By ALEXANDRA SILVER
The concept of sharing the roadway with bikers has always been difficult to grasp for most drivers on the road. Motorcyclists, just like other drivers, must follow the “rules of the road” but we still find many cyclists breaking the law.
On Sept. 29, a man named Alexian Lein was driving on Manhattan’s West Side highway in a Range Rover with both his wife and 2-year-old daughter when they were slowed by hundreds of motorcyclists.
The incident has attracted national and international news media attention because there was video of the incident and it is being replayed countless times as part of coverage of the story. It’s another example of the pervasiveness of video today and how it impacts our ability to see and to understand dangerous moments such as this one.
Lein was waiting patiently as the motorcyclists fooled around, holding up traffic for no apparent reason. As Lein attempted to get past the cyclists, he accidentally hit one of the motorcycles and continued to drive away. This prompted the hundreds of cyclists to follow his vehicle until he was at a red light.
In a matter of minutes, a cyclist bashed the driver’s window with his helmet and proceeded to attack Lein, breaking his leg, but leaving his wife and daughter unharmed.
This situation is particularly frightening, seeing as Lein was simply trying to protect his family and the motorcyclists continued to threaten and eventually injure him. They proceeded to destroy property and cause physical harm in front of both his wife and daughter.
Police are now investigating the incident and two of the cyclists have already been arrested. Another cyclist that was struck by the SUV is now paralyzed and the charges against him have been dropped.
Despite the fact that Lein should have been cautious of the cyclists, he was threatened and any father’s first reaction would be to protect their loved ones when they are in need.