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The Bikeriders Hardcover – January, 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
Throughout history, there have always been people who felt that they had nothing left to lose. People who had come to the conclusion that polite society was just a whitewash over something that was rotten to the core. Often, they decided this during very hard childhoods, as they found themselves betrayed by parents who were themselves just too screwed up to love their children.
Arriving at 18, mad at the world, a fast bike and a wide-open horizon look pretty good to these people; and if you don't care whether you live or die, you ride that bike fast and crazy and you grab whatever goodies life has to offer, legal or not.
I was deeply saddened and powerfully moved by the images in this book. Again and again I got the impression that these are people who are riding away from something as fast as they can, in the ultimately futile hope of outrunning whatever it is. I'd be willing to bet that the pirates of 300 years ago had a similar look in their eyes; a look of sadness and desperation, mixed with the ferocity of an incurable anger.
The photographs are works of high art, and from the perspective of a lifelong motorcyclist, it is wonderful to see choppers that were actually built by their owners rather than bought out of a catalog by people who are "squares" 5 days a week. These images remind us of why we motorcyclists got the reputation we're trying to live down; and despite my sadness for the messed up lives I see here, like everyone else I have to look at this book.Read more ›
Not only are the photos provocative and fascinating, but Lyon writes with a grace and brevity that remind me of Ernest Hermingway (another Chicagoan). Here is one sample:
"Back then in Chicago, they had a lot of names for things, names that were of the Midwest and of that city, words belonging to that place and to the people who lived there. One of those words was bikeriders..."
One will see in the images that the photographer carries his 1960s intelligence and mind into the people's lives. This is not a book about biker fashions and being cool. It is a chronicle of how some rejected the standard ways in society and set up their own rules of how to live. In their freedom and wandering, the bikeriders exemplify the lost Americans who are forever in search of sensation and meaning.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I just viewed a photo exhibition of "The Bikeriders" at The Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Fl...showing through Dec. 7, 2014. Read morePublished on July 29, 2014 by Mel
Slight wear but this is a very rare book and so happy to have found one in a decent condition. Thanks!Published on June 13, 2014 by stefani
I bought this book because I was familiar with The Hells Angels but not so much so with The Outlaws. The book is mostly photographs and has a few chapters in which Mr. Read morePublished on December 7, 2010 by Dum-Dum
I liked it because of the pictures and interveiws from the 60's. It was before the "Biker Lifestyle" was known beyond people that actually rode motorcycles, and before it became... Read morePublished on November 8, 2009 by Ernest A. Tinsley
...on days long past. If you're interested in bike culture of the '60s and appreciate good photography, this is for you. Read morePublished on June 14, 2009 by Michael Smith
Purchased this book due to its significance in the history of photography. The addition of the color images was a nice touch, if you don't have the original version i would... Read morePublished on March 9, 2009 by Craig E. Fetherolf
Very impressive images that document a subculture and time in the United States, by an outstanding artist-photographer, accompanied by interesting text.Published on August 14, 2008 by URI ZAKHEM
Beautiful pictures and an interesting view of the MC world from inside one of the most important (the Outlaws) - and written from an Outlaws member, not a simple reporter. Read morePublished on May 11, 2008 by a-ge