Better Family Life Peace Ride event. (Credit: KMOV)
NORTH ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -
Hundreds of motorcyclists filled the streets of north St. Louis for a “Peace Ride” held by Better Family Life and The Lady Dragon Motorcycle Club. The purpose of the event was to promote a peaceful resolution to conflicts, instead of gun violence.
The ride started at Skinker & Page and ended at Fairground Park, with the last stretch of the ride along Natural Bridge Ave. A recent census from The Guardian found that Natural Bridge Ave. is the most dangerous street in America. According to this report, almost 70% of the homicides in St. Louis happen along Natural Bridge Ave. This was motivation for organizers to make sure this ride went along this particular stretch of road.
Biker's came from all over, not just St. Louis, to participate. Organizer, Marcelle Perry-Rhone, says gun-violence is something anyone living in any major city can relate to. "We have biker's from as far away as Indianapolis, Indiana, Columbia, we have a couple of biker's from Wisconsin," said Perry-Rhone.
Perry-Rhone says their goal for this rally was to permeate this area of St. Louis with a message of peace. "When a huge group of bikers come through, it gathers quite a bit of attention," said Perry-Rhone.
The bikers participating wanted to make an impact by showing in numbers and colors. "We have all these different individuals wearing colors and we come together as one," said a biker who wants to be referred to as "LD."
LD says this band of bikers is bonded through respect and hopes to lead by example for younger generations. "If we can get our young people to give a little bit more respect to themselves and to others, we can kind of curtail some of the crime that's going on," said LD.
The last two weeks in St. Louis have been particularly violent with more than 10 homicides, a few people under the age of 18. "We have got to find ways to bring this violence down because it is wrecking our communities," said Perry-Rhone.
In choosing to ride down Natural Bridge Ave. on Saturday, participants and organizers hope their message reached the people who needed to hear it most.
"There's more to life than picking up a gun. Every day above ground is a good day," said LD.
No money was raised in this event. Instead, it was just raise awareness and give people information about some of the de-escalation work "Better Family Life" does.
For more information on "Better Family Life" - http://betterfamilylife.org/
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