Tag Archive: paterson


Yesterday, I did something I have never done before.  I participated in a “peaceful rally”.  This rally was put on by the members of ABATE (American Bikers Aimed Toward Education) of New York.  The purpose for this rally is to fight the profiling of motorcycles and illegal roadblocks that target only motorcycles.  We rode downtown to the the Capitol building to make our voices heard.

The New York State Capitol

The bikers came out in large numbers.  I would guess that there were four or five hundred motorcycles that met in Schodack and rode into downtown Albany.  The line of motorcycles for a mile or so in front of you and behind you is quite impressive.

Halfway up the street

A little farther up the street. The bikes went on forever.

One of the main issues that were discussed today were the roadblocks that target only motorcycles on the way to Americade and the Harley Rendevous.  The police pull over motorcycles and issue ridiculous tickets for exhaust, helmet and license violations.  It’s not right.  I understand the helmet and license issue.  I wear a full face helmet all year round and would never ride with a brain bucket or no helmet at all.  That is my choice.  If people want to ride without a helmet, that is their choice.

What bothers me is these roadblocks are basically entrapment.  They only pull motorcycles over.  While you are there, they look at your pipes.  If they are not stock pipes, you get a ticket.  That is total crap.  My bike is obnoxiously loud (quote from my friends) and I wont change it.  I changed my pipes once.  I was going for my road test at the DMV and figured I would get flack for the pipes, so I had them swapped for the day.  On my way to the DMV, a car came over in my lane and I had nowhere to go but into the guard rail  I made my peace, confident I wasn’t walking away from this one.  Quick thinking on my part and a fast bike got me out of it.  I punched it and leaned it hard and was able to swerve clear of the guard rail.

That day, I swore to never change those pipes.  Most people think it’s just to be annoying, but people just don’t see you when you’re on the bike.  They are too busy eating or texting while driving and swerving all over the road.  I saw a t-shirt today that was dead on, but I didn’t get a picture of it.  It said “I’m sorry my loud pipes disturbed your phone call”.  Funny, but sad.  It amazes me how little people pay attention when they drive while talking on the phone.

Most people don’t understand or just don’t care that loud pipes do save lives.  I’m not saying I’ve never made unnecessary noise.  But for the most part, they are there for safety.  With my bike being as loud as it is, if you hit me and say you didn’t hear me (or feel the vibrations from the exhaust) there’s a problem.  You know when I am in your blind spot.  You know when I am next to you.

I can rant and rave here all day, but if I can reach a few people at a time and make them aware of motorcycles, it will make me very happy.  The best thing I have seen so far is a slogan that reads “Look Twice.  Save a Life.  Motorcycles are everywhere.”  There are a few variations of this saying.  Take the two seconds to turn your head and see if we are next to you.  Put down the phone and turn your head to see who’s there.  And this doesn’t just go for bikes.  We wouldn’t have all the accidents we do if people would just pay more attention.  It could save your life.  See ya soon!

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Is nothing sacred?

A lonely tree overhangs the steep drop from the overlook area

A lonely tree overhangs the steep drop from the overlook area

For the last few years, I have been going to John Boyd Thacher Park to see the vast beauty that it holds.  Whether it be for a picnic lunch and a hike down to the falls, or with a bunch of biker buddies wanting a scenic ride, I love Thacher Park.  I would say that I probably venture up there at least a dozen times a year.  I am sure that figure is a little on the low side.

Thacher Park is a great place to visit with family and friends.  There are a ton of places to hike, picnic, or just hang out and look at the amazing views.  I have taken many photos of the area to capture it’s beauty.  No matter what time of year I go up there, there are always quite a few people hanging out and exploring the mountain.

If so many people love the park like I do, why are they trying to shut it down?  Governor Paterson has decided that in order to trim the New York budget, he is planning to close a number of state parks to make up for the budget shortfall.  What a crappy thing to do.  I am very saddened by this decision.

Why the state parks?  In these difficult times, when people don’t have a lot of extra money to spend in ridiculously overpriced them parks, why would you do this?  Find another way.  I costs next to nothing to go to the park for the day.  There are still tons of people out of work that can’t afford expensive trips and vacations, so they stay close to home and share these parks with their children.  It keeps them active as families without breaking the bank.

A few local media outlets have covered this story, and I want to make as many people aware of this as possible.  I am including in this blog the links to those articles so you can have all the information that is out there about this travesty.  There is also a Facebook group that was created to stop this from happening.

It doesn’t look good for my favorite park.  I hope that something will change and they can find the money elsewhere.  Until then, we need to get the word out and sign any petitions to save the park that we can.  According to this Facebook page, there was a protest at the Capital building last week.  I hope it helped.

If you know of any other sites or petitions, please feel free to let me know about them.  Also, let’s keep this civil and not turn it into a nasty political debate.  Save your nasty comments for someone else’s blog.  Here are a few more pictures I have taken at Thacher Park.  See you soon…

The falls

The falls

The stairs

The stairs

The bikes

The bikes