October 1, 2012
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Chapel Hill: Fayetteville, Arkansas, a town of 75,000 residents in the Ozark mountains, has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America for holding its annual noisefest, “Bikes, Blues, and BBQ.” Held September 26-29, 2012, the noisemaking event attracted 400,000 motorcyclists revving their engines and blasting their loud pipes. The event created a noise nightmare for the surrounding community.
“Bikes, Blues, and Barbeque” bills itself as the “largest US charity rally.” Nelson Driver, director of the motorcycle rally, asserted that “this is what it’s all about.” In reality, the focus on “charity” is simply an excuse to make noise and violate federal law. In recent years, the event has raised the paltry sum of 20 cents per motorcyclist.
Rick Holtsclaw, a retired Houston police officer (who placed significant emphasis on noise enforcement), was subjected to extreme, illegal motorcycle noise near the event. He states: “I took the family to church Sunday morning, expecting a very peaceful and enjoyable day in Van Buren, Arkansas. As we entered the sanctuary, I hear the sound of hell in the distance–an illegally loud Harley Davidson motorcycle. Then there was another one. Then there were even more. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Then I realized that it was the annual ‘Bikes, Blues and BBQ’ motorcycle rally in Fayetteville.”
After the morning service, Holtsclaw took his family and some friends to a restaurant in Van Buren, Arkansas. When the group walked in the parking lot, “several illegally loud and obnoxious Harley riders and their female companions entered the parking lot. I put my fingers in my ears in protest to having been assaulted by the noise from their illegally loud aftermarket exhaust mechanisms. In response, one of the riders revved his motorcycle, thereby increasing the noise to intolerable levels. An elderly restaurant patron was severely frightened by the motorcycle revving.”
Officer Holtsclaw noted that loud motorcyclists often do “charity rides” to improve their image. Holtsclaw urges the public to “not be fooled by the appearance of faux philanthropy. The ‘Bikes, Blues and BBQ’ rally is nothing but a collection of selfish, arrogant, narcissistic, hedonistic biker trash that cares nothing for the welfare of others. They care nothing about the right of Arkansas citizens to enjoy a peaceful environment.”
Holtsclaw stated that he is not opposed to motorcycling itself: “I am only opposed to those who ride loudly. I personally have ridden hundreds of thousands of miles on motorcycles over the last 40 years. However, the exponential increase in loud biker trash is a mockery to the sport of motorcycling and an embarrassment to common decency. The motorcycle crowd is largely arrogant, prideful, self-entitled, lacking self-respect, lacking respect for others, vulgar, anti-social, hedonistic, and narcissistic.”
In Holtsclaw’s view, “Mayor Lioneld Jordan and the city council of Fayetteville should be severely reprimanded for promoting this ungodly event. Touted as the third-largest motorcycle rally in the United States, the event attracts loud bikers from all over the country. The leadership of Fayetteville should be ashamed of themselves for associating with loud thug bikers for the purpose of making money–at the expense of the health, safety, and welfare of the taxpaying citizens of Arkansas.”
Noise Free America is a national 501c3 organization opposed to noise pollution. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include the Milwaukee Motorcycle Rally; the Erie, Pennsylvania “Roar on the Shore”; and the annual celebration of motorcycle noise in Sturgis, South Dakota.