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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Old School Bikers

In this consumerist age of off the shelf, bolt on ‘bling’, where ‘street cred’ is measured in Dollars instead of mechanical aptitude, skinned knuckles, road rash scars and many hard ridden miles. Where $100K Harley customs ridden twice round the block by yard apes on ‘roids checking their reflections in the shop windows is de rigueur. Where heavy gold necklaces, designer tattoos, undersize tee shirts, camouflage cargo pants, bum bags and white running shoes have replaced the scuffed leather jackets, dirty denims and heavy boots of the past. Where most ‘outlaws’ are sports car driving, clean shaven, fully ‘buffed’ gym junkies with personal trainers and platinum credit cards.

It’s easy to forget there was a time when to be a biker was really making a statement, when they were simply unsociable outsiders who could depend on their fellow ‘brothers’ in their own scene and not just criminal sociopaths posing as bikers because they think the image is ‘intimidating’ to Joe Public.

Let’s just take a quick glimpse at some images, set to some appropriate music, that evoke that spirit of home grown, backyard, do it yourself bikes and that old attitude of fuck off if you don’t like it, I’ll live my life my way and on my terms. Back to a time before a ‘bike builder’ was just some wog with an Arlen Ness catalogue and a subscription to Ozbike. Back to when people fabricated and actually ‘made’ stuff. Back to a time when the closest a biker got to being trendy and fashionable was having a Levi brand denim jacket with the sleeves hacked off. Also, apart from the very rare exception, it was still very much a WHITE thing.

These were, and still are for some of the fair dinkum true believers, the Garage Days…

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