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085 Quiet Preservation 2009-05-20

Harley Davison

So, what is louder than a Harley-Davidson? Two Harley-Davidsons!

From the summit of Grand Teton to West Linden Avenue (our address) I have heard the vrooom of loud motorcycles. Yes, from the summit of Grand Teton, a good seven thousand feet higher and five miles away - as the crow flies - I have actually heard their noise. Perhaps it is only on days when the wind is not blowing and the humidity is perfect for sound to travel further, but .... I still heard it.

On our recent training hike to Mount LeConte (Great Smoky Mountains) we followed a trail which ran parallel to highway 441 (Newfoundland Gap Rd.) The entire length of the trail we heard the obnoxious patented noise from the motorcycles on the road below. Wonderful scenes and scenery were interrupted by VROOOOM.

I am sorry, but there is not much right about something being that loud. I understand that one of the reasons they ride is for the adventure of the road, buy a bicycle if you really want adventure! I understand the need for camaraderie, but join a service club or church if you really want to be a part of something. I understand they need to feel like they are bad boys and girls, so enlist in the Army Reserves if you want to be bad. I understand they need the noise to attract attention, but maybe they could get a job in a rock band instead.

I do not like the loud noise anywhere, but especially in the parks. But don’t think I am prejudice, I don’t care what kind of motorcycle it is, I don’t like them being loud. Or, for that matter, I don’t like loud trucks, hot rods, or music. My friend Jon was snoring so loudly on our trip, I was thinking we needed to ban him from camping or at least muffle him (Laura would probably agree.) The Parks buy land to protect view preservation but they do not seem to want to have a quiet preservation policy.

But alas, I have a solution for the motorcycle noise...

Instead of a patented muffler for the noise, make patented earphones. Plug the ear phones into the motorcycle and only the rider would hear the offending noise! They could rev up all they wanted. To go one step further develop an iPhone application that simulates the noisy motorcycles. Turn the iPhone horizontal and pretend it is the throttle. As the rider gives it the gas the noise explodes through the ear buds! Now that’s power. The riders could then walk around everywhere and feel like they are on their motorcycle without bothering anyone else. The world would then be a quieter place.

Happy quiet trails.


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