Wheelie good stunting

(Rosenda Rios recently tagged along with motorcycle stunters for a story. She wrote this blog entry to talk about her reaction to what she witnessed and her experience with the stunters.)

I know little about motorcycles.  My husband had a couple of them at one time and an ex-boyfriend had a motorcycle as his only transportation.  So when I went out to cover ‘Stunting’ in San Antonio, I knew something about motorcycles, but I really didn’t know what to expect.  This is nothing new, however, as stunting is no longer accepted on the highways.

It’s now moved to the underground world.

We met up with the bikers after 10pm.  Yes, they’re loud and fast,  but these riders love their bikes and love to show off.

Dylan Pool owns Aggressive Edge Power Sports on the northeast side of San Antonio.  Nice guy. What I learned from his is that stunting is a whole different world.  His shop is full of trophies and he’s THE GUY when it comes to top motorcycles.

He’s even built a bike for former NFL player Priest Holmes. Dylan is proud of what he does and what he was accomplished.

(Click here to see a small collection of stunting clips from the evening.)

Dylan told me stunting is not as popular as it used to be because local police have cracked down it to the point where stunters ride late at night in a unpopulated area.

It was past 10:30 at night, all of the riders were very polite, colorful and full of energy.  No age limit, however, all of the riders appeared to be adults. There was one young boy, I believe he looked to be about 11 or 12 years old, whose dad is a stunter.  The boy was there to watch.  I asked him if he was going to do this when he got older. He hesitated, but then his dad laughed and said ‘oh yeah, he will.’

What caught my attention that night, is that everyone was excited to see us cover their stunting.  Maybe they think they get a bad rap, but all the riders and spectators wanted to make sure we got a good show.  I even got offers to ride along, but politely declined.  Not a good idea.

I did get on a what’s called a “bling bling” bike or stretch bike while it was parked.  It was for a reporter stand up.

Funny thing, that’s when a lot of the riders and spectators brought out their cell phones and started taking pictures of me on the bike. Go figure.

I met one woman, the only female stunter.  Sapphire is her name.  Stunting has always been in her life because of her Dad and brother.  She told me it’s cool to be able to keep up with the guys and when fellow riders discover she’s a “girl”, she gets a kick out of it.  Very pretty woman and I got the impression she has no problems keep up with the ‘boys’.  I also noticed fellow riders gave her a great deal of respect.

She was about to show up her stunts when police showed up.   Everyone scrambled.  Back to that later.

One thing for sure, it was loud that night.

The ‘burn outs’ were extremely loud.  I thought of the homeowners in the area.  Although they were miles away, I’m sure they could hear the bikes.   We get lots of complaints at KSAT on all sorts of issues, but I never received an e-mail regarding loud bikes but I’m sure it’s a hassle for homeowners who are trying to sleep.   I don’t know how many times they gather for their stunts, but it appeared they meet on a regular bases.   I did receive one e-mail after our story was promoted asking when the story was going to air because they hear the bikes from their home.

The stunts were incredible.  I was afraid someone was going to crash or collide but it appeared to be well planned.  Stunters ride up and down the street, then ride back on sidewalks, out of the way of the performing stunter. What these stunters want is a place to ride their bikes and not have police called because of the noise, but I don’t see that happening.

As I mentioned, police finally arrived.  Big tip, everyone was scrambling.  Okay…hate to say, but I thought of the movies, West Side Story or Grease, everyone splitting when the cops show up.  I guess someone, a nearby homeowner, called police because of the loudness.

Everyone took off.   I think we were the last ones because we had equipment to put away. The cops appeared to be pretty cool about it.  I believe they were surprised to see us there.

I got the impression cops are called out to the scene a lot.  No doubt this is dangerous. We’re talking speeds up to 180 mph.

I ask why do they do it….their answer “it’s contagious.  Once you do it, you can’t stop”.

(Editor’s Note: Rosenda recently started using Twitter, a microblogging service designed to open communication between people. KSAT has been using Twitter to communicate thoughts from the newsroom and links we like for about a month. We’ll be talking more about Twitter in the coming days, but feel free to tweet and follow us. — Joe Ruiz, KSAT.com Web Editor)

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