Oct 142016

I bought my first motorcycle when I was 15 years old, a much used and abused Triumph Daytona. A summer of hard work at a gas station allowed me to buy not only my first car, but a better bike, a 1968 Triumph Bonneville. For the next 30 years there were not many times in my life that I didn’t own a motorcycle.

Over the years I’ve had quite a number of different ones, everything from Hondas and Suzukis to a Royal Enfield 750 Interceptor. My last bike was my favorite, this beautiful 1100cc Yamaha V-Star. So even though I don’t have a bike now, I understand the whole motorcycle thing. I really do.


I was aware that every spring they have Bike Week here in Daytona Beach, but I didn’t know about Biketoberfest, which is happening this weekend. The TV news says as many as 100,000 people may be in town for the event. That’s a lot of people, and a lot of motorcycles! Here is a picture of a prior Biketoberfest from the DaytonaBeach.com website.


Motorcycles are everywhere in town. A trip that normally takes us fifteen minutes can easily take half an hour or more.



And most of them are Harley-Davidsons. I’ve never been into Harleys, but I know a lot of people who have them and love them. And they’re all great people. A whole bunch of them are staying here at the RV park where we are at.



But there’s one thing I’ve never understood about Harleys and the people who ride them. Most Harleys I’ve seen are loud bikes. So why do their owners have to rev the darned engines up over and over, from the time they start them until the time they shut them off? Do you have any idea how loud a Harley-Davidson is? All around the campground, from first light until late at night, we hear the rumble of one Harley after another starting up, revving up, and either taking off or shutting back down so they can start it up again. What’s that all about, anyway?

Miss Terry says I’m just becoming a grumpy old fart. Maybe she’s right. Who am I to say? But that’s okay, I kind of think about the bikers the same way I do weekend campers who show up with seven screaming kids and thirteen barking dogs. They’ll all be gone, come Monday. And it could be worse. At least the bikers aren’t starting smoky campfires!

Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Caddo Cold, the seventh book in my pal George Wier’s excellent Bill Travis mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.


Thought For The Day – Scientists say the universe is made up of protons, neutrons and electrons. They forgot to mention morons.

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Nick Russell

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  4 Responses to “Rumble Rumble, Grumble Grumble”

  1. Trying being in the Black Hills during Sturgis when you have over 650,000 bikers riding the hills and yes, on Harley’s! All day, all night long. Some cities even close off the main road for “bike parking only”. Forget eating out.

  2. You’re not becoming a grumpy old fart, you’re just maturing.

  3. Miss Terry is right … you’re a grumpy old fart. I’m glad to see you finally joined the club!! Personally, I love the sound of a Harley. That’s why they rev the engine …. to hear it purr through those $1,000 pipes they bought. I just don’t like to hear it purr before 6:00 am or after 9:00 pm!!

  4. [–]dorkrock 0 points 2 years ago
    A long time ago… Before engines were controlled by computers… There was a thing called a carburetor that controlled how much fuel and air got into the engine.
    Especially before the engine got hot, or when the motorcycle was stopped at a stoplight, these carburetor things didn’t do a very good job of making sure enough fuel got to the engine, so people had to rev their engines to keep their bikes running.
    Today with computerized carburetors and ignitions is really no need for it but in answer to your question
    Because it’s an American bike
    Because it’s part of the culture
    because they can
    because it annoys you
    because you’re driving neighbors crazy
    Because it brings attention to you
    it makes you look
    They think it’s cool
    The other guys doing it
    It’s part of the HD lifestyle
    It’s my bike
    I’m testing my pipes can you hear me now
    Just Think Way back when HD started building there own carburetors they could have taken a page from the Europeans motorcycles and you wouldn’t have that noxious noise
    You’ll notice that pre-and post computerized European bikers don’t do that
    All my Harley’s were pre-computer days but it’s really interesting Rice rockets are post computer not one of those kids has never had a carbureted motor cycle
    So how did that culture come over to them
    And it still sounds like a bunch of mad bees in a can
    Thank your lucky stars you don’t have a rice bike week for rice rockets
    One other shiny note,,you’ll never see a PETA group at a Harley Davison or a motorcycle rally
    And if you really really really want to have a good laugh go any of the bike get-togethers this week and check out the 60 year-old grandmother’s in pink leather chaps / vest/cap
    Along with grandpa were the biggest beer belly you’ve ever seen with leather pants a leather vest with more rockers than Johnny rocker has restaurants
    That’s a whole Nother subculture in itself
    Besides they all have to go back to work next week so it’ll sort of quiet down

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