Why Do They Hate Us?
Ever wonder why there is seething antipathy towards motorcyclists in New York City? Why are responsible riders shouted down at Community Board meetings by residents claiming we’re all a bunch of noisemaking, lawbreaking hooligans? Why do you get a sideways glance when you’re locking up your full-face helmet to your 50 MPG commuting bike?
Sadly, a number of riders seem to be intent on creating the most hostile environment for two-wheelers by offering themselves as the worst possible examples of motorcycling. And as the “squeaky wheels”, their behavior gets the attention while the overwhelming majority of responsible riders are ignored.
On September 4 2011, “Hollywood Stuntz” organized a motorcycle riot at the Gateway Mall in Brooklyn.
They incited hundreds of riders to meet and proceed to endanger the lives of citizens and police officers – not to mention their own – in a terrible display of squidliness. They rode recklessly throughout the city, ignored traffic signals and swerved through the streets, up sidewalks – many with minimal gear, illegal modifications and obscured or missing license plates.
Of course, they documented their dangerous nonsense for YouTube. The ride was advertised “for all our fallen soldiers.” Though it may not be obvious to all, they were referring to friends of theirs who died — not actual military soldiers. We have never met anyone in the military who would want to be represented by this sort of behavior. (And indeed, the armed forces have a history of working with the MSF to promote rider safety.)
If you were on the ride or involved in promoting it, know that it is because of you that motorcyclists are regarded so poorly in this city. You are doing nothing but ruining motorcycling for the rest of us.