You probably all know me as a prolific and sarcastic member (poster) on this BCSB forum, and most of it is done with humor. But this topic is quite serious.
I posted a paraphrased, somewhat funny and seriously over-simpified re-cap of the BCCOM meeting last night on another thread, to answer DNASPARK's request for a summary of it and to get the message out fast. Yet there was alot said and exchanged at that meeting, stuff that should best be aired and shared. I have a bit of time on my hands right now and words are the tools of my trade, so I'll try to make some (more) serious sense of my interpretation/perspective of it all right now ...
The world around us is changing. Sportbikes are continually getting more powerful and faster, gas prices are rising, and more and more people are moving into this place (where we live). The society within which we live, and seek meaning, fulfillment, identity, support and freedoms ... is also rapidly changing. The people who govern that society do so in probably first and foremost - their own interests, and then, secondly - in the interests of the general public.
Votes (and income/power) come first.
There had been a number of high-profile incidents in recent years where young people (mostly males) killed innocent by-standers (old people, women, children and pedestrians) when their stupid street-racing stunts when horribly wrong (Knight Street, Marine drive etc.), and now the government is reacting to those incidences. They are reacting in the way that the mechanism of socio-political system dictates, and are doing so in sucvh a way as to 'win' the favor (and votes) of the majority of the general public.
The general public, for the better part, doesn't really like motorcylcists. The concensus is that 'bikers' are all criminals, and sportriders are all maniacs (in their eyes).
Sooo ... down comes the indescriminating sledge-hammer of new public 'legal policy, which policies are directed toward addressing the high-profile pedestrian death incidences splashed out in the news.
The general public loves it. They want to feel protected and safe. Laws regulating against sportbikes and high-power machines all fall into the same envelope - perceived as creating greater safety for the public and their families - a 'warm and fuzzy, feel good' sort of thing.
Hence, Bill C-14 (or whatever number it is).
If you live in a cave or under a rock and haven't heard about what it's about ... take a moment and read up on it. It'll scare the ink right outa yer friggen tatoos!!
What BCCOM is advocating, is that they are a group of motorcycle riding, law-practising (as in 'lawyers') people who are focused on and interested in keeping the fairness, free-ness and just aspects of our society alive. They LIKE where we live and enjoy having freedoms of movement, conscience and choice.
The new laws beng implemented are serious impingements upon those freedoms ... YOUR freedoms (to ride sportbikes on the street). Freedoms are taken from a people step by step, increment by increment.
I know that most of you don't want to bother with al this shit, hopinhg that a few seriously engaged (and older) 'bikers' will remain active and fight the battle on your behalf.
But they are getting older, they are tired, and they NEED YOUR HELP.
The only way to fight against tyranny (or dictatorship), in a democratic society, is to be actively engaged and to speak your piece. ... or to keep your head stuck in the sand and then either wonder what the fuck happened after everything has changed, or to take up arms by way of demonstrations or a 'revolution' somewhere down the road (when it's too late).
Now granted some of this may be an exaggeration, but I hazard to believe that it's probably more leaing toward the truth/reality, than not (as they say, "history repeats itself").
So what they are asking you to do, in the better inerests of all sportbike riding individuals, is to align your interests and efforts with a group of politically, socially and legally aware and active people (BCCOM) and to not simply take it all lying down, until such time that the government decides to legislate that all motorcycles bigger than 500cc's or with more than 100 hp (or whatever) are illegal ...
Unless you really don't care. Then do nothing. Go to your regular bike-nights and bull-shit and schmooze, and then wake up in a year or two in a rude, new world.
A very different one.
BCCOM - although initially made up of mostly Harley/cruiser style riders in it's earlier incarnation (30 years ago), was formed by individuals who didn't like the heavy-handed and brutal behavior that the police in those days were extending toward motorcyclists and so they decided to become pro-active, and form a coalition in order to address those matters legally and effectively. These men and women have been fighting for the rights, benefits and freedoms of the motorcycling community for many years now ... but THEY NEED YOUR VOICE, YOUR PARTICIPATION and YOUR SUPPORT in order to be able to carry on the good fight (all in the general motorcycle community's interests).
Personally, I think it would be to everybody's best interest for all motorcycle riders to pay more attention to what is transpiring in this (legal) arena, at this time, and to become more engaged with it. For the measily investment of forty-five bucks, you can get "plugged in" to alot of it by joining the BCCOM group, and at least have a bit of a 'say' in it (a voice) as well ...
This is not a shameless advertisement for them, nor am I in any way whatsoever associated with BCCOM or benefitting from this. Although I do beilieve I will join them (BCCOM), to become a member of the organization, after reading my own words (lol).
In closing - it's tragic that lives are lost during the practising of the sport we all love so much. It's wild - it's a blast - and it's freaking dangerous!!
We all know that. That's why we wear the proper protective gear, right?
But, I for one, think that a government shouldn't even have the right to force me to wear a helmet all the time, if I felt like (for example) going for a lil' putt down a seaside boulevard on a cruiser (if I had one) into the sunset at slow speeds without a helmet on (that's just my opinion) ... I think we should have the ability to make a personal choice.
But that's a differect story.
That being said - the kids who get a license and two weeks later go and buy a one litre crotch-rocket (because they can) are simply 'asking for it' (to wit: the pro hockey player who died on a GSXR1000 somewhere in eastern Canada after only being licensed for a few weeks). The (sport)bikes of today are formidable weapons and should be treated as such. Perhaps graduated licensing and (temporarily) restricted power-to-weight ratios ( for a rider's first year or two) aren't such a bad idea (I know that if I could have bought a 180 hp machine at the age of 16, rather then the 7o hp output of the 1000's in my time ... I'd prolly be long ago dead too) ... but it doesn't mean that they should be completely banned, outlawed or singled out and beat on (by the legal/enforcement community).
My suggestion: buck up the forty-five bucks and join BCCOM - it's in your better interest!!
cheers ... (now let the flaming begin)
ps: please please always remember that driving/riding is a priviledge and always always respect all other people on the road and around you at all times!!