Dear PoPville – Quad Bikers Performing wheelies up 14th St NW Sunday night?

“Dear PoPville,

Sunday night at about 7.10pm, a gaggle of at least 10 quad bikes and off-road motorbikes were driven north up 14th St NW (at Florida) by young men, without lights, helmets or regard to the correct direction of traffic, ignoring traffic signals, performing wheelies, and weaving in and out of cars. There wasn’t a police vehicle in sight.

While it looked very daring, if not cool, I called the Police as it seemed rather a hazard – and just in case it was a semi-organized criminal gang on the loose, but wondered if there had been any other sightings?”

In Feb. a reader saw about 40 ATVs in Columbia Heights. In Aug. a reader spotted around 20 around McMillan reservior .

76 Comment

  • Eventually they will be in an accident. Thinning the herd…

    • I used to ride in a motorcycle gang and frequently rode in a fashion similar to this when I was downtown when i was younger. now I make a six figure salary and I’m a productive contributing member of society who obeys traffic laws. Kids do the same thing in the country and nobody feels the need to call the cops on them. I’m highly surprised by the overt lack of sensitivity displayed in this thread. If they don’t cause harm, they’re just good ole boys… Yall didn’t get mad when them duke boys jumped the bridge did you?

    • Hopefully someone will run over the bunch and put an end to this problem. No sympathy from me.

  • LOL @ “a semi-organized criminal gang on the loose.”

  • I live on 13th Street and I can hear them coming up and down the street from my living room sometimes.

  • I saw them heading South on 16th coming from Park Road around 7:30. Looked like a bunch of idiots acting they were from Mad Max or a DMX video.

  • Yes! About two weeks ago the same thing happened in Chinatown on 7th/H. After doing a bunch of wheelies and what not in the MIDDLE of the intersection (admittedly pretty funny, albeit dangerous), they took off East on H, and as I walked that way a few moments later I noticed a squad car on H/5th. He had to have been sitting there when they passed, so I’m not sure how nothing was done

    • It’s police policy to not do anything –

      It’s ridiculous that they are allowed to ride through the city violating every law and there is no action taken.

      • Don’t be a Drama Queen and a liar.

        Policy is to – not give chase. That is a little different than nothing.

        One day they will get theirs….

        • but yet they are now ticketing bicycles for not obeying traffic laws, why in the world would they let these kids disobey them?

          • brookland_rez

            That’s the advantage to having a motor with your two wheels. Police leave you alone. Cars don’t mess with you. I know it’s not fair, but bicycles get tickets because they’re easy targets. Ditto for cars. Motorcycles, dirt bikes? Extremely hard to catch if the rider is so inclined to run. And a lot of riders make it a sport to run. Cat and mouse. It’s like a game. Police, especially DC MPD, are notoriously lazy, looking for the easy way out. Therefore they don’t want to mess with motorbike riders.


      • As a cop, you don’t chase dirt bikes or 4-wheelers because they will drive on sidewalks and anywhere to evade lockup. And when they do jump the sidewalk and kill a grandmother of 12, the finger points back at the police, and not the 18 year old who did a wheelie into her sternum.

        You’ll never catch them anyway. Trust me.

  • My friend and I saw this, too, right around 14th & Florida. We were terrified. Some of the men were standing up, screaming, hands in the air – I held my breath and moved quickly into my apartment building. I did see police coming in the distance so hopefully they took care of it.

  • Saw them going East on U Street around 8pm on Sunday. Directly behind a couple of District 3 police cars. Nothing happened. I’m guessing in the big scheme of things it’s not a big deal.

    Amazing how this is looked down upon and the cops are called but the large gaggle of bike parties that go through the city with disregard to motor vehicles and stop lights is ok (I know not all of the riders do this – but it’s getting worse and worse as they get bigger). Would you call the cops then?

    • Hey..let’s play a game where we pretend that human powered machines have the same capability to harm as motor vehicles…it’ll be fun.

      • Will this game make it less douchey for bicycles to want to both receive the rights of a vehicle without the restrictions? That would be fun too.

        • One interesting thing to consider is why we have stoplights. The reason we have stoplights is because of cars. specifically privately owned cars. stoplights aren’t usually necessary in societies without a large number of such cars. you may also not realize that the people who suffer most from these intersections are people OUTSIDE of the cars, while the people inside of the cars are creating the problems, they have luxuries- leather seats, climate control, music, etc. There is no protection in the rain, heat, or snow for someone who is waiting for the crosswalk signal. I think stoplights would still be helpful in some scenarios in car-free societies, but they wouldn’t be as prevalent or as damning to non-car folks. When I run lights on my bike, I do it as an act of civil disobedience, as a protest in favor of the little man. If someone else is coming, or has the right of way, I always yield to them, and I think such a system would be fair, but the system we have now sucks for anyone outside a car. Oh hey, forgot to mention, if you are in the car and driving to work, you get tax discounts as well. nobody is going to pay for my shoes if i walk to work, are they?

  • Last Tuesday, they were heading East on U Street around 7:15pm. There was a cop behind them, but the cop did nothing as they violated traffic rule after traffic rule.

    • Cops have specific instructions to NOT chase and/or cite them. That would greatly increase the odds of a pedestrian or motorist fatality. Cops let them do their stupid peacocking and then the idiots are gone within 5-10 minutes.

      Yes, it’s dangerous. But it would be even more dangerous if the cops attempted to apprehend them.

      • So, if cops won’t do anything as they break the law and endanger citizens, does that mean the cops won’t do anything to citizens who take action against them? Outside my house on Lincoln Rd a week ago a kid kept speeding up and down the street on a dirt bike, probably going 60+ miles an hour, through stop signs, with no light on at night. This isn’t acceptable.

        • One kid is different from 30 to 40 kids running wild on the streets. They might respond.
          Go ahead and be a vigilante. However, I’d bet that you would be the one to end up in jail and then facing a civil lawsuit for damages. It’s your life, live it as your see fit.

  • We saw a similar gang of about 30 doing this at U and 9th back in May. There’s nothing cool about it–it’s incredibly dangerous and reckless. In the video, notice their running through the red light; when we saw them, they were going against traffic in oncoming lanes, and veering on and off the sidewalks to the peril of pedestrians. But apparently, DCPD isn’t interested in doing anything about it.

  • This has happened for years… nothing new. I’ve been here 27 years and I seen it happened in the late 90s to now…

  • take out their tires – watch them eat dirt / pavement

    • Yeah, because human life is worthless when you’re a minority riding a quad bike! Yeah! Please. This is ridiculous.

      • Are you referring to their lack of concern for human life when endangering everyone around them?

      • It’s true, a minority of people don’t care about other humans. Plenty of people, minority and non-minority (using your original definition) DO care about humans, why are you giving a pass to the minority of people who don’t? Are you one of them?

  • So, dirt bikes and wheelies but I can now get a ticket from a stop sign camera?

    • Solution: ride an ATV to work, speed, and don’t stop for stop signs.

    • This is the best response.
      No need for MPD give chase – just follow the riders at a safe distance and then impound the bikes when they are parked.

    • The thing with the cops is that they can only catch one person at a time. If you’re in a pack of 30 cars without license plates and you’re running lights, they won’t do anything to you.

      It’s like a herd of zebras – the lions can’t catch and eat any single zebra because the herd provides protections and disorients the lion. However, a single zebra by itself is easily attacked and killed by the lion. The sum is greater than the parts.

  • It’s sad when they ride in a pack like this that the police can’t corral them into one place the confiscate the ATVs and bikes. Cops do have radios – they could actually communicate with each other to lead these idiots into an alley that can be closed off with a couple of police cars. But that’s a lot of work for DC cops.

    • I don’t think this is anywhere near as easy to pull off as you think it is. I think it’s highly unlikely that the entire pack of riders would head into an alley to begin with.

      • exactly lol

        maybe… and only maybe would that work in a movie haha

        they would have to do obama style road blocks for that to work and still it wouldnt work all the way
        dirt bikes are not bound to the road by any means

  • I also saw this on Sunday! They were going east on Rhode Island Avenue near the Rhode Island Ave station. Standing up, screaming, riding in a huge pack.

  • They are the “DC glory boyz”, tons of you tube videos if you google.

  • It is noting new… here or other major citys

    Baltimore is famous for it

    but what would you expect cops to do? Follow them?
    the dirt bikes can EASILY get away from cops, like too easy even if they did persue

    its almost a lesser of two evils
    on one side they ride the streets and yes its dangerous
    but the alternative is to have two ton crown vics chasing them as they evade as fast as possible (even more dangerous than the joy rides) jumping medians, curbs, etc to get away

  • I was told that they are a group of Chinese Phd students from the projects in Columbia Heights !

  • There appears to be a weekly gathering of this sort of thing — a DIY road party — explicitly tolerated by the cops (I saw a couple drop by and chat with the participants before easing into the night) at a secret location in Northeast. I’d give out the location but I want to do a little swagger jacking with a date/my hipster son before the neighborhood improvement association has it broken up. And, besides, they’re in a location where no civilians are in danger.

  • This is why we should be allowed to carry guns in the District. If I’m a pedestrian in a crosswalk, the right of way is mine and since the police has made it policy not to stop them, then the only way I’ll be able to protect my life is by making use of my 2nd amendment right.

    On the other hand, they could require license plates and have more street cams.

  • I read an article recently, perhaps in the Post, about this problem that is occurring throughout the DC area (and probably other cities). The article said they were not allowed to chase these vehicles as it can make a hazardous situation more dangerous. I think they can only follow them to a place where the rider gets off and they can be detained or take photos of people or vehicle licenses if they exist to research the ownership so they can find the home where the vehicles are housed. This is from my recollection so the details may not be exact but the larger point was they are not allowed to chase and can probably only attempt to pen them in somewhere. I have seen them myself playing cat and mouse around Ninth and U street Northwest.

  • My husband saw these guys on Sunday by CityVista in Mount Vernon Triangle. He also noticed they all had ski masks on….seems like they are up to no good.

  • I had a conversation with our neighborhood MPD officer and their directive has been not to give chase and not to engage with these gangs because there have been instances where police departments have been sued by the bikers themselves for causing accidents. Apparently, this has become a scheme where the bikers have someone videoing the whole time and then blame the cop when one of the bikers crashes…

  • It’s harmless. These guys “DC Glory Boyz” are incentivized to not cause trouble and to not hit people, bicycles, or cars. I say let them do their thing within reason. The Bicyclists did it in the 90s with critical mass. These aren’t notorious motorcycle gangs like Hell’s Angel, Pagan’s (from PG county maryland), or Sons of Satan….who are actually killing people.

    • brookland_rez

      I own two ninja zx10rs that would smoke them and your Honda 900. But that’s cool 😉 But I agree, let them have their fun.

  • Eventually someone will get hurt. Hopefully, it will not be an inncocent pedestrian.

  • brookland_rez

    Don’t come over to NE/SE much? They’re all over. Suitland Parkway, RI Ave, Southern Ave, etc. One rides up my street in Brookland from time to time. There was an article in the Post recently talking about them.

  • are you serious this criminals probably live off public housing and food stamps. Stolen Cellphones can’t pay for quad bikes

  • They blast through M St NE far too often. I’d be glad to see the lot of them arrested.

  • Wow. You live in a city. Stuff happens. No blood no foul. These kids might be a pain, but as long as no one is hurt, chill out. Don’t don’t be so thin skinned. If you want pristine quiet move to the burbs. There are tons to choose from. Otherwise watch your back and STFU. Straight up cowards/crybabies moving into DC these days. You’ll call the cops on these kids but love ish out “Sons of Anarchy”. Hurry up and get knocked up/knock someone up and move out. I like city life with city folk. Rough and gritty as it may be.

  • I saw these guys on Florida Ave. late at night a few weeks ago. They seemed to have a police escort, since there were a couple of squad cars mixed in with the bunch and it looked like they were there to allow the group to run the lights.

  • I also saw that group driving around on Sunday night. They drove up and down 18th street and then back over to U street. To me, it almost seemed like they wanted to get the attention of the cops, they’re impossible to avoid on 18th and on U street. It seemed really reckless what they were doing. Even for a Sunday night 18th street is pretty full of pedestrians, and they were mostly driving on the wrong side of the road and cutting off metro buses.

  • While I would chuckle if these guys hit caltrops, the pearl-clutching and criminal inferences are ridiculous. You people are so easily rattled that you provoke shit like this.

    Critical mass and other bike rides annoy people too.

    If city life is too much, there are other options.

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