TRACY (CBS13) — Nearly a hundred cyclists hit the streets of Tracy Thursday night. It was the latest in a series of mass biking events in Central Valley cities.
Police are urging caution, saying these "street rides" can be dangerous for riders and drivers.
Group bike rides are becoming a growing trend. Nearly 100 cyclists — children, teens and adults — hit the road with their wheels lighting the way every Thursday in Tracy, riding 20 miles through town.
The group started riding together a year ago. Organizer Garett Murphy says the events have grown in size during the pandemic.
"Just the love of bikes and hanging out with each other. These guys do their wheelies, it's mostly about the tricks these kids do," Murphy said.
Starting this week, police are following along to avoid scenes like in Modesto where hundreds of cyclists were seen ignoring traffic laws, resulting in multiple citations and arrests.
"Our job tonight is to just monitor the group. We don't plan to take any enforcement action unless we see something egregious," Tracy Police spokesperson Marcio Reis said.
While some drivers have raised concerns, officers say the group has not been involved in any major violations.
"Sometimes I think they can be a little careless popping their wheelies and stuff, but for the most part they stay out of our way," driver Michael Villareal said.
To keep riders responsible the group designates "safety ambassadors."
"These kids that are doing these stunts, hey let's do them but let's do them right. If we do them right, the police will support us, everybody is on our page," safety ambassador James Hallen said.
Organizers hope putting safety first will allow them to keep their wheels turning.
"It's fun to me because it's such a great way to spend time with my friends and do what we like to do," rider Mario Mora said. "It feels great to have people record you, applaud you and cheer for you."
Group organizers for Tracy Bike Life said after incidents like what happened in Modesto, biking groups throughout the state are asking everyone to stop dangerous riding and respect the community.
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