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Submitted by: Gene Hanselman
Member #135067, Chapter OH-B

In my life, I have had many "Pet Peeves" about motorcycle riders. This months article has to do with my biggest pet peeves. Most of which have to do with V-Twin Riders.

I enjoy participating in light parades and I have a few LEDs to accent my bike. I've attended and ridden in over 50 different light parades including Wing Ding, numerous State and Region Rallies, other independent Light Parades and all but three Honda Homecomings. Most of them have a few different brands of bikes, but mostly Gold Wings.

The last two rallies I attended had more Harleys and V-Twins than Gold Wings and a few of them were very obnoxious.
I have always enjoyed riding all brands of motorcycles and have never judged anyone for the make or model of bike they own or ride. I will, however, complain and ridicule anyone that puts a damper on my riding time and spoils my enjoyment when riding. That is exactly what happened at the last light parade I participated in.

While in the staging area awaiting the parade to begin, we were all subjected to illegal loud pipes producing unbearable fumes, back fires and deafening noise. In years past there have always been a few bikes that were loud spread amongst the parade participants. I never minded hearing a few healthy machines and seeing righteous bikes in a parade route, it adds a blend of old and new and a certain persona for kids and grown-ups alike. It does however, seem a bit much to watch and listen to a group of Harleys and other V-Twins revving all their engines for 20 minutes before the event begins and during the whole parade.

I know each of us have the right to do so and to each his own, but why do a few have to act like this and give all motorcyclists bad names. Why anyone would take a bike costing thousands and thousands of dollars and rev the
engines over redline and over heat all working parts and put so much stress on chains, shafts, springs and tires is beyond me. I really enjoyed seeing a beautiful, all original 1952 Harley, owned by Gary and Keitha Simpson, at the front of the parade along with the Orange County Choppers Bike made for the Army. Gary has endured many hours to put the bike back to stock. Other bikes were fine machines and had deep mellow sounding exhaust and were ridden with respect for fellow riders and the spectators. It was just a minority of bikers that ruined the fun for others.

My other Pet Peeves include the way certain bike riders discriminate against other bike riders. They won't wave at people on rice burners, or they think their motorcycles are superior to all other bikes. They also think everyone wants to own and ride their brand. I consider those individuals to be small with very low self esteem. Being with a group that rides with juvenile tendencies along with every piece of their attire sporting motorcycle insignias, instills them with a false sense of power. Belonging to a group, of whatever it may be, would make these individuals feel strong and needed. Again, I'm not complaining about the Harley Davidson Motorcycles, I am upset with a small portion of all V-Twin owners that believe there is only one motorcycle made throughout the world and that it is theirs and they act as children.

Another Pet Peeve of mine is the calling of your significant other, spouse, mother, father, sister or any other lady or man, "OLD LADY or OLD MAN", no matter how much of a term of endearment it is meant to be. If at any time in my life I would have called my mother "Old Lady", my Dad would have beat me silly. Most of the biker population use that term to describe their significant other. I have never or will I ever put that stigma on my wife or Mother, God rest her soul. I don't know where that phrase was first used but to me it shows disrespect to someone that should be respected and revered by others.

Where did the "Low Wave" come from? I still wave the same as I did back in the '60s, left hand up in the air until the oncoming traffic wave back or ignore me. The "Low Wave" really Peeves me off and I feel like grabbing the hand and pulling the person off the bike. No one has ever informed me of why this has become the new standard for waving while riding. I believe this came about by crotch rocket riders that think it keeps them more aerodynamic to maintain speed. Perhaps V-Twin riders are too lazy or tired to raise their hands from the vibration of their machine, or it is just another way to express their youth and inexperience in riding. What ever the reason is, I'm not going to change how I have waved for over 50 years.

My last Pet Peeve is "The Harley Want To Be". They are all the other brands of V-Twin bikes that look similar to a Harley. Although no motorcycle looks or sounds like a Harley, most of the "Want To Be" individuals will jerk out the baffles to achieve an ungodly sounding machine and trash the bike with accessories for looks. They assume the final transformation by acting like a teenager and wearing Harley T-shirts and boots, raggedy jeans and a chain driven billfold. Come on people, the only way to be a Harley rider is to ride a Harley. Remember, Harley-Davidson isn't just a motorcycle, it's a way of life. Step up and spend the bucks.

I'm sure we all have pet peeves and people that don't ride motorcycles think we need to get a life. Our pet peeves don't amount to a hill of beans in this big old world, but if some rider's can exhibit bad behavior and suffer noconsequences for it, I should be able to voice my opinion about them. Geno

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