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  #21  
Old 02-06-2011, 06:41 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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Crockett--My brother, Don, hikes a great deal in the Park, as you know. He says there are many places in the Park where you can hear, all too clearly, the roar of bikes even through you are four or five miles from the road.
I have heard, via the grapevine, that the Park is at least looking at the problem of noise pollution. Looking and doing, however, are two strikingly different things.
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  #22  
Old 02-06-2011, 10:25 PM
ZachMatthews ZachMatthews is offline
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I helped with a trial in Forsyth County, Georgia, in 2006. A motorcycle cop *with his siren on* (allegedly) was not heard by a lady trying to make a left turn. He was (stupidly) driving up the centerline on a two lane road to try to reach a fight (he would have been the fourth responder--not exactly a critical call). Unfortunately for him, his bravado cost him his life.

So while I understand that motorcyclists have a good faith belief that "loud pipes save lives," I can point to a very specific example of that not being the case. And I think that's the norm.

In my experience, the motorcyclists who disobey the traffic laws the most are the speedbike/crotch-rocket set, who are very different from your Harley riders with loud pipes.
I think the Harley guys like the pipes simply because it's part of the image/fun of operating that equipment. And I don't even mind the occasional roaring bike. But the Smokies have become so popular with riders, it may very well be time to enforce a decibel limit. I'm sure there's got to be a device a cop could use to measure the sound of a bike and issue warnings/tickets accordingly.

Zach
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  #23  
Old 02-06-2011, 10:30 PM
ZachMatthews ZachMatthews is offline
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One more thing re: stupid on bikes. Kinda unrelated. I was sitting at a traffic light on a very low hill near my house the other day. There was a lady in front of me, maybe 5'6" 150 lbs., on a bike that would have been normal for a 250lb. man. As she was forced to stop for the red light, it became obvious she could not get her feet all the way to the ground and hold the bike up. She started to roll backwards toward me, then lost her balance and fell over. Lucky for her, she got her leg out of the way or it probably would have snapped.

I put it in park and got out to help. Seriously - it took everything I had and whatever little bit she could give to stand that bike back up. She had damaged the tailpipe and scratched the paint, and it was obvious this was a brand new bike.

I felt bad for her, but at the same time, she really did not need to be on that bike. Some salesman somewhere really took advantage of her unrealistic hopes and dreams.

Zach
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  #24  
Old 02-07-2011, 02:40 AM
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Oh brother.
Are we just looking for something to complain about lately? Is cabin fever really that bad this year?
First it's horses, then bears, now Harley's? What next guys - dang hikers ruining the feeling that you're in the middle of Alaksa?


As a motorcyclist myself and a guy who's heard these arguments before...I think trying to lump riders into categories based on what they ride is as ignorant as trying to make assumptions about individuals because of their race or religion. There seems to be an underlying arrogance among some who might think that they can stake more claim to the National Park than others, simply because they feel that they are more in harmony with the natural world. In truth, there is no decree or law that says that a visitor to their National Park must enjoy the Park in some specific way, be that by standing in a stream, riding a loud motorcycle, driving a hybrid car, walking a path or running a trail. I understand the complaints, but the desire to create a restriction on the volume of a vehicle because you, the fisherman or hiker can hear said vehicle....I mean, is that really a sound or wise use of the power of government? The older I get, the more I think that some people will not be happy until everyone on the planet is being told when they can eat, drink, and poop. ( and in what order!)

Just because you can hear their vehicles, it doesn't give you the right to outlaw their use of their park. I figured I'd have to be the one to bring this up, but fly fishermen, despite all their common sense and usually friendly nature, and the quickest to want to tell everyone else what they should and should not be able to do in THEIR Park.

Perhaps next you'd like the Park Service to outlaw RV's? Ban talking? Little shiny bells on bicycles after that?

Or just ban all traffic except foot traffic? And if for some reason the Harley Riders decided that people slinging brightly colored line around distracts them and causes accidents - and should be banned - OH the MIGHTY OUTCRY we would hear! " They can't tell us we can't fish! It's OUR Park! Who are they to think they can dictate how we use the Park?! "

I think some people get so wrapped up in their own little world ( or their own self-important hobby?) that they forget that the Park isn't there just for them.
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  #25  
Old 02-07-2011, 07:21 AM
pineman19 pineman19 is offline
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Owl, hmmmmm, you forgot the otters Myself, I have been killing time by building a few fly rods. Keeps my blood pressure down and helps the cold dreary days go by the wayside

Neal
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  #26  
Old 02-07-2011, 09:39 AM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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Owl--I think if you will go back and carefully re-read the various posts on motorbikes and the noise associated with them, you will find that most posts contain valid points, make it abundantly clear they are not condemning any and all motorbikers, and show considerable restraint.

Beyond that, on a more generally philosophical basis, as someone who is an arch-conservative in most of my outlook on life, I generally agree with you take on government intrusion. However, when the behavior of one person or a group of people "enjoying" a Park directly detracts from the enjoyment of another group, it is at the very least worthy of consideration and comment. Also, it is a great stretch to equate bright-colored lines (I personally happen to prefer earth tones) with motorbike noise as a potential irritant.
One other point, I don't belive many if any of the posts proposed "outlawing" motorcyles; they just wanted a restriction in noise level. Incidentally, I'm the party who first brought up the subject of bears and horses, not to mention the otters, and I did so because I feel they merit discussion. That's what a forum is for--discussion and polite interchange (and you obviously enjoy the discusson because you participate). So if you want to be mad at someone, I guess I'm elected, and I'll conclude by adding that I find the noise of loud motorcyles a great irritant. The fact that it is under serious discussion by Park authorities may not make you happy, but it does indicate they are hearing a great deal about it from Park users. I don't think they've had many complaints about folks standing in streams and waving wands.
Jim Casada
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  #27  
Old 02-07-2011, 09:41 AM
Crockett Crockett is offline
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Owl you make a good argument and you are probably right for sure they won't do anything about the noise this is just a cathartic way to voice some frustrations for me. I feel the same way when I am having a picnic with the family in a picnic area and some kid comes by thumping rap music so loud our plates bounce off the table. I think the kid is a freaking idiot no different than those loud pipe bike fellows are but nothing I can do about it except give em (I would like to cut your heart out) stares which I do haha.

I will say that most bikers even the harley guys don't ride the kind of bikes I am talking about here. I don't think I could hear the average harley 4 miles off the road but some of them that do the loud pipe thing can be heard back in there and its a shame. Just like with fishing most guys are courteous and good but you have a few morons too. Same way with about anything I suppose.
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  #28  
Old 02-07-2011, 12:21 PM
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Whitefeather

{Quote} "brains will re-engage."

Excellent , Plan to steal this one from you and use it this summer.

For both myself and others.

Wait one minute please while my "brain re-engages".
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  #29  
Old 02-07-2011, 02:03 PM
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JoeFred JoeFred is offline
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As most know, Great Smoky Mountains is the most visited of all the national parks. What this home boy didn't realize until now is that it is only the 20th largest* based on total acres.

Here are some very unofficial stats on the number of Visits per Year per Acre of a few parks based on year 2008 visits for the most part:

Great Smoky Mountains 17
Yosemite 5
Badlands 4
Grand Canyon 4
Olympic 3
Yellowstone 1
Big Bend <1

Granted, the percentage of acres readily accessible will vary as will the length of the main visiting seasons, both of which should be factored in before reaching any firm conclusions.

Soooo... jus' sayin'

JF

*http://www.nps.gov/bibe/parkmgmt/park_sizes.htm

Additional Smokies visitation data http://www.nps.gov/grsm/parkmgmt/visitation.htm
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  #30  
Old 02-07-2011, 02:33 PM
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"Whitefeather

{Quote} "brains will re-engage."

Excellent , Plan to steal this one from you and use it this summer.

For both myself and others.

Wait one minute please while my "brain re-engages".

Mac,

Just give me the credit and pay the royalty fees and you can use it all you want! LOL! Just kidding!

I am known to throw out an colloquialism now and again off the top of my head. I tend to make them up as I go along, but not everyone gets them!

Guess their "cranial transmission fluid" is a little thick because of the cold weather and they have difficulty re-engaging their brain. I know I do!

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