Kids On Bikes: Ride-Outs

I spent Saturday afternoon with my girlfriend at one of the malls here on Long Island. This mall features an outdoor area with a shops and places to sit. Since it was a beautiful autumn day we decided to spend some time outside. As we approached the automatic doors I noticed a kid on a bike headed toward them. As he got closer I was certain he was going to come into the mall. But to my surprise he turned around just before the entrance. When we walked outside we noticed that there was at least 10 kids on bikes Apparently it was ones of these ride-outs that you have probably heard about in the news. They were riding around in circles, doing wheelies and other nonsense. For those who aren’t aware these ride-outs is a group of kids who use the internet to make plans to meet at a central location. They have been known tie up traffic by riding on busy roadways. They also ride in parking lots and other outdoor areas. As a result these kids are putting themselves in dangerous situations and face the potential of hurting innocent pedestrians or even worse they could get struck by a car. As a result some municipalities have started to crack down on them. Unfortunately the parents of these children or the kids themselves complain that they are singled out. They believe kids should be allowed to be kids. Excuse me? You think kids should be able to tie up traffic and put others in danger? I’m sorry, but I don’t think so. Anyway back to my story.
As we observed these kids I noticed a security vehicle about 100 yards away. A security guard walks over and tells them several times that if they want to ride around than they will have to leave. When she walks away several kids started asking for her phone number. I guess they thought they were being cute or something. But they were anything but that. They had to be less than 16. I walked over to her to talk about the issue and maybe even show some support. She said there isn’t much they can do unless a supervisor authorizes them to do so. I think that’s ridiculous. The way I see it these kids are acting in a reckless manner and risk the potential of get injured. If this does happen then there isn’t a doubt in my mind that the parents of the injured party will sue the property owner. Based on my conversation I got the impression that they need more than one complaint before mall security can take any sort of action such as calling the police. Because of this I added the non-emergency number for the police department to my cell phone. Call me a bad guy if you want, but as far as I’m concerned the safety of everyone else should take priority over children riding their bikes in a reckless way.
I grew up in 80’s and this was never an issue. Of course we didn’t have the internet. Nonetheless if a group of us kids attempted one of these ride-outs in those days then I promise we would have heard it from our parents. It seems to me that parental authority is not what it used to be. Maybe one day this will turn around. Hopefully it will happen in my lifetime.

That is all for now. As always I thank you for visiting.

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