Just visiting, bikers tell St. John's police
More than a dozen bikers who were followed by police into St. John's Monday say they are simply on vacation and have been unfairly targeted.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary later pulled the bikers over as they headed to Cape Spear, a national historic site that is a popular draw with tourists.
The bikers are members of the Bacchus motorcycle club, which has had links to the Hells Angels.
The RNC said the bikers, who were joined by local motorcyclists, were pulled over for violations of the Highway Traffic Act. The bikers didn't accept the explanation.
"We are just on vacation, like everybody else in the parking lot," said a biker who identified himself as Kentucky.
"But somehow, we just aren't allowed to do that ... It happens when we go on a trip like this," he said. "We aren't doing anything. We're just trying to have a vacation."
Many of the bikers are from New Brunswick.
In January, police in Nova Scotia said that Bacchus was establishing itself in that province with local bikers "patching over" their affiliation to the outlaw club. Nova Scotia had chronic problems with the Hells Angels until 2003 when the club folded after key members were jailed.
The Bacchus members said they were not in Newfoundland and Labrador for any reason other than to enjoy themselves.
For a period on Monday, the highway to Cape Spear was jammed with motorcycles and police cars.
The Bacchus members said police created an unnecessarily dangerous situation when police pulled them over outside the park area.
"They could have picked a way better spot than a blind hill … at probably one of the most travelled vacation spots on the island," Kentucky said.
"I felt I was very unsafe and my life was in danger stopped there."
The RNC would not speculate on why Bacchus members had come to St. John's.