A City That Hates Motorcycles

Just a perspective on how bikers are still not tolerated in some places, the City of Canyon Lake, CA, is debating a vote on whether or not t...

Just a perspective on how bikers are still not tolerated in some places, the City of Canyon Lake, CA, is debating a vote on whether or not to allow motorcycles in their town.

Right now, it's illegal to ride a motorcycle in much of the city. Specifically, Canyon Lake is a gated city, with about 90% of its inhabitants sealed behind a wall and secured gates. You can't ride a motorcycle within the gated area. You can ride a motorcycle in other parts of the city, outside the gate.

But believe it or not, there's a motorcycle club existing inside the city, within the gated area, called Canyon Lake Motorcycle Club. They can't ride their bikes there, they can't even ride them to get out of the gated area. They have to be pushed or trailered out.

Chuck Marler, the President of the club, was able to get a special ballot measure created to vote on whether or not to allow motorcycles to ride within the gated area. This ballot doesn't open the doors wide open to motorcycles, it only allows speeds no faster than 15mph, and still prohibits riding on streets with bike lanes. The ballot was created so that all riders don't have to trailer their bikes out.

And the ballot is getting a lot of criticism. The town's newspaper, The Friday Flyer, has an article about it.
He reiterates that he and other motorcyclists only want to be
able to ride their bikes to and from their homes to the gates. They are not asking to ride here recreationally or to attend Taco Tuesday and other functions on their bikes, he maintains.
I happen to live in Menifee, which borders the town of Canyon Lake. For most of us, Canyon Lake is kinda like a mythological place. No one can enter unless you have a guest pass. You often hear about how great life is there. On the public roads, you can see residents driving their golf carts in and out of the gated area. In some places you can get a glimpse of the boats floating on the lake.

Obviously, the rallying cry against the ballot measure is that people knew ahead of time that you can't ride motorcycles there, hence, no one has the right to complain. On the other hand, a lot of people in this greater area, known as the "Inland Empire", ride motorcycles because they all commute 50-100 miles each way to work. Whereas Canyon Lake once started out as an upper-class retirement community, it's now a place where families seek refuge from gang influence.

That's really at the heart of the matter. Residents are worried about biker gangs.

But the truth is that there's a lot more to be worried about. Other gangs, that don't ride motorcycles, can still enter the gated area of Canyon Lake, provided they live there. Kids can still buy dope within the gated area, and kids can still get molested there too. It's not like motorcycles are the beginning of the end.

But for Canyon Lake, it sounds like it is.

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