquette, stereos, littering – I could go on and on.
OK, I know there’s no simple cure for general rudeness, but I do have one suggestion.
But first, I’d like to share some little known facts: Did you know:
Ontario traffic laws mandate a “working muffler in good condition on all vehicles to reduce noise”. (Harley-Davidsons fall under this category) Most Harley-Davidsons – the obnoxiously loud ones, have modified after-market exhaust systems, basically trading the mufflers for bare pipes.
The loudest noises from a Harley-Davidson at a red light are purposely made by the driver unnecessarily revving and over-revving their bike while idle.
I don’t expect the Chatham police to go around with decibel meters, pulling over bikes – hey, I’m a motorcycle owner myself! But would it really be too much to ask Harley-Davidson riders not to make illegal changes to their bikes for the sole purpose of making them louder?
And for those riders that have already paid to make your bike louder than it needs to be, could we ask that you at least please stop the extra revving when you’re driving through rural areas? You may be surprised to know that your big, loud, sounds don’t necessarily impress all of us.
Please let us sit in our yards and hear the birds … not the bird brains!
David Smith, Chatham