Paralyzing Paris With A Motorcycle Protest Ride

Paralyzing Paris With A Motorcycle Protest Ride

Posted by Mike Werner on Apr 19th 2016

You got to hand it to the French. They know how to organize a strike or protest. After centuries of revolutions, protests and many more strikes, they have perfected the art.
Last weekend throughout France, the motorcycle lobby groups organized massive protest rides, with the biggest one in the capital.

The reason? The government now wants to force a mandatory technical inspection on all motorcycles that are being sold pre-owned. Cars don’t need to do this, but starting next year, motorcycles will need to fork out between $50 and $70 to have some “minor” inspections performed on their bikes by inspectors who work for commercial cars inspections garages (in France any car that is older than 5 years needs an annual inspection). So car mechanics will be inspecting the motorcycle to see if it’s in a good state to be sold!

According to the MAIDS report (Motorcycle Accidents In Depth Study - a very detailed report on motorcycle accidents in Europe), only 0.3% of motorcycle accident are due to a bad state of a bike.

So between 10 and 20,000 motorcycle went out in a protest ride in Paris. The well proven method they use, is to ride through several major arteries of the city, including the ring road (called the Peripherique) and stop in the middle of the road, thereby paralyzing all traffic. The same happens in other parts of the city and before you know it, all traffic is at a standstill.

The protest rides are well organized with stewards in yellow/orange jackets shepherding the bikes and motorcycle police ensuring that other vehicles stay well away.
And if you think for a moment that the French car drivers are going to go crazy and slam into the ride, think again! The French understand protest, and admire mavericks. So when the bikers go and block the traffic, you will see many car drivers getting out of the cars and applauding and giving thumbs up signs.

But not only Paris was hit. Every big city of France was blocked by bikers. In total an estimated 30,000, maybe even 40,000 bikers took part.

Will it work? The current socialist government is known to run away from protests, and since next year is a presidential election year, the bikers may indeed win this round.

Picture Source: FMF (French Motorcycle Federation)