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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Friday, August 21, 2009

Vroom vroom

The news that Portland might soon be requiring motorcycles to keep the noise down would be most gratefully received by this ligyrophobe. (Noise is on my mind - yesterday, a most beautiful one, seemed to bring out the loudest of airplanes to Knox County Regional.) All Portland, or any US city or town for that matter, has to do is follow the law, specifically the regulation passed by the EPA that requires all new motorcyles to bear a stamp or label proving it does not exceed federal noise levels. Simple! Of course, the regulation came into effect in 1983....

On second thought, if we enforced the law in Maine, I wouldn't have had the pleasure a few weeks ago of an excellent example of cycle mentality. Traffic was inching into Brunswick from the north, along that stretch of Mill St. just before the right turn on to Pleasant. A motorcyclist on the dangerous side of 39 was directly in front of us, ambling along in half figure-eights, side to side, merrily vrooming every once in a while. We approached two people tending their lawn. One was a blonde, in shorts, and our Lothario in leather immediately gunned his engine, vrooming like there was no tomorrow. His turns got tighter, his stare more intense, his face redder. He of course wore no helmet. I'm surprised his head didn't just pop as he drove past, slowly leering.

The woman, to her eternal credit, never even turned from her flowers.

Legislators in Portland, go at it. But first, let's get those folks in Augusta to pass a helmet law. If you're just another anonymous helmeted dude revving up, what's the point of showing off your pistons?

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