Letter: Motorcycles are loud so I wear air horns on my feet

Addressed to: thenorthbaybay.ca staff

To the editor,

I recently saw an article from a biker who said they modified their bike’s exhaust in order to combat distracted drivers. They made many great points about how sound alerts people to things. That’s why I wear air horns on my feet.

For the longest time I had stock sneakers, but after several close calls involving cars and motorcycles who weren’t watching for pedestrians, I decided to invest in two aftermarket ULINE air horns which I have strapped upside-down to my shoes.

Now each step triumphantly trumpets every part of my early morning walk at nearly 130 decibels (which is a full 10 decibels louder than any motorcycle I’ve heard).

I’ve caught many people looking up from whatever they’re doing, and I’ve alerted more than a few bikers who been idling at traffic lights with their heads down. I can hear them screaming their thanks, but I like to shuffle when standing so I can never hear their praise.

Of course, I can no longer hear much of anything due to continued exposure to such high levels of volume. Someone once recommended I cover my ears when walking, but protecting myself from the incredibly loud sounds I’m consciously creating and subjecting others to with earplugs or a helmet seemed repulsively hypocritical.

The upside is now I can actually sleep in my Main St. apartment without the continued interruption of motorcyclists and pizza delivery guys ripping up and down the road at 2 am.

You’ll also be happy to know I have a friend who is currently installing an old WW2 air raid siren on his bicycle so people can hear him approaching. As a bicyclist, he doesn’t have 4000 lbs. of steel to protect him, nor does he have the 700 lbs. of a motorcycle to simply run through pedestrians and fellow bicyclists, so the piercing, 140+ decibel air raid siren will just have to do.

I highly recommend every serious walker, jogger, and runner in North Bay begin wearing air horns on their feet. Once every pedestrian and bicyclist in the city is louder than the motorcycles, maybe those driving and riding will finally start paying attention.



Eric Cross

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