St. Louis (KSDK) - In a few days, drivers around St. Louis will be sharing the roads with lots of motorcycles.
The Ride of the Century is a yearly event and one that comes with a lot of complaints and controversy. This year's ride is expected to draw between 2,000 and 5,000 riders from across the country.
Police officers all over the metro area are getting ready for the event and say they will have zero tolerance for any riders doing stunts on public roads.
Every department from St. Louis all the way out to St. Charles County will be working with the Highway Patrol to enforce traffic laws as the riders move through. And Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol says they're serious about writing tickets and making arrests.
"For those that are coming here to enjoy the event and enjoy our state, we welcome them and our law enforcement will be out there to support that," Johnson said. "But anyone that's coming for any other behavior, I can guarantee you we're going to have a zero tolerance and we will bring this behavior to an end."
Motorcycle rider Tony Miller says safety has to be top of mind for everyone involved with the ride. But he says the whole event gets a bad reputation because of the actions of a few.
"The majority of the people involved in the ride are good people and they're just trying to get out and ride and enjoy the company of others," Miller said.
Miller and other riders say in recent years police officers have been too aggressive with their enforcement of the ride. The riders claim officers have rammed motorcyclists while trying to make traffic stops.
Captain Johnson denied the accusation.
James Vaughn, one of the owners of Streetfighterz, the group that organizes the ride released the following statement to the media:
"The Ride of the Century (ROC) will take place on Sunday, September 1st, 2013, in St. Louis, MO. The Streetfighterz organization strongly encourages anyone that attends the ride to please ride safely, respectfully and in the boundaries of the law. We have arranged a closed course venue on Saturday, August 30th, where riders will have the opportunity to perform stunts and/or tricks in a controlled environment. This venue is completely removed from public streets and is provided in an effort to keep motorists as safe as possible by removing stunt riding from the public.
The ROC originally started as an event where friends and fellow motorcycle enthusiasts could come together for one last ride before the end of the riding season. Over the years, as the event has grown, so have the number of participants. With this growth, it is clear that the ROC has become overwhelming for motorists on the highways, the general public and law enforcement. 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.
Again, during the events this weekend, please be safe, respectful to other motorists and obey all traffic laws while riding. Law enforcement will be doing their due diligence to ensure the safety for all on the road."