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Insider Report: Man charged after bikers swarm SUV driver

Published October 1, 2013

Sunday drive/ride turns terrifying in Manhattan
Warning: I have to start this story with a disclaimer: there is a moment in the following video that is truly shocking, although the New York Police have told the New York Post that no motorcycle riders were injured in this incident.

On Sunday afternoon, a large group of motorcycle riders who claimed to be in an organized ride descended upon Manhattan. The video below, which was shot from the helmet of one of the riders, shows one rider “brake testing” a black Range Rover Sport. Unable to stop in time, the Range Rover driver taps the back of the bike with his bumper. Moments later, a crowd of riders surrounds the SUV, attempting to remove the driver from the vehicle. Fearing for the safety of his wife and child, who are in the vehicle with him, he drives over top of several motorcycles to escape. The pack of riders, 20 to 30 in all, pursues and continually tries to stop the SUV. After close to six minutes, they succeed in stopping the truck. One rider removes his helmet and uses it to bash in the driver’s window before the video stops. Police have told the New York Post the driver was pulled out of the Range Rover and beaten so badly he required stitches.

On Tuesday, police arrested the biker who was involved in the initial accident. He was charged with reckless endangerment, reckless driving, endangering the welfare of a child and menacing. He was not injured.

Police distributed images of two bikers they said were involved in the chase and said they were wanted for assault. It’s believed some of the bikers belong to a gang known as Hollywood Stuntz. Police said the motorcyclists were part of a planned but unauthorized event in which hundreds of riders gathered outside of Manhattan, with the intent of driving into Times Square en masse.

Impatient Russian trucker sinks a floating road
Certain groups of motorists are brought together by certain stereotypes. Motorcyclists (see above), BMW drivers and even truck drivers have been labelled as self centered and other not publishable names. Among each group, there are often sub-categories. Take the dump truck driver for example. If there is a collective group of drivers who behave even worse than taxi drivers, it is the pilots of the dump truck. Lumbering along in the fast lane, spewing windshield destroying rocks when full, all too many of these characters seem to think they are at the wheel of an Indy Car once their load has been lightened. Of course by driving like speedsters, the ever present gravel now leaves the truck at even higher speed, intent on pulverizing windshields of unsuspecting motorists.

And then, there is this guy. Budget always seems to be an issue in the former Soviet Union, so it shouldn’t be too big a surprise to see a floating bridge of sorts for traffic to cross a river. What is difficult to see is that there is actually a second lane submerged beneath the surface of the water. That lane is of no use to cars, but is perfect for an impatient dump truck driver. Needless to say, the weight of the truck submerges the “bridge” even further, causing a Ford Mondeo to actually float.

I wonder if this guy is related to the bike rider above.

Latvala flies through Aussie WRC flying finish
Finnish WRC driver Jari-Matti Latvala is a fan favourite thanks to his social media saavy along with his spectacular driving style. He regularly pops up in social media to comment on items that are posted about him, giving fans real access to the inside scoop.

Regular readers know that I have made many comments about stupid photographers who put themselves in harm’s way on a regular basis. I have never thought to mention the flying finish. In rally, cars are timed on a stage until the cross a finish line, usually somewhere out in the woods. There has to be humans close by to monitor equipment and make manual recordings, which means these folks are often right in the line of fire as drivers try to squeeze out that last ounce of time at the finish. This video, shows just how close to the action they have to be some times.

The top comment on the video from Latvala. A typical Finn, the driver’s comments are rather matter of fact. I can tell you that it must have been pretty frightening for the folks working the finish!

This corner was a finish of SS11 Nambucca. Finish line was on the bridge which was a bit slippy and I ran wide touching the side kerb. The impact moved the position of the car I ran sideways for a long time after finish, but I managed stopped it on the road and no damage was done.

15 Seconds With: 2014 Range Rover
Yes, I know, I drove a Range Rover a couple of weeks ago, but sometimes that’s the way the press fleets roll. This time, my tester for the week is a dark grey model that looks super elegant.

A big part of the appeal of uber luxury vehicles is a dose of theatre that helps set them apart from more pedestrian vehicles. The 2014 Range Rover has theatre in spades, from exterior lighting to lovely interior lighting that would be fitting in an opera house. Sadly, Instagram and my phone camera aren’t good enough in low light to share the interior, but here is a look at the exterior.

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