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Insane russian biker
September 27, 2010 3:29 PM   Subscribe

Insane russian biker (youtube) takes a Yamaha R1 down the Warsaw highway in moscow. Biker culture is taking off in a land where it is too cold to ride for half the year.
posted by Lanark (92 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hope he doesn't take anyone else with him.
posted by rusty at 3:38 PM on September 27, 2010


Somebody's angling for a Darwin Award nomination.
posted by dersins at 3:39 PM on September 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wow, a guy who rode like helped cause the chain reaction that resulted in the kind of terrible car accident I was in a few years back. He, of course, scooted off scot-free.
posted by AlisonM at 3:42 PM on September 27, 2010


Metafilter won't like this. Metafilter won't like this one bit.
posted by LordSludge at 3:43 PM on September 27, 2010 [18 favorites]


Idiot....

My suggestion... how 'bout if Metafilter doesn't glorify and link to fools that are engaging in behavior that could kill other people.
posted by HuronBob at 3:44 PM on September 27, 2010 [7 favorites]


When it comes to this kinda thing Ghost Rider is the OG.
posted by doublesix at 3:45 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do the Russians require motorcyclists to make an official designation somewhere in order to be an organ donor, or do they just yank out the organs without any sort of permission?
posted by The World Famous at 3:47 PM on September 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


"or do they just yank out the organs without any sort of permission".. they've evidently already taken his brain.
posted by HuronBob at 3:50 PM on September 27, 2010 [7 favorites]


Biker culture is taking off in a land where it is too cold to ride for half the year.

I find that if you protect the hands, face and eyes you can bike fine in decent winter weather. Of course not in the darkest of winter but I think even Moscow climate is doable for more than half the year.
posted by Catfry at 3:50 PM on September 27, 2010


The same thing, but in a car, and in Paris.

On second thought, I wonder if this is what these guys do for fun...
posted by schmod at 3:51 PM on September 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


Related recklessness from above.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 3:53 PM on September 27, 2010


Too cold to bike for half of the year? How EXOTIC!
posted by splice at 3:53 PM on September 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Dead man riding.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:54 PM on September 27, 2010


The same thing, but in a car, and in Paris.

C'était un Rendez-vous - 5 AM, mostly deserted. This video - looks like rush hour. Not really the same thing. Not saying either are cool, but they're way different.
posted by AlisonM at 3:55 PM on September 27, 2010


I got bored halfway through, does he actually do anything insane at some point, or just slightly reckless?
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:55 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


My sympathy is with the rider. If those cars want to park let them do it in a fucking parking lot and stop clogging up the highway. He's moving forward. He's the one using the road as it's intended. It's the billions of cretins camped out on the freeway in two tons of sheet metal that are doing it wrong.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:55 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


The same thing, but in a car, and in Paris.
Except that C'était un Rendez-vous was fake.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 3:56 PM on September 27, 2010


Wow, that guy must have a death wish or something. I completely lost it when he veered into the oncoming traffic lane, and then I lost it again when he went full throttle between the gridlocked cars (several times).

Self-destructive stupidity aside, the Matrix: Reloaded highway music was a pretty appropriate soundtrack for this video.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 3:57 PM on September 27, 2010


Sorry to read that, AlisonM. I'm a motorcyclist, but had I been Governor of Virginia, I would have given John Allen Muhammad back his Bushmaster and Caprice, and given him free license blow every phuquewit squid riding like that right out of the saddle, Easy Rider-style.
posted by mojohand at 4:00 PM on September 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Idiots like this get what they deserve.

The innocent bystanders, not so much.
posted by ixohoxi at 4:02 PM on September 27, 2010


If there's no off-duty cop pulling a gun on him at the end of the video, I will be sorely disappointed.
posted by orme at 4:06 PM on September 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh, and this is business as usual in Baltimore.
posted by ixohoxi at 4:06 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


So in russia, that double white line between the two flows is a motorcycle lane? I guess they have the rest of the world beat there too...
posted by Redhush at 4:21 PM on September 27, 2010


My regular riding buddy is a BMW rider with a pair of thonky-big R100s and a glorious white late sixties vintage R69S. After taking up the pillion seat (I am not a bitch, thank you) for a ride or three on the busy highways around Baltimore, where my buddy was feeling showy and aggressive, albeit nowhere near that scale of squiddiness, I've forced him to ride on my roads, at my pace, behind me on my sweet sweet Stella (a 2 stroke Vespa PX with an Indian accent), to demonstrate that you can actually feel alive and engaged on the road without being a total dick.

Of course, I'll concede we make a funny pair, tootling along the winding country roads between here and my cabin in WV, sort of like a great big German shepherd loping along behind a mechanical beagle going flat-out with its dangly metaphorical ears flopping all over the place like Muppet parts, but I'm making it my mission to demonstrate the potential for gearhead bliss at 45mph. I guess there's some kind of whizzy, in-the-momentness there, but I dunno.

My scooter's on a road that's on the Earth, and the Earth is turning at about a thousand miles an hour. The Earth's also in orbit, 93 million miles out, which means it has to travel 584 million, 335 thousand, 740 miles in a year to get back to New Year's Day, so we're flying through space at almost sixty-seven thousand miles an hour. The whole solar system is orbiting the center of the galaxy at something like five hundred thirty-six thousand miles an hour, and all you gotta do is pause for a second, think about where you are in the universe, and look up.

Then, all that crazy lane-splitting just seems so small.

And I get seventy miles per gallon, which isn't bad, considering I'm flying through space at half a million miles an hour.

How much more excitement do some people need?
posted by sonascope at 4:26 PM on September 27, 2010 [17 favorites]


Besides the obvious recklessness I found this utterly boring. Attention whoring jackass lacks creativity.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:29 PM on September 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


I've won games of Mario Kart with saner driving than that.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:30 PM on September 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm a motorcyclist, and I've done some foolish hot-dogging in my past, but even I was white-knuckled and full-face grimacing just watching that bit of - what's a more insane word than "insanity"? I was only able to stand about two and a half minutes of that, I kept expecting a grisly accident at any moment. Of course, as AlisonM pointed out, that may have happened in the biker's wake....
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:36 PM on September 27, 2010


It's the billions of cretins camped out on the freeway in two tons of sheet metal that are doing it wrong.

You evidently do not have any children.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:36 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


US Confederate flags heavily outnumbered Russian flags at the Maloyaroslavets festival . . .

Huh. Just . . . huh. I put it down to Skynyrd.

Can anybody with Russian driving experience explain why the cops aren't on him like ugly on an ape? I don't hear sirens, or even the honking and yelling that would ensue on an American road.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:45 PM on September 27, 2010


also, I'm with HuronBob.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:52 PM on September 27, 2010


WOW that dude is a solid rider...amazing vision to see the pathways. Hot shit.
posted by vito90 at 4:56 PM on September 27, 2010


HA I love the wheelies too. BALLS.
posted by vito90 at 4:57 PM on September 27, 2010


Countess Elena.. you were looking for Russian cops doing their jobs? Tell me you weren't serious.

I lived on a street in Moscow where every night (in summer) was illegal drag racing night. Not once was the sound of sirens heard. Unless something like this happens, the cops just take their "fee" and look the other way.
posted by vidur at 5:06 PM on September 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Biker culture. I'm not clear on what this phrase means.

But the video reminds me of one night I was staying at my aunt's place in BC. About two o'clock in the morning you can hear a bike go by on the road below her house. It's kind of curvy, but it's a residential street. The bike starts going through the gears, and he's winding it up to the top of each gear... and then it stops. There's a hard left and a rock wall about two km down the road, which is what the guy hit at basically top speed. He was 18 or 19 years old.

So I'm not sure how viable this culture is.
posted by sneebler at 5:12 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Warsaw highway? He sure got a lot of joy out of that lane division.
posted by googly at 5:20 PM on September 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


Biker culture. I'm not clear on what this phrase means.

Well the "biker culture" link is all about Harleys, which is pretty much the opposite of the judgment-impaired adrenaline junkies of the sort depicted in the first video. Two completely different cultures, one is about riding the shit out of a fast, relatively inexpensive bike and probably dying rather messily of it; the other is about trailering and garaging a ridiculously expensive amalgam of chrome and paint wrapped around a core set of mechanicals unchanged since about 1910, occasionally riding it about one mile in nice weather, but mostly just standing next to it and having a beer. That's not one culture, that's two with very little to do with each other. The Harley guys are a whole lot more likely to die of old age, I'll give them that much.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:21 PM on September 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


The text at the beginning reads: "A couple of minutes in the life of a biker can be more interesting than many people's entire lives."
posted by griphus at 5:23 PM on September 27, 2010


I was hoping for bicycles.
posted by Sreiny at 5:28 PM on September 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


George... sheesh, what a narrow minded stereotype. If someone talked like that about an ethnic group it would be considered racist and stupid...

At least that comment isn't racist.
posted by HuronBob at 5:38 PM on September 27, 2010


> And I get seventy miles per gallon, which isn't bad, considering I'm flying through space at half a million miles an hour.

To be fair, you've got a hell of a tail wind.
posted by ardgedee at 5:45 PM on September 27, 2010


Catfry writes "I find that if you protect the hands, face and eyes you can bike fine in decent winter weather. Of course not in the darkest of winter but I think even Moscow climate is doable for more than half the year."

Ya, just because water has frozen doesn't mean one needs to put their bike away.
posted by Mitheral at 5:48 PM on September 27, 2010


HuronBob, you can argue with Greg's characterizations of sportbike and cruiser culture, but you really can't argue that they're the same and interchangeable.

The linked video was unfortunate and gives ammunition to people who dislike motorcycles ("I hope he dies quickly," third comment from the top.) It is a display of astonishingly poor judgment. I can think of lots of ways to wring my hands about this movie and nothing to say in its favor. So isn't this just more recreational outrage?

Before anyone jumps on me, read my profile. I live and breathe motorcycles. I make my living with motorcycles.
posted by workerant at 5:51 PM on September 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


amazing vision to see the pathways

Agreed. He might be insane, dangerous, inconsiderate, etc., but he's also an incredibly good driver.

Here in Massachusetts, we have a very active "Motorcycle Awareness" program run by the state. Its slogan, which you can find flashing on highway signs across the state, is "Motorcycles Are Everywhere — Check Twice, Save a Life." (Other states have similar programs.) I agree that motorcycle accidents and fatalities are terrible things and we should try to prevent them, but upon seeing these signs my first thought is always: Why are car drivers the ones who need to be urged to look out for motorcycles? For one thing, if there is an accident, the guy in the car will be the one who survives. But more to the point... When is the last time you saw a motorcyclist on the highway and thought, "Wow, what a respectful and considerate driver!"
posted by cribcage at 5:53 PM on September 27, 2010


"a land where it is too cold to ride for half the year"

Utah?
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 5:56 PM on September 27, 2010


"When is the last time you saw a motorcyclist on the highway and thought, "Wow, what a respectful and considerate driver!"

actually, pretty often... That's why idiots like this piss me off.. One of these fools will undo what a lot of considerate bikers can do in shaping opinion.

workerant "but you really can't argue that they're the same and interchangeable." I'm not sure what you mean by this.
posted by HuronBob at 5:59 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, I thought this was amusing. There was an interesting article in the New Yorker recently about the traffic in Moscow. It is apparently insanely congested and frustrating, mainly because people are selfish and inconsiderate; all of which help explain somebody pulling a stunt like this.
The full article isn't online but there is a nice promo video in which the author Keith Gessen talks about it.
posted by Flashman at 6:21 PM on September 27, 2010


confirmation bias, cribcage. You don't think about or notice the majority that are driving well.
posted by flaterik at 6:23 PM on September 27, 2010


I love that film of the car tearing around Paris. The sound of the engine barking in the downshifts... nice.

The Russian video was a lot less dramatic than some other motorcycles-on-ring-roads videos I've seen on the web. The one that makes me want to curl up and whimper is the "ghost rider" one linked above -- he is riding so far past any margin of safety that at every moment I expect disaster.

And the early scenes in the film Taxi prove you don't need big horsepower to ride beyond the limits of common sense.
posted by Forktine at 6:23 PM on September 27, 2010


Can anybody with Russian driving experience explain why the cops aren't on him like ugly on an ape? I don't hear sirens, or even the honking and yelling that would ensue on an American road.


I drive I95 near Baltimore quite a bit and at least once a month I see a biker gang racing, doing probably easily over 100, filtering traffic. It's pretty cool to see, but also sort of terrifying, because what if you make a lane change that they don't see and run into you?
posted by codacorolla at 6:29 PM on September 27, 2010


You don't think about or notice...

I spend an inordinate amount of time driving, and ever since the "Motorcycles Are Everywhere" program began I have been deliberately noticing. (Like I said, it was my first thought.) And I reiterate: I can't remember the last time I saw a motorcyclist and was impressed by what a respectful driver he was. In the vast majority of instances, they are zipping past other traffic, usually on the right.

Maybe it's different where you live. (Seriously.) I've read that in some states, for instance, it is legal for motorcycles to weave between traffic. Maybe the culture is totally different in other places. But around Boston, the idea that automobile drivers need to take pause and think about their motorcycle-riding brothers is...backward.
posted by cribcage at 6:31 PM on September 27, 2010


The camera lens is making the lane-split space look much narrower than it actually is. He goes between a car and another bike at one point in the video, which is probably under half the space he "normally" rides in, and doesn't seem at risk of hitting either of them. In every place where his path gives him a decision to make, he manages to make a decision that keeps him alive and moving forward at a high speed. What he's doing is a stupid thing, but he's doing it very competently.

What gives me the heebie-jeebies about this is: only sheer luck is keeping his path clear of hazards that would give him no options at all. A sudden, unsignalled lane-change from any of maybe two hundred cars shown in that video would have killed him. Something unexpectedly behind a vision-blocking truck or SUV. Even someone in lane 2 starting to change lanes to lane 3, noticing someone in lane 3 who was in their blind spot, swerving back into lane 2, swerving a little too far into lane 1, startling someone in lane 1 just enough to make them swerve a little bit over the median line (a sequence of events I've seen, even been in, multiple times) ... and this guy is a goner.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:37 PM on September 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


cribcage... nationwide 70% of motorcycle accidents are caused by the failure of another vehicle to "see" the motorcycle. Being aware is NOT "backward".
posted by HuronBob at 6:41 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


only sheer luck is keeping his path clear of hazards that would give him no options at all.

Exactly. Technical skill only keeps you alive for so long when you're pulling shit like that. The problem is that you can't predict what everyone else on the road is going to do. I kept waiting for someone to make an unsignalled lane-change into a space that just opened up next to them - as people do all the time - and seeing him eat it. If he keeps riding like that, I give him five years. But he sure does know how to weave that bike.
posted by Dasein at 6:42 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here's a random linky to avoid the sign in hassle (warning lots of ads & the first thing you see is a screen cap, second is the actual embedded video).
posted by zenon at 6:58 PM on September 27, 2010


Maybe it's just me, but that video seemed sped up. I kept looking for a pedestrian or something to judge it by.
posted by Crash at 7:14 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well the "biker culture" link is all about Harleys, which is pretty much the opposite of the judgment-impaired adrenaline junkies of the sort depicted in the first video.

It's judgment impaired vs. hearing impaired.
posted by delmoi at 7:17 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe it's just me, but that video seemed sped up.

Huh, I hadn't thought of that. But if the final section were sped up it would be pretty difficult to tell.
posted by delmoi at 7:18 PM on September 27, 2010


In the vast majority of instances, they are zipping past other traffic, usually on the right.

Where I live, a lot of tired people like to catch up on their sleep while cruising in the left lane.
posted by ovvl at 7:19 PM on September 27, 2010


There are two different criminal cultures based around bikes - one is American inspired (and funded), and they ride Harleys or old Russian Urals restored and hopped up. Mostly harleys, as they're stolen in another country and fenced in Russia by the Outlaws or one of their competitors.

The other are modeled after Japanese Bosozuku, or Speed Tribes. Mostly younger thugs obsessed with heavily modified high-end sport bikes. We have them here in the US, too - much less centralized than the One Percenters, and not really rivals. Mostly petty theft and fencing rings as opposed to smuggling, cooking meth and chop-shops.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:47 PM on September 27, 2010


WOW that dude is a solid rider...

No, he's an irresponsible dick and reckless rider who is gleefully endangering the lives of other bikers and drivers on the road.

N'thing other comments re: organ donation. :-p
posted by pianoboy at 8:01 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe it's different where you live. (Seriously.) I've read that in some states, for instance, it is legal for motorcycles to weave between traffic. Maybe the culture is totally different in other places.

Well, I live in los angeles, where lane splitting is legal and expected. I don't quite get people's distaste for it, but I won't reshash that argument here. You're right that traffic cultures are different in different areas, and I was never bothered by motorcycles before I was a rider either.
posted by flaterik at 8:14 PM on September 27, 2010


couple years ago the Independent Florida Alligator (a student rag around UF) had a piece about a motorcyclist who attained the astonishing speed of 115 mph on a congested stretch right in front of the University at about 6:45 p.m. on a weeknight before smashing into the tailgate of a pickup truck stopped in traffic. According to the headline, the rider was "slain" in the accident.

Ever since then, MrDoodley and I remind each other before getting on our bikes, "Don't drive too fast - you don't want to get slain!"
posted by toodleydoodley at 8:24 PM on September 27, 2010


HuronBob writes "cribcage... nationwide 70% of motorcycle accidents are caused by the failure of another vehicle to 'see' the motorcycle. Being aware is NOT 'backward'."
Like many sound bites that statement is missing an important caveat that the 70% figure is for multi vehicle accidents. Depending on who you believe around 25% of motorcycle accidents don't involve other vehicles. Speaking specifically to this video, and if lane splitting is legal where it was taken, if some driver had shifted lanes while this turkey was being reckless it could be blamed on the driver not seeing even though the accident was obviously because of the riders actions (it's extremely common for aggregate causes of accidents to sum to more than 100%). This summary of the October 2001 report "Fatal Single Vehicle Motorcycle Crashes" (DOT HS 809 360) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims that "Almost two thirds of the fatalities were associated with speeding as an operator contributing factor in the crash" IE: speed by the rider is as much a factor as drivers not seeing motorcycles.

That site also says "Nearly one out of five motorcycle drivers (18%) involved in fatal crashes in 1998 was operating with an invalid license at the time of the collision." I sure would like to see a break down of reasons for licenses being invalid and how it compares to drivers. That 18% probably constitute many if not most of the crazy motorcycle riders people see.

Finally I imagine a good percentage of car=car collisions are the result of one of the drivers not "seeing" the other so motorcycles aren't unique in this regard. Better driver training would help everyone one out there; even those who aren't operating a motor vehicle.

Around here I see lots of good motorcycle riders and I haven't seen truly insane stuff like this in quite a while. My experienceselection/confirmation bias is that the greatest level of idiocy is from people of all strips driving small cars but that is probably related to small cars apparent attraction to the underside of medium duty trucks.

Crash writes "Maybe it's just me, but that video seemed sped up. I kept looking for a pedestrian or something to judge it by."

Would have been a lot of work to re-record all the engine noise to match the video. Mind you I was amazed at how clear and lacking in wind noise the audio was so maybe that is why.
posted by Mitheral at 8:44 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Flashman, I can't read the Keith Gessen article (not a subscriber, and the video isn't working for me), but if he implies (going by your impression of the article) that Moscow's traffic woes are because people are selfish and inconsiderate, then he is an ass. It is unfortunate that you think his article somehow explains the bike stunt linked here.

I have lived in Russia long enough (3.5 years), and in different cities (Russia =/= Moscow) to know (okay, to have a strong opinion) that Russia's problems (yes, pretty much all of them) are a direct result of bad governance.

Read this to see how car insurance in Russia works. A quick excerpt:

"Insurance in Russia doesn't work the same way as in America. After you get into an accident, you call up a police officer. Until he arrives, you can't move the cars. So usually by the time the officer arrives (in about an housr [sic]), there are many more wrecked vehicles on the road. After the officer shows up, the interesting negotiations begin."

During my very first week in Moscow, I was stuck in a traffic jam so bad that it look me 4.5 hours to travel 10km (I experienced worse in the months to come). If the weather wasn't so bad, I would have walked the distance. In fact, many Russians did leave their cars on the sidewalks and went away on foot (free roadside parking is the norm in most places in Russia). The reason for the jam? Two cars had collided and blocked 3 lanes. Since you can't move the car till police shows up and takes measurements (and takes other things, lets just say), traffic starts piling up pretty quickly. If the police aren't there soon enough, the traffic jam makes it that much harder for the police itself to reach the site. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Not sure how calling people "selfish" can help us understand this better.

Sorry to have posted such a long comment, but that sort of characterization of a people just doesn't fly well with me.

PS: Big fan of Flashman!
posted by vidur at 8:54 PM on September 27, 2010


Христа, что мудак!
posted by mazola at 9:43 PM on September 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


I want to clip that motherfuck with my old Volvo so bad. That being said..

George... sheesh, what a narrow minded stereotype. If someone talked like that about an ethnic group it would be considered racist and stupid..

"I hate mayonnaise."

"Man, if you replaced 'mayonnaise' with 'black people', how would THAT sound? BIGOT."

Seriously, that kind of imaginary racism-summoning happens a bit too frequently on MeFi. Is there a name for that particular logical fallacy? Aside from just a plain ol' false equivalency, I suppose..
posted by FatherDagon at 11:05 PM on September 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


For catharsis: Squid contests speeding ticket
posted by benzenedream at 1:26 AM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Four wheels good, two wheels bad!
posted by pracowity at 1:39 AM on September 28, 2010


My suggestion... how 'bout if Metafilter doesn't glorify and link to fools that are engaging in behavior that could kill other people.

So much for talking about politics, then.
posted by Evilspork at 1:39 AM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


What gets to me is not so much the faith that no-one will suddenly change lanes or pop open the door, but more the faith that he's the only one on the road pulling this kind of stunt at the time.
What do they have? Some kind of "asshole register" where you reserve a stretch of road beforehand?
posted by labberdasher at 1:55 AM on September 28, 2010


Form up and stay alert, we could run out of space real fast.
posted by Molesome at 3:57 AM on September 28, 2010


It could only have been more cringe-inducing if he had been doing it while going up a 1780ft radio tower.

Solid rider? Sure. Horrible judgement though and riding with other drivers around you judgement is a very big part of being 'solid.'
posted by From Bklyn at 5:24 AM on September 28, 2010


He's not that smart, but mad skillz and giant balls. Didn't know russia uses the center line as a motorcycle lane. Haters keep hating.
posted by HyperBlue at 5:32 AM on September 28, 2010


So, just for clarification, is this at all legal to do in Russia? I kept wondering why he wasn't getting pulled over, and I suppose it has to be either that what he's doing is perfectly fine, or the police just don't care (or are perhaps stretched too thin).
posted by menschlich at 6:39 AM on September 28, 2010


My Aunt is a floor nurse at EJGH and they call them Donor-cycles....that's where they get the best internals. Usually a "young" person eats it and others get to benefit from the brain dead rider. I "used" to streetbike here, a cruiser though (now we 4wheel in the dirt) and this city isn't exactly biker-friendly. I was more worried about what I might do/have done to those that don't/didn't see me. Around here it's usually 18-25 year olds on stretched out Huyabussa's and R1's and Z14's that get thrown off of an overpass 1-29 days after getting these high power crotch-rockets.
posted by winks007 at 6:57 AM on September 28, 2010


Biker culture is taking off in a land where it is too cold to ride for half the year.

Are we talking about Minnesota?

For what it's worth, I don't split lanes or pass on the right on my 30 year old junker, but then again, I don't take it on the interstate either. But somehow I still have to deal with the stink eye from every person who got scared stiff by one of these hyperactive clowns when I take it out to get bread and milk. If I had to identify with any sort of "culture" (me, culture? *snort*) I'd probably identify with cheap-ass handymen and mechanics who keep things running just because. "Biker culture" (we'll assume it is any sort of single entity) is as boring to me as the people who exclusively wear Warner Brothers characters or who militantly prefer Pepsi over Coke.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 7:42 AM on September 28, 2010


One time I was driving outside of some major US metropolis I was traveling to at the time on a freeway at night when we got slowed down by the rubberneckers gawking at a scene of carnage on the other side of the freeway. This was right at the tail end of rush hour so the crash clearly had taken place in rush hour, but that was confusing as to how an accident of magnitude enough to shut down 4 full lanes of traffic on the other side could have happened with so many cars moving so slowly. Usually its the typical fender-bender bullshit where somebody was tailgating someone else too closely.

And then we saw the van. The van was a white family minivan, and from the front I could tell it was a Ford. From the back - well, there was no back. Literally: the back half of the van had been crammed forward into the front half by sheer blunt force. It was as if a comet, flying vertically on the freeway at 10 times the speed of the van had hit it in a direct impact from behind. There was literally a twisted metal crater where the back of the van should have been.

It was clear no car could have done damage like that - it didn't look anything like a car rear-ended by another car ever looks like. More to the point - there wasn't the wreckage of another car anywhere to be seen. There was only that van, and what after staring at them for a moment became evident: small parts of a motorcycle. The thing had literally exploded into hundreds of pieces of shrapnel, on impact.

It was on the news later - on his way through the back of the van the biker had killed the kid in the back seat when his helmet impacted her head at that speed. The impact of the bike left 2 other kids in the van with massive injuries. He passed mercifully between the two parents (minor injuries), through the windshield, and was finally stopped by the back of the car in front of that van at the time.

When I see this all I can think of is that scene - what was once a white van, a red (from what I could gather) motorcycle, an insane biker, and a happy little family. None of which would ever be again.
posted by allkindsoftime at 7:48 AM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Vidur - No, you're right and I was wrong. He actually said that the traffic problem was mainly due to bad policy and bureaucratic malfeasance, and only partly due to selfishness (e.g. people blocking intersections on a red light) . I just decided to misrepresent his point to try and make a rather weak one of my own, and that was naughty of me.
Sorry you couldn't watch the video. I knew the article itself wasn't available online but I thought the video would be watchable anywhere. If you'd like to read the article, metamail me your address and I'll send you the magazine.
posted by Flashman at 9:11 AM on September 28, 2010


I want to clip that motherfuck with my old Volvo so bad.

You wish to murder him.

I don't even know how to respond to that. I hope we never share a road, that's for sure.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:11 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't know if this is more or less terrifying than the radio tower vid the other day. It doesn't engender the same sympathetic feelings of vertigo, but the sense of impending death at one slip is still palpable...

I wonder if YouTube and it's ilk is culpable when a situation like this goes wrong...
posted by benzo8 at 9:34 AM on September 28, 2010


> I wonder if YouTube and it's ilk is culpable when a situation like this goes wrong...

No, YouTube didn't sponsor the guy to do something massively stupid. The blame is entirely in the hands of the biker, nebulous societal pressures notwithstanding.

Not to mention, if a situation like that went wrong we probably wouldn't have any video from it because of SMASH.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:51 AM on September 28, 2010


Must be a motorcycle thread:
*immediate Darwin reference
*Meta-Metafilter: "Metafilter doesn't glorify and link to fools"
*Ennui of it all: "I got bored halfway through"
*Cagers are to blame:"billions of cretins camped out on the freeway in two tons of sheet metal"
*Glad when he's dead: "Idiots like this get what they deserve."
*Glad when I kill him: "I want to clip that motherfuck with my old Volvo so bad. "
*Think of the children:"You evidently do not have any children."
*Think of the Vespas:"And I get seventy miles per gallon, which isn't bad"
*Think of the possible racism:"If someone talked like that about an ethnic group..."
*Think of the (tasty tasty) organs: "My Aunt... call[s] them Donor-cycles...."

-sigh-

Could be a bicycle thread, too.

Here's some links to nongeneric content: Mad skillz by pros. Data? How about the Hurt study. And there's a fresh study in the works. Doesn't all this talk of motorcycles just make you want to BARF? This link is MSF.
posted by lothar at 10:01 AM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Could be a bicycle thread, too.

Maybe someone can dig up a similar clip from Israel or Texas?
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:39 AM on September 28, 2010


Either Lanark hasn't been here long enough to know how posting this kind of stuff inevitably goes down or this thread is borderline trolling. As lothar commented above, this has turned into yet another cut-and-paste Metafilter motorcycle discussion complete with faux outrage and predictable organ donor anecdotes. Bleugh.
posted by NeonSurge at 12:29 PM on September 28, 2010


the other is about trailering and garaging a ridiculously expensive amalgam of chrome and paint wrapped around a core set of mechanicals unchanged since about 1910, occasionally riding it about one mile in nice weather, but mostly just standing next to it and having a beer.

While I agree to some extent that many "bikers" need to get out and actually ride once in awhile, Harley mechanicals are "unchanged since 1910" in roughly the same way car engines are similarly unchanged. That is, they are totally different. Take apart a '45 knucklehead, then a new twin cam, and the differences are vast. Yes, both are air-cooled V-twins. But the changes (and the amount of R&D behind them) are obvious to anyone mechanically experienced.

Also, while not as prevalent in some areas as the trailering lawyer-types, there are an awful lot of Harley guys who don't own cars and who drive every single day. I'm lucky enough to know quite a few (although I ride a Triumph.)

My suggestion: Don't get all your information from television. Or from YouTube.
posted by coolguymichael at 12:51 PM on September 28, 2010


There's nothing faux about my outrage. Dude is riding like a fucking halfwit. He doesn't DESERVE to die, but if he rides like that there's a damn good chance he will, and it will be largely of his own doing.
posted by dersins at 12:53 PM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Agreed. He might be insane, dangerous, inconsiderate, etc., but he's also an incredibly good driver.

No, an incredibly good driver would understand that such reckless driving endangers everyone around, including the driver, and would not be so retardedly stupid about it all.

You wish to murder him.

I don't even know how to respond to that. I hope we never share a road, that's for sure.


And I hope that if you drive like this and approve of drivers like this that you never, ever share a road with anyone, ever.

IMO the sudden death or incarceration of such a driver is better for everyone. He'll kill himself eventually anyway, all we want to do is take away his ability to kill others.
posted by splice at 1:01 PM on September 28, 2010


WTF, splice? That's a lot of unfounded conjecture about me.

Deliberately hitting him with a car is plain old murder. You can't whitewash that.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:10 PM on September 28, 2010


Is there a name for the thing where you deliberately misconstrue a hyperbolic statement as a literal one? If not, I propose calling it the five fresh fish fallacy.
posted by dersins at 1:13 PM on September 28, 2010


This guy should move to São Paulo; he'd do just fine in the 200 km of traffic jams that occur on rainy Friday afternoons starting at around noon.

Not to say I'd recommend trying it that fast; I've never seen lane changes as abrupt and unexpected as those that occur on freeways in Brazil.
posted by ChrisR at 2:12 PM on September 28, 2010


As a rider, I do not find it hyperbolic at all. I have had inattentive and aggressive drivers threaten my safety. My wife was run over by a careless driver, and the consequences have been permanently life-changing.

So basically, a hearty "fuck you" to anyone that thinks they are joking about hitting a motorcyclist, regardless how much an ass the rider is.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:46 PM on September 28, 2010


You may not want those organs.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:01 PM on October 2, 2010


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