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Bright Lights, Big Sound

Here’s the dealio:

I really, really dislike it when riders run around with their brights on.  It gripes me in my car and on my bike.  Also, it’s eye searing and annoys the general public.  I have heard the refrain that says, “If they are annoyed who cares, at least they know I’m there.”

Just like loud pipes.

Granted loud pipes don’t blind you to the point you’re unable to look out the front of your vehicle nor are you potentially endangered as your body strains to constrict the iris in your eyeball and you put up your hand to shade your eyes…  (*Foot note: cops shine their flashlight in your eyes at night to make sure your iris contracts, if you are impaired that pain in your eyes as the iris contract  won’t happen, your eyes will remain large dialated pools of happiness, like SpongeBob when he speaks of the Krabby Patty…which is a big hint to the cops that you’re wasted.)  Yes, I am saying that when you blind other users with 10,000 lums of light you are potentially placing them at heightened risk.   Are you drowning puppies?  Are you among Satan’s legions?  No.  But you are creating a situation of divided attention that goes beyond, “Oh, look!  A motorcycle.”  And occassionally folks like me throw their hands up in the air and shriek, “I’m blind, I’m blind I tell you!”  And my car pinballs a little in the lane.

More importantly if I’m annoyed (and I LOVE bikes) you’re probably pissing other folks off as well.

Just like loud pipes.

“Wait a second,” you say, “Loud pipes don’t save lives!  There’s no comparison.”

Oh, but there is my friend there is.  The point of crossover is contained in one word:  Selfishness.  Selfishness is the act of being selfish and shelfish is defined as:

1. Chiefly concerned with one’s own interest, advantage, etc, esp to the total exclusion of 
the interests of others

2.  Relating to or charactorized by self-interest.

OH, and the evidence on running with your brights is as conclusive and anecdotal as the evidence for loud pipes.  Generally it runs along the line of, “I run brights/loud pipes and I know they’ve saved my life.  Nobody every turns left in front of me.  Ever.”  Hmmmm.  I’ve smoked a few cigars in the day and I don’t have cancer–therefore cigars don’t cause cancer!  Makes good sense to me.   Correlation is not Causation and your experience may be totally unique.

One thing is fur sure:  you are annoying as hell.  Now, imagine a world where motorcycles had a volume control–a knob that goes from zero to eleven and then a click louder to “severe hearing damage”.  Wouldn’t it be cool if you could run loud pipes out on the freeway, knob set to “ears bleeding” and then dial it back down to “angry german shepherd” when you were  in town?   Crash think, Crash want.   I would love that.  Loads of folks would love that.  I was sitting in a turn lane the other day and suddenly I felt the sound of idling v-twin behind me.   Heard and felt.  Watched a couple of cars roll up thier windows.  Unhappy citizens.  Image if they had dialed it down to “pleasant rumble” instead…or you could just have a switch–one that went from LOUD to QUIET with the roll of a rocker switch!  That would be great!  Fabulous!  It would would work just…like…your…

Highbeam switch.

See where I’m going here?

Be Safe

About Brent Crash Allen

I Forgot, now you forget

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