Wheelie Dealing

Greg McGlynn, a car mechanic from Connecticut, does a high-chair wheelie.
Greg McGlynn, a car mechanic from Connecticut, does a high-chair wheelie. (By Kenny Kelley)
By Lonnae O'Neal Parker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The quarter-mile access road isn't quite dry when the Adrenalin Crew revs the engines.

The crowd, nearly 200 who waited out the rain, hanging around the front of Criswell Power Sports in Germantown, quickly lines both sides of the pavement.

They didn't come to see the bikes. They came to see the biker boys. A guy rides 100 feet with the back end of the cycle in the air, doing an "endo" past the crowd. Another pops a wheelie -- standing on his seat while the bike spins tight, perfectly controlled circles. A couple guys throw their feet over their windshields, then do a 360 spin. Wheee! Some just keep it simple and ride straight at 35 mph.

Sitting backward.

"Daamn! Daamn! That's awesome," yells 19-year-old spectator Justin Linck, stepping into the road to take a quick camera-phone picture.

The Adrenalin Crew is performing at Criswell's open house and eating up every minute of it. Reckless Steve burns rubber for the crowd. Greg claps his feet during his wheelie, like he's inviting the audience to applaud. Van deadpans it, just looking hard and focused.

Prowling the sideline in a black Adrenalin Crew hoodie is Kenny Kelley, 29, from Germantown. He started the Adrenalin Crew in 2001 trying to break into the movies. Now he doesn't ride so much.

He strives.

"Dude, did you get it?" he asks a guy filming Reckless Steve making smoke. "That guy's gone wild. You need to be all up in his grille!"

Later Kelley starts shooting footage himself -- always working the angles.

He has a video coming out Sept. 27, "Adrenalin Crew, 100% Illegal." It's a montage of stunts, drunken antics and puerile "Jackass"-on-wheels skits. It's his first production with a big U.S. distribution deal. It's the first one that'll be for sale at Best Buy and Tower Records, and getting here has been tough.

Since the beginning, the Crew has been eight or so core guys around the country, with others showing up when they can. They split because they've got to make money and Kelley can't always pay, because they've lost their driver's license or their bike. They drop in and out while Kelley perseveres, steering, trying to hold his dream steady.

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