This story has caused barely a ripple in the mainstream media but there’s been a fair bit of chatter within the ‘biking community’ and although the responses have varied widely – largely dependent on the kind of group who were discussing the issue – they have invariably all been ‘appalled’ for one reason or another.

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This subject in question is an injunction taken out by Harlow Council in Essex banning ‘unauthorised ride outs’. The injunction, which is apparently the first of its kind, covers the entire town and will be in place until 31 March 2017. It bans groups of two or more people from taking part in unauthorised ride outs between 10:00 and 00:00 (presumably because all real troublemakers are tucked up in bed by midnight?) on any public land or public highway in Harlow. Anyone breaking the injunction would be in contempt of court and could be sent to prison.

This is reminiscent of the area near the Ace Cafe that motorcycles were banned from a while back because of the behaviour of comparatively few riders who were either terribly irresponsible and dragging down biking’s good name or merely high-spirited, according to who you spoke to (can anyone tell us if that ban is still in operation?).

We know that the Digest’s readership includes people from right across the biking spectrum and while we are pretty confident that most of you would agree that it is appalling that motorcyclists can be singled out and persecuted so readily (although a lot of the biker groups seem to be ignoring the fact that this injunction applies to cars too). Nonetheless there’s an interesting discussion to be had about what should be done about “marauding gangs of moped riders terrorising the local citizenry”* – including the possibility of doing nothing. (*©The Maily Express)

This short Channel 4 video does more to explore the underlying issue than anything you would read in thousands of column inches of tabloid reporting:

And before any of you seriously ancient Rockers start sounding off about the trouble with the youth of today, perhaps you should check out these to old videos just to ensure that they don’t feature you or any behaviours that you might recognise from your younger days!

So what do you think? Why don’t we see if there’s an interesting conversation to be had somewhere between the rabid ranting of the tabloids and the ultra-laidback, ‘it’s just the young being young, if they manage to live long enough most of them will grow out it’ school of thought.

Just add your comments to the ‘Leave A Response’ box below.







4 thoughts on “Appalling!”

  1. Would they take an injunction out to stop people driving cars after 10 because “yoofs” are driving round in clapped out Clios, Corsas & Beemers with phat exhausts, blacked out windows, & banging bass? I think not.

  2. This is a difficult issue and it is pretty bad whatever side you look at it from. It is bad for me, as it is wrong that I and two friends would be banned from riding in Harlow as it is considered an un-authorised ride out. Given our mature age, we are highly unlikely to cause any trouble, ride recklessly or generally be badly behaved. It is also bad for the victims highlighted in the Channel 4 video, as nobody wants marauding kids on bikes riding on pavements stealing phones and robbing innocent people. Yes, it is also bad for the kids doing this, as many (probably) see it as having fun in an ever-increasing society that wants to control us as much as possible. Their rebellious ways are not really that much different from other similar groups of young people in about every decade I can remember. I cannot say what the answer is as it is a complex issue, but I know I will be saddened if places like the Ace Cafe get closed due to the ‘Bike Life’ way of life and if I am not allowed to go to other areas, that unlike Harlow, I do want to go to. What really angers me though is the way I and my law-abiding friends get swept into the same group as these young kids. If that actually does affect my rights to ride where and where whom I like, then I will be pissed off and likely to try to do something about it.

  3. A few twats steal phones and handbags and because they were riding scoots they reckon we’re all at it!!

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