Baltimore has been the face of the urban dirt bike riding trend that has thrust itself onto the streets of major cities all around the country. The 2013 documentary “12 O’Clock Boys” provided an intimate look at the riding culture in Baltimore and its role in providing young men with a chance to cope with their difficulties.
But riding dirt bikes on Baltimore streets is illegal. There have been accidents, even the death of a Baltimore Ravens player, and many see it as dangerous and reckless with stunts often being performed in traffic. Plus, many riders do not wear helmets.
So, last July, the Baltimore Police Department created a four-person task force to completely eradicate dirt biking from Baltimore’s streets. And according to The Baltimore Sun, more than 200 bikes have been confiscated and 45 arrests made since then.
— The Baltimore Sun (@baltimoresun) June 25, 2017
The drastic reduction in bikes on the street and the arrest of Baltimore dirt bike legend “Wheelie Wayne” have played a major part in the task force’s effectiveness. As rider Jule Perry told The Baltimore Sun, “It’s not even a third of how it used to be.”
Some have called for a dirt bike park to be built for the specific purpose of giving riders a place that is their own, instead of the streets. But the city and the police department have not seen it that way.
For now, they will continue cracking down, as Sgt. Christopher Warren noted to The Baltimore Sun. “We want to completely eliminate the illegal dirt bike riding in the city,” Warren said. “And that goes for all parts of the city.”
New York City infamously crushed confiscated dirt bikes on Facebook Live last summer, as many cities feel they need to crack down on dirt bikes in the streets.
Despite these confiscations, it remains to be seen whether Baltimore authorities will be able to achieve their goals of completely eliminating dirt bike riding on the streets. The riders themselves certainly have to say otherwise.
“I think it’s important for folks to understand that dirt bike riding is not something that’s going to go away quickly in Baltimore,” Perry told The Baltimore Sun. “It’s a part of the culture for many.”
More about dirt bikes from GrindTV