Hey, I'm with you, Bill. It scares and infuriates me to see people putting their hands on the riders. My daughters hate to watch those parts with me, 'cause I can't control myself: "Those *(^%$$# IDIOTS!". And, I admit to cheering when the asshole got hit with the bike. Sure glad there wasn't a pileup!
That said, it's such a fun, classy thing to watch and thrill to. The history, scenery, great characters. We're hooked! Had so much fun cheering for Hinkapie yesterday.
It's got all the right elements of individual bravery, courage, determination, and the teamwork and (so un-American) idea of subordinating yourself to a leader when it's the best thing to do.