You knew there had to be more to the story.
The video of the now infamous Mulholland motorcycle crash that took out two bicyclists is rapidly going viral around the world. Soon to be joined by this view of the same collision from the perspective of a motorcyclist trailing the rider who rear-ended the two bikes.
Area resident Chris Willig forwards word that the collision occurred at the aptly named Deadman’s Turn on a section of Mulholland called The Snake by the motorcycling community, and the Rock Store Climb by bicyclists. According to Willig, and another comment from Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious, it’s common for photographers and videographers to position their camera’s there to capture the action.
As Willig put it,
Photographers are there every weekend to capture the parade of cars, motorcycles and cyclists on this particular turn since it approaches 270°. Things happen at this point because drivers aren’t use to negotiating a turn like this.
Speculation has centered on a phenomenon known as target fixation as the cause of the collision, in which riders are unable to avoid whatever they are most focused on.
However, Byron of Bike Hugger points out the camera flash clearly visible in the trailing bike cam video, suggesting that the rider was looking for the photographer rather than focusing on the road ahead of him. Putting the best possible spin on it, it’s also possible that he was distracted by the camera flash, causing him to be out of position on the curve.
According to a source with inside knowledge of the situation, who prefers to remain anonymous, the bike riders were part of an informal ride of roughly 20 to 25 people, including retired pro cyclist and bikewear manufacturer George Hincapie. Hincapie was reportedly some distance ahead when the riders were hit, and may not have been aware of the collision.
This person was following the riders in a sag wagon when they got a call about the collision, and informed two nearby law enforcement officers who were having a car towed from a previous collision. They also stopped to pick up a participant in the ride who was between them and the scene of the collision approximately a quarter-mile ahead.
Good move on their part, since the rider they picked up happened to be the Chief Medical Officer for the Amgen Tour of California, who got right to work moving the more injured of the two riders to a safer position across the roadway.
The first rider to get hit was not part of the ride; he was an unlucky Brit who happened to fall in with the other riders at the wrong place and time. Word is he was not seriously injured; he was taken to a local hospital as a precaution and released the same day.
He may have been fortunate that the motorcyclist hit him almost directly from behind, cushioning the fall as he can be seen landing in the leather-clad rider’s lap.
Amazingly, the second rider, who was part of the riding group, walked away with just a few bruises. I’m told he was riding again the next day, albeit on a borrowed bike.
The motorcycle rider did not have registration for his bike with him, which is why it can be seen being towed at the end of the video.
No word yet on whether charges will be filed; however, my source reports that the police officers on the scene conducted a thorough investigation, including viewing the video of the collision.
But if charges aren’t filed, police will have a lot of explaining to do.
Update: The second video has been removed from You Tube, undoubtedly after realizing that it can, and most likely will, be used as evidence in a both criminal and civil court cases against the rider’s friend; thanks to Caritta for the heads-up.