Download Bikers: Culture, Politics & Power by Suzanne McDonald-Walker PDF

By Suzanne McDonald-Walker

From The Wild Ones to effortless Rider, the bike has infected the imaginations of the media and most people alike. Marlon Brando, carrying leather-based jacket, denims, and moody glare, grew to become a cultural icon summing up 'the street' in all its maverick glory. yet does the parable of the renegade bike owner, an outcast from mainstream society who takes to the line in pursuit of freedom, correlate with truth in any significant manner? Who quite rides bikes and why? What are the manager issues of motorcyclists and the way are those represented and contested within the political sphere?This e-book, in line with vast fieldwork among bikers and the bikers' rights stream, overturns the ingrained prejudice that equates bikers with deviancy and explodes the myths emphasizing the rebellious and dysfuntional facets of cycling. as an alternative, the writer makes a speciality of what cycling potential to these concerned - the rewards, the hazards, the addictiveness, but in addition the stigma and assaults at the cycling way of life. according to the destructive imagery surrounding bikers and turning out to be legislative threats from Europe, bikers' rights institutions developed among the Sixties and Eighties within the united kingdom and Europe. the writer discusses the goals and achievements of those lobbies, and the way forward for motorcycling extra in most cases because it turns into stylish as a middle-aged, middle-class pursuit.

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Example text

You’ve got no contact with it. Whereas, with a bike, you’ve got full feeling of what’s going on around you. You’ve got a lot more perception of what’s happening. That feeling of being out there, and you’re moving, and you can go from one place to another, completely uninhibited, and the tarmac is six inches under your feet, and you’re there, you’re in it . . it’s interactive with the world around you in a way that isn’t achievable through any other mode of transport. There is a crucial sense here in which a motorcycle’s role as a mode of transport appears to be almost of less interest to riders than the more intrinsic aspects of enjoyment that come from it, that is that it would appear that motorcyclists do not have an instrumental attitude to their vehicles purely as objects of transportation.

The old mods and rockers from the ’60s and the Hell’s Angels from the ’70s is still in a lot of people’s minds. Whereas anybody who’s got half a brain could see that they were still only a very small percentage of the people who rode motorcycles. This is supported by a retired member of the police: . . they had a very negative image. A lot of it ill-founded, certainly, but in the ’60s and the ’70s, following on from the late ’50s and ’60s, of course, for any teenager to prove that he was ‘hip’, he had to wear a leather jacket.

It is, perhaps, this flirtation with danger as an ever-present variable which may account, at least partially, for the hedonistic image associated with biking, that is that the assumption may be that people prepared to live with, or positively encourage, dangerous circumstances are somehow different, less safe, than those who do not. One rider offers his own explanation for the effects of the risk of danger on the attitudes of motorcyclists: We know we’re more vulnerable and we know that, in order to combat that, we have to be more aware of what we’re doing when we’re riding.

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