How to Gain Internet Fame in Three Easy Steps
- Make sure your video camera is on.
- Do something really stupid.
- Blame it on something implausible.
This will gain you a lot of sympathetic responses from people who are not familiar with what you were doing, as well as a lot of scorn from people who know exactly what you did and are dismissive of your explanation. Both of these groups will forward and share until the cows come home, and your 15 minutes of fame will be established.
Today’s example: an unfortunate young man in Minnesota crashed his motorcycle at speed over a cliff and then, from his hospital bed, “explained” that his “steering locked up.”
The steering on a motorcycle cannot “lock up.” In the old days many motorcycles had steering dampers that could be adjusted to alter the steering response, and if the damper was screwed all the way down the motorcycle would be reluctant to turn. I rode a Harley XCLR café racer with this circumstance, but it would still turn.
The Internet is twittering with experienced riders viewing the video and then offering an explanation. He was on the brakes not hard enough or too hard (either will work), and then as impending doom loomed in his brain he stared at where he did not want the motorcycle to go – and the motorcycle followed his gaze.
Others who think they know about motorcycles have offered up the old favorite. “He should have laid it down.”
Gack! This drives me crazy! How long will this myth survive? A motorcycle can stop so much faster on it wheels and on the brakes than sliding on its side. Creating a crash on purpose is not the solution in any case.
A class or two in motorcycle safety might have prevented this accident, or it might not have. Excessive speed into a corner is an easy mistake to make, even for experienced riders, and most have come close to this sort of accident a time or two. Hopefully a long time ago when under the influence of enthusiasm and testosterone and inexperience, and it will not be repeated.
But – motorcycle steering does not lock up.
At least he has fame, however brief, to prop up his ego in recovery. He states that he will not ride a motorcycle again, and I think that is a good choice. I wish him well.
Copyright 2017 David A. Preston