Bikers in Saugerties: the good and bad

(Photo by Ashley Drewes)

(Photo by Ashley Drewes)

As warm weather approaches, and restaurants open their outdoor dining spaces, Saugerties will once again draw motorcyclists from all over the Hudson Valley. While many area business owners welcome the boon in business, others are less enthused about the return of loud bike engines echoing between the village’s historic storefronts.


Some business owners not happy

Dave Andersen, sound engineer and co-owner of The New Creek Recording on Main St., says that the noise from bikers on the street has bled into his studio at times. “Unfortunately, the amount of money that it would cost us to block such a loud noise is just not in the budget. When they are idling, it is not a problem at all. The problem is that they rev their engines an excessive amount. Not having ever driven a motorcycle, I can’t say for sure that it is unnecessary, but it seems so to the outside observer.” Andersen also expressed concern for pedestrians: “The volumes which motorcycles give off when revved (particularly Harley models) are not safe for unprotected ears. Combined with all of the buildings echoing and amplifying, it poses a potential health hazard.”

Claire Raper, owner of the children’s consignment store KidAround, says it’s nothing personal. “Overall, the bikers don’t bother me. The ones I’ve met are lovely people and just out enjoying the weather and freedom their bikes give them.” But Raper laments, “I would rather they didn’t rev their engines through the village and be so loud. Especially as a store dedicated to kids, the loud and rather obnoxious noise scares them. And as for business, I don’t think they are really going to be shopping with me, just in general. Although I’d happily be proven wrong.”



Different reasons for concern

Village residents have also voiced their frustrations. Molly Farley says, “Too loud! Why? I would get a ticket if my car sounded like that. So unnecessary.”

Even Town Supervisor Kelly Myers admits, “As a village resident, I’ve experienced frustration with loud motorcycles. On a beautiful warm summer evening the last thing anyone wants to hear are motorcycles screaming through the village. It’s frustrating to have to stop conversations when bikers are revving their engines. Some of the bikes are beautiful machines, I just wish people would be a little more respectful of each other.”

Village resident and biker Tom Dunn defends loud bikers, saying, “bikes are loud because people don’t look twice for motorcycles. If they didn’t hear us coming they wouldn’t pay attention.”

Meanwhile, Saugerties resident Hans Hadley thinks loud motorcycles are giving everyone else a bad rap, saying, “I hate that. Bikes without mufflers on them ruin it for everyone else.”