Motorcyclists shut down I-4, post videos to social media

Videos show stunt riding, lane splitting on various highways

ORLANDO, Fla - They've dubbed it the Epic O-town street ride.

One Facebook post bragged, "We shut down I-4!"

Another questioned if they "got any cop action," and others wondered why they hadn't immediately "made the news."

On June 14, dozens of motorcycles took part in a street ride that ended up shutting down Interstate 4 eastbound near State Road 408. 

The riders donned go-pro cameras on their helmets and were quick to post videos and photos of the stunt on publicly accessible Facebook pages. 

The videos show what is referred to as a rolling roadblock, and a wall of cars being forced to slow down as the motorcycles come to a complete stop.  

Some of the riders stood on the highway with their arms up in the air as others rode out ahead and performed wheelies and other stunts.

"You know, whenever something stops traffic on I-4 it's not just that immediate area, it is a residual back, so by them stopping this traffic, the traffic behind them is not moving, not knowing why they are stopping," said Kim Montes, with the Florida Highway Patrol.

The specific area where they shut down the highway is actually patrolled and enforced by the Orlando Police Department, but neither agency knew about the incident until Local 6 reached out for comment.

Montes said that the FHP would be monitoring social media for future events and determine if they needed to plan any targeted enforcement.

A 2008 law made riding a motorcycle in a wheelie equivalent punishable by a $1,000 fine for the first offense.

A second offense is a fine of $2,500 and an automatic license suspension for one year. The third time they are caught it is considered a felony, with a $5,000 fine and a 10-year license suspension. 

"I mean, nothing is worth the risk if it's dangerous or endangers the lives of others. You get caught up in the moment, you don't know what to think or not to think," said Jeremy Block, who runs Xtreme Fury Stunterz with riding partner Mike Tindall.

The group organized the June 14 street ride that shut down the interstate, but both Block and Tindall claim that was never the plan, even though they admitted to being part of the ride. 

Tindall said they are trying to build up support for their sport, which has been dwindling in the past few years.

He and Block organize motorcycle stunt shows that they perform in controlled settings like parking lots of private businesses. Recently they have also been organizing group street rides after those events.

"It seems like when we do a street ride it's getting people involved. They're not just coming and watching a stunt show they've seen 9,000 times," said Tindall.

Montes said she is not concerned about responsible motorcyclists, just the ones that choose to ride recklessly and put themselves and others at risk. 

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety Motor Vehicle database, for the first quarter of 2013, motorcycles were involved in more than 2,520 crashes, and in 559 of them the motorcyclists was driving carelessly or in a negligent manner.

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