Motorcycle rally in Pennsylvania is targeted by anti-noise activists
Riders attending the Pennsylvania Harley Owners Group state rally rolled into Lehigh Valley on Friday and were promptly met with activists from Noise Free America protesting the sound of the bikes.
The protestors claim that the riders are “acoustically lawless” due to the modifications made to pipes once they leave a dealership or that they purposefully remove the mufflers in order to enhance the sound of the pipes.
The Pennsylvania HOG rally is scheduled to run through Sunday and are based in Bethlehem, PA; the protestors came all the way from Chapel Hill, NC – almost 500 miles away.
Ted Rueter, Director of Noise Free America, told the media that his group was on a mission to “bring attention to the fact that loud motorcycles are illegal.”
The protestors, which also have a chapters in Erie and New Jersey, awarded the rally with a “Noisy Dozen” award their wanton promotion of loud noises; the slogan for this year’s rally is: “See the Steel, Hear the Thunder.”
The protestors are also upset that the Mayor of Bethlehem, Bob Donchez, appears to be an endorser of the rally. Yes, the protestors are offended by the noise of the bikes but could care less about the influx of cash the riders are bringing to the community throughout this weekend.
Donchez has taken the stance of being more concerned about offending the protestors than the bikers and has made quick work of trying to distance himself from the rally now that it is happening. Donchez told the Lehigh Valley Live that the quote the rally used was from a public web page that promoted tourism in the area.
Rueter remained adamant that the criticism he has waged toward Donchez stays as the mayor appears to have done nothing to combat loud motorcycle pipes.
Billy Snyder, state rally coordinator, stated that approximately 400 motorcyclists are expected and it would be a safe estimate that half have modified pipes; however, he stressed that the HOG groups are not known for being “rowdy” as the 60 is the average age of attendee.
Sound off: Do loud pipes save lives?