Emergency Service

Reader: Motorcyclists Should Pay $40, Forget The Ride

GUARDIAN reader Erico49 sent us a self-described rant today after a weekend of hearing Rolling Thunder along Interstate 84. He also sent a copy to the Idaho Transportation Department.
Motorcycle rally to create driver safety awareness in Boise, Idaho, USA.
“I question whether it’s a good idea to slow down traffic on the Interstate for 50 miles twice in one day with a caravan of motorcycles–regardless of the cause they are riding for. It’s an inconvenience for the traveling public.. and likely dangerous. Many rode side by side, a practice prohbited by the Idaho Motorcycle Manual. Further, ISP certainly either incurred extra costs or diverted troopers from other duties. Also, Idaho code 49-638 (3) mandates that traffic be allowed to merge into caravans, something that was not done yesterday. I understand that they had a good cause, although I will point out that they could have raised the same amount of money by just donating $40 each. Such rides have become more common each summer, and I think they should follow the law and not be given special privileges.”

We have to admit a lack of comprehension regarding the link between motorcycles and tribute to the dead. We aren’t critical, just don’t understand it. Often hundreds of coppers on choppers are in funeral processions when an officer dies in the line of duty–like the Washington State trooper last week. Would anyone participate if these honor processions were comprised of silent electric cars?

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Whew-boy, Mr. Guardian and Erico49 – you’re prolly gonna see a Cat-5 Storm of Righteous Biker Indignation!

    Old-timers will remember when people complained about the big flag on Fort Simplot being noisy. The responses were poetic! Stuff like, “I suppose those whiners would rather hear Russian tanks rolling down our streets.”

    Anybody who dislikes 30-by-50-foot flags, or noisy motorsickles, is a Communist, plain and simple!

    Besides… where else are those “bikers” spoze to ride? It gets boring just riding those Driveway Queens to the Harley shop!

    I remember when the motorcycle safety “awareness ride” used to originate at the Meridian Speedway park, and roll down the freeway. I believe they relocated to Lucky Peak specifically so they wouldn’t disrupt I-84 traffic. (I used to ride in it back then; I quit attending because a large percentage of the participants seemed to have precious little interest in motorcycle safety.)

  2. chicago sam
    Jun 3, 2013, 9:57 am

    erico 49 should get a life. with his line of thinking 4th of July parades would be eliminated also. No doubt he was disturbed that he could not go 80 miles an hour up Isaacs canyon at the exact time he wished to do so. I say tuff.

  3. idahocrystal
    Jun 3, 2013, 10:16 am

    No more so than any other parade. All laws were followed. Motorists were notified. Permits and escort costs were all taken care of well in advance of this event.

    It’s not just motorcycles that have these types of tribute processions – I’ve seen logging trucks, airplanes, fire engines and others in similar processions.

    This was not simply a tribute to the dead, Dave. This was a rememberance of the living and support and awareness raised for programs that many obviously find important.

    I seriously doubt everyone just donating $40 would have generated a smidgeon of the awareness that over 1000 motorcycle riders raised in only a few hours during Erico49’s slight, though very vocal, inconvenience.

  4. The noise of the motorcycle is much of the reason for these rallys. To draw attention.

    Did the Occupy protesters stage silent sit-ins at all their locations? Of course not. They wanted attention.

  5. After having an issue with an event that I thought was improper, I contacted the responsible party. The other party will be holding the event differently next years as a result.

    Many things can be changed or solved with a phone call and an email with the organizer. Did Erico49 contact the Patriot Thunder organizers first?

    A couple of clarifications.
    Registration was $25.

    A press release was published in both the Statesman(5/31) and the Weekly(6/1) warning of traffic delays.

  6. I like this headline for it. “1000 Bicyclist Take Over I-84 Sunday”

    Maybe we could organize a Critical Mass for Bikes to overtake the freeway. (It is legal in Idaho).

  7. Doctors have a name for motorcycles…”DONOR CYCLES” I don’t care how much protective gear you wear, the human body hits an immovable object at much more than 15 mph all the internal organs detach and you bleed to death.

    Don’t believe it, take notice of all the skiers who hit trees wearing their helmets.

  8. Motorcycles are the most dangerous thing one can do in America. Anything else which is as dangerous is illegal. They also pollute the air at many times the rate of a car. And the noise from those clunky, poorly designed HD motors is disappointing.

  9. same thing can be said about the pink thing and the kid thing and the bike thing and the every freaking mamby pamby non-profit fund raiser event that seems to make up the entire social calendar now a days……
    lots of waste that could go to the cause if the participants weren’t about themselves feeling good

  10. Should have just wrote tickets for loud pipes. Most had no mufflers at all. Myself, quiet the damn things down.

  11. Speaking of bicycles and traffic disruption… somebody could get a head start on composing a complaint about NEXT weekend’s (June 8) “Ironman” event. Those half-ironmen and half-ironwomen will be riding 56 miles on their velocipedes, and are certain to disrupt the traveling plans that us “pot metal” Boise people have made.

  12. My Two Cents
    Jun 4, 2013, 11:45 am

    With all due respect to bikers everywhere, I do not understand why it is legal to make that much noise (i.e., have no muffler). Why is that allowed when all other noises have to be kept to a minimum to avoid being a disruption to others? You cannot mow a lawn in the middle of the night, but you sure can rev up your motorcycle. And you can drive by me so loud that I think my head is going to explode and that is somehow acceptable. But if my car has no muffler, that is a violation of the law… I just do not get it. Can someone explain this to me?

  13. Might be pleasing to see no double or triple semis on I84 during a bike demo.

  14. Other than general, lemming like, behavior (the more of them there are together, the worse this gets) to willfully disregard STOP signs, lane markings and other safety laws, my biggest complaint with these yayhoos, is their almost universal ILLEGAL modifications of their exhaust systems. They try to make themselves as obnoxious as possible. We can hear many of the jerks coming and going for miles where we live just off one of their many popular bar hopping/beer guzzling routes.
    Their blatant disregard of the safety laws and failure to wear protective gear doesn’t bother me nearly so much because we generally drive full size vehicles, guess who usually walks away from any encounters with the negligent Darwin Award candidates?
    As far as their damned noise, I see a great income source if the local constabularies would cease their selective/non- enforcement of Idaho Codes to include all of the scooter shops who sell the riders their aftermarket noise makers:


    TITLE 49

    Sec 49-937
    (3) No person shall modify the exhaust system of a motor vehicle or a motorcycle in a manner which will amplify or increase the noise of the vehicle or motorcycle above that emitted by the muffler originally installed on the vehicle by the manufacturer.
    (5) No person shall sell, offer for sale, or install any noise suppressing system or device which will produce excessive or unusual noise.

    And this from Sec 49-106(7) “Excessive” or “unusual noise” means any sound made by a passenger motor vehicle or a motorcycle at any time under any condition of grade, speed, acceleration or deceleration, which exceeds ninety-two (92) decibels, or any lower decibel level that is fixed by law or rules adopted by the board of health and welfare, on the “A” scale of a general radio company No. 1551-B sound level meter, or equivalent, stationed at a distance of not less than twenty (20) feet to the side of a vehicle or motorcycle as the vehicle or motorcycle passes the sound meter or is stationed not less than twenty (20) feet from a stationary motor or engine.

  15. dh and why isn’t this enforced!

  16. I think the loud exhaust on motorcycles is the “hey ya’all look what I can do” syndrome. Or Freud had another explanation.. penis envy.

  17. Jeepers! Yes, there is a law against the excessive noise and the cops give tickets for it. I don’t ride, but have been thinking about it and I think I’d like my bike to make a little noise so the cars are more likely to notice me. I’ve seen many cars run motorcycles off the road for whatever reason. I don’t think you can outlaw motorcycles like you did skateboards, but who knows.

    What concerns me more is the arrest made locally of individuals with bombs. What were they planning? Lucky Peak dam or the courthouse or ???

  18. Idahocystal
    Jun 7, 2013, 12:07 pm

    I’d be willing to wager a large coffee & a donut with sprinkles at the old codgers morning henhouse of their choice that they would have found more than ONE bike out of all 1000 bikes that actually meet or exceed the stated 92 decibels.

    As a group, it was very loud – As single riders they’re loud enough to hear but certainly not louder than a train horn, P40, or your average lawnmower

  19. You win that bet. Doubt if there is a Harley in town that hasn’t been altered.

  20. We watched “Rolling Thunder” from the west bound lanes and were very impressed that that many would come together for a good cause. There was a long line of traffic behind them which I’m sure got where they were going without the usual “leap-frogging down the interstate.

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