ED. NOTE: THIS IS AN APRIL FOOL STORY. IT IS NOT TRUE! READ THE FULL CONFESSION HERE.
Nova Scotia’s Department of Transportation has announced the Cabot Trail will be closed to motorcyclists for the 2019 season, thanks to loud pipes.
Motorcyclists love the curves on the Cabot Trail, cutting through Cape Breton Highlands National Park, but it’s also an extremely popular tourist destination for four-wheeled drivers, thanks to its scenic vistas. And it’s those non-motorcycling tourists who are responsible for the road closure, along with fed-up locals.
An official with Nova Scotia’s DOT, Philip McAvity, said tourists and local residents alike are tired of open-piped cruisers blasting through the Cape Breton hills all summer long.
Angus MacAskill, a resident of Englishtown, organized a winter-long letter-writing campaign that asked local transportation officials and politicians to address the issue of loud motorcycles on the Trail.
“It’s not so bad at the start of the season, when it’s just the guys on those big BMWs,” said MacAskill. “Their bikes are fairly quiet; they go through the Trail as fast as they can, then split off to Sydney. You see them there outside the Starbucks.
“But as soon as it warms up, the noise is terrible. You get these guys on big shiny bikes blatting their pipes the whole way, holding up the RVs trying to make it up the hills.”
Indeed, local RV rental operations were also vocal in promoting a motorcycle ban on the Cabot Trail.
“We hear it all the time from customers,” said Cleo Femoon, of Bluenose Camper, an RV rental company in Antigonish. “They come from all over the world to see the famous Cabot Trail, and just when they’re ready to haul ass through the hills, they get stuck behind a loud, noisy motorcycle that slows them down.”
Femoon said the resulting long string of negative user reviews on her company’s website led her manager to petition officials to do something about the noise problem.
Those officials did attempt to find some other solutions before laying down the blanket ban, which is in effect as of today.
“We considered only prohibiting the bikes on weekends,” said McAvity, “and we also discussed only allowing them to ride anti-clockwise, to stop them from easily going back and re-riding sections, which can be really annoying for the locals with all those U-turns. In the end, though, local residents decided they’ve had enough and we just flat-out banned them.”
Still, summer will be different on the Cabot Trail without the thunder of motorcycles rolling through the hills. Some Nova Scotia motorcycle clubs have talked about “rolling protests,” riding motorcycles through the Trail at slow speed to show their unhappiness with the policy. However, those plans were abandoned when some members pointed out that wouldn’t be any different from their normal riding style.
Happy April Fools’ Day!