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January 7, 2020 52 mins

If you’ve never witnessed a Bike Life Rideout…well, maybe now is a good time to do a quick search on YouTube. When dozens, or sometimes hundreds, of stunt performing dirt-bike and ATV riders take over the city streets of America’s largest and most-populated urban centers, there’s usually some fallout. Listen-in as Scott, Ben and Kurt discuss their thoughts on the Bike Life scene.

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
Welcome to car Stuff, a production of I Heart Radio's
How Stuff Works. Hello, and welcome to car Stuff. I'm
one of your host Scott Benjamin, and I'm another one
of your hosts, Kurt Daron, and I am the third
host of the third half of Car Stuff. My name
is Ben Bulling, and I've got to say today's episode

is pretty fascinating idea for anyone who doesn't know Kurt.
You would consider yourself a cyclist, right, yeah, yeah, I
would a non motorized okay, And there's a there's a
popular cycling culture in our city, the fair Metropolis of Atlanta.
You know, Hey, super quick, I gotta interrupt. You said

you're the third half. Yeah, yeah, yeah, okay, just just
check it in, just making sure, dude, I'm not like
a fraction surgeon. Listen, listen, it's funny. It's all on
fun man. Thanks for letting slip that joke in though
I thought I thought I could get away with it
if it wasn't for your darn kids. Hey, listen. If
I'm not here to interrupt things, I don't know what
I'm here for. But but seriously, you were saying that

there is a bicycle culture here in Atlanta, and I
see it all the time. Of course, there's both motorized
and non motorized, absolutely, and I think there's listeners. You'll
find there's a reason that our pal Kurt is making
that distinction between motorized and non motorized vehicles. Now, the
three of us live in different neighborhoods. I live probably

the closest work out of the three of us, and
on the strip of the main road constantly on here
you can sometimes see on the weekends groups of people,
typically motorcycles. You might see some three wheeled vehicles as well,
just sort of hot rotten, you know what I mean,
just making the scene. Stopping at the local chicken wing

place are one of them. We have like three chicken
wing places on this strip. It's Atlanta Chicken strips. Chicken strips, yes,
exactly up and generally in this neighborhood, those groups are
gonna be about maybe at the most fifteen or eighteen bikes.

Still pretty big group. That's and that's at the maximum size,
you know what I mean. That's like Saturday on a
holiday weekend. But I've always wondered how these groups get together,
how they form, what they're doing A couple of times,
the guys who have the best music just post up
in a parking lot. They drive, they post up in

the parking lot, and they drive somewhere else to a
different parking lot. Yeah. I mean, for me, it seems
all in good fun. But I'm not the only person
who's had this kind of experience. Yeah. Back in September,
I was on my way to the airport. This is
on Interstate eight five here in Atlanta. I was on
a Sunday, so not a heavy traffic day, and I
was headed south bound towards the twenty intersection, and traffic

was going at a strange pace. So as I made
my way through the cluster of cars, I noticed that
there were several a t V s in the right
two lanes. They were followed by a police officer without
lights on. Just kind of they were. They were flowing
with traffic, actually maybe a little slower than traffic was moving.

They had taken the exit and there was the rest
of the group was coming back onto the interstate from
the exit. So I would say there were maybe six
eight bikers significantly larger, and they were on all different
flavors of a TV, three wheelers, four wheelers, dirt bikes,
some street motorcycles. Okay, you're getting to the crux this

whole thing. Now, these are the off road vehicles, right,
the unlicensed vehicles that are on the street, and we're
talking to Interstate and now I would argue, that's a
whole different beast. You know, that's not the same thing
as a group of street legal bikes. And I've actually yeah, yeah,
I've actually seen something very similar. This will be a
little bit of inside baseball for people who are not

familiar with it, Anta, but you two will know what
I'm talking about. You guys know, North Avenue crosses over
the Interstate. So when I was in college, there was
a gas station that would be a stopping point for
a t V bike gang, an off road bike gang.
And I thought they were cool because it always looked
like I was maybe walking into a music video. And

I had this idea that was a cameo of the
guy in the back who like comes in and gets
a coke and just like walks out while they're doing
the group scene. But this group reminded me of the
rough riders from DMX videos. You know. He had a
he had a lot of music videos where there would
be people riding these off road bikes, these a t

v s and so on. But I you know, you
guys know me. I never want to mess up someone
else's good time. But is that legal? Not legal? Not
legal on city streets, not legal on residential streets, not
illegal anywhere. These are off road vehicles. I mean, you can,
I believe, get a bike that looks like an off
road bike licensed even you know, it has to pass

the certification, has to have exactly you know what it needs,
the lights facing forward and backward, you know, turn indicators,
that type of thing, make sure that you know it
checks out mechanically, all that, and you can get a license.
But they're they're not a license. These are licensed for
off road use. They are probably not even that. They're
just simply a TVs and bikes that are you know,
they're coming to the hands of certain individuals that you know,

park them in a garage, can kind of hide them away,
bring them out when there's gonna be a I think
what they call him a ride out or well we'll
talk about all the different types of these in just
a moment, but I think maybe it's best if we
can we just just kind of describe what you feel
when you see one of these, because I kind of like,
I have got so many mixed emotions about this whole thing,
and if you listen to this whole podcast, you're gonna

find that. I'm not trying to contradict myself, but there's
but I'll say this, And I was talking with Kurt
off Air about this earlier. Kurt and I were saying,
you know, it's like there's this one part of it
that's really cool, but then there's this other side, and
then there's this other side that looks really dangerous, but
then there's also this and I don't understand why they
do it, but I do get this, and like it's

just this back and forth in my own head, and
I can't seem to sort it all out. I know
that it's not legal. It looks like a hell of
a lot of fun, It really does. When I watch
one of these, I think, I guess the first thing
is like, oh man, that looks like a great time.
Looks like it would be a blast to do what
these guys do. And and if any listener is wanting
to just get a quick glimpse of this while we're talking,
or if they don't understand what we're talking about. You

can search bike life like all one word, you know,
you can put any big city name in front of that,
a t L bike Life, you can put Baltimore bike Life,
New Orleans bike Life. Whatever you want. You'll find examples
of these videos of these rideouts that they do, these
a TV and UM dirt bike rideouts in these large cities.
Just about any large city has it now. But when
I watched them, I really do think like, oh man,

it's it's gotta be so much fun. But I would
be worried about getting interested. And then it looks like
who wouldn't want to do something like this? These stunt
these stunt riders are amazing, but they're not wearing any
safety equip at all. I mean nothing. They're not wearing helmets,
they're not wearing you know, the jackets, the leathers or
anything like that. Some of them will wear helmets or goggles,
and a lot of times I feel like that's just
to disguise who they are, because almost invariably, almost invariably

in one of these videos, every one of these videos,
the police show up and they have the lights on.
They you know, give them a couple of warning sirens
or whatever. But like Kurt said, sometimes they are following them,
they're not intending to pull them over. Really, it's almost
like they're just watching them to make sure that nothing
happens to them. You know, they don't anger the public
that's on the road, and you know, something die or happens,

there a confrontation between them, get on the wrong side
of someone, and of course when the police do show up,
here's another one of these like this is great, but
you know, okay, so the police show up and they
and they really have a hard time dealing with these guys.
And we can talk about that later more in detail,
because there's a lot of problems with how to handle

these situations. You know, there are a lot of people
on the roads the league only in doing illegal things.
There's a lot of just like complete disrespect for the
police in this and that they'll taunt the police. They'll
ride by them with you know, the middle finger in
the air shouting things. If the police get out of
the car to kind of chase one of them down
or something, they will they'll jump on top of the
car and smash you know, windows and that kind of thing.

It happensn't happen at all, doesn't happen every time, but
it has happened. And that's the stuff that goes viral
that most of America seas if you're not in the city,
you don't see it all the time with every ride,
of course one exactly. I think that's why the police
kind of hang back and don't pursue because they know

there's gonna be this one person that's gonna want to chase. Well,
everything's videotaped right now, I mean or recorded. I keep
saying videotaped like the giant VHS camera on their shoulder
like a bazooki, you know that kind of thing. Now, Um,
everything is recorded. Now, it seems like everybody's gotta go
pro that does this, of course, and then people are

holding their phones and we've seen a lot of examples
of police trying to arrest the individual that are doing this.
You know it is illegal to do this, so that
they're within their rights to stop them and at least
warn them or tell them or whatever. But the taunting
then gets them angry. They get angry at the riders.
They try to stop the writers. Now they're in a
man there's so many things they're they're in like a

five thousand pound car. First of all, the police trying
to catch somebody who's on a two hundred pound bike
that can go you know, in between cars, in between houses,
off road, any terrain. Really, I mean, that's the beauty
of the bike that they're using to get away or
to to do this. Um, it's just it's a no
win situation for the police in in this situation. And
I don't believe the police chase after motorcycles in general.

I think they will just rely on other means to
catch them later. Just for the general public safety. I
think it's just like a rule of thumb, you mean,
just maybe identify them for now, locate them later. I think. So, yes,
you'll get that letter where you'll get that surprise visit
to the office. But it is fun to watch the
police chase videos where they try to catch motorcycles. You know,

just watch the in car camera stuff, and you know
you're the radio chatter and you know, trying to trying
to radio far enough ahead to get them, and it's
just it's all exciting to me. I like this. There's
but you can see where I'm super conflicted about all
this right, because so much fun. It's got to be.
It's got so much fun. Yeah, there's some solutions that
people have posed, but maybe they're not very realistic. And

the notion of a biker gang has kind of steeped
into American culture in general and the car culture, and
it's just kind of like this thing about it. It's
a it's a bit of an outlaw thing, you know.
Of course it is. It's an outlaw sport or activity
or group or whatever. But these guys aren't one per centers,
you know what I mean. They're not running They're not
like that outlaw bikers of old. They're not running uh, drugs,

or they're not human traffickers or whatever. You know. These honestly,
to be completely these guys are just out to have
a time. And also a lot of times it's like
a family thing, like you get together with your siblings,
maybe your dad or your kids, and then you guys
take your bikes out. Sure, yeah, I can see that.

So okay, so I've said a lot of crap about
this already, and I've got more to say that. But
what do you guys think about this when you first
watched them? What's your just your gut impression of what
you're seeing on the screen in front of you, or
in person if you've seen it in person. So in person,
I don't know about you, Kurt, but in person. The
first time I saw it again was in college here

in Atlanta. I at the time did not know that
a t V s or dirt bikes were illegal. This
sounds so stupid saying it, but you can understand my
logic because to me, all terrain vehicle included you know,
like interstates, that was a terrain So I thought, okay,
they just do all of that, you know, So I

didn't see the problem. I thought maybe there was a
festival or something in town, because that was that was
my guess. I was like, Okay, maybe there's a maybe
there's a car show in town or a bike show
or something or right right, because I thought it can't
be that fun, you know, maybe they're doing it for

a cause, for like cancer or you know. Uh. And
then as I kept watching the guys, I was like, well,
if they're doing it for cause, it's not seatbelts and
it's not helmets, that's for sure. This is something else.
But maybe it's for tattoo removal. Yeah, maybe maybe so,
I um, I would right right. I would see these

guys during summer, usually because I would walk to the
nearby gas station from the dorm. So my initial reaction
was one of like amused interest, but it was I
wasn't inspired to get my old four wheeler from back
home them and roll up with them. It was pretty clear.
I was like, these people are all already doing a

thing they may not what outsiders. Even in the bicycle culture,
there's critical mass, gigantic groups of riders who who will
take kind of take over the street for that purpose,
to slow down traffic to raise awareness, like hey we're here,
don't run over us. But when I'm ride, I mostly
try to stay out of the way all right. On

the on the road, I'll stay over to the side.
I'm not trying to to slow people down too much.
Can I ask you a quick question about the critical
mass thing? Of course? All right. I have a feeling
we'd differ greatly on our opinion about the critical mass
bike rides. I really do. And the only the reason
is that I feel that if a bike, if a
bike group that is blocking major roadways in a city

to raise awareness of bikes on the road, and hey,
we're here, we are you know, we know you're there.
Angering the people behind the wheel is probably not the
best way to say, give us some space on the
road when you see us in the future, you know
what I mean. It just makes people angry, really when
they when you've now ruined their weekend plans because you

know it takes two hours to get through the city
instead of you know, fifteen minutes or whatever it is.
I get the under I understand the importance of making
your voice heard and you know the cause and like,
you know, getting people aware of things, But it seems
like this is one where you're doing the exact thing
that you don't want to happen in order to raise
that awareness. You know that you're you're making everybody just

frustrated as hell that the bikes are on the road
kind of wrecking the traffic flow for that weekend. And
the bikes are saying, hey, we're on the road, we
don't want to wreck the traffic flow. We're not trying
to direct the traffic flow. We're just we're just want
to ride our bike. But you're doing the opposite. So
I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for that.
I do understand the importance of making that message known.

I'm sympathetic in that way, but I think it's just
maybe the wrong way to go about it, Like the
disagree with the tactic, Yeah, exactly exactly. It's you're you're
saying that the optics for the PR is wrong headed,
just saying they're shooting themselves in the foot a little.
I feel like they are a little bit because it
it just makes other motorists angry in that situation, and
there's I just think there's a like there's a better

way to do it. Maybe, Well, the critical mass thing,
I would say is a little different just because of
the technology involved, you know what I mean, There's no
way that a non motorized bike, even a bike with

like an electronic assist is going to get to the
speed of dirt bike. That may not be true, there's
a pretty strong electronic assistum a non motorized bike, just
you know, leg power alone is not going to match
an a TV or a dirt bike. And it feels
like the cyclists approached this a little bit differently because

you know, people on a t v S, people on
dirt bikes are often going to be searching for a thrill.
We're gonna be chasing some adrenaline, right, And a lot
of people who bike with a non motorized bike, on
the other hand, are often going to have some concerns about,
you know, maybe their health, they want to stay in shape,

maybe they want to be a little kinder to the
environment or something like that. So I'm not saying they're
diametrically opposed, but they are I would say distinct groups,
you know. And Um, the other thing is, I think
the critical mass people get a license or something, don't
they don't like it's like a protest. Some do, some don't.
You probably have to get a parade permit. Y, I

think some do, some don't. A lot of them are
just some people on Facebook who are saying, what are
you doing Saturday kind of thing? Yeah, believe the a
TV rides, Um, they're so huge. The one that I
saw was a giant and the organization impressed the fact
that they can just get a bunch of people together
and do this thing, whatever it is, is sort of impressive. Yeah,

I mean it's funny you say that. You know there
were sixt year eight in that group. Do you saw
there's there have been groups that are several hundred and
if not close to a thousand people and when they
pass you, when they were passing you on the road
or you know, in the intersection you're at or wherever,
it can take a long time for that group to
pass because they're not going like, they're not blazing speed by.
You know, they're doing tricks and they're they're looping back

around and doing more tricks, and you know, they're uh,
it's a lot of it's about stunt writing. A lot
of it is, and and just kind of showing off
a bit. I like the circus nature of it. You know,
I kind of do too. I mean, it's it's interesting.
It is like a parade in that way, you know,
like you know when you see the Shriners go buying
their little tiny motorcycles in their cars and they use
circles and tricks and some routines, and I feel like

some of these guys have some of that some of
that skill. They definitely are skilled. I mean you you'll
see a lot of really skilled writers doing this. I've
I've seen some people eat the curb really really yeah. Okay,
not not at like uh not at not at speeds,
but you know, Yeah, I've had that little Nelson moment
when I saw guys screw up a wheelie and I thought,

you deserve it. Hi, man, I saw a video. Um gosh,
maybe we're branching into another section of this right now
and we can go back and forth. Uh. There are
BMX writers that will do the same thing, that will
amass smaller, smaller groups of BMX writers. Not not hundreds
like you know we see in in these big A
TV groups and dirt bike groups, but smaller groups. But

they're very again, very skilled with their tricks and you
know that. But they're doing things like jumping off the
bonnets of cars and you know, doing allies over other
bikes in the middle of the road, and they're they're
like using the side of a semi like a wall
to do tricks off of and that type of thing.
And it's a little it's a little destructive and that
you know, they're harming other people's property as they're doing it.
And one of the there's some terrifying videos online of

what these guys do. And they're they're professional. I mean
they claimed and I say professional. There's no like league
or anything, but this is what they do. They go
out on the street and they do this, this is
their leisure activity or whatever sport. Um, they will ride
right into oncoming traffic, I mean right dead at you
in traffic, and then the very last second to swerve
out of the way, last second and slide the wheel

and try to get as close to the bumper as
you can. But I've seen like one of the guys
that you claims to be like the you know, the
the King of I don't know, New Jersey or wherever, right, yeah, yeah, yeah,
you know. But um, he's like he's doing this against
like a minivan that's come in the opposite direction on
a bridge I believe, slides his rear wheel in front

of it and clips the bumper with his rear wheel.
He wipes out the car, stops thinking like oh my god,
I've just hit somebody, and he just gets on his bike,
brushes himself off, and rides away and it's kind of
laughing and waving. But you know, he's probably scuffed up
the bumper of that person. And what's the I mean,
there's potential for some significant damage there. Two things. Yeah, First,

I want to be clear lest I sound like a
cruel person that the guy I saw mess up the
wheelie was probably fine. His most serious fracture was going
to be to his pride because there were other people
watching him, and I wasn't the only one laughing. Uh.
And number two, what kind of minivan was it? I was,
you know what? I think it was just a Dodge.
It was okay, okay, I hope they're all right. I'm

pretty sure. I'm pretty sure it was not a Honda.
Hope they're all right. I see what you're saying, though,
because when we think about driving on the interstate, even
when everybody's obeying the laws of traffic and the rules
of the road, one little bit of human error can
create a disaster very quickly. And when you're in I

think anybody, uh who's driven a fair amount has had
that experience where you're driving, you're in a car, truck,
what have you, and then you get kind of enveloped
by the swarm of bike right, And I'm okay, I'm
okay with those folks passing through, as long as they're
not driving too crazy. I'm all about predictability on the

road from other drivers and from myself. But I've seen
I've seen things where people are you know, taking crazy
swerves and they're trying to race each other on the
inner state that encircles a lot of our city. To
eighty five is infamous for these kinds of crazy masuvers,

lane lane splitting and things like that. But you're talking
about sport bikes in most cases, right, But I think
that these a TV rides are just loaded with people
that are taking chances and that are kind of racing
each other at times, not the full time, because but
there are some high speed passes that you know, they're
standing on the back bumper, you know, one wheel in

the air, one wheel on the ground, and they're kind
of swerving in between people and like they've got amazing control,
you know, while they're in I guess, as much control
as you can have with one wheel on the ground
and standing on the bike, right, And but they're also
at times, you know, there are some high speed you
know a little kind of contest between individuals and the group,

but it's usually short lived and the people honestly, actually
everybody in the group knows to watch for people coming
up from behind because that's what happened all the time.
So the authorities are taking action on that. In cities
like d C Cleveland, Baltimore, Atlanta. There, it's just like
you were saying earlier, Kurt, maybe their policy is not

to chase somebody down while they're on the road, but
they'll you know, they'll click, they'll get the license right,
and then they'll follow up. In d C UM two
thousand eight teen, I think their metro department ended up
publishing this video that had to break some pupil's hearts.
UM sixty two alterating vehicles and dirt bikes were being

crushed by the police at a scrap yard outside of
the city. Fiscated. Huh yeah, yeah, confiscated and currently there
at the time, and d see what would happen is
when they followed up on your license and game back,
you would get a two hundred and fifty dollar fine,
possibly a thirty day jail sentence. Okay, I'm gonna I'm
gonna have to ask you this question. Yeah, I don't

know if there's a license, So do you think that
they're fun doing license or just a description? And then
it's word of mouth, who's who's who are they've actually
nabbed these guys at home, because how are they you
can't trace them back to anybody, because they're these are
not street legals. So I think they're getting actual clear
photographs of them then you know, uh, you know, of
course through video and and stills, and then being able

to trace it back to individuals that, let's say they
may have had contact with these individuals in the past,
you know, brillious record whatever it happens to be. You know,
I recognize that neck tattoo on that guy. I recognize,
you know, something distinctive about them. We all call them snake.
But yeah, you know, I mean there's ways to track
down people, even you know, if you don't have a
life this plate. That's a really good point. I think

that's probably what's happening. And if they did have plates,
they probably have a whole lot more to crush. I
would think, well, yeah, and d C what they're doing
is what they were doing at least was also offering
two fifty dollars to people who provided info to the
police that would help them track down users. Uh so
you've got to be right, that's that's a very good
correction there. People are proposing different ideas. In a story

out of W A. M U A D eight point
five in d C, a guy named Eric Butler Jr.
Proposed that instead of destroying a TVs and dirt bikes
and resting and finding the users, the city should just
allow them to be registered and legally used on city streets.
That's and that's where I wanted to hear from you guys,

because now he uh, he wanted to have this ballot
initiative called the DC Bike Life Access and Use of
Non Traditional Vehicles active, So you be able to register
the vehicle and you have limited use in the district
and on highways. On the highway specifically, you be able

to ride on the shoulder and d C as long
as you're not going over forty five on the streets,
then you don't need a motorcycle endorsement on your license.
So I get that they're trying to bake in some
safety there, but again, that takes away half of the fun, right,
that's you know what I mean, It's like you're getting
away with something, I think, and that's part of it, right,

I mean, it's that's part of the thrill I think
of what they're doing. Kurt, what do you think about
registering them and making them legal and allowing them to
do what they're doing I'm a little bit torn about
this because the groups that we're talking about generally ride
in the city. What they're trying to do is they're
trying to say, we like to ride dirt bikes, we
like to ride a t v s, but we don't
have a place to do it where we live. You

can go out of the countryside and see people doing
wheelies and jumping over dirt berms and riding down power
line trails and things of that nature. But in the city,
if you'd like to ride your a TV, what do
you do? There's got to be some sort of a
happy medium. I believe here in Atlanta they've been trying
to or they were, I don't know if it's still
going on, but they were trying to build a park

or some space where they could um where they where
dirt bike riders could ride their dirt bikes in town. Okay,
I have a question for you about that then. So, like,
I know, we keep wandering all over the place, and
I think I feel like I have more to say about,
you know, registering them, and yeah, you know what, let
me just do that right now, ok because I before
we pass this up and it's gone, you know, the

moment's gone, you know, registering them. That's fine. The problem
is a lot of these are are very low vehicles.
You know, they're you know, the four wheelers. It's hard
to see them. I've been behind individual four wheelers, you know,
leaving the office here, right on the streets right outside
of our office. Um, just on you know, I don't know,
any random Tuesday afternoon, uh, you know, going home from work,
and they don't have a flag on the back or

anything like that. There's no way to like see them
if they're coming over a hill towards you. There's a
lot of hills down here. It's city is is uh,
you know, it's rolling city. It's not flat like a
lot of cities are. So you have a difficult time
seeing oncoming traffic sometimes at intersections if you don't have
an awareness that the four wheelers coming over the over
the road. You know, it's like it's like men anybody

else can imagine like a go kart or something like that.
It might be a little bit higher than that, but
not much. Um. It's tough to see somebody on a
on a lower vehicle like that and small, relatively small. Um,
it's gonna add a lot of complexity to things where
they're gonna have to have headlights and tail lights and
turn signals and you know, whatever other safety features are needed.
They're gonna have to wear the proper equipment. You know,
the helmet law is gonna have to be part of

this whole thing. And that's not right now, you know,
because they're just doing this on their own. You'll see
a lot of guys that don't wear helmets in these rides.
And it is mostly guys. It is mostly young guys.
Not not a lot of women participate in this. I'm
sure there are, but not a lot. I don't know.
It just I don't feel like it's a good solution
to register them. I mean, to track them, that's great,
but again I think it takes all the fun out

of it for for these guys. So that's the thing
too with having a designated space, it probably goes into registration,
it does. But God, here again conflict. How do you
feel about scooters being on the road, like you know,
the low powered scooters like the birds and well no no,
um yeah yeahs types or yah yeah, Kurt, We've had

to talk about these a long time, Like it's it's
it's really hard to deal with those in downtown Atlanta,
especially because of the terrain that we've talked about. Um
and a lot of cities are the same, I think,
but they're there. I mean, even at their fastest, they're
still slower than traffic, and that's really hard hard to
accommodate for. I get it in really dense cities, you

know what I mean, Like some some cities, maybe not
a ton of American cities, but in some like really
dense Asian cities, are really old European cities where a
lot of the thoroughfares just used to be alleyways because
there were no such thing as cars. I think those
I think scooters work magnificently there. I am a little

sour on them because my girlfriend went through a phase
where she fell in love with the idea of having
a scooter. I think you may, ever, you may remember this,
since Scott and we had to, you know, to have
what Corporate America calls a healthy conversation about whether you
actually want a scooter or whether you love the idea

of a scooter. And I think I see where you're
going there with that, because we have those. But Atlanta
is such a sprawling city and the streets are so wide,
and for a big part of the city outside of
like suburb developments, a lot of the main roads are
going to be faster than a scooter can go. Those

are just the facts. Um, But does that mean I
don't know if this were you're going croup, But does
that mean then that all scooters should be relegated to
some special area like a scooter preserve and you have
to you have to register with the scooter club. Well,
I feel like it just makes a lot of sense
to have low impact vehicles moving around the city well,

along with cars, and along with bikes, and along with
pedestrians on foot. I mean, even though if you're on
a street, you're not necessarily looking for a dirt bike, Yeah,
but pulling out of a parking lot, you should. You
should be looking for people on foot, people on bike,
people on motorcycle, whatever. So I mean, when you're on
the road, usually cars are the things that register if

you're glancing around like you should be doing all over
the place. But you know, I mean I believe that
all these vehicles do or should have a place in
certain areas. You know. I okay, I I see what
you're saying. That. You know, if there are motorcycles on
the street, why can't there be a four wheeler on
the street. I mean, it seems like that's logical, right,
you should be able to have. And maybe it's just

that we've got a bad taste in our mouth because
of what we see already with these four wheelers on
the streets, you know, like the way that they're being
used right now, if they were following the traffic rules,
if they were following the traffic laws and you know,
all that, and everything was fine, like you know, with
a lot of motorcycle riders, uh, and bicycle riders. Of course,
I don't want to I don't want to offend any
bike riders in the room, kirt, but um, you know,

and scooter riders, that's fine. As long as they're following
the rules, that's fine. It does disrupt the flow a bit,
and I would think that the motorized vehicles, I should say,
the four wheelers have a little more pep to them
than the than the scooters do usually typically, And you know,
of course bicycles are on the other end of that.
And then we've got you know, the little electric scooters
that we deal with now and all that too, that

it's another whole conversation that we could have. There's not
a problem with people just park them. So getting back
to the idea that you know, well, why doesn't the
city and stall all a place for them to ride?
I think that there's a problem with this, and I

think I mentioned this way upfront of the podcast that
you know, I've seen that as a proposed solution to
this whole thing. The problem is if they're riding the
way that we see them riding now, you know, it's
kind of like when they're meeting up in the park
and you see them going everywhere and doing stunts and
like nearly their near collisions. There's you know, it's not
like there's a track and it's like you know, it's
like a BMX track or something where everybody goes in

the same clockwise direction around this track and you could
do your jumps and everything, but you know, it's very
monitored and very carefully watched it like a skate park. Yeah,
and they require helmets and they require station gear and
all that right and mechanical checks of everything. It's not
like taking this just to the park and just letting
somebody go like he can't just have free rein because

I think there's gonna be problems again, just like there
were an insurance. Um, you know, there's gonna be legal
problems that would arise that you wouldn't consider. Uh. You
know that maybe you wouldn't consider them on the on
the surface, but it's going to happen. I want to
mention something else that could be a deal breaker with
a designated space argument. That's a lot of people who

do this want to do it on the road, you
know what I mean. Otherwise they would be in a
park or a parking lot, and sure people probably practice
a lot there, right, because look how fun this looks.
It looks like a blast, doesn't I would have a
great time doing this, but I would have the guilt.
I couldn't do it. No, I mean it's illegal. I
just can't. I personally can't do that. I gotta say

one thing that's missing from our conversation. One thing I
I feel like we have to point out is that
people who are members of bike life groups or who
are pro bike life in some way say that this
is a positive thing, that this is an opportunity. UM.
I think specifically here in Atlanta, uh and Kurt, I

believe this is an article that you sent me. When
when our city was talking about the idea of having
a specific place to a specific place for people to bike,
advocates like Robbie Caban spoke up and said things such
as this, I'm just gonna read this quote to you.
We have this opportunity of young urban youth doing something positive,

and the city has the opportunity to embrace this, and
we're the ones dropping the ball. She says that the
a t L Bike Life group also, you know, they
have book bag drives for going back to school, they
have Easter egg hunts. This is a community thing, and
you can see groups like a t L Bike Life

made a a pretty great music video called Bikes Up,
Guns Down. And so this is also like an anti
gang thing in some ways. That makes it similar to
an extracurricular after school program. And when we factor in
that kind of perspective, it gives me a positive view

of this. It makes me feel like there's some way
that cities can support it. I just don't know what
that way is. Yeah, what if it's uh, what if
it's one one weekend or one day out of the month,
or you know, it's the third Saturday every month. We
have this ride and it goes on these streets and
it's a it's a pathway that's cleared of pedestrians, cleared
of other cars, other vehicles. Allow them to do what

they do, to have fun on the city streets and
ride as they want. Maybe that's the way to do it. Maybe,
I mean it's it's not a bad solution, not a
terrible solution. But again, I feel like you sanction something
like this, you tell them like this is okay, and
it takes away the fun. Maybe maybe of the fund
I sucked out of that event right there, immediately, Marti

graz And every day even in New Orleans exactly, and
you know, these events, these rideouts or whatever you wanna
call it, and and sometimes it might even be just
you know, we're gonna meet up at this gas station
and see what happens, you know, and everything does happen.
I mean, they end up splitting up, you know, when
the police do show up and everybody gets together and
they talk about how close it was, and you know
it said kind of. I mean, I can understand the adrenaline.

I can understand, you know, the sensation that they're that
they're getting out of this, but it's really hard to
get past the fact that it's illegal. Well, people view
it too as a sport, and we've talked about illegal
racing before. Maybe a bike park isn't terrible idea if
we lean into the sport competitive nature of it. So

now we're not just going and like just uh knuckling around.
We've got we've got spectators coming because it's time to
see you know, the dirt bike Olympics. So that's cool,
that's cool. But then you have to start, you know,
investing money into things that you wouldn't have to if
you're just taking this thing out of a shed and
right it around a block. You instead of a gallon

of gas that that will get you around half the day,
you know, one of these you can. You have to start,
you know, investing in the safety gear that we talked about,
or maybe an entry fees for competitions, you know, so
the prizes can be given, um, you know, whatever that
happens to be. There might be share additional Yeah, if
it's for charity, that's you know whatever. I mean, there's
some great outlets for this whole thing. I really do

believe that this can be turned around into something like positive.
But right now it's still got that stigma that there's
something not right about this, and I feel it, you know,
when I watched this, I mean, you know it's not right.
I mean you can see the reactions of people around
them when it happens. It's a little bit of a
little bit of tear, a little bit of fascination, some
you know, some awe. I guess, um, We've got a

lot of people in the office here that have come
to me after a weekend and said, hey, you're not
gonna believe what happened. I took you know, some cell
phone video of what happened this weekend at the gas
station I was at that. You know, it was frustrating
also because I had to wait twenty minutes for this
whole group to kind of clear out so I could
then resume my route. And you know, that's a little
bit frustrating for for people, you know, just have to

kind of sit there and wait because you're not going
to risk getting into that swarm of of a tv
s and dirt bikes. So um, yeah, I don't know,
it's you know, one of the quick thing that's really interesting.
I think you guys might have seen this too that
you know, when some of these videos will go from
the dirt bike experience, you know with the a t
v s, down to people that are doing with the

BMX bikes, you know, and maybe mountain bikes or whatever
on city streets, and then they'll show oftentimes groups of
kids that look up to these you know, young men
as being something that you know, they want to do
in the next four or five years when they when
they're old enough to you know, get get their own bike.
So they're out there riding their their BMX bikes as
children trying to do some of the same stunts and things.

And I know one video that I watched there was
a young kid. He was standing in a group of
other kids talking and you know, they were yelling stuff
at the camera, you know, just kind of being kids
having fun. And there's an adult walking by behind them.
And I think it's Baltimore as a matter of fact.
I'll tell you why in a second, but they the
boy was in a sling. He had his arm and

a sling and he said, you know, I crashed my
bike into a into a tree, and you know, I
broke my arm and I cracked my collar bone, my
teeth came out, and he was talking about all his
injuries that he had, but he's like, I still can't
wait to get back on my bike again. And the
adult behind them is saying like, oh man, you guys
think you're in a gang. What do you call your gang? Anyways?
And they're like, we're like the twelve o'clock boys, you know,

And that was from from Baltimore, right, So they see
themselves as being like the twelve o'clock boys in Baltimore,
which is like one of these street riding gangs. You know,
I keep calling gangs, but the groups um of a
TV writers, et cetera. But these young kids are looking
up to him, and there's gonna be another generation of
these kids. It's going to do the same thing, and

and they're already excited about it, so it's gonna happen.
You know why they're called the twelve o'clock boys because
the goal is when you pop a wheelie, to be
pointing at o'clock. Okay, that makes sense. Part of the
whole thing is showing off and having people see you.
These group stage events like they do. They want to
be seen, They want to make a show of it,

and I feel like this is the best way for
them to do it, is just to get a big
group together and go out on to eight five or
whatever and have people see them there. You know, there
are always people when I was growing up to were
like super good at riding wheelies on their on their
ten speed, you know, the ones that the really entires
it ride around, you know, like miles like that, you know,

riding their bike. And I was never all that goods well, okay,
hundreds and hundreds of yards like that. Every time you
see them going down the road, they're riding a wheelie
like and sometimes no hands or some you know, show
off things like that. It was like the older kids, right,
And I was never that good. So maybe my group
could be called like the eight o'clock boys there you go,
you know, like I give my wheel up to like
eight o'clock for a short time and they put it
back up. One thing about the legality that I wanted

to say is that there's people in the country that
do this as well, like alt in the Sticks, and
they're not really doing it legally either. There's very few
places that you can ride in a TV and not
have to pay a lot of money or own a
lot of land where you can go and just ride
and practice, and where you could do that legally. It's
a fantastic feel like, it's just kind of that thing.

They do it where they live on the country. They
ride where they live. So it's you know, it's illegal,
but you know, so as speeding and everybody's speeds. No
one in this room, Kurt, I don't know what you're
talking about. Earlier you mentioned that you had a four
wheeler or you had access to a formula, right, okay,

So what was that all about. Oh, just growing up
in a more rural area for part of the time
when we lived there. And I think it's I think
it's a thing that all kids should have an opportunity
to do, you know, a little dirt bike, a TV.
I think it's important for us to acclimate to outdoor
activities things like that, and it's it's just cool. So

we had to stretch of land, just like Kurt was describing.
You have to have the land to do it. So
we were never on main roads, you know what I mean.
As much as I wanted to go to the drug
store because I've thought it would be cool, you know what,
I mean I was not old enough and they couldn't.
I would have lost uh, you know, I would. I

don't know if my parents would have let me get
an actual driver's license if I got caught pulling some
grand theft auto on TV. Fair enough, But this is
an experience I think a lot of us listening along
today have had as kids. Like did you guys ever
have dirt bikes or a TVs? I know you did,
Scott me. Well, that farm that I would spend summers
on in Indiana, there was that, you know, that one

magical Christmas when my cousin got a four wheeler and
and a three wheeler and then a three wheeler for
their youngest kid, you know, like the little tiny mini
one back in the early days of like the Honda
three wheelers. Yeah, like the big balloon type tiles man
I think of So they were all fun. They're blast
But I love the four wheeler and it was fast
and I learned how to shift and all that. And

we jump at a kit. You would take it down
to the school and jump it, you know, And that's
the closest I came to like, you know, righte it
on the road. Like Kurt was talking, about maybe you're
off in the ditch because it's a lot of open
country out there in the middle, you know, northern Indiana,
I guess. And you know, we were able to uh
stay off the road which was rarely traveled. It's an
old rural highway that there was in front of the farm.

And I just it was a blast. It was a
lot of fun to do it. And I looked back
on it with you know, great funness. You know, it was.
It was a lot of fun to do it. And
I wish I had somewhere to do that now and
could have one of those vehicles again because it was
that much fun. But you can do it on the
street off yeou'd probably be a faster commute, you know,
getting around all the traffic, you know, hop on the shoulder.

To get any experience on anything like this, any and
oh um, how about like mini bike or you know,
like the little uh you know, the off road type
bikes or anything like that, stick the pikes of the
pedal variety. Yeah, okay, all right, that's interesting. I would
have pegged you as like a kid that was always
on his Yeah. So we we also want to hear

from you because we know a lot of people in
the audience and definitely growing up of a TVs or
dirt bikes or mini bikes, which I'm glad you mentioned.
You can let us know your story. Tell us on Facebook,
Instagram and Twitter where a car stuff hs W or
just car stuff some derivation thereof uh and UH shout

out to everybody on Facebook who was saying hello to you, Scott. Oh, yes,
you know, I checked out the comments. I really appreciate that.
It's good to be missed. I'm glad to be back though.
Really and on a positive note, we did find a
successful case of legal legal bike lifing right uh in

Pennsylvania in two thousand and eighteen, someone bought out an
entire race track and more than four hundred dirt bike
and a TV writers took advantage of this. This was
in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. UH, dirt bike fan out of Harlem,
A guy named Benjamin Charles rented out the entire racetrack
in Long Pond and apparently they had I mean, I'll

say it, they had a hell of a time and
they got written up in the New York Times. Does
Long Pond Pocono Raceway? You know what, Kurt, I think
you're right. I think they actually did rent out Pocono
No Way, really yeah, I think so. Wow, this is
much bigger than I thought. I guess I was. I
was picturing just more of like a you know, a
state fair ground type situation. I think Kurt's right. I've

got a video here. No, that's a paved track. That's big.
That's big. Yeah, yeah, interesting. All right, Well that looks
like fun. But you know what, right away you just
showed me that, and I just saw people going the
opposite travel like opposite direction, so they're they're headed at
each other on dirt bikes. I mean, that's the thing, man,
what do you said about motorcycles? It just brings out

that rebel in people. I don't know, but it is,
isn't I mean, it is something about them like it
just it just makes you feel good, I guess, you know,
I don't know. It looks like fun. So there are
there are individuals and groups out there finding a way
too to make this work without some of the cons
that we mentioned, the fun, without the fear of being arrested. Yeah,

but for some people to fear as part of the fun, Yeah,
you know what I mean exactly if I had an
opportunity to do this, I would have to think twice
about it. No, I would, I would, really, I could
seriously consider. I don't think that I would do it
because I'm one. I'm wanted to try to not get arrested,
you know, I don't. I don't want to. I try

not to do things that are legal. I really do
try not to ump sheets too deep already. Yeah, that's right.
I was just waiting for that third strike, you know.
But but no, seriously, I probably would have to seriously
consider it because it's kind of one of those events
or times in my life when you know, I physically
could do something like that. Still, it would be a
lot of fun. I know, just did Drunaline, you know,

that's what everybody's searching for, right, Yeah, and uh, I
don't know, just being part of a group like that,
even just if it was one ride, that would be fun.
I don't know what the fine is. I feel like
the cops go now, at least um in Atlanta, I
feel like the cops have been pretty hesitant to crack
down on people. Yeah, but they're crushing bikes. Yeah. Well

that was in d C. So I can't speak to
d C. But also, I don't know about you guys,
but I'm very reluctant to say anything about any personal
plans here because I don't know what the fines are.
You know, if if it's someplace where it's like a
seventy two dollar fine or something like a seatbelt ticket,
then I feel like that's don't take this out of context,

but I feel like that's a fun crime, you know
what I mean, where they're like, ah, you were doing
Wheelie's on a side road. I'll be like, you got me,
Scott is writing this down? Okay, date fun fun crime?
You said, yes, fun crime. Because also, if there's a
serious thing like the d C, the d C find

includes possibly a month than jail, which I'm sure is
probably you know, a suspended sentence or something you get
if you're being a real pill. But I also don't
want our show to be played in court with me going, yeah,
fun crime. Let's get on our a t v S.
What are they gonna do? I lock me up, I'm
gonna live forever. We'll just stay at at d C.

That's all you have to do. I mean, I have
many other cities are your banned from? I mean, so
just one more city, one more city on the list, right, Okay, well, Kurt,
what's your opinion? Would you would you do this if
given the opportunity. Um, I'm gonna pass. I'll be on
my bicycle, okay, fair enough, fair enough in a critical
mass ride somewhere. I don't take part in those, Okay,

Usually just solo. Yeah, solo out of the way. Nothing
wrong with that. I read. I thought of you, Kurt,
because I read about a thing in San Francisco. I
want to say it's somewhere in California called Critical Manners.
That's true story, Critical Manners. Yeah, it's Uh. They're on
the edge of my seat. Yeah, they're I think they're

trying to bring civility to bikers. Uh yeah, San Francisco.
It's a response to critical mass. Uh. They ride through
the city on the second Friday of the month and
they make a big deal of obeying all traffic laws. Yeah,
this is something I can get. Yeah, this is great,

fantastic idea. Yes, perfect, this is perfect. Yeah, it's great.
Oh my gosh. The one thing that I do not
do on my bicycle, and I see this all the time,
and it bothers me even as a cyclist, is that
when you pass the cyclist and you you hit a
red light, yeah, they pass you back. You know, I

feel as if I don't, you know, I don't want
to be passed twice by a car. So I'll just
you know, I'll wait my place, because you know, that's
just in paces the danger. Yeah. I'm like you, Scott,
straight and there I try to be. I try to
be really no speeding. Okay, well, Scott, I can't believe comment.
You want to join a club that's dedicated to following

rules for I know I want other No, it's not me.
I want other people to join that club to follow
the rules. Okay, yeah, I want them to do it
and understand the rules of the road, and then everybody's happy, right,
We're all like, we're all happy. I see this. I
see the San Francisco group is like like Cotillion for
bike riders. It's like, here's the way to properly, here's

the way to behave properly. You don't teach you how
to dance and how to you know how to dress
and how to set a table. They teach you like, hey,
when that lights red, you don't go. I wish we
had told you about this earlier, because your take on
this are I think all these groups know how to
behave on their motorcycles or bicycles or even in their cars.
No one's like, oh, that's what those lights meant the heads.

I don't know, man, I think I think they don't know.
So well, let us know. Let us know, folks, we
have a lot of bikers in the audience. Uh maybe
I don't know, maybe some people who went to get
to Yeah. Maybe we've got less bikers in the audience now,
if you know what I mean. They've given up on us, yeah, man,

But but let us know. Let us know your take
because this is an interesting debate and it's one that's
set to continue. And you can probably tell that the
three of us are you know, we're all a little
on the fence. We've got some pros and some cons here.
You know. I will tell you this. I'm gonna go
back to my desk after this and I'm gonna watch

more of the videos of these these rideouts, and you know,
the bike life videos, because they're fascinating. They're fun to watch,
they really are, and they look like fun. But just
just do the same and see what you think and
then write in and tell us and I'm gonna brush
up on my critical manners. Good for you. So so
here we are. It's car Stuff. We're in t Thank

you so much for tuning in. Don't be a stranger.
We will be back very soon. I see things so clearly.
Now you know what I mean. I can't. Let's just
end it here. It's not worth clear any farther. Car
Stuff is a production of I Heart Radio's How Stuff Works.

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