By Grant Bissell

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Thousands of motorcycle riders will converge on St. Louis over the Labor Day weekend. They'll flood the roads and some will choose to perform stunts in traffic.

Some motorists argue that motorcycles shouldn't be allowed to take over the roads in the St. Louis area on a holiday weekend.

NewsChannel Five's Grant Bissell is an experienced rider himself and he offers some commentary on this year's Ride of the Century.

"This is the third year in a row that I've spent time covering the Ride of the Century and I've made a few observations over the years.


Now, I was raised on and around motorcycles. I started riding on the back of my dad's bike when I was five years-old. And I got my first motorcycle when I was 16.

I get the thrill of riding and I get the thrill of riding with a group. What I don't get is why some riders constantly feel the need to tempt fate by performing stunts on the open road and purposely breaking the law.

I could give the old argument that "Your recklessness gives all riders a bad name." But you've probably heard that a hundred times.

Instead I offer this: You stunt riders are amazing. You've practiced your skill to the point that you have incredible control over your machine.

But let's be real. Does that stuff really belong on the same road as families taking a Labor Day trip? The consequences of a mistake are just too high. Remember, it's not just your life you're risking.

The Streetfighterz say they're providing a stunt riding area on Saturday in Columbia, Illinois. Get it out of your system then.

To the riders that are tired of the negative publicity the event gets every year - talk to the guys who break the law. We don't cover big Harley rides in the same way because they're not riding wheelies on I-70.

Speaking of the law, drivers need to realize that while it may be intimidating, there's nothing illegal about 3,000 motorcycles riding together. Don't call the police just because you see them coming. Save that for if you them stunting. And if you're uncomfortable sharing the road, pull over and let them pass.

To the law enforcement out there this weekend, you've got your hands full. You're the guardians of safety on the roads and you know some riders will blatantly disrespect you. But remember not every rider is out to cross you.

To everybody involved, please be courteous out there and let's have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend."

Police officers from St. Louis to St. Charles County are teaming with the Missouri Highway Patrol to keep watch over the roads all weekend. They've promised a zero tolerance policy for any riders who break the law.

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