Noise is in the ear of the beholder

"I have to wonder if this is all really about noise or just that someone doesn’t want to hear that sound by their house."

It’s no secret I love riding my motorcycle. And it’s no secret I love riding in the West Kootenay pretty much above any other region I’ve visited.

So the recent back-and-forth between petitioners seeking to enforce noise laws on loud motorbikes and the response from riding groups has caught my attention.

We’re all bombarded with noise we don’t like. You don’t have to sell that to the people of Trail who hear the humming from Teck 24-7.

But with that noise comes jobs, a community and a livelihood so we accept it as part of living in Trail. In turn, Teck does its best to keep the noise down and responds when complaints are made.

There are all types of noises that overwhelm us at times.

At the Trail Times office rarely does a day go by when someone blasting music has it turned up so loud that it rattles the windows. What’s worse is they leave their vehicle running and music blaring while they quickly run into the bank machine at Kootenay Savings.

It gets annoying, especially in the summer when windows are open, but after a couple of minutes the rolling thunder moves on and quiet returns.

Noise can mean different things to different people.

A crying baby in a restaurant might upset some people while others, who have shared that experience with their own kids, are more sympathetic and understanding.

I find that is often the case when it comes to motorcycles.

Again I’m a rider so I love to hear the rumble in the springtime, it’s like the proverbial horse in the corral who hears the rumble of wild mustangs in the distance and simply wants to join in the freedom and fun.

I understand that maybe not everyone sees or hears it that way and that has brought the subject to the forefront in the media.

The CBC picked up on the Trail Times story last week to craft its own version of the discussion.

Its story quoted a man from Nakusp claiming loud motorcycles go by constantly throughout the day, non-stop.

As someone who has enjoyed countless rides through Nakusp and over the hump to New Denver, I beg to differ.

Granted there are many bikes (and by that I mean motorcycles) on the highway throughout that beautiful part of the region but I disagree that all those bikes are loud.

In fact, it’s a small fraction in my opinion.

Just like there are loud cars, loud trucks, loud everything, there is a majority that conform to noise guidelines and only bother people that take the time to be bothered by such things.

I know some bikes are loud. When you ride on the highway and a loud bike passes you or is ahead of you, you realize the noise they generate.

But again, those are the exception not the norm.

So I have to wonder if this is all really about noise or just that someone doesn’t want to hear that sound by their house.

I’m sure if an accurate survey was taken, rather than a petition, which can be signed by anyone from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland, it might tell a different story.

I don’t see the gas station owner in New Denver complaining when there are 10 motorcycles lined up to for fuel. Or the restaurant staff in Nakusp complaining that there are too many riders chowing down in their establishment.

I don’t see the motel owner, who boasts that their place is “bike friendly,” turning away business because the vehicle they came in on was too noisy.

In fairness to Gloria Lisgo of Silverton, who spearheaded the petition in the first place, she did point out in another interview that she wasn’t targeting all motorcycles just the over-the-top loud ones.

That’s fair game.

However, now people are piling on and just painting the entire riding community with the same brush.

That’s a dangerous trend no matter what the topic is.

But too often the ones who talk the loudest are the ones most heard and often most uninformed.

That’s a noise I don’t particularly like but I don’t believe if I started a petition against people like that it would fly. Or would it?

Guy Bertrand is the managing editor of the Trail Times

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Trees blown over by a windstorm in forest owned by Anderson Creek Timber. Photo: Anderson Creek Timber
Timber company logging near Nelson raises local concerns

Anderson Creek Timber owns 600 hectares of forest adjacent to the city

Keith Smyth, Kootenay Savings director at-large joins children from the Kids’ Care Centre at St. Michael’s Catholic School. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay Savings continues credit union’s tradition of giving

Funding totalling $48,250, is going to a wide array of Kootenay initiatives

From left: Karl Luedtke (West Arm Outdoors Club), Dale Williams (BCWF), Molly Teather (FLNORD), Gord Grunerud (West Arm Outdoors Club), Eugene Volokhov (Grand Prize Winner), Casey McKinnon and Lex Jones (Jones Boys Boats). Photo: Tammy White, Whitelight Photography
Balfour man lands big prize from angler incentive program

Eugene Volokhov of Balfour is now the proud owner of a sleek 18-foot Kingfisher boat

“I want to see the difference in the world, embrace it, celebrate it … ” Photo: David Cantelli/Unsplash
A new way to say ‘Hello’

“Inclusion, you see, is NOT about making us all the same.”

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read