Engineers Gone Wild
We’ve seen plenty of speed records over the years here at CMG: Fastest wheelie on ice, quickest electric motorcycle, that sort of thing. Motorcyclists are always trying to go faster.
What we haven’t seen is motorcyclists trying to go faster while doing a headstand … haven’t seen, that is, until now.
That’s because UK stuntman Marco George has just set a new record for the fastest motorcycle headstand, hitting 122.6 km/h at the Straightliners World’s Fastest Wheelie Competition in the UK last month. George smashed the previous record, which was 48 km/h. His record-setting attempt was delayed when he had to purchase a helmet that met organizers’ safety standards, but with all that settled (George is an engineer by trade, and obviously a very Cautious and Careful Person), he broke the record. He was tempted to go faster, but he’d told his mum he’d stop if he hit 70 mph (112 km/h). Safety first, after all!
Kent in hot water
Remember Danny Kent, the Moto3 champ in 2015 (more recently, 25th overall in 2018’s Moto2 season)? He’s racing in British Superbike now, and he’s lucky — he almost ended up being told to Go To Jail, Do Not Pass Go.
Kent was grabbed by the bobbies last month after he was involved in an altercation, and a knife was found on the ground afterwards. Since this was in the UK, where they really look down on this sort of thing, Kent was hauled off to court. There, he told the judge he and his brother had been trying to collect a debt. Maybe one of his sponsors hadn’t paid up? In any case, the story was that he’d not planned to stab anyone, he just had the knife in his pocket because he’d needed it for work. Presumably he meant a job other than roadracing, although it’s possible the knife could come in handy if he was sharing the track with Romano Fenati.
Anyway, Kent’s story managed to keep him out of jail. He’s got a four-month suspended sentence.
Just because the police almost locked up Danny Kent doesn’t mean that we think they’re a bunch of no-fun nerds. Nosirree, and for proof, just see the following video, shot in British Columbia this summer:
Anyone have an explanation for this? @BCRCMP @BCRCMPTraffic #yyjtraffic @CTVNewsAndrew @GlobalBC @JoePerkinsCHEK @IRPlawyer @mikefarnworthbc @SookePocketNews @kris_sims @Adam_Stirling @cbcnewsbc @steeletalk @CBCGloria pic.twitter.com/EacLYmIKdo
— Derek Lewers (@critiklthinking) August 15, 2019
After this hit Twitter, the RCMP confirmed the officer involved was under investigation, and the stunt team involved confirmed they’d take the officer as a member of their team any day. At this point, we still haven’t heard if the officer still has his job, or if he’s gone to the dark side, absconding with his RCMP-issue motorcycle, slapping on a motorcycle mohawk helmet, and doing dank wheelies with the rest of the hoodlums on the street, leaving the rest of his no-fun nerd colleagues behind.
Okay, it’s no secret that social media influencers have taken over the motojournalism scene, much to the dismay of the over-the-hill oldsters who’ve run the scene for years. Now we’ve all got to go get cool haircuts and new clothes, instead of hiding behind our keyboards and complaining about motorcycle seats … er, let’s get back on track. This tale of motorcycle haphazardry concerns Tiffany Mitchell, an Instagram influencer from Nashville, who recently posted photos of a motorcycle crash. So terrifying, right? And so brave!
Now, to be clear, if there’s a lesson to be learned, we’re all about posting the stories of mayhem and mishaps. People like Brittany Morrow are making the world a safer place, due to their post-crash advocacy.
However, there’s been a lot of speculation about Ms. Mitchell’s crash sequence. First, she seemed in pretty good shape after the incident (maybe because “We all drove back to my house with a green light from angels that cleaned me up in the ambulance, sat with our new friends listening to music and laughing until I fell asleep.” Sounds like a great post-crash experience, better than my humdrum “soak in the shower to wash the gravel out of your wounds” routine).
Second, how convenient is it that she had a top-shelf photographer handy enough to capture the whole traumatic incident … who didn’t even stop shooting, while the whole incident went down?
And then, there’s the Smartwater water bottle, placed prominently in one of the post-crash photos? Looks an awful lot like product placement …
On her part, Mitchell denies the whole thing is a staged crash, but that hasn’t silenced her online detractors. Comments include: “No cuts/bruises/blood, not kept in the recovery position. As a med professional I call bullshit.”
Or, “As someone who lost a family member in a bike accident last year I find this hugely insulting. Glamorising an accident that can be tragic gives the unrealistic expectation that it’s okay if you have an accident as it will look this ‘perfect’ when that is so far from the truth.”
And then there’s this gold: “And the water is smarter than her if she thinks we buy this load of crap.”
Smartwater also denies any financial connection to Mitchell, for what it’s worth.
Putin on the prowl
Vladimir Putin is once again drawing criticism. This time, the Russian
Bond villain president isn’t facing cries of outrage over election-rigging or conveniently-dying opponents. Nope, his critics are riled up over his non-ATGATT stance.
На «Урале»: Владимир Путин приехал на байк-шоу под Севастополем pic.twitter.com/w1CQKXiflv
— Дмитрий Смирнов (@dimsmirnov175) August 10, 2019
Turns out Putin was doing some palling around with the Night Wolves motorcycle club in the Crimea, and was spotted piloting a Ural sidecar rig … without a helmet! It makes one gasp and stretch one’s eyes, yes! Not the Night Wolves hookup, of course, Putin’s been hanging around with those bikers for years (and why not? Word is, they’re Kremlin assets!).
Putin’s detractors have been so outraged that they’ve been sending letters off to police and prosecutors, demanding he pay for his crime of riding without a helmet. Maybe the thought is that, since Putin’s skated on all other charges, he’ll be nailed for this one, sort of like how Eliot Ness got Al Capone on tax evasion charges. That’d be a great outcome, and would make an even better movie! Sean Connery’s still kicking, too, if they want him to reprise his role in an Untouchables-style flick.