The truth of the matter is that we may never know exactly what happened. News reports state there is a 9-11 call to dispatchers to report motorcyclists driving erratically. One of them in the video does clearly cut in front of the SUV and appear to slow down dangerously. What happened before that I don't know. Why would he act that way?
The driver supposedly did stop after accidentally hitting one of them but then feared for his life afterward, being surround as he was by pissed off bikers. Many of whom supposedly slashed the tires and attacked the SUV. Frankly I don't blame him for being afraid. Nor do I blame many of the bikers for chasing after the diver after he clearly run over a bike badly injuring another biker (who is still in the hospital at the time of this article). Truthfully if I felt threatened and my wife and 2-year old child where in the car...I might have done the same thing.
Sadly by the time all this comes to a conclusion the public will have moved on and all that will be left is the video of "crazy bikers."
Images matter. I have to be honest I was unsure if I was going to comment on this. I am unsure if I should. I am not part of the greater motorcycling community. I'm just a guy that enjoys riding over 10K to 15K a year. I don't particularly like group rides but if given the chance I'll go. I'm still new to riding (roughly 3 years now) and I don't think I'll ever stop learning something about it.
|Hell, I'm scared just looking at the picture|
We have done it ourselves. I understand why leather and denim became part of our "uniform". I get that loud pipes can save a life. I understand how the "outlaw" image is attractive. I get that. I even understand how Hollywood and the media will play something up. It's given us an image that is hard to shake...that of the "badass." But we do lots of stupid things too. Things that make the general public question "bikers" and reinforce that image of a sex and drug crazed manic.
Not that I am without sin. I've done stupid stuff too. I've pushed the bike at higher speeds than I probably should and have done some lane splitting when stuck in traffic on the way to work due to construction. But when I see morons (yes, that's the term) doing twice or three times the speed limit in traffic I have to shake my head. One of the people I work with even carries a gun on him when he rides!
When I see lane splitting done when there is no reason for it and wheelies in traffic. You have to wonder why? What is the purpose? What is the reason? What does Mr and Mrs Jones in the mini-van think? What do you think they will say when little Johnny wants a motorcycle?
I get it...I really do.
Motorcyclists do a ton of good deeds. From toy runs at Christmas to poker runs for sick kids to the Patriot Guard. Good deeds are always so much subtler than evil ones. The video of the bikers attacking the SUV is forever out there. Forever tainting the majority of bikers that ride safely and well. That will reach out to help someone when they can. The 1001 good deeds bikers do simply don't matter because of a six minute video.
At the end of the day most bikers are good people. Most people are good people, and I would hope that this incident in New York was an abomination. We are all tainted with it now.