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Group of bullet bike riders backs up Highway 201 with racing, tricks, witness says

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Posted at 9:21 PM, Jul 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-20 23:21:32-04

MAGNA, Utah -- A group motorcycle ride on a Utah highway turned into a three-ring circus as bikers did everything from wheelies, to racing, to donuts, according to witnesses.

Fellow motorists were left frustrated, drastically reducing their speeds in order to avoid hitting the riders.

It all took place on westbound Highway 201 in Magna Saturday afternoon. One driver caught the incident on cell phone video.

"You all can't see that there are probably 100 bikers up there and I'm livid because they have taken over the 201," commented Raina Thorn on the video.

Thorn, a Magna resident, said most of these law breakers were riding bullet bikes.

"Taken up all the lanes, stopped traffic, did a show, someone did wheelies, and then they fly, keep going, and they are just going back and forth between the lanes so no cars can get by," continued Thorn on the video.

She later told FOX 13 how close she and her fellow drivers came to getting in an accident.

"A lot of people were slamming on the brakes because you're going 60 mph and we came to a complete stop, sometimes because they were doing donuts and screwing around," Thorn said.

Thorn said she is pro-motorcycle. Her husband even owns a bullet bike. However, this sort of behavior is ridiculous.

"It's not cool, I mean that was dangerous," she said.

Motorcycle instructor Dave Palazzolo said he loves his motorcycle and all the fun that comes with it but he is against group rides.

"Even if it's a big group of people, all of them doing it safely, they're not out there to show boat or play around, you can't see as much of what's going on," Palazzolo said. "So when something comes up you don't have a chance to react or respond to it until it's too late."

In Saturday's case a Utah Highway Patrol trooper eventually arrived on scene and pulled over some of the bikers.

UHP could not verify how many riders received citations. They did say anyone caught racing or performing tricks on a motorcycle on state roads, will not only receive a ticket, but their bike could also be impounded, which could be an additional $400.

UHP Lt. Jeff Nigbur rides a motorcycle for work and recreation. He said this kind of behavior isn't only dangerous and illegal, but it gives everyone on two wheels a bad name.

"We've seen it before where people have been killed and injured in these exact situations," Nigbur said. "Completely inappropriate – really, really frustrating for us, and just a poor choice, a poor place to do that."

UHP said they understand that people want to perform tricks and race each other and they say that's fine, but the highway isn't the place to do it.

They say there are plenty of other places, like Rocky Mountain Raceways and Miller Motor Sports Park where riders can do tricks and race in a safe environment.