By Thomas Johnson
Washington Post News Service
It's a bike ride Alex Hennessy won't soon forget.
And he's not alone — his video footage has already amassed more than a million views on the Web. Hennessy was cycling down a dusky street in Buenos Aires with a tour group when a motorcyclist aggressively cut across two lanes of traffic — narrowly dodging a honking minivan — to block his bike path.
The 33-year-old videographer was filming an episode of "Global Degree," a Web travel series for 20-somethings, and his expensive camera protruded from his backpack.
After averting the motorcycle, Hennessy let out an exasperated, "Jesus Christ," before nervously laughing to himself. Seconds later, the motorcyclist reappeared next to him and hastily pulled a handgun from his waistband, an action that transcends language barriers.
Hennessy dismounted from the bike and tried to move away, but the robber followed him, and the two became locked in a struggle over his bag, while Hennessy frantically pleaded, "Amigo, amigo," to no avail.
Eventually his travel companion, Michael Grazino, pulled Hennessy away, and he sprinted down the street, losing the scarf-wearing robber. The robber jumped back onto his bike and rode away.
"I didn't have time to think about it," Graziano said. "My first reaction was to get Alex out of there. I grabbed him by the bag and pulled him out of there."
Grazino and Hennessy were part of a larger group in the middle of the South and Central American leg of a lengthy travel plan that will span 195 countries. So far, they have visited 17 countries on this leg of the trip as part of Grazino's ambitious goal to see the world before he turns 30.
They raised more than $10,000 on Kickstarter to fund the trip and filmed a video trailer.
During the trailer, Hennessy foreshadowed such an incident, looking into the camera and saying: "Obviously, traveling into foreign countries with $10,000 worth of camera gear strapped to your back is going to be posing a bit of an issue. ... We need some level of insurance, just to make sure these episodes don't get jeopardized by any vandalism, theft, damage, water damage. These cameras are going to take a beating."