MotoLadies unite! Hannah Johnson, me, and Janell Mattson outside MotoCorsa. We’re holding the book “Chicks on Bikes” by Christina Shook.
Reviewing the Infamous NYC SUV / Motorcycle Road Race Incident
At first I almost wanted to avoid posting the video of the SUV running over the motorcyclist and then getting pulled out of his car because it was all over the internet already and I’m really not one to “beat a dead horse”. However, after countless people have sent it to be or asked my opinion I figured it’s time to unleash the verbal beat down (on everyone involved). Every report I’ve read about it on huge news sites has been incredibly biased.
Post script addition: Seriously people, I’m not on the motorcycles side here I’m just talking about all the facets of what happened so unbunch your underwear please.
Firstly, I don’t know what happened before all this hubbub when the riders initially surround the SUV and get rear ended. But the fact of the matter is that both parties were being unsafe, the riders should have stayed out of the crazy guy’s way, and the crazy guy should have NOT rear ended the motorcyclist… and definitely not run them over. Bikers should not have mobbed his vehicle, either.
However what I’ve found infuriating is that almost each and every big-news website coverage of this incident includes some classic biker-belittling about how this family in the SUV was just “cruising along” and were surrounded by motorcyclists and how horrifying riding next to 300 bikes must be! Give me a break, motorcyclists ride with thousands of cars five times their size every day. This second-year ride “Hollywood Stuntz” was organized to be a sort of critical mass gathering in Times Square “with well over a thousand motorcycles, dirt bikes, quads, four-wheel vehicles” as the Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly stated.
Secondly, you’re not allowed to run over a motorcyclist with your car. Period, full stop. You’re also not allowed to start beating on someone’s car in the case of an auto collision. Here’s the thing, even Asphalt and Rubber called these riders douchebags and said they’re the reason motorcyclists have a bad name. Well, kind of in a roundabout way… sure. But how many times has the opposite situation happened? One motorcyclist is riding through a crowd of obnoxiously slow four wheeled automobiles, when the guy in front of them decides to slow down to be an asshole because they don’t like motorbikes. Then, all of a sudden you’re hitting both brakes or trying to go around to avoid an accident (don’t follow too close, kids). I think almost anyone that rides can identify with that reality. In this case, the SUV was the lone vehicle surrounded by a group of riders. While they may have been going too fast or too slow, it’s the way of the world and traffic. Sometimes you get on the freeway and there’s a funeral procession, you’re going 30 miles an hour for 45 minutes. Too bad, so sad.
Here’s the original video from Michelinman900’s youtube, more ranting after.
Now let’s take a look at the second portion of the incident, after the initial rear-ending of the sport bike and rider. Dude wearing the camera is too far away for us to see if they were having a normal chat and exchanging insurance information, or if the riders were already exhibiting violence. It’s where this all becomes a “he-said-she-said” affair. If the bikers began beating on his windows at that point, I can see why, with a infant in the car, he sped away in the only method he knew how. That happened to be over three motorcycles, and one rider… leaving him with a broken leg.
At this point, all the motorcyclists saw was their buddy get run over and a car speeding off. I would have chased after him too- written down his license plate and pulled over to call the Police. Vigilante justice just does not work in the modern times we live in, people. This is not Mad Max: Road Warrior (although some of us might not mind that so much).
The SUV is then chased down for minutes upon minutes until it’s blocked in downtown traffic. Their windows get busted by a helmet wielding bloke who throws down his bike to launch the attack. Shortly thereafter the man is pulled from his car and the video stops. He was treated at the hospital for bruises to his face, back and stomach, and a cut on his face. His wife and child were not harmed.
One participant in the ride called this a “family type” event where a bunch of different crews get together one last time before summer is over. Meanwhile, on the New York Times website…
This year, though, the police were ready, with checkpoints set up to inspect the bikes and their riders at bridges and tunnels into Manhattan. At least 15 people were arrested, mostly on vehicular charges, Mr. Kelly said, and 55 motorcycles were confiscated. This was enough to break up the colossal informal ride, sending splinter groups tearing off in different directions.
For those who regularly drive in and around New York, such columns of motorcycle riders are a common and sometimes frustrating feature of summer weekends.
Wow, yeah. Being frustrated while driving around people participating in an event is really terrible! Again, traffic happens.
It was reported on USA Today that the motorcyclist who supposedly caused the initial accident was charged with reckless endangerment, reckless driving, endangering the welfare of a child and menacing. If he slammed on his brakes in front of that car, he deserves those charges. And I wish that some of the people who’ve brake-checked me over the years would’ve gotten ticketed for oh, ANYTHING.
Long story short, we all need to share the damn road a bit better. Riders remember, while it might not be fair that people automatically assume you’re stunting around popping wheelies and pullin’ burnouts leaving parking lots, there are a lot of people who’ve reinforced that stereotype. Also remember, that just because a motorcyclist enjoys hooligan moments doesn’t mean they’re the type to pull someone out of their car and deliver a beat down.
Massive rides and events always have the potential to be incredibly dangerous- keep your wits about you. Don’t get involved in mob mentality. Don’t trap a human being, because they will act like a caged animal.
We’re all ambassadors for our hobbies, interests, sports… be good, pay it forward. Don’t beat people down in the street, so that videos like this aren’t being features across every News platform in America (and internationally, too) making us all look like violent no-gear-wearing psychopaths.
Posted on October 2, 2013 in Motorcycles by Alicia Mariah Elfving