Motorcyclists Temecula Police Losing Animosity As They Team Up On 2009: Conversation Biker

Motorcyclists Temecula police losing animosity as they team up on

A year ago, a conversation between a biker and a police officer in Old Town Temecula often involved a ticket and hard feelings.
Now, police and motorcycle enthusiasts are working together to put on an Old Town festival benefiting families of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. “We’re not unfriendly to bikers at all,” said Craig Puma, a restaurant owner and head of the Old Town Temecula Association. “But we are unfriendly to anyone who wants to tear up our town.” Organizers hope the Help Ride cements a biker-friendly image for Old Town, where motorcycles are a common weekend sight. Last spring, some bikers reacted angrily after police started pulling over motorcycles and issuing tickets for noise, improper helmets and other infractions. Temecula Police Chief Jerry Williams said he ordered a step-up in enforcement after getting complaints about noisy motorcycles that set off car alarms. But the move was never meant to discourage bikers from coming to town, said Williams, a motorcyclist himself. To quell bikers’ ire, Williams said he reached out to motorcycle Web sites and magazines to assure riders that they were welcome in Temecula.
Bikers were “within a half-inch of blacklisting Temecula” after the crackdown, said Ron Muir, owner of Slap N’ Leather, a biker apparel shop in Old Town.

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