Thousands attended the annual event this year to wheelie through the city and call for ‘knives down, bikes up’.

Thousands attended the annual event this year to wheelie through the city and call for ‘knives down, bikes up’.

On 27 August, the BikeStormz community returned to the streets of central London for it’s annual ride out against knife crime. It was hard to miss the spectacle of over a thousand bikers throwing their front wheels into the air and wheelieing their way across the road. The event has been happening since 2014, with the movement since spreading to cities across the UK from Birmingham to Liverpool, and to Paris and Amsterdam.

There were many familiar faces at the event, along with new faces, such as Roger, who has been riding for 15 years, but only two months as part of the BikeStormz community. “The BMX days are back – it’s come back alive!” he told Huck. “There ain’t nothing more to life than being out here on the one wheel, or two wheel!”

This year’s event came at a time when concern over the rate of knife violence in London is increasing; 2021 recorded the highest rate of teenage homicides in the capital city by a knife or sharp implement on record. BikeStormz founder Mac Ferrari gave a speech about the importance of family and community, and making the most of these moments to talk to each other, squash any beef you might have with someone here and ride together – even if it’s just for a day, it’s positive. He invited Marvin Herbert to speak to the kids, talking about his former gang life and how much he’d lost, emphasising the pointlessness of it all. Additionally, he reiterated the theme of family that this BikeStormz was focused on, while wearing the white “family” t shirts made for the day.

Photographer Benjamin Brooks was there to capture the action.

Follow Benjamin Brooks on Instagram.

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