Motorcyclists plan Halloween fun ride on Pittsburgh roadways Sunday afternoon
By Margaret Harding
Published: Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, 10:05 p.m.
A road rally expected to attract a large number of motorcyclists on Sunday has the head of the Pittsburgh police traffic division warning other motorists to be aware.
The Pittsburgh Street Team is an informal group of motorcycle enthusiasts who plan to cruise the city in Halloween costumes for the third year in a row beginning at 1 p.m. The Steelers have a home game against the Baltimore Ravens at 4:25 p.m. Sunday.
“We don't call ourselves a club because of the bad things that go along with that,” said Dave Hudson, 24, of McKees Rocks. “It's a ride where we all get together and have fun.”
Pittsburgh police Cmdr. Scott Schubert, who oversees the traffic division, said there will be a lot of traffic on the Parkways on Sunday with people driving to the football game.
Schubert said he saw a video of the group's ride last year. The video shows cyclists popping wheelies, riding on the berm of the road and coming to a stop on the Parkway East (Interstate 376) to do tricks.
“Hopefully, they go out and do the ride and don't do some of the things in the video, because they're dangerous,” Schubert said.
“You don't want people to be inconvenienced because you shut the Parkway down,” he said. “Even if it's just for a few minutes, there's that residual effect. I'm hoping the organizers and everybody involved will follow the rules of the road and won't put other people and themselves in danger.”
At a motorcycle rally Sept. 29 in New York, a video shows riders swarming around a sports utility vehicle after the SUV and a motorcyclist who appeared to slow down in front of it bumped. The driver of the SUV sped off, telling police he feared for the safety of his wife and young daughter.
In the process, however, the SUV ran over a motorcyclist, breaking his legs and causing spinal injuries. Other motorcyclists chased the SUV up Manhattan's West Side Highway, smashed the driver's window, pulled the driver out and beat him severely.
“With us, the most you will ever catch us doing is a wheelie,” Hudson said. “I don't do that. It's at your own risk for that. I don't see us doing anything even close to what happened in New York.”
Schubert and State police Trooper Robin Mungo said they do not have reports of complaints from previous rides.
“We're not a bunch of hoodlums,” Hudson said. “We're in our 20s and 30s, working hard for a living. We have a life beyond motorcycles. I can't go to jail over a motorcycle altercation.”
The riders plan to meet at 1 p.m. Sunday along Washington Boulevard in Highland Park and should ride between two and two and a half hours, Hudson said. The route includes time on the Parkway East, Mt. Washington and Downtown, he said. About 60 riders joined last year and Hudson said he thinks more will come this year.
“People should be aware it's going on,” Schubert said. “If you're on the road, simply let them pass. If they're doing illegal things, call 911.”
Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or email@example.com.
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