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I was curious as what you guys thought about the recentish biker life movement. Mostly urban riders doing take overs of highways. I see this alot during the summer here in d.c. It's been gaining popularity, and there was a recent ride i went on that got 700 riders, and i was surprised that the police came to block traffic along the beltway which is the largest road in d.c. and carries alot of traffic throughout. Seems as if most of these riders are into wheelies etc, and sometimes rides start where they will go through a city on dirt bikes and quads and sometimes hit pedestrians etc... I am guessing most people here are not for it, but i am more interested in the psychology of why this has taken off. And why it's spreading like wildfire among mostly urban areas.
 

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I was curious as what you guys thought about the recentish biker life movement. Mostly urban riders doing take overs of highways. I see this alot during the summer here in d.c. It's been gaining popularity, and there was a recent ride i went on that got 700 riders, and i was surprised that the police came to block traffic along the beltway which is the largest road in d.c. and carries alot of traffic throughout. Seems as if most of these riders are into wheelies etc, and sometimes rides start where they will go through a city on dirt bikes and quads and sometimes hit pedestrians etc... I am guessing most people here are not for it, but i am more interested in the psychology of why this has taken off. And why it's spreading like wildfire among mostly urban areas.
It is spreading because self-centered people who care only for their own gratification are spreading it through internet and other types of media, and personal contracts, etc. These hooligans are out for fun at any expense, no matter how they affect other people. They are well aware that a group of several hundred cannot be stopped or controlled by police agencies, and the group can form and evaporate so fast no one can prevent it. If people just want to have “fun”, I am not opposed to that, and I can put up with some minor inconveniences, but when things devolve into property damage, vehicular assault, innocent non-participants suffering injury or damage to property, etc., that’s where my tolerance ends.
I am, as you can probably tell, against this type of behavior. If you want to race or do stunts, then do it somewhere other than public streets. People see others get away with it and so assume they can too. I have no data, but would assume the majority of them are young males, age 18 to 30, or around there, strutting their stuff. And they are probablynotbnad people in their general lives, but behaviors change rapidly when people get into large groups and feel that "safety in numbers" thing. Generally, large groups of people seem to gravitate towards destructive behavior rather than responsible behavior, although there are exceptions.

I am certainly no psychologist, but I am of the opinion that people seem to want to imitate bad behavior more so than beneficial behavior, especially younger males. Something about peer pressure and the desire to belong to a group. Especially a “bad-ass” group. I mean, how many people really want to join the chess club? (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

This type of stuff gives all motorcyclists a bad name. In the eyes of the general public, we all get tarred with the same brush as the saying goes.

Full disclosure: I am 64, certainly no angel, have had a few speeding tickets in my 20’s, wrecked a couple of my cars through stupidity, never been arrested, as law-abiding as I can, was a little rebellious in my younger days, but stopped well short of property damage, assault, mayhem and rioting.

I’m sure I’ll be flamed for this response but that’s OK. You asked for opinions, that’s mine. Others will differ.
 

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I think it's because society has become one of me first and not enough holding people responsible for doing dumb shit.
I've seen it first hand on a smaller scale when i was going to work on the freeway. Bunch of nitwits wheelying in all lanes. Fortunately there wasn't much traffic and try as I did I couldn't make my side car rig wheely. So I poked along in the slow lane and made my exit and off to work completely unimpressed with the young lads that have more bravado than brains.
When law enforcement has these situations, confiscate the bikes and run them through a crusher and give pricey fines.
 

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An examplar of the phrase "None of us is as stupid as all of us". Nothing worse than a bunch of young males showing off for each other. In the old days would have been met with a shotgun blast or two, re-establishing priorities. Problem is, cagers may come to assume that any biker would do it, and act aggressively because of it. So I'd like to see the LEO's take a very firm stance against it. Had that problem some late nights on the main drag in town last summer, but the cops busted a bunch of riders (many with no license or registration, bikes impounded) and that broke them up pretty effectively.

Just another reason to ride alone. Don't want to be associated with that image of biking.
 

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I was curious as what you guys thought about the recentish biker life movement. Mostly urban riders doing take overs of highways. I see this alot during the summer here in d.c. It's been gaining popularity, and there was a recent ride i went on that got 700 riders, and i was surprised that the police came to block traffic along the beltway which is the largest road in d.c. and carries alot of traffic throughout. Seems as if most of these riders are into wheelies etc, and sometimes rides start where they will go through a city on dirt bikes and quads and sometimes hit pedestrians etc... I am guessing most people here are not for it, but i am more interested in the psychology of why this has taken off. And why it's spreading like wildfire among mostly urban areas.
Because of people like you attending these events. If no one showed up they would not exist.

I'd sooner have a sister in a whorehouse than spend the day riding with 100's of others on city streets or highways clad in skull face and masks and re-pop German WW2 helmets so they can ride with anonymity. When I ride its to get away from people especially these people.
 

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We had a few groups like this in Ontario a few years back. They blocked our major freeways to do their stunts. Police solicited dash cam footage from anyone stuck behind them, read the license plate numbers and rounded them up after the fact. As Pirate650 pointed out, a group of several hundred can't be stopped or contained by police, but the tools exist today to catch them anyway, and the firm response from our police seems to have (thankfully) ended the problem up here.
 

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There's no consequences for petty criminal conduct anymore. Police increasing aren't allowed to pursue misdemeanor offenses. What can they do about it really?

Heck my state (California) won't even arrest people for shop lifting.
 

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what are you talking about?
He's suggesting you have poor judgement, and your sister might too. :rolleyes: Attack the idea, not the person.

@varglesnarg - You said you enjoyed attending the event. What did you enjoy about it?

Like many others, I find no enjoyment in being around riders that can't ride in control. Surrounding yourself with hundreds of other riders is never a smart idea. You knew illegal activity was going to occur before you went. You apparently filmed it as well. So, you just posted your attendance at an event where illegal activity occurred, on the internet. What part of that seemed like a good idea?

Things like this will get motorcycles banned from specific areas. And it it gets really bad, someone in a car will feel threatened and just run you over because you're on a motorcycle, then get away with it in court because of events like this. The jurors are far more likely to be non-riders and empathize with the 'victim' that ran you down, feeling that they would be afraid too, had they been in that person's situation.

No one should be afraid of someone just because they are on a motorcycle. Or worried they are about to do something stupid that puts others at risk.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
He's suggesting you have poor judgement, and your sister might too. :rolleyes: Attack the idea, not the person.

@varglesnarg - You said you enjoyed attending the event. What did you enjoy about it?

Like many others, I find no enjoyment in being around riders that can't ride in control. Surrounding yourself with hundreds of other riders is never a smart idea. You knew illegal activity was going to occur before you went. You apparently filmed it as well. So, you just posted your attendance at an event where illegal activity occurred, on the internet. What part of that seemed like a good idea?

Things like this will get motorcycles banned from specific areas. And it it gets really bad, someone in a car will feel threatened and just run you over because you're on a motorcycle, then get away with it in court because of events like this. The jurors are far more likely to be non-riders and empathize with the 'victim' that ran you down, feeling that they would be afraid too, had they been in that person's situation.

No one should be afraid of someone just because they are on a motorcycle. Or worried they are about to do something stupid that puts others at risk.
Thanks, I figured that comment was a passive aggressive comment.

In big cities it seems riders and guys don't have alot of outlets. i think this might be what is causing it. People want to feel like they belong to something greater. That is why we join groups, and when you understand human psychology it's easy to understand why this happens. But i find it amazing it manifested in this bike life take overs.

What appeals riders to this are the group, the danger and i think the need for attention. It was fun being round so many riders, and it did feel dangerous but at the same time everyone was nice, polite and were there for the same reasons i was. It was not that different than a group ride meeting or people that you would meet going to the country side.

And on this ride, the police blocked traffic and escorted all these riders as they did wheelies and burnouts on a major highway. But if you know about these things, i think their reason is that these riders would do it anyway and they can't chase. So might as well protect the public as best as they can. The police have tried to do various things to stop these take overs in the past, but like drugs it might be better to legalize them instead of fighting it. It might just be a fad, and these things come and go.

I
 

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I would offer that you're not that far from "the country side". Take a ride with a few friends and enjoy exploring. It's only far if you don't go. Not that you can't have fun urban exploring the D.C. area too.

The police were trying to minimize potential damage. It's not uncommon for them to go after these 'events' too. But a crowd that size has a lot of potential for death, damage and mayhem if everyone starts attempting to elude the cops. Some of these guys don't run plates, wear masks, etc. Those are the ones obviously going to be doing dumb things in public.

It creates a false impression that all motorcyclists are this way. Like strait pipes on HDs. I hop on my bike in a public spot and see children cover their ears. They have been around too many idiots on loud bikes and think all bikes are loud. Sometimes they have a look of surprise on their faces when my bike starts and it's not loud.
 

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Around the 6:00 minute mark the OP made the statement on his video that he cannot get others to ride with him. If this is the type of riding he likes to do i can see why other are not interested in tagging along.

Oh well to each his own!
 

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Legitimize it? Hell no. What's missing here is rider accountability - plain and simple - common sense. Whatever it takes - make a list if you like - but start by creating and then enforcing the unpleasant deterrent. Then and only then will it stop. Enabling bad behavior only invites worse behavior... but I digress. Yeah...I'm old school...the opposite of the punk "me first" generation. Mistakes are forgivable but reckless stupidity..... Best that the consequences of that behavior not involve me or mine. Don't care if you like it or not Bro.
 

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I think they're a bunch of idiots who get a kick out of doing it, and feel they can get away with it - safety in numbers and all that.
Whether it's "Ride of the Century" idiots on sport bikes on the highway, or more inner city types on dirtbikes and quads, it's the same mentality.
Most of these groups also involve lots of stolen motorcycles. Easier to ditch and run after a crash that way. I'm not cool with thieves.
 

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Its also an easy fast expendable way to run drugs around back city streets. In the small city I work in I've already been sitting third in line at 4 way intersection at a red-light "rider" comes up behind me on an ATV then swing out to the other lane pass me and the others an then bang a left on red w/o looking. I've witnessed numerous time dirt bikes running straight through red lights w/o looking.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Around the 6:00 minute mark the OP made the statement on his video that he cannot get others to ride with him. If this is the type of riding he likes to do i can see why other are not interested in tagging along.

Oh well to each his own!
The reason that comment was made is because i do very different rides than this. But I did kind of enjoy that ride.
 

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I'll do my best to refrain from cane-shaking and try to curtail the 'These darn kids' comments.

My responses are based on being one of those individuals professionally responsible for stopping -- or, at least, reducing -- this type of behavior.

For a quick look into how wrong these sorts of rides can go, read up on the Hollywood Stuntz event that occurred in NYC in 2013. An added bonus/disgrace in that incident -- several (now former) police officers were active participants in the ride and the resulting violence.

Why do they do it? The same reason most of us did stupid/dangerous stuff when we were young: Boredom, youthful indescretion, feelings of invincibility, immaturity, peer pressure, etc.

Why has it become so popular? Motorcycles are easy to steal (especially dirt bikes & ATVs), and they can just be dumped if necessary without much connection to the rider. Helmets (when worn) make it hard to ID who the rider was. Plates come off easily, making it difficult to track down riders. Social media makes it easy to quickly generate large gatherings. Operating in a 'herd', much as in the natural world, reduces the chances that any single rider will be caught.

Why don't the police do something about it? Barring incidents like the one referenced above, these events are primarily just an inconvenience. Police staffing levels are notoriously low these days, and many departments don't feel this is a high-enough priority to devote the resources that would be necessary to make it stop. In large part, the individuals whose personal safety is at most risk are the riders themselves. If some stuntin' wheely-boyz smear themselves across a major roadway...oh well, instant karma.

Sometimes the disruption and inconvenience rise to a point that the public demands action. When it does, I've seen some semi-effective ways of reducing the activities. For example, while many riders will remove or obscure their license plates for these rides, there are other parts of the bike that make them distinctive. One police department I know of used accumulated private and public video to develop motorcycle/rider 'profiles' (i.e. custom exhausts, special paint/sticker schemes, riding gear combinations, etc.). Those profiles were then distributed to patrol officers who would make traffic stops on the riders outside of the events. Once the riders realized they were losing their anonymity, the number of these types of rides dramatically decreased.
 
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