Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: xeni@boingboing.net.

106 Responses to “Watch the motorcycle marriage proposal that shut down a Los Angeles freeway”

  1. grimc says:

    Idiots.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Getting between octogenarian drivers in huge cars and their destination in Palm Springs – what could go wrong?

    • annoyingmouse says:

      I’m not sure whether grimc’s “Idiots” comment is referring to stopping traffic or just marriage in general.  I guess a cynical case could be made for both

  2. Paul Boudreaux says:

    I thought it was romantic. If someone repeats that, they’re lame in more ways than one.

  3. C W says:

    I like romantic gestures, but the more novelty someone needs in their engagement, the shorter I assume the marriage itself will last when the other novelties wear off.

    • tiredofit says:

       I spent all of two days proposing to my wife, starting with Feb. 13th when I talked about Valentines Day as a stupid, made up holiday (it was our first) and mocked a guy buying stuff in a store.  At midnight I woke my wife with flowers and balloons, woke her in the morning with more balloons and stuffed animals, had a special breakfast for her, left a four foot card in her driver’s seat, had balloons, teddy bears, candy and other stuff sent to her work about 15 times, then took her for dinner. She thought I was just going overboard for Valentines Day (her co-worker even called me concerned I was raising the bar too high), and we went to our favorite restaurant for dinner where I gave her my late mother’s engagement ring at desert.

      Married 12 years, really happy, looking forward to 60 more or so.

  4. Senor Schaffer says:

    There are worse things than love. I have about an hour commute both ways. I wouldn’t mind being “inconvenienced” for a couple of minutes for that.

    No need for copycat proposals, though. I GOTSTA GET PAIDED!

    • SomeGuyNamedMark says:

      A person waiting for an ambulance might not agree

      • flickerKuu says:

         You think an ambulance driver is dumb enough to sit in traffic. You know they have lights, sirens, and a shoulder to use right?

        • Velocirapt42 says:

          Right, getting through the huge crowd of bikers while making sure not to hit anyone won’t slow down the trip to the hospital at all. And there’s never a problem with a delay of a minute or two while someone is having a stroke and their brain tissue is slowly dying, right? Shouldering through rush-hour traffic- not preventable. Shouldering through celebrating bikers that look like they just let off a cloud of noxious chemicals onto the freeway- preventable. 

          • flickerKuu says:

             OMG dude. It was a smoke bomb that lasted all of 15 seconds. YES any ambulance driver worth his paycheck would have been delayed about 10 seconds because of all this. You’re like my mom’s mother when we were a kid- we called her a “worry wart”.  Do you get this worked up when a hypothetical stroke victim in a hypothetical ambulance gets delayed when someone hits someone else’s bumper because he was looking at his phone while driving?

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Dude, you’re the one who’s getting worked up in this conversation.

          • flickerKuu says:

            With all due respect Antinous sir, why do you think that?  I keep getting email notices when others respond to me that I seem to answer right away. Is that being perceived as “worked up” or something?   A marriage proposal on the freeway is hardly something to be worked up about, as others here seem to be. I was trying to de-work people up. I must be failing at this somehow. RE: XKCD How did you get a camera in my bedroom??

          • Velocirapt42 says:

            Actually, I get worked up about hypothetical stroke victims all the time, but it’s my job so it’s okay.

  5. Motorcyclists are called cyclists now?

  6. Dave Pease says:

    that’s pretty cool but i have to admit i’d probably be pretty pissed if i was getting held up for it.

    • flickerKuu says:

      You’re right- but at the time you would think it was an accident. If someone ran up to your window and said “Hey 300 motorcycles just stopped the freeway and dropped a love bomb!”  you would probably feel better about it. I know I would, and I’m cranky,

      • SomeGuyNamedMark says:

         Yah, missing a job interview would be worth it

        • flickerKuu says:

          No, but if you missed a job interview because of a 2 minute delay on the way- you probably aren’t qualified.

          • SomeGuyNamedMark says:

            You think only caused a 2 minute delay?  You don’t drive to work I see.

          • flickerKuu says:

             I do, often times in LA, often times on the 10. Your point?   The front car was stopped for almost 3 minutes. After that, traffic would start moving. Probably the smallest delay in traffic the 10 gets all week.  Yes there was a delay. Yes cars will move under 55 for 10 minutes.  Yes this happens all the time for worse reasons. And yes once again I know LA traffic. Do you?

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Do you have anything new to add?

  7. HubrisSonic says:

    classic dick move. 

  8. robuluz says:

    When I was a lad, outlaw motorcycle gangs were fearsome, not slightly inconvenient. Don’t these guys have rivals to blow away and meth amphetamine to manufacture? Kids these days.

  9. AwesomeRobot says:

    Whaaaaat? A bunch of guys on sport bikes drive recklessly? 

  10. Cunning says:

    OMG!  MySpace is still operational?

  11. tylersweeney says:

    why is everyone so cynical? did you forget what life is about?

    • Making everybody see how important you are?

      • Petzl says:

        Exactly. This horde could’ve performed their ceremony anywhere, but they chose to do it in a way that inconvenienced the most  people possible. And the “burning rubber” rituals– what was that? (Why didn’t they just whip out their evidently small genitalia and start marking territory outright?)

    • C W says:

      Obnoxiously twee spectacle?

    • James Penrose says:

      Life is not about inconveniencing tens of thousands of people for your own personal pleasure.  Stoppages on a freeway compound as they move back through the flow of traffic, so a ten minute “pause” may take an hour or more before things are restored to normal.

      Let’s try an intellectual exercise:  Would you support someone if they reached over, hit the stop button in a crowded elevator and refused to turn it back on for ten minutes while they spoke to someone about something they considered important but which did not affect you at all?  Think you’d be happy?  Or would you be on your cell to the cops?

      You (or anyone) have no right to commandeer the time of other people against their will for your own purposes.  No right whatsoever no matter how “noble” your own purpose seems to you.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        Would you support someone if they reached over, hit the stop button in a crowded elevator and refused to turn it back on for ten minutes while they spoke to someone about something they considered important but which did not affect you at all?

        Pretty sure that if you did it in NYC, there’d be a reenactment of the elevator shot from The Shining.

  12. Robert Drop says:

    Christ, what assholes.

  13. John Napsterista says:

    Hey guys, remember Imperial Stars, those douches that shut down an L.A. freeway to play a concert while traffic backed up for miles?  Guess what their sentence was? Guess before you click on the link: http://www.scpr.org/blogs/news/2012/10/29/10772/imperial-stars-sentenced-probation-freeway-gig/

  14. kmoser says:

    Every time there’s a traffic jam, the cars in front of me are impeding the flow of traffic and yet they’re never cited.

  15. flickerKuu says:

    Two minutes and 47 seconds and traffic was released.  The 10 stops 800 times a day for longer than that. I’m OK with this. Just this time though. No copycats. No crappy bands stopping freeways for crappier music videos. 

    • What about all the people trying to feed their children, get to the hospital, etc?

      • flickerKuu says:

        People feed their children on the freeways? No one is going to starve in 2:47 minutes, I promise.  As for getting to the hospital, yes- a valid concern. I would say if you need to go real fast, you call an ambulance, which rides on shoulders and makes people get out of the way. If you’re on the way in your personal car then like I said above, the 10 stops 800 times a day for other crappy reasons like some idiot texting and driving and smashing into the guy ahead of him. I don’t think people take the freeway to get to the hospital in LA, they take Fountain or La Cienega (not anymore!).

        • Feed their children means do their jobs, earn money. The whole point is to get from A to B. Thats what roads are for. But you don’t like bands doing it. Why is your opinion about the participants relevant?

          • flickerKuu says:

             If you live in LA, you automatically build an hour or two into your “I gotta get there time”.  Two minutes eating into that hour is just another traffic burp.
            No,  I don’t think any band has the talent worthy enough of this except maybe someone like Led Zeppelin or someone- but this one time, for one person’s original-ish idea of an expression of love, this ONE time?  Yeah I’m ok with it. Maybe I’m just being romantic tonight… Don’t ruin it.

          • Steve Olsen says:

            As someone who’s lived in LA this is not as much of an inconvenience as some of you might think. Maybe in cities where there are open roads with little to no non rush hour traffic  it would seem pretty ballsy. I have been trapped in traffic jams at 2AM because of some drunk asshole or poorly timed roadwork, i.e. closing down 3 lanes of a freeway at 1AM to repaint some fucking lines on a Friday night in summer, with a concert and a sporting event happening at the same time . flickerKuu’s original point was that anyone who is “feeding their children” in Los Angeles and drives is prepared for all of this. No one needs to be upset on someone else’s behalf about LA traffic… if only the City of Los Angeles cared as much…

        • Snig says:

          What if the people behind them are on their way to make a romantic proposal to their fiance that doesn’t involve smoke bombs? 

      • James says:

         We’ll all be murdered in our beds etc…

      • Ito Kagehisa says:

        The specific mention of (potentially starving) children gets the highest possible single concern-troll point value, and the mention of hospital trips cleverly encapsulates emergency workers, seniors and pregnant women for a triple score.  However, you missed widows, orphans, law enforcement, and oppressed or starving people in the third world pining for the blessings of democracy, so you get only 70 out of a possible 110 crocodile tears.  Still, that’s an incredibly high concern-troll score for a mere 15 words; well played!

        • hymenopterid says:

          Cause stating the obvious, that people need to drive to work so that they can work to buy food and pay rent is douchy concern trolling but shutting down a freeway to show everyone what a beautiful and unique snowflake you are is totally badass and not trolling in any way.

          • flickerKuu says:

             I guess you missed the whole part where we showed it didn’t really effect anyone… Love. Check it out. It’s worth doing stupid shit for sometimes…

          • hymenopterid says:

            Yes, all those other people in cars with their silly lives who are not presently having a marriage proposal are just are haters and do not know the true meaning of love.  How could I have been so blind.

          • Velocirapt42 says:

            Dude- again? Please see my response to your “whatever” response above. Starving children? Okay, not an issue. Ambulances stopped by an orchestrated marriage proposal? ISSUE. Minutes   count and I’ve seen them make the difference between life and death. You can’t do much about regular traffic, but you can propose in a parking lot.

          • flickerKuu says:

             Veloctrapt42-  what world to you live in where freeways dont have shoulders, and ambulances don’t have lights and sirens.  Half those bikes didn’t even stop, they were to ready to jam out of there at the first sign of cops. I guarantee an emergency vehicle would have sailed by in about 3 seconds.

          • Ito Kagehisa says:

             You can characterize these things as you like.  I was just adding up the score, which was very impressive for such a short post.  Most people have to rant about imaginary victims for several paragraphs to get that many points!

    • oasisob1 says:

      No, it was ten minutes. It was obviously ten minutes. Never mind that we have a 3-minute video proving it wasn’t ten minutes.

      Still: assholes. You don’t fuck with traffic.

    • dioptase says:

       Faster than the traditional motorcycle-death freeway shutdown.  But with possibly the same outcome.

    • Gyrofrog says:

      And again… “on Sunday.”

  16. Simulations show that the freeway will recover within 3 to 9 times the amount of time of the closure (depending on how congested it was and how many lanes are blocked). So everything would be back to normal within a half hour. Some light reading on traffic: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TD/TP/Reports/TrafficDelayRecoveryTime.pdf

  17. James says:

    Undoubtedly a dick move. I approve.

  18. xyzpfl says:

    Reminds me why I hate mobs.

    “There is no there, there.” seems like the antithesis of a place to commemorate anything.

  19. SamSam says:

    I hope everybody who got all twisted up over the 2:47 that these motorcyclists took out of some people’s commutes realize that they just voluntarily took the same amount of time out of their own day to watch the same thing.

    If I were inconvenienced for 2:47, I sure would prefer it to be over two people in love rather than all the other crap that commuters just seem to take for granted.

    • Snig says:

      It’s more deliberately stopping traffic, when they could have proposed anywhere.  Someone who had an accident or who’s car broke down is having a worse day then me, so I think more kindly than someone deliberately inconveniencing hundreds.  As mentioned above, a small glitch like this causes hangups for a half hour, and also may result in small fender benders from the unexpected stops. 

      • Erica_Blair says:

        Exactly! The jerkiness is all about deliberately stopping traffic for people who 1) neither know nor care who these people are, 2) have no way of knowing exactly how long their plans are going to be held up for some asshole’s precious memories and 3) still have to contend with all the normal hiccups that traffic entails because this romantic gesture didn’t magically cure all other traffic woes that day. 

    • Brainspore says:

      Anyone who is remotely familiar with that freeway (or busy freeways in general) knows that a small interruption in traffic has a huge multiplier effect. Just because the road itself was only completely blocked for 2:47 doesn’t mean that everyone on that freeway was delayed by less than three minutes. Besides, maybe one of those vehicles being held up was an ambulance on the way to a hospital or something equally urgent.

      I don’t think this was meant as a malicious act, but in the very least it wasn’t very well thought through.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Yes, voluntarily.  Voluntary.  Not enforced by someone else.

  20. anansi133 says:

    From time to time in Puget Sound, a ferry boat will pause in its trip so that someone can scatter ashes on the water as part of a funeral. That one never bothered me much, because everyone was in the same vehicle, and the gesture had some poetry to it. I’m sure there were other passengers on those trips who would disagree.

    For these cyclists, the road probably has that much poetry to it as well. All I can think of, though, is that I’l be glad when car culture is a fading memory. It’s a whole lot of carbon footprint for very little benefit.

    • lintman says:

      But the ash-scatterers clearly must have gotten the permission and assistance of the boat’s captain in order to do what they did.  They didn’t take over the boat or somehow physically block it from moving, right?  That is an ENTIRELY different thing than just blocking a highway to create their public spectacle.

      • anansi133 says:

        Right. So to with the annoyance of hundreds of drivers waiting at the drawbridge so one rich person with a tall boat can go through. They have got to go through the proper channels to lift that bridge, and the traffic holdup is taken into account when giving that permission.

         It’s that sense of entitlement that the motorcyclists must feel in order to convince themselves that this is a good idea- that’s what has me gobsmacked. I’d love to see each one cited individually.

  21. For the people up front this was probably, at the very least, a good spectacle to talk about at the water cooler. Also, I wonder if anyone called 9-1-1. If I saw that many motorcycles suddenly stop on the road, I might think that that one of them beefed it. Then again, the pink smoke would through me for a loop.

  22. franko says:

    i actually have no problem with this. it was briefer than the headline says.

  23. howaboutthisdangit says:

    Bullet bike boyz.  I should’ve guessed.

  24. Elijah says:

    Not that it’s being done to please me but I give it thumbs up for originality.  Romance for the romantics, and what better reason to stop traffic?  Best wishes to the happy couple for a long and joyous marriage.

  25. The Chemist says:

    Demolish serious culture.

  26. disqus_9n6B1qFzkA says:

    Nothing says “romance” like total indifference to others.

    Asshats.  

  27. I hope they lose their licenses, lose their motorcycles and spend hundreds of hours picking up trash alongside the 10 freeway. 

    That said, I also hope they have a long, happy marriage.  I just hope that marriage starts with a lesson in respecting the people around them.

  28. cstatman says:

    i ride.   sport bikes, dirt bikes, harleys, and a sidecar outfit.   I’ve raced, i’ve been a hooligan stunter for a bit  (i sucked at it)     

    it was a stupid plan, and every single car that KNEW what happened?  will be pissed off at ME the next time I am lane sharing trying to get out of the way and to work, without being 1 more car in front of YOU.

    all said?   burnout with pink tires?   proposal?    ok,   every car driver thinks you are a dick,   most riders think you are an attention whore.

    I just hope she said yes, and you got a BJ out of it.

  29. philosophyguy says:

    How did we arrive at a time when anyone thinks it is in any way useful, appropriate, or valid to commandeer anyone else’s attention for a private, non-newsworthy event? Where did this level of arrogance and self-absorption come from? Why do some people feel so compelled to seek their fifteen minutes of fame that they will put their personal matters in the public eye, whether disruptive or not? For far too many of us, perspective is out of whack, civility is scorned, and consideration has been thrown right out of the window. I am heartened, however, by the fact that the vast majority of people who have posted on this topic both understand these points and clearly agree with them. Thanks, all, for the thoughtful and witty comments.

  30. dellvostro says:

    I thought it was a pretty neat romantic way to propose. Albeit not so great for the hurried motorists, but come on now, can we slow down from our hurrid frantic pace of life and tip our hats to this couple for a very creative way to propose. Good for them. It was only ten minutes and the memory will last a lifetime for the couple and those involved. 

Leave a Reply