Anyone who uses the internet to its full and most educational benefit might well have stumbled across videos compiling unfortunate individuals crashing their prized motorbikes and cars. With the digital age upon us and companies such as GoPro turning the ordinary Tom, Dick or Harry in to Steven Speilburgs, YouTube has exploded in to a more graphic and crazy version of the classic 90’s TV show Americas Funniest Home Videos, so much so that the first words you will often here from a person’s mouth after an accident will be “fail!” or even “failarmy”. The latter, an online company that has turned in to a huge success after bringing all of the internets best fails to our screens in an easily digestible weekly compilation.
These videos are best consumed after watching inspirational videos such as highlights of the Isle of Man TT race and going out on your own bike and watching other amateurs success rate when they go out on to the road imagining they are the next Guy Martin. There is one corner in particular that seems to be seen over and over in these compilations and we wanted to find out what it was about this fairly ordinary looking corner, all be it a hairpin, that was catching so many motorists out, and the answer wasn’t quite what we were expecting!
Mulholland Highway is in Los Angeles and there is one section that is revered above all, which is a two mile stretch called The Snake. The road has been popular for a long time, made particularly famous by Steve McQueen in the 60’s. Since then, there have been numerous attempts to calm the spot down but to no avail.
The one particular corner that seems to catch so many out is a left hand hairpin (when coming up the hill) where you see motorcyclists crash into the barriers, low side, high side, even take out unwitting cyclists; cars smashing the barrier, going in to the cliff and spinning out, you see it all here (needs revising). Upon watching the video you presume that there is a duff patch of tarmac or perhaps a dip that is throwing the balance of the riders, but apparently everything is in favour towards the victim and the corner is not one of the hardest in the stretch. The camber is positive, the tarmac is good, the bend is consistent, so ‘What is it?’ I hear you cry. Well, it’s ego!
The corner is the unofficial end to the stretch and there are often crowds of spectators waiting at the end or participants having a break and it appears that the eyes upon the rider or driver makes them either enter the corner with added gusto, or give their throttle an extra blip in order to impress all the people they probably don’t know! The only problem is that they are simply not good enough drivers or riders to tame the beast they are piloting!
Still, at least for YouTube users like RNickeyMouse and Failarmy these unfortunate slips of ego are creating a steady revenue through advertising as all the online spectators of crash compilations flock to their pages to see the next weekends wrecks!