Captain Ronald S. Johnson sits at his computer inside the Missouri State Highway Patrol's headquarters in Weldon Springs and points to what he sees as incontrovertible proof of Ride of the Century participants evading the law. Playing out on the monitor is surveillance video of troopers arriving at the parking lot of the Red Roof Inn at Interstate 44 and Hampton Avenue on the evening of Saturday, August 31.

"There. Right there," he says, as the video shows troopers arriving to the parking lot after following a group of cyclists who were stunting on the highway. The troopers approach some of the bikes and feel the heat still coming off the engines. The bikes' owners, meanwhile, have scurried off the lot.

Johnson pauses and rewinds the footage. "See? There they go."

The cat-and-mouse game between authorities and the bikers involved in Ride of the Century never ends, though Johnson has long grown tired of it. He talks about wives and daughters "stranded on the side of the road, in tears" because they were overwhelmed and terrified of the swarms of sports bikes filling the road. How Ride of the Century participants have in the past shut down highways, parking their bikes to stop traffic and creating a four-lane playground for performing stunts. He talks in rumbling, somber tones about the event's failings, especially this year's deaths.

Johnson says he has tried for years to set up some kind of meeting with the Streetfighterz to talk through Ride of the Century's pressing issues, but to no avail. Vaughn says he has been trying the same thing for just as long. Finally, this year, that meeting happened.

It didn't go well.

A few days prior to the kickoff to Ride of the Century, the Streetfighterz learned that police pressure had caused the cancellation of one of their Labor Day weekend events. The third annual Funfest was supposed to be a family affair where spectators could enjoy food and drink while watching a stunt-bike performance in the parking lot of Big St. Charles Motorsports. But after the dealership got a visit from one of Johnson's colleagues, Lieutenant Stephen Ferrier who warned that troopers would be conducting checkpoints, the owner decided the event wasn't worth the hassle.

Enough was enough. Vaughn got on the blower and called Lieutenant Ferrier. The two set up a meeting for that same day at St. Louis police headquarters downtown. Vaughn was expecting a handful of law-enforcement representatives, but, he says, when he walked into a sixth-floor conference room, he was greeted by nearly twenty people, and more were filing in. In attendance were Johnson, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson and other representatives of St. Louis city and county, including lawyers.

"I felt ambushed," Vaughn says, describing how Johnson and Ferrier spent 40 minutes chastising Vaughn and the Streetfighterz for promoting and profiting from illegal activity. Vaughn says the scolding culminated in Johnson declaring that if the Streetfighterz wouldn't shut down the event themselves, the police would find a way to shut down the Streetfighterz by revoking its business license.

"I can tell you if this event goes anywhere near like last year, I will use every bit of power, and I will see that this licence will not exist," Johnson can be heard saying in an audio recording Vaughn took of the meeting. "There's no way the state of Missouri should have a company that's promoting criminal behavior and chaos on our highways."

He also claims the troopers asked him for the ride's route so they could send some patrol vehicles to provide a buffer between the riders and other vehicles on the highway. He replied that the ride has never had a set route, and anything he gave them would be, at best, guesswork.

Johnson denies threatening the Streetfighterz, though he does have serious issues with the group's business model. He also refutes Vaughn's claim that there were lawyers present at the meeting. The gathering was attended by fifteen representatives of law enforcement, no more. He claims that Vaughn did give them a specific route, one which Johnson himself waited at for over an hour with other patrol cars until it became clear that they had been stood up.

"I can't tell you enough times that I did everything I could," says the trooper. "I showed Mr. Vaughn the utmost respect. I threw out every plan that I could think of to make this a safe event, so he could have this event."

Johnson said he posed a simple challenge to Vaughn when he invited him to attend a press conference with police later that week to address the media on the upcoming Ride of the Century. Johnson says that during the meeting he asked Vaughn: "If you're saying that you want this to be a safe event, if you want the chaos and things to stop — then just get up and say that," says Johnson. "What I saw is that he really didn't know how to stop it."

No representative from Streetfighterz attended the police press conference that Wednesday. Vaughn says he didn't want to answer loaded questions from an openly biased media. The Streetfighterz did, however, post a press release to its Facebook page. It included the following: "The intent and purpose of the ride has never been to cause chaos and mayhem on the roads, but instead, have an event where people and motorcyclists with similar interests could come together and share a passion for motorcycles... [B]e safe, respectful to other motorists and obey all traffic laws while riding."

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47 comments
jfeezy4031
jfeezy4031

I think it's hilarious. As a motorcyclist I have to worry about people reading while driving, texting while driving, doing makup while driving, cutting me off, pulling out in front of me, failing to yield to the right of way, coming into my lane without looking, etc etc etc. I think one day a year is not enough. 

Hunzikers-brain
Hunzikers-brain

I have been on highway 270 and highway 55 when these douchebags come by.  they pulled up next to my pick up truck and ripped one of the sideview mirrors off, cracked a window and beat several dents in my truck because I refused to get off their highway.  After that incident and especially after seeing the video of what happened when some other douchebags in New York decided they were going to take over a highway, on labor day weekend when I know these douchebags are out I take my pistol with me. 2000lbs of pick up truck and 3 magazines of .40 should be enough to give these idiots the message.

terrencekeenan1
terrencekeenan1

I like it. Gives a little rawness to St. Louis.  Police need to focus on what is statistically the most dangerous to us, day-in day-out, not just focus on this because it's so odd and fantastic. For example, what is more dangerous, the distracted diver of a 6,000 lb suburban driven 365 days a year, or a weekend of stunt motorcyclists? How many motorists did the cyclists kill that weekend? Dunkin donuts, McDonalds and your stress level kills and harms way more people. Let these guys do their thing, albeit as safely as possible.

ut_4_me
ut_4_me

The picture with the story show how big a group of ass wipes some of the riders are.  

Bart Cohn
Bart Cohn

Although in all fairness, I once golfed with Sitdown Steve, and he was a perfect gentleman during the round, abided by all the protocols of group play.

Bart Cohn
Bart Cohn

I'm sure they are fine, upstanding citizens of the community, contributing to the betterment of us all with their good deeds. Right?

Laura Dee
Laura Dee

Jerks. Quit putting my life in danger with your stunts.

twowheels
twowheels


Fucking pussies all of them. So busy trying to look "cool" that these retards don't think about the fact that there's kids in car seats and families on the same roads they're pulling their bitch ass stunts on.

If you think you have skills go to a track and prove it. Otherwise fuck off, you silly weak ass wanna-be-cool-but-not-doing-it-right pieces of shit.

How cool will you feel when you kill a kid because you were trying to show off to an interstate full of people who aren't impressed to begin with?

I ride motorcycles too. The difference is I do my dumb shit where there AREN'T cars full of kids around and the only person in danger is MYSELF.

Fuck you.

Sincerely,
twowheels

kathy519
kathy519

I come from a family of daredevils but we NEVER put anyone else in danger.

Those STUNTRIDERS swarmed my car as I was driving to Barnes for cancer treatment a couple years ago.  My husband and I were also swarmed and surrounded as he was bringing me home from the hospital after chemo.  We were so sick/worried/scared for my prognosis and then we had to deal with crazed motorcyclists who made faces at us and zoomed by our car.


I try not to be vindictive, but I truly hope every one of those jerks has to go through the fear of hitting a lunatic motorcyclist as they drive a sick child to the emergency room, or something similar.

Spectrum1
Spectrum1

JACKASS MEETS HIGH-POWERED SPORTS BIKES." I think that about says it all.....

Spectrum1
Spectrum1

In May this past year I was on the Loop in Atlanta heading south towards Florida and I kept seeing these STUNTERS pulling wheelies going from lane to lane around me and four other semis, we were all loaded with 80,000 lbs of machine parts. The bikes were weaving and stunting and then suddenly the worst thing Ive ever seen occurred right next to me, the Biker hit a pothole and went down, when he went down he came right into my lane, the truck behind me drove OVER him and his bike and the truck behind him hit the body before he could see what had happened....PRETTY COOL HUH.

dvahey61
dvahey61

Bunch of inconsiderate aholes . If you want to do this kind of stuff find a track some where, the streets and highways are not there for your entertainment and riding a motorcycle does not afford you ant special privledges.

dvahey61
dvahey61

Bunch od inconsiderate ahole . ou want to do this kin of stuff find a track someehere the streets and highways are not there for your entertainment and ridding a motorcycle does not afford you ant special privledges

Thee Lovingcup
Thee Lovingcup

Buch of lame ass idiots. 2 died this year... what a waste of life.

billj598
billj598 topcommenter

So one of these streetfighterz azz-holes goes down in front of you while "performing" on an Interstate and you either can't stop in time or the 18 wheeler following you can't and you flatten the clown or get pushed into the immature idiot's carcass.....doing him great physical harm.  Are you legally liable for hitting the cretin ?  You have no proof, unless some kind person stops and I.D.'s themselves as a witness, that the moron was "stunting" in traffic.  Ever consider that Mr.& Ms. motorist ? It's gonna' happen, it's only a matter of time.  

Shelley Dotson
Shelley Dotson

If i skydive, it is only my life in jeopardy, I don't force others who don't want to be involved to jump out of a plane if they don't want to. If they want to do motorcycle stunts, thats fine with me - find a closed course and keep me out of it.

John Lupia
John Lupia

Heres the thing. Most people don't mind the speeding. Its the fact that all the other shit is such a pain in the ass. Doing tricks in traffic that make people take their eyes off of the road. Two years ago my wife and I were getting on 70 east coming from Ameristar. We get to the to of the ramp and 4 of these buttholes had the entrance blocked so the huge pack could pass. It is a corkscrew ramp and I almost owed into them. Then they wouldnt move for 5 minutes until the pack passed by. If they weren't a pain in the ass nobody would care at all. Like the other guy said if they would be cool and run some sort of charity everyone would be fine .

Laura Dee
Laura Dee

Yes. They should use the proper channels for their stunts instead of putting my life in danger!

Michael Mahler
Michael Mahler

wait till they have an oopsy in traffic and kill someone.... just a matter of time. Not a fan.

Twmoui Guess
Twmoui Guess

I was discussing the Ride of the Century the other day with a few friends who participated and I informed them that my opinion is that if the Riders got behind a not for profit organization the same way that Bikers for Babies does that they would probably get hassled a lot less by the cops. In other words if they get behind something that contributes back to society they would more than likely be able to have a lot less problems. I mean I heard there was close to 4000 people in attendance for the ride this year if every one of those riders were to contribute even ten bucks into a fund for a charity then thats 40,000 dollars going into a NFP that would help out immensely. I understand the thrillseeking and the stunting but I also know that as a rider its not just my life out on the road, if one of the stunters wound up falling at the head of the pack how many people would be injured behind them that are riding with the crew. Im a rider as well and not one of the weekend warriors. I will ride in all weather conditions except in ice. But I also know that its not the smartest thing to do either.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

yaaa! we're totally badass when we aren't playing xbox in our parents' basement.

Becky Lane-Wegman
Becky Lane-Wegman

I think it is cool with a twist of "can you take that to the country,"

Ray Thomas
Ray Thomas

they don`t even deserve the media space they are given

Eznie
Eznie

I don't mind them on the highway as long as they're obeying traffic laws.  But when they're putting my children in danger with their antics that disrupt traffic, then we're going to have a problem. 

co-tea179
co-tea179

if yu don't like the fact that they ride down the highway keep your car off it then there is 100s of ways around stl so learn the

lucripet-2007
lucripet-2007

I miss spelled their. Should not have written there. So you anal retentive vocabulary checkers foad.

lucripet-2007
lucripet-2007

If I had the same mentality(sic) these swamp-rats have then I should have the right to, if they come near my car, "bounce them" into another dimension. Using my car as a bumper-car to there life's end. They have only one right. That is to pay the price for their ignorance..no matter the cost!

jfeezy4031
jfeezy4031

@Hunzikers-brain  You sir, are a moron. It is a police escorted ride. I'm sure you take the same attitude when a funeral percession comes through right? Fuck you I'm not pulling over for 30 seconds, pistol and a pickup yeehawwww. 

babyjane420
babyjane420

Same for your kid then If the little mother fucker comes out in the street on their bike by my car game over...Lol....dick head! That's for you iucripet-2007

weatherford1989
weatherford1989

Fuck this cock sucker!! R.O.C was awesome andbill be back evrryyear if it stays alive!! Keep stuntin!!

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

@weatherford1989 do any of you assclowns know how to actually spell real words? or should I say wurdz so you dumbfucks understandz?

red.kryptonite
red.kryptonite

@jaco1175 You talk trash and put z's on the end of words and then use the word "fucktarded". Nice. Typical holier-than-thou crap. Just like all the "don't put my kid in danger... only I can do that by going 20 mph over the speed limit, texting and eating a bagel! " 
This entire comment thread is full of hypocrites. I've driven in StL for 30 years and folks drive like shit. Most of the comments I've read here are in typical hypocrite fashion.
I'm not defending these retarded squids and their behavior but holy Mary, Mother of God ... the whole article and comments section is a frigging joke.

 
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