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Bikes Up, Knives Down | Using Cycling To Fight Knife Crime

Bikes Up, Knives Down | Using Cycling To Fight Knife Crime


(people yelling) – [Guy] The amount of
people that storm the city on bikes, yeah Bikestormz. (dramatic music) – [Narrator] Go on any
news website at the moment in the U.K, and you’ll be met by a number of headlines about the issue of knife crime among young people. In 2018, there were 21381 knife and other offensive
weapon offenses reported, which was the highest level since 2010. For many young people in the poorest areas of the U.K, it can be incredibly difficult to break out of this cycle of violence, but we’re here to talk to
some of the people using bikes to try and combat some of these issues, reduce that violence, and ultimately, to help people find the same joy in bikes that we all have. – The message of this event
is bikes up, knife down. – Tearing up the streets man, it’s a whole different ball game. – Every single one of us
are trying to be better. Are we trying to be better, people? – [Crowd] Yeah! – [Narrator] We’re in East
London with Jake O’Neil, more well-known as Jake100, who’s one of the
co-founders of Bikestormz. Bikestormz are mass bike rides that see the streets of London overtaken by thousands of young kids on bikes. All united both by the love of cycling and their desire to reduce
knife crime where they live. Jake also happens to be unquestionably one of the most skilled bike
riders you’re ever likely to see. – So I learned to ride
from when I was young, I just wanted a BMX bike ’cause I thought it was cool. Ended up doing more and more BMX-ing alongside playing a lot of football, like being a footballer was my dream, but BMX-ing, there’s was
always a space in my heart for that. I ended up injuring myself BMX-ing which ended my football career, and then in that recovery period I found that all I wanted
to do was ride my bike, not play football. So then when I came back, I got a mountain bike
as part of my physio, because a BMX was too small, and that’s when I learned to wheelie and just took it from there. (electronic music) so when I started riding, my family, I didn’t really tell them at first, I didn’t really show them too much like, ’cause I sort of knew that if
they’ve never seen it before, there might be some sort of judgment or expectation. As I started riding more and
they started to see the level of riding I was doing and seeing how much control
I actually had on a bike, they started to understand
it a little more, they accepted it a lot more, it was like my parents have
always been super supportive from young, so they just took a little bit of time to understand it and
now, they’re fully behind it. If anything, they’re kind of confused that I’ve ended up where I am from just pulling wheelies on a bike. Like it’s more than pulling wheelies, but the basis of it is pulling wheelies. (electronica music) – Wherever you are in London, you’re just surrounded by negative things, and it’s so easy to get
drawn into negative things in London. Like growing up, knife
crime was a big problem, you had to look out, you had to make sure you weren’t
getting robbed or whatever. Growing up in East London, you
have to be very street-smart, and very street-riding. I ended up drawn into things and hanging around people I
didn’t want to hang around and whatnot. But riding a bike meant that I had something to do
every Saturday every night, I had somewhere to go, I
had something to practice, I had something to work on. Once my mom saw how much good it was doing for me and how much
happier it was making me, and keeping me out of trouble, then she got onboard a lot more and just really supported it. When you’re young, you
hear oh someone got stabbed on the high road or in
Leyton or South London, wherever. But when it first really hit me was when my best mate in secondary school, his older brother was murdered, and that was the moment where I was like, it’s serious. It really happens, you know? Then like, a year or two on from that, my best mate actually got stabbed as well, and then another year or two on from that, my other best friend, my few best friends have all been victims of knife crime in some way. So it’s like, seeing
that and being around it, and being close to it,
but not being involved, just made me super passionate
and super motivated to try and steer other kids away from it and I was able to ride a bike, and that was my reason
for not being as involved in anything. So if that worked for me,
it can work for anyone. (dramatic music) – Are we trying to be better people? – [Crowd] Yeah! (man yells into mic) – [Narrator] This year’s
Bikestormz started in South Park, just South of the River Thames. While everyone was arriving, one of the other event
founders, Mac gave a speech, letting everyone know why they were there, and what the aims of the event were. One particularly cool moment was when Mac asked everyone
riding a C-100 bike to lift it in the air. The C-100 is actually Jake’s own pro model of bike, and is the first
bike designed specifically for the type of riding that he does. – Earlier this year, I also
released my signature bike with Collective Bikes, and
that was another big thing for the scene as well, because that was the first
really mountain bike design for wheelies. So it was like, what
I’ve always tried to do is really try and break through the scene, get these opportunities and make it. Because if I get these opportunities, in due time it just means
more and more people are going to get them. It’s just opening it up to
those corporate companies, and those people that are
going to be able to invest and try and help push the sport basically. – [Narrator] This year
was the eighth edition of Bikestormz, and it’s safe to say, it was absolutely massive. (crowd chattering) (inspirational music) – [Emcee] Five, four, three, two. (inspirational music) – [Narrator] There were
genuinely so many people that it took around ten
minutes before everyone was out of the park and onto their bikes. The ride then headed West,
crossing over Tower Bridge, and following the North bank of the river, all the way down to Battersea, before crossing back over the Thames to ride all the way
back up the South bank, to South Park. It’s so great to see literally thousands of young people coming
out to ride the bikes. And the amount of positivity
surrounding the event was properly inspiring. – Riding a bike kept me out of trouble, and it just may have opened me up to new places in life. – Yeah, riding my bike
has definitely helped me because just when you’re riding, it’s hard to explain,
you’re just free, ‘innit? You just do what you want. (sad music) – [Narrator] Although almost
all of the interactions we had at Bikestormz were incredibly positive, not everyone was completely sold with how the event is currently being run. – We have security issues,
public safety issues, the young people have to listen to a team. So this needs to be more organized, more coordinated. At the moment, I don’t
feel like it’s organized. I know we have a strong police presence, trying to do their best to coordinate it, to guide the rules and all that, to keep it safe, but the
young people also need to listen to the instructions, because it’s good that we are
located today in the park, but we would like them to
be aware that they have to keep the public safe,
and themselves also safe, so this is a problem we’re having. – We’ve always been
respectful to the police ’cause we know that especially back then, we knew that they didn’t
like what we were doing, and they didn’t understand it, you know? Growing up in London, before
anything good happens to you, it takes people a year, two years, or it takes people a lot of time before they actually
understand who you are and what you’re trying to do. So I think once we opened up conversations with them and we invited them along, we’re respectful and we’re
open to working with them, they’ve begun to understand
what we’re trying to do and what we’re trying to achieve, and now they’re fully behind
it and they support it. – [Narrator] Despite some of the issues surrounding this part of our sport at the moment, its potential for creating some serious
positive change cannot be underestimated. With thousands of people showing up for this year’s Bikestormz,
who knows how big it can be in the future? – With this sport I’d see
it one, growing bigger, and bigger, and bigger. It’s already grown so quickly in the years that it’s been about,
’cause we’re in the time of social media, so whatever
you do can get shared to millions of people instantly. So I think that’s why it’s
grown so quick already. This sport is different
because it’s a bit more raw. It’s got a strong meaning to it, so I feel like everyone
going in the same direction as the other extreme sports, but it’ll definitely be
on the same level though. – It’s inevitable man, it’s
getting bigger and bigger. So future’s here, man. It’s actually coming
sooner than we thought, but it’s a good thing, you know? ‘Cause you don’t want these kids growing up doing other things, you rather have them on bikes. (dramatic music) – [Narrator] Let us know what you think of Bikestormz in the
comment section down below, and if you’d like to see more of this sort of content from us in
the future, don’t forget to give it a like, and
share it with your friends. And why not check out another video where Hank and Ollie tested a cheap bike and a super bike on their commute?

100 comments on “Bikes Up, Knives Down | Using Cycling To Fight Knife Crime

  1. Look at any nation with crime problems and you 'll find it's the same demographic. Males ages 16-35. That's the problem. Not the weapon.

  2. Anything positive should be Praised after all there is enough violence in the world the youth are but without guidance it’s the the blind leading the blind

  3. Wheelie could have helped with some subtitles on this video like this London inner city horse polo anti knife..er I mean murdering crime prevention organisation.
    https://youtu.be/b9p3cyt2zZU

  4. I have quite a collection of knives from Boker, Enzo, Benchmade, Fällkniven, Helle etc. This video was very anti knife.

  5. I’m seeing the local city kids wheelying all around Philadelphia has been growing lately. I wonder how much of a connection there is between Bikestormz in London and the phenomenon I’m seeing here.

  6. What an absolute great movement. Anything that gets the "youth" interested in 2 wheels and keeps them away from going down the wrong path is great. Top respect to the lad that sorts this and I'm really jealous because I can't pull a wheelie 🤣

  7. Its videos like these, which make it difficult to carry a knife such as the excellent Benchmade Bushcrafter when bicycle touring/packing in Scotland.
    https://youtu.be/XNeMla3elkI

  8. Kudos GCN. Great to see you support such an inspirational cause that’s risen from a troubling situation for our youngsters. Keep the faith everyone. It’s not where you’re from, it’s where you’re at ! ✌🏼

  9. Great journalism. Thanks GCN. As a keen cyclist and vicar in the Church of England, I used to let BMX riders use our church car park for their riding and training. Now I live and work in central London- Southwark Cathedral, I live across the road from Southwark Park (featured in your video). I think that Bikestormz are a much needed addition to a multi-faceted approach to combat the complex issues of serious youth violence. Best of all, it has been developed from the ground up. (Director of Mission. Southwark Diocese.)

  10. But knives are illegal how are people getting hurt? Acid attacks and honor killings are up too. I wonder why

  11. Wasn't the original Bikestormz in Malaysia (not the one in the Caribbean) with the invasion by the Imperial Japanese Army in 1942 and they were bristling with Katana's?

  12. This is an interesting video. The intention looks right but I'm thinking where are the adults? For generations kids have been riding in clubs with their parents and neighbours etc. But all I see here is a mass of kids with no adults. Where are the role models? With nobody bringing them up it's no surprise that they get sucked into gangs. I'm guessing parent(s) have limited time due to work commitments.

  13. England! Stop giving Queen awards to stuffy nosed Judges and Politicians who never had a tough upbringing and give one to this amazing young guy….

  14. Simply awesome! You can't reach everyone the same way and here is an example of someone reaching people with just the things they had.

  15. And in the 80's it was Break Dancing.
    Living in a country that is a member of "The commonwealth" (whatever that means lol) this brings a whole new perspective to the term P.O.M.E .
    I hope these young people go on to create a better society, greed is the enemy.

  16. GCN becoming socially responsible?
    Outstanding.
    I started racing in the early '60s on the Bagington, Coventry circuit. Fantastic racing but I really do remember a couple of riders who raced with flick knives in their jersey pockets.
    I kid you not.

  17. Boys need lots of unstructured play, and it seems in the West, they aren't getting enough of it. Bikes are a great way to release energy in a positive way. Love this initiative.

  18. that is just wonderful ! it is so nice to see people change their lives with a bike. happened to me. cured me of boozing.

  19. This is amazing. London needs to learn from progressive capitals like Bogota and close down roads once a week. Let the young reclaim the streets for things like this.

  20. What a fantastic movement and initiative.
    The main point i took away from this was the extreme age range which included so many young people, taking a stance, standing up for what they believe in to try and raise awareness. Whilst doing something they/we are passionate about.
    I fully agree that events like this need to be managed to ensure safety, however, it is also that fact that will make heads turn and thus raise the awareness.
    History has shown that initiatives and movements like this, that are different, are what makes change. Through capturing the public imagination.
    Examples being most recently Greta Thunberg who striked in school for awareness of climate change, this went global.
    Another example, although at the other extreme end of the spectrum, is the suffragette movement.
    The fact is that they all caught the public eye.
    Bikestormz is doing the same.
    The more media attention this gets…..the better in my view.

  21. GCN raising the bar, forgive the punn. Great reporting, clearly demonstrating how bikes and cycling empower. More of this please.

  22. I remember you guys mentioning this on a GCN show a few weeks back. Nice to see an entire segment on this.

    As an American, I'd long for knife crime as opposed to all the gun violence here. It's good that the victims of knife crime are alive to get themselves out of the situation. Thumbs up for all involved.

  23. No Councilor Houngbo – YOU need to listen to the kids!
    They're telling you that projects like this get them out of gangs and into the community.
    If society really wants to reduce gang culture and knife crime then they need to get behind these sorts of projects without the need for over-bearing governance or regulation.

  24. fantastic skills. Now appearing in rural towns and villages. Great to see but maybe a little respect for the Highway Code and other people. ( only just get the bunny hop, still working on the wheelie) Pete (66😉)

  25. There is a similar thing going on in liverpool right now, liverpedlaapool organises weekly rideouts with the same aim and has even started taking the lads to mountain bike trails outside of the city giving these kids a chance to do something better with themselves

  26. I really hope that you will start doing way more videos about track racing… Gravel is taking a huge part of this channel atm and you've never done such things for the track like pro's bikes, track specific training. The coming of Jeremy powers is likely to turn the channel a little bit more in the "off-road" part of cycling and I've the feeling that nothing's done to put the accent on amateur TT in UK or Hill climb or track racing

  27. I’ll be honest, I don’t get it, maybe because I was never a bmx’er, maybe because I’m just too old. But anyway you look at it, it’s a great thing and I support it 100%. These people are active, healthy, not hurting anyone, and they are enjoying themselves. What more can you ask for?

  28. How about a test for your £8000 + super road bikes, against a lower end let's say £1000 carbon road bike but with the addition of a cheap set of aero bars in speed over an undulating say 10 mile course , for people who are not constrained by racing rules. Is the extra £6900 spent on a superbike wasted in this scenario on a super dupa bike, could this choice save the public a fortune ?

  29. I have attended bike stormz and I do understand why people could want it more organised.. As people where biking down the wrong side of the road, one lady got hit ect… Alot of peoples bikes broke and alot of punchers… Would be good if there was some sort of mobile mechanic in the park ect… But it brings alot of kids together where they can make friends and have something positive to focus on

  30. Great job GCN, but I'm not sure that I would continue to consume GCN if it evolved into an issues channel. I'm here for the love of bicycling, an escape from the rest of daily life, I can get issues information from many other sources but there is only one GCN!

  31. Movements like this should not need to exist, SK should get a grip on the problem instead of wasting his time virtue signalling on twitter.

  32. This is great. GCN this is the coolest thing you guys have ever covered. Thanks for putting this out there for us.

  33. If only there were some sort of ongoing event that can be shown to directly correspond to the increase in knife crime 🙄

  34. Who said hard tails are dead?? That guy WilliaM Houngbo…ignore him. Another wanna be polly trying to climb to fame on a mass movement.

  35. Love this so much GCN. I saw a kid on an MTB doing a wheelie in Richmond Park and I gave him a wave (as we cyclists do) and he took his hand of his bar and waved back mid wheelie. These guys could give some pros (no names!) a lesson on bike handling!

  36. Brilliant reportage GCN.. it's easy to ignore young people and think the worst of them when they gang up, but it's wrong to deny them their opportunities.. inner cities need this kind of "help to change" attitude.. top stuff

  37. Me at 0:35 in the cinematic, wheeling. I’m on a blue voodoo hoodoo with wh05dat stickers and grey shorts w black jumper👀

  38. I have a big knife (Mora Garberg if you want to know) mounted on my seat tube. …but it’s for cutting vines and branches from blocking the bike trails, not for stabby stabby. I say knives AND bikes! And hammocks! And campfires!

  39. I found out about Bikes Up, Knives down a while ago, but I really enjoyed this video and GCN showing a different aspect of cycling. 👏

  40. From NYC, I say amazing initiative there in London, as long as the kids stay safe and aren’t risking getting hit by cars it’s amazing to see them interested in our sport. I see this in NY too and I feel like anything that gets kids out and about exercising away from crime and video games deserves support from all of us (ppl n gov’t)

  41. Thanks for putting Bikes Up in the spotlight, heard it before, positive, good… Here we had a similar organized event https://www.reddit.com/r/BikeLA/comments/arm7df/2019_la_marathon_crash_ride/

  42. I wonder how many of these kids would be wearing a helmet if the organizer himself did… Use your head, bro.

  43. all what they have to do is to wear helmets for safety purposes.
    100% great idea, let the kids ride and open roads for them

  44. Love this!
    BMX kept me and my mates away from trouble as kids!
    Big respect to SE Bikes for pushing this!
    Most of the kids there were on an SE 👍🏾

  45. I remember back in the day we used to have dance offs, it was tough being middle class growing up in Milngavie.

  46. This kind of videos is great! I'm actually surprised that it only has 34'244 views so far. schould have atleast 10x that…

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