Wheelie Swervers Feel the Heat

September 11, 2018 by  

Long Island Wheelie Kids Feel the Heat

In Nassau County, New York— about 50 miles East of NYC, on Long Island, the issue of wheelie riders “swerving” local motorists and other cyclists in the streets has been coming to a head among administrators, citizens, merchants and local police for about a year now.

On September 4, 2017, the area’s “News12″ ran a story about what they called “a disturbing and dangerous national trend.”

Earlier this week, BMX News spotted the flyer above on social media, released by Nassau County Police, alerting the public to the dangers and legal jeopardy of “Reckless Bicycle Riding.” The communication made it clear that parents bear responsibility for the actions of children under-18, and that bikes can be confiscated.

Then, Tuesday evening, the Nassau County Police Department posted the video below to their Facebook page (It is via CBS News York, but we are not sure when it ran originally).

Reckless Bicycle Riding

#ICYMI: check out this story from CBS New York on the fad among adolescents in which they ride their bikes into oncoming traffic, performing a wheelie, and at the last moment swerve out of the way to avoid a collision with an oncoming vehicle. This is EXTREMELY dangerous and can not only result in serious injury or death, but it can also result in arrest. Parents, please talk to your kids about how to ride their bicycles safely and properly. #NCPD #NassauCountyPD

Posted by Nassau County Police Department on Tuesday, September 11, 2018

We have to admit that swerving a pair of city buses and a bunch of soccer moms on Main Street is not the most neighborly move a rider can make (though the bus incident was reportedly in Staten Island).

That said, one of the riders interviewed by CBS made a great point, saying: “If we’re on the sidewalk, we get yelled at, and the cops tell us not to…we ride in the road, we get yelled at.”

Is there a showdown afoot in Islip, which pits law enforcement against kids riding bikes? We sure hope it is NOT a showdown, but a sit-down of all the interested parties to help make it easier for kids to ride bikes in their community. And, we hasten to add, that solution is NOT confiscations, and citations.

In an unrelated, but similar story (in as much that it features the BikeLife movement), SE Bikes Brand Manager, and out-front evangelist for the BikeLife movement, Todd Lyons, organized a trip for some NYC wheelie kings to hit the BMX tracks in New Paltz and later, under the lights, at Kingston, NY.

This may-just be the solution Nassau County administrators are looking for: give the kids a place to ride, so everyone’s happy and safe. Not necessarily a BMX track; but a place set-aside for them to do their thing. Maybe Nassau County can take the lead and create the world’s first “wheelie/swerve park.”

Here is the video of Todd’s group and their trip from Harlem to New Paltz and Kingston, NY for the “BikeLife at the BMX Track” day.