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We always just thought it was a fact of life in South Florida: You're driving along I-95 when, all of a sudden, a motorcyclist, or a group of them, screams past you at an obscene speed. You turn to your wife and say, "Look, honey -- douchebags!" and then continue sipping your coffee.
Well, according to Time magazine, a leading national purveyor of trend-awareness, those insane crotch-rocket humpers are getting faster, more daring, and more prevalent. And Florida's troopers are throwing their Smokey Bear hats to the ground in helpless frustration. Yep, there's a tie-in to the crappy economy. From the feature in this week's issue:
As if rules-averse Florida didn't already have some of the nation's most dangerous drivers -- more pedestrians are killed there each year than in any other state -- now it's dealing with the rising popularity of Mad Max-like high-speed motorcycles. The rogue bikes are a particular bane in South Florida, where the weather is warm year-round and many of the roads are so flat and straightaway that they can easily be turned into a racetrack.
Florida motorcycle crashes have been up in recent years -- from 8,990 in 2006 to 9,618 in 2008, when state legislators responded with a tough new anti-speeding law -- and law-enforcement officials say crotch rockets are a prime contributor. They worry the problem will get worse in the bad economy, since motorcycles (which most riders buy new but end up tinkering with to generate more power) are a lot cheaper than cars.
The article describes a state trooper catching a motorcyclist who crashed after flying down I-95 at a terrifying 186 miles per hour -- and then confiscating evidence of the caper in a helmet camera the rider was wearing, presumably for later posting to a website. Yep, they're vlogging, because you know everybody has to self-document these days. Which begs the question: How fast is too fast to tweet while you're popping a wheelie on the turnpike?