As biker Zach Padilla arrived in Laguna Beach, CA., he ran into the “Wall of Sound”–officer Tom Wall, 60, keeper of the decibel meter, the Los Angeles Times reports. “Your motorcycle noise level is 117.5,” Wall said. “Cool,” responded Padilla. The citable limit in California is 95 decibels, Wall explained.
With motorcycle ownership increasing by more than 34 percent since 1998, this year has been marked by a concern that bike noise is becoming a source of tension. Police also have stepped up patrols along some favorite biker routes, from the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood to Main Street in Daytona Beach, Fl. Some places, including Myrtle Beach, S.C., are considering shortening, rescheduling or even doing away with motorcycle rallies. In May, the 265,000 member American Motorcycle Association held its second “noise summit” in Columbus, Ohio, to tackle an issue it said represents the most pointed threat to bikers’ rights. “This is an issue which could affect our right to ride,” said Tom Lindsay, a spokesman.