I normally wouldn’t find myself surrounded by bikers on the side of the highway. But after writing this post, I decided to delve a little deeper into the issue. I’d interviewed DPD, DPS, and affected residents, and it seemed the only thing left to do was get in the belly of the beast and attend the weekly “Bike Night” at High Five Cycles off 635. Let me just say for the record, on the whole the bikers were respectful and open to talking to me. I was accused of being a cop–more than once–but that’s neither here nor there.
I’m working on a longer form piece about the whole stunting culture and the community reaction to it, so I don’t want to scoop my own article, but here’s a sampling of what I’ve learned.
- The “stunters,” as they are called, are a pretty elite group. The majority of riders are not doing stunts, even if they have sport bikes, a.k.a. crotch rockets, because it does take a good bit of skill to pop a wheelie.
- There’s a lot of turnover (pun intended) in stunt riding. One of the founding members of Dallas Stunt Riders, a 29-year-old male who requested to remain nameless, said that virtually none of the people he started riding with in 2006 are still on the road. Some were injured, some were killed, and many more just decided it was too dangerous.
- Bikers are a divided bunch. Many of the guys I spoke with had a few choice words for the “street stunters,” including a version of, “Get your arse of the highway.”
- Although I’ve been told there’s a growing number of female riders, the only chic I saw was operating the bikini bike wash. It’s worth noting, however, that the owner of High Five Cycles, Leslie Porterfield, holds the record for fastest woman in the world.