19 July 2008

Things sound different this year

This is the fourth year that my town has held a Motorcycle rally, and already I’m hearing different sounds. The first three years, this has been mostly a Harley/chopper affair with a concert series of extremely loud heavy metal music that lasted until 2 a.m. every morning all weekend long, and every year I would just bite my lip and tell myself, “This is good for the town” it would all be over by Sunday.

Beginning sometime in the middle of the week leading up to the event, the sounds of large V-twins with loud pipes would resonate in the small valley that my town is nestled in until the early morning hours. This would also carry on until Sunday evening. I personally think that Harley Davidson’s sound really cool, but at 3 a.m. when people are doing things that generally require a little bit of peace and quiet; I’ve heard the argument that “Loud Pipes save lives”............at that time of the night, they do other things as well, also, let’s not forget the bizarre experience of being ostracized in my own community all week long just because I ride a “Jap” bike.

I will give them credit though, these guys do know how to party, even if it is at the discomfort of the somewhat conservative residents who live here, and for what it’s worth, they didn’t cause any trouble. Yes, there was countless law enforcement, but any time you get 15,000 folks together who seem to pride themselves on their machismo and ability to drink vast amounts of alcohol and not get into trouble, well let’s just say I’ve been know to get a little surly all on my own with capful of Nyquil (and that’s the children’s dosage) yep, I’m a pretty cheap date!

Apparently last year was the snapping point for the townsfolk, because over the winter, they fired the event promoter and decided to take the rally in another direction. Lower entrance fees, more palatable music with hopefully a lower volume, and a more family oriented atmosphere; Something that I found interesting about this, is that my next door neighbor, who is on the town council, said that a lot of these suggestions for change came from the vendors and a number of builders.

So far, there is definitely a different sound in my town. Yes, there is still the occasional “Potato-Potato” sound of a big Harley chuffing down Main Street, but there is also the sound of a number of inline fours, and I could’ve sworn I just heard a very “British” sounding triple. All morning long, up and down the street outside my home, I’ve seen countless “Metric Cruisers” rolling into town. Trust me, this is a first, very cool! I've been waving to these folks this morning while watering the lawn, like a very disturbing version of a beauty queen on a parade float; dressed in my flannel robe and gym shorts, try visualizing Cousin Eddy from National Lampoons only without the hat and earflaps (where can I find me one of those?).

No music yet, but I don’t think they start that until sometime in the afternoon. So far, I like the sound of the way this rally is turning out, I certainly hope that my small conservative town can pull this off and entertain this group so that they keep coming back, time will tell.

I’ll have to grab my camera and take a walk downtown to check things out, heck; I may even have to ride my “Jap” bike, even though it is only a couple of blocks away. I’ll keep the children’s Nyquil locked away in the cupboard this year though, I wouldn’t want to make a fool of myself in front of all those people, if you know what I mean!


Doug C said...

Celebrating what riders (and their families) have in common. Sounds like fun!

Anonymous said...

A wonderfully descriptive post E.T. --- I think I know what it must feel like to have a motorcycle rally descend upon a quiet country town now. Thanks for taking us along.

I know motorcyclists are typically a "spending" group of folks - it surely doesn't hurt the local economy.

R.G. said...

Love this post. Did you take your bike out so it could mingle with it's brethren? I'm sure everyone in your town is breathing a little easier this year.

Earl Thomas said...

Doug; I agree completely, I hope this change of venue works.

Sarch; The past few years have been very beneficial for the small businesses, that's why I just grin and bear it, it's a small sacrifice on my part to endure a couple of days.

R.G.; I did. The tall green KLR was an interesting addition to the American an Metric cruisers. Lot's of low slung black and chrome bikes, and there stood my little girl tall and green, it almost seemed that she was glowing with pride!

Charlie said...

Potatoe-Potatoe, only you could describe the cound of a Harley in such a way. Love it.