Story: Alex Bernstein
Photography: Jonathan Hanson
Something’s been happening in Baltimore. Massive crews are taking their “off-road only” toys to the streets. The boys in blue are out in full force on the hunt for street riders, but on a warm Sunday afternoon, the Wildout Wheelie Boyz—numbering in the hundreds—can be found poppin’ up front wheels at full speed, whether it’s a park hill, a city block or a highway.
Steven, a.k.a. “Honda Moe,” created Wildout Wheelie Boyz five years ago with his brothers Hoon and Scony in an effort to unite their love of street riding. “The name came from our style of riding,” Steven says. “It’s the sickest, wildest style around.” The popularity doesn’t surprise him. With YouTube giving the world access to their wild ways, some Wheelie Boyz videos have more than 800,000 views. This ain’t no amateur hour, though. This is dangerous. It’s illegal. And people have died.
While stuntin’ on dirtbikes and quads is dope, it’s more a statement than anything when it’s on public roads. They’ll do whatever it takes to stop things from getting rowdy, but when you’re dealing with groups of this size and riders of this skill level, it can get out of hand fast. “I’ve seen people get killed running from the police—crash into parked vehicles and poles. I’ve seen Baltimore City Police run people right off the road,” Steven says regretfully. “We just want Baltimore City to give us a safe place to ride.” But that doesn’t look like it’s happening anytime soon. However, the crew is on the rise, and the lifestyle around these Boyz is intoxicating enough to keep it going strong. Even the kids come out; they hit 12 o’clock on their bicycles while making two-stroke engine noises as loud as their young voices will allow. The Wheelie Boyz are role models of a sort, and that’s a more dangerous thing than any—but inevitable nonetheless in a community so tightly knit.
The “wildout” style is part of the culture in Baltimore. “Any rider who can handle their business and not get caught by the police is a Wowboy,” Steven says sternly. So if you think you’ve got what it takes, get your ride ready and head for the 443.