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Loud-ass motorcycles in NYC are driving us completely bonkers

Loud-ass motorcycles in NYC are driving us completely bonkers
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Andrew Davidoff

Written by Rob LeDonne

It can happen anywhere, even on the bucolic streets of gentrified Williamsburg or the cobblestoned arteries of the ungodly overpriced Meatpacking District. All of a sudden, they charge down the street like a team of greasy horses: motorcycles. Thundering out of the blue and disrupting the peace of everyone in their nefarious paths, they fly by as if to say, “We have arrived, everyone snap to attention and take note!”

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Whether in a pack or cruising solo, motorcycles emit sound that echoes through the streets with fury and arrogance, much like the jackhammering from a construction project of that future high-rise you won’t be able to afford.

Even better, they seem to always strike at the exact wrong times. Trying to put your baby to sleep? Vroom, there’s one outside! Taking a leisurely walk down the block? Vroom, there’s one right behind you! Just about to tell your girlfriend that you want to take a break? Vroom, one sneaks up behind you, and you put the break off for another year.

Recently, a friend mentioned that motorcycle’s intense noise doubles as a safety precaution. This could be true, but I’m skeptical since I know how most motorcyclists like to ride: weaving in and out of traffic at high speeds and acting as if stop signs were invisible. If safety were indeed paramount, motorcyclists everywhere would trade in their noisy machines for that incredible invention known as an enclosed automobile.

Of course, a motorcycle’s sound is only the cherry on top of a macho sundae. There’s also the throat-constricting exhaust. Oh, and the fact that they sometimes almost frighten pedestrians to death. That’s why, whenever a motorcycle disrupts my day, I’m proud to give it a salute in the form of a raised middle finger—and then I plug my ears, of course.

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