Last week we talked about a couple that was thankful to us and Outlaw helmets for saving their lives, and we knew that while we really didn’t do anything (other than make Outlaw helmets available), we still recognized just how lucky the couple was to survive an accident involving a car.
What happened the other day in NYC, though, is both tragic and frustrating to report. A man in an SUV accidentally hit a motorcyclist on the Henry Hudson Parkway Sunday afternoon, and it appears that the reason he hit the biker was because said biker was messing around and purposefully slowing down to try and get a rise out of the driver. When the motorist, Alexian Lien, stopped his car he was instantly surrounded by dozens of bikers who, according to mixed reports, began cursing, yelling, and making violent threats against the man and his family.
Mr. Lien, at this point, makes a bad decision and peels away from the accident, according to him, because he was fearful for his and his wife and daughter’s safety. He runs over a couple bikes (luckily no one else was injured) and tries to make an escape. It’s at this point that what the group of bikers should have done diverged from what actually happened. The bikers should have made sure that the license plate of Lien was taken down and reported the accident and hit and run to the police. Instead, a group of them decided to act as vigilantes, and chased the young family in the SUV to a stop light, where they then smashed in the man’s window using a helmet, pulled him from the car and beat him savagely.
While it may not be a popular opinion, I for one feel that bikers have to be better than everyone else on the road. We have to ride smart. We have to use our head. We have to have the right amount of fear. Fear of what could happen to us, fear of the power of the machine between our legs, etc. That fear cannot cripple us, but it should be there to keep us humble and keep us alert.
What happened in this New York City scene, though, showed a group of bikers be worse than everyone on the road. These bikers road recklessly on the highway in too large a group, in too close of a proximity to one another, and when one of them showboated and slowed down he got hit. The car driver had made, according to other car driver reports, every attempt to go slow and just let the bike group pass, however some of the bikers just acted like fools and seemingly enjoyed surrounding cars and riding irresponsibly. When the accident happened the bikers further made things worse by not letting the police do their job. This was an accident. A hit and run, sure, but the man has said that threats were being made against his family and himself and he felt he needed to run. Whether that ends up being true or not, there was no excuse for the bikers to go and assault the man after the fact. They were wrong, and they have given bikers yet another stain against us by grabbing front-page headlines all across the country.
Whether we like it or not, what some of us do affects the image of the rest of us. When some of us act like jackasses and do wheelies on the highway at 90mph, the rest of us get stuck at police checkpoints — meant specifically for bikers — because people have come to expect that a majority of us are irresponsible when we’re on two wheels. It may not be fair, but this is what happens.
We are glad that no one lost their lives in this accident, and we wish a speedy recovery to everyone involved. Everyone, on both sides of this accident made mistakes. I feel that bikers have to be better than car drivers, though. Because the rest of the world is always watching, and just begging at times to take away our fun in the name of public safety. I do not want to lose my right to ride, but when things like this happen I fear that politicians are just begging to come up with a law banning bikes, groups of bikers or other, similar things. We have to ride a thin line in the public opinion, due to the safety factor of all of us that ride, and the unsafe riding habits and foolishness of a small, but very vocal minority.
Until next time, ride safe and remember to be the better man.