Sat, Oct 15, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Big bikers let it rip too much

By Andrew Swarm

I'm writing in response to Gavin Phipps' recent article ("Taiwan's big bikers going nowhere fast," Oct. 6, page 13). It bears noting that not everyone shares the same sympathy for riders of "big bikes" as the media and certain publicity-seeking politicians.

Joining the WTO has been a disaster for people who take pleasure in driving through some of Taiwan's beautiful mountains and rural areas. It is no longer possible to enjoy a simple leisurely drive without being menaced by large numbers of hugely irresponsible bike riders.

There are few things more frightening than going around a blind curve and facing down a motorcycle charging at you at more than 140kph, and on your side of the central line. Just as bad is having a group of 20 or 30 big bikes flying by you as if you were standing still. Many come within a hair's breadth of your own motorcycle.

"There have been a few accidents, but thankfully nobody has died," the article said. Are you sure? I have personally seen the aftermath of a ghastly accident involving a big bike. From the looks of it, at least one of those involved in that accident wasn't gonna be riding anywhere else.

"Big bikes have certainly not become the on-road irritants they were once thought they may become," the article said. Perhaps this is the case in the city, where it's more difficult to drive like a speed demon. But in the rural areas, where police are stretched thin, the roadways have been all but surrendered to the weekend road warriors.

Perhaps Phipps could have interviewed police or residents in the rural communities being affected by the increased number of big bikes.

It goes without saying, some big bike enthusiasts drive responsibly. But let's face it. If you have a 2300cc motorcycle, your gonna want to let it rip.

Andrew Swarm

Taipei

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