May 5, 2012
Taking Names and Doing Something about It
After a few cars backed up behind me, he "remembered" that the hotel had a designated motorcycle parking are just to my right (the drainage slope designed to prevent cars from going around the gate). For $4, I could park my bike where most anyone walking into the parking structure could mess with it and where it took some near-off-road skills to maneuver the bike into the space and even more skill to get back out of the parking lot. The exit route was to ride up that slope, make a hard left turn (while still on the slope), dodge between the gate and several concrete barriers, and make a hard left out of the lot into other exiting traffic. Getting on and off of the V-Strom was a little tough, but the riding part of this parking and exiting exercise was no problem. For other bikes, like big touring bikes or hippobikes, the parking and the exiting would probably be exciting.
A couple of days later, I received an email about some kind of political boycott over some mildly obscure issue and it struck me that we're a pretty substantial economic group. If, for example, all 180,000 Minnesota motorcyclists decided to stay away from all businesses that don't allow us access to parking we could do some damage. I don't mean just when we are riding but for all business activity. If, for example, all 180,000 Minnesota motorcyclists took their business out of downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul (where pretty much every parking garage has one of those damned signs) we could cause some folks to revise their "liability reasoning." Now there is something for ABATE to sink it's teeth into that would actually benefit motorcyclists.
There are options, too. There are companies that use technology that will not only sense a motorcycle but pedestrians. This was a choice made by the management of these facilities and one that should cost them some cash as a result. Just for laughs, I'm going to start taking pictures of the parking signs and the buildings and businesses that ban motorcycles. I'll post those here and if you want to contribute (not just Minnesota, but let's put all of those businesses on notice). Send them to me and I'll stick them up here, too. Power to the people, as long as the people are us.