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We Keep Us Safe

Author: Bike East Bay

Date: September 29, 2020

Bike East Bay celebrates people bicycling. When we see large groups of young people cruising down the street together, popping wheelies, and creatively celebrating their freedom, we see the pure joy of riding a bike. 

Unfortunately, some car drivers and police departments do not share our enthusiasm for free and joyful bike riding, and have reacted with escalation, threatening messages, and arrests. This policing of young people, many of whom are Black and brown youth from throughout the Bay Area, is unacceptable and violent. We reject this type of over-policing in our communities, which is part of a larger system of violence against Black and brown safety, freedom, and expression in public spaces. 

We also acknowledge that sometimes young people ride their bikes in unpredictable or non-traditional ways, and this can be confusing or alarming for drivers. In these moments, it is important for all of us to challenge our traditional notions of what safety means in a world that has not been built for kids on bikes. Instead of calling the police, here are some ideas for how you and your neighbors can celebrate people biking while keeping everyone safe.

If you see a group of young people on bikes and aren’t sure what to do:


  • If you’re driving, yield to them. Your car is potentially dangerous. Just stop your car if you aren’t sure what to do. Check your mirrors and your blind spots and proceed slowly when it’s clear.

  • Stay calm and smile. Most of the riders are very young, so they might act like it. Be thoughtful and patient with young people.

  • Marvel at their wheelie skills! Offer a thumbs up if you’d like.


  • Don’t call the police! Police interaction can be very dangerous and escalate to violence, arrest, chases, and other extremely dangerous situations.  

  • Don’t honk, yell, or engage in an aggressive way. This is not safe or helpful.

  • Don’t threaten children with your vehicle–at the end of the day, your car is more dangerous than their bike. Drive with care.


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