Earlier this spring, a letter was printed in the newspaper on the subject of watching out for motorcycles. The letter contained a line which said in effect: “Motorcycles are loud, obnoxious, and usually going ten miles per hour over the speed limit.”


Earlier this spring, a letter was printed in the newspaper on the subject of watching out for motorcycles. The letter contained a line which said in effect: “Motorcycles are loud, obnoxious, and usually going ten miles per hour over the speed limit.”

The tone of the letter appeared negative toward motorcyclists in general and left the reader with the impression that the responsibility of considerate behavior weighed solely on the biker. A few observations would be in order.

Motorcyclists do not know if they have been noticed when car drivers stop (sort of) at the edge of the cross road instead of at the stop sign, or when car drivers fail to move completely into the other lane to pass a motorcycle, or when car drivers tailgate, or when car drivers divide their attention with some other activity. Some bikers feel that loud exhaust may help in motorcycle detection.

It is not known what all was intended in the definition of “obnoxious.” Some bikers ride only for relaxation or enjoyment. Some may ride for the thrill. Most bikers ride for a combination of enjoyment and economy. Regardless, there are more bikes on the road now, and there is room for all of us.

There are some motorcyclists who have not yet learned proper road etiquette. They probably drive a car the same way.

Those drivers should be dealt with by the appropriate authorities rather than by road vigilantes. The fact is only a small percentage of motorcyclists fit the description given in the above mentioned letter.

Drivers have been seen reading books and newspapers, applying makeup, eating, talking on a cell phone, driving in the rain without headlights and tending to children — each time threatening other road occupants. Have you seen motorcyclists doing that? Recap tires have gone to pieces, payloads have gone to pieces, and shipping crates have gone to pieces — each time, threatening other road occupants. Have you seen a motorcycle littering the road that way? It is hard to believe that motorcycles are the threat. — Darryl Claassen, Whitewater