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Letter: Most motorcyclists are not thugs

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Posted: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 12:00 am

In recent news there has been a video of a group of motorcyclists terrorizing the roadways in New York. I have been reading the comments following the articles as well as on many Facebook biker feeds and have seen an overwhelming amount of support for the fervor of the Range Rover. The people terrorizing the motorists on the road that day are not bikers. True bikers are using other — non-printable — words to describe them.

To all the non-bikers out there, please do not judge the millions of us who ride with responsibility and respect by the actions of these thugs on bikes. I have ridden in several large group organized rides. They look nothing like what video out of New York is showing. We obey the traffic laws, ride in one lane and are not threats to other motorists. There is, of course, the occasional solo rider who flies through traffic at crazy speeds. For every rider I see doing this, I see 10 cars doing the same.

It is a shame the media only chooses to report the negative about bikers. There are constantly motorcycle runs done to raise money for a wide variety of community outreaches. It is time that the negative stereotype of bikers be cast aside, but these thugs in New York and those who ride like them make us all look bad.

Kevin Paglia


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Welcome to the discussion.


  • robert maurer posted at 9:40 am on Wed, Oct 16, 2013.

    mason day Posts: 489

    ...and what did the SUV owner do to earn the wrath of those riders? I can't wait to hear the excuse for that. One cop was filmed busting out the rear glass of the SUV. Are the cops involved in the group or are they infiltrating and investigating this particular gang of bikers? Bikers are as diverse as the rest of the population, so what is a "true biker?" If one asks 10 riders, 10 various opinions will be given. Originally, these charity drives started out in the mid to late 70s as "thug gangs" looking for respect in their community and were tired of being harassed and shunned by society, so Christmas toy drives were developed and has grown to charity drives of all types, with riders of all types and professions participating.That has helped change negative public opinion and some bikers too.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 7:57 pm on Tue, Oct 15, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2111

    There are so many great charity rides that bikers gather for and raise a lot of money for various needs. It is a shame the only press we get, it seems, is when a few do stupid things.

    Love the people I meet at the charity rides. All great people who enjoy life.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 7:54 pm on Tue, Oct 15, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2111

    Mr. Waters, when my wife and I started riding we bought a smaller bike to learn on before buying our current, my hwy appropriate cruisers. It is smart to learn before you go to large bikes.

    There is a massive difference between a small horse power lawn mower and a 1300+cc engine that is running at hwy speeds. Lane splitting IS legal in California But there are parameters, generally very slow or stopped traffic and the rider should be riding slow. The ONLT time I had to do it was in a 10 mile traffic jam on 99. I stayed in first gear and when traffic started moving I found an opening to get back in traffic. I don't like it when other bikers lane split at hwy speeds OR traffic lights (though I have seen the videos of WHY some bikers do it at lights).

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 5:16 pm on Tue, Oct 15, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Excellent letter, Mr. Paglia.

    I think the most shocking part of this attack is that (as of now) it is known that THREE off-duty NYPD officers were part of the motorcycle group that participated in the attack.

    It is understandable that the media has covered this incident widely, but I believe that there are many biker events that benefit charities (especially at Christmas time) that are also covered. A former co-worker and her husband used to participate in one of these events locally and the press always gave positive coverage.

    The sensationalism created by this horrific event I think led to such wide negative coverage.

  • Jean Ruby posted at 12:33 pm on Tue, Oct 15, 2013.

    sweetruby Posts: 1

    I am a proud biker that rides her own Sportster. I have been riding for the past 6 years and enjoy riding very much.
    These New York bikers were not true motorcycle riders. They do not ride for the enjoyment of riding, or for raising funds for communities, nor did they ride safe and sane.
    Just this past Saturday, a group of motorcycle riders did a ride to raise funds for the foundation "Albie Aware", with is an orgination that helps cancer victims from start to finish.
    I have ridden by myself, while going to work, and with several "HOG" Chapters. I have had near misses with cars because the driver either did not care for motorcycles, or they failed to look for anything other than a place to move to while talking on their cell phones or driving like a zombie.
    I do not support the bikers how they handled the situation in new york, but if the suv driver did hit a bike, than he should have stopped and given insurance information, not run another person down and take off. It he had hit another car, would he have taken off.
    People, get your head out of the sand, motorcyclists pay highway taxes, just like you, and for the most part they ride safe. Be road friendly and allow motorcycles their right to ride on the road along with your right to drive the same roqads.
    Just like motorcycle riders, there are car drivers who are careless also. Until there are more police officers on the roads to keep them safe, you will always have hotheads riding cylces and driving cars.
    Just always look twice or maybe three tiimes before that lane change and do not race for the pole position. and better yet, let that group of bikes pass you, they dont want a car/truck in the middle of the group just like you dont want to be there.

  • Ed Walters posted at 12:24 pm on Tue, Oct 15, 2013.

    the old dog Posts: 638

    All people that ride motors are not thugs, however many ride over their heads, the feeling of power makes you ride faster, take chances, and lane splitting should be outlawed. The main reason to keep the air cooled motors moving is to cool the motors. BS, I along with many people have air cooled lawn mowers, meaning they could run all day with no harmfull affects. Just like in dogs, the alaph dog, or in this case the leader of the pack of bike riders will follow the leader. Stop lane splitting.

    People, mostly young will purchase a new bike with no idea how to handle a machine that wil go 150 MPH right out of the box, and will give them a one way ride to the morgue. I rode motors for over 30 years, the last time I went down, I sold my bike, glad I did and is the reason I am alive today.[beam]


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