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Wheelies, Traffic Violations In Ride To Protest Gun Violence

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Hundreds of riders took to the streets of South Florida Monday afternoon for their annual "Bikes Up, Guns Down" rally – some openly ignoring the laws of the road as authorities trailed behind.

Chopper4 followed the riders on motorcycles and ATVs as they sped through Miami Gardens, made their way to Broward County. Some popping wheelies, others driving in the opposite direction of traffic or driving on the sidewalk and others obeying the laws of the road.

"We don't hurt nobody, we just ride!" a biker told CBS4'S Hank Tester. "We just want to ride, that's what we do."

"Bikes Up, Guns Down" Rally 2016 (Source: CBS4)
"Bikes Up, Guns Down" Rally 2016 (Source: CBS4)

It's sort of an dirt bike/ATV bit of performance art that covered the tri-country area.

At the same time reckless and dangerous, but with a message the bikers claim.

"Man… guns down, bikes up!" a biker said.

The ride, which seems to have a social media following of  #BikesUpGunsDown and #MLKRideOut, is reportedly meant to bring peace to areas with gun violence.

Yet it's hard to understand how endangering commuters and breaking about every traffic law known to man delivers a message of nonviolence.

"This is the only time we get together and we create peace in the neighborhood. Even though it look like we cause trouble, we not," a biker explained.

Despite their actions, authorities trailed behind saying they were not stopping the riders because they were not committing any felonies. They are considered traffic violations. They said they would only pull over the riders if they would somehow commit some sort of felony.

"We're not able to chase these motorcycles," said Sgt. Mark Wysocky with Florida Highway Patrol. "It's a very dangerous situation, you know, but we can only do so much and once we start chasing them, it makes a bad situation worse. So at this time, we're going to continue to monitor the situation."

Sgt. Wysocky said they did not have additional troopers out in force for the ride.

But just as police warned, and feared, there was an accident on Sistrunk Street and 12th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.

During the ride, one of the bikers, sources said, slammed into a car sending him flying about 50 feet. Authorities said that rider is expected to be okay. He was seen trying to take a selfie as rescue crews worked on him.

MLK Biker Crash 1
A motorcyclist apart of the "Bikes Up, Guns Down" rally crashed into a car Monday. (Source: CBS4)
MLK Biker Crash 2
The driver of the car did not sustain any injuries. However, the biker was taken to the hospital. (Source: CBS4)

Last year, hundreds of people on motorcycles and ATVs took over the streets of South Florida, speeding, stunting, and popping wheelies as well.

"If they are stopped, they will be arrested or their vehicles will be towed or ticketed," said Major Ricky Carter with Miami-Dade Police.

Cops and community leaders want people to celebrate safely,  reminding everyone Monday is about a man who promoted unity and peaceful activism – Martin Luther King Jr.

As for the riders, Wysocky had a message for them.

"It's very dangerous. They shouldn't be out there doing it," said Sgt. Wysocky.

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