AUSTIN, Texas — Every Wednesday is a Wheelie Wednesday in Austin.
Each week, the 512 Wheelie Crew takes to the streets of downtown for a 16-mile ride. Up to 60 of them join, most with bikes outfitted with dazzling lights, loud music and stickers from their sponsors (Cyclist Law, Austin Rambler and Pura Coco). They do stunts and tricks, wheelies and stoppies.
"You have people on the sides hitting staircases on the sidewalks. You have the 20-inch guys hitting really long manuals. You have all the new BMX guys, everybody is doing wheelies," said Jose Vazquez.
Vazquez along with his friend Freddie Miller co-founded the group just over a year ago, and say it's their mission to connect with kids, give them a safe space to hang out with their friends and appreciate the simple act of riding a bike.
"One common goal, we all want to get together and ride bikes and have a good time. It's all about having fun and looking out for each other," Miller said.
On this Wednesday night, an 11-year old boy isn't taking that for granted.
Noah Zeifman recently had his bike stolen, but his crew of fellow riders wasn't going to let him miss a beat. Before Wednesday night's ride, they gifted him a new, custom-made bike.
"All the guys chipped in – we all put this full thing together for you, man," said Miller, as he presented it to Noah. "I remember you said you wanted it pink. I painted it for you. It's yours, man."
"When I tell you this is literally my dream vision of a bike … Nothing wrong with it. It rode crazy smooth. I couldn't hear anything – just feels amazing," Zeifman said.
Noah and the rest of the group cruised up to the Long Center to finish the night – a joy ride on this Wednesday night that brought a whole lot of it.
"This is always a highlight of the middle of the week for me," Vazquez said.
"It's a community. It's like your brothers and your sisters," Miller added.
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