New York City / Street Photo / Machines
10 x 11 inches
76 duotone photographs
Photographs by Martin Dixon
Text by Larry Rinder
As an avid biker for over nine years, photographer Martin Dixon gained unprecedented access to the predominantly African-American motorcycle clubs in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan. Comprising a huge subculture of urban road warriors totally unknown to most New Yorkers and bike club enthusiasts, these black “biker gangs”—with names like the Jaguars, the Black Falcons, the Pythons, the Transit Wheelers, the Imperials, the Corpians, the Harlem Riders, the United Roadrunners, and the Uptown Riders—are really high-octane social clubs, whose members ride flashy ninja sport bikes.
Through Dixon’s spectacular insider perspective, we enter a world straddling the customs and trappings of traditional biker culture (the heavily embroidered leather jackets, the thick male camaraderie, the bike as manifestation of the ego), and the rituals and pastimes of the urban biker (the springtime bike blessings, the trophy parties, and the clubhouse socials). More importantly, thanks to Dixon, we witness, even participate in, a set of rituals the likes of which no outsider has ever documented: the block parades (complete with monster trucks!), the barbeque parties (replete with a southern club specialty, the “Mississippi Mud Slide”), the bikini bike wash, the Myrtle and Virginia Beach bike runs, the drag races, the raunchy fundraising parties, and, of course, the “biker chicks”, urban flavor.