Sunday, June 29, 2008

Motorcycle madness...

...as a couple thousand bikers, mostly riding Harleys, invaded Where The Ghetto Meets The Sea.

The first any of us knew about it was, naturally, the noise. They filled the road that runs along the ocean...



This was not the relatively small crowd that regularly patronizes a local beer joint, but a variety of motorcycle clubs, some of whom came from as far away as Northern California for the gathering...



Not given to obeying the laws governing motor vehicles (or courtesy), some parked -- and rode -- along the sidewalks....



The police were there, but with only four or five cars, two motorcycles and a helicopter...



Frankly, for reasons I refuse to discuss (but think I know), the local cops wimped out. Had the regular bikers we're used to around here ridden as some of these did -- and on unmuffled machines, to boot -- The Man would have been all over them like cheap suits. Instead, the cops escorted them along, using red lights and sires at times, turning a blind eye as some did wheelstands on city streets, blared along in an objectionably loud manner, weaved around cars, rode in the wrong lanes, blew stop signs and generally acted like jerks.

My respect for the LAPD went down several notches. They seemed to have had enough advance knowledge that the bikers were coming to close off a couple of streets to residents, but projected such a small, ineffective presence that the bikers walked all over them.

At one point when I was driving, I was damn near hit by several riders who accelerated onto the street without looking. I pointed this out to one of the officers and was essentially told to cool it and be on my way. Had I not exercised more than average care, I would have collided with a couple of them.

I'm not saying all the bikers were reckless creeps. I talked to a few, and they were okay people, as the majority of bikers are. But I resent having my neighborhood taken over, even for an afternoon, by people who ride like hooligans, make far more noise than legally allowed, and wantonly endanger others.

And I sure as hell resent the police for caving in to such behavior, when I know damn well they come down like a ton of bricks on locals for far less dangerous activities.

They're gone now, along with their entourage and camp followers. If they or any bunch like them come back, I hope the fools at the police department show some spine and enforce the law. Otherwise, someone is liable to get hurt.

8 comments:

Birdie said...

I think that, if I was police there, I would also have stayed cool about it... too many of the bikers might have gotten a bit "upset" and they DID outnumber the cops. As is, nothing got broken, no one got hurt.

We had a Harley meeting near me, too, but I didn't go. The local radio station warned about it all day because of congested traffic in that area.

John0 said...

The gathering I saw in the Taos area was much more respectful, I think. When they play the games you mention, I am all for someone in an old pickup demonstrating the laws of physics and mass.

Anonymous said...

I woulda called in an air strike. A-10...3,000; bikers...0

S

DAL said...

It's a judgement call. Strict enforcement would mean more cops, flared tempers, arrest resistance, batons, fire hoses etc.

Queen's University here has tried to curtail the annual Homecoming party shenanigans that have resulted in damaged property, dozens of arrests, and a closed street while it goes on. Queens had to pay up a $50,000 bill for extra policing, and they have changed their rules of conduct to apply to any students who sully the name of the university. The city has also made changes, hoping to possibly eliminate the party altogether by next year.

Anonymous said...

Deja vu all over again. Was in Monterey in 64 when dozens of gangs descended for the weekend. I remember coffin cheaters, devils disciples as well as the hells angels and other offshoots.

Well, someone DID get hurt. Some teenybopper girls went down to the beach where they were camping out and surprise -- they got gang raped.

They rounded up quite a contingent of Law Enforcement types to run them out of town, from the local crossing guards to the CHIPS and county sherrifs. There was even a helicopter overhead as the parade of hundreds of them rode out of town two abreast.

fin

WhimsicalMadCap said...

The police caving in is a mini-version of the Grand Caving In to barbarianism that's been going on for 40 years. (All part of the plan to ruin Western Civilization.) Sorry you had to endure that. Noise is murder on the nerves.

Mike Greenwald said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Greenwald said...

Got no room in my heart for assholes on two or four wheels nor in the uniform du jour whether it be leather and jeans or some other paramilitary compliance bully.