You know I’m almost as sick of hearing the word “hipster” as I was of looking at the “live to ride” junk in the 90’s. Recently I found that I too had started to say this word a bunch. I found myself leveling this term at just about anyone that was under 30, that had a hint of fashion, was a new or Johnny come lately rider.
I must say I’ve had a few wake up calls with some “hip” younger cats these days, and though I still may not understand how you end up with full sleeves by the time you’re 22, I’ve been changing my views a little because some of these guys are really trying to learn and many are more than willing to pay their dues in the shop and on the street.
On a recent excursion to New York City I ended up at the Snake Hole Garage, which is a 4th floor industrial loft in NYC. I was pleasantly surprised to find bikes riding in freight elevators and a collective of young hip dudes that had pooled their resources to learn, share and work together on projects. The Brothers Feltraiger who own and operate an all American made men’s clothing line out of NYC proved to be just the kind of up an comers I’m talking about.
I was surprised when I found out that they were behind the Snake Hole Garage because admittedly, maybe I slid them into the hipster category with out any other reason than their being young and on the fashion end of things business wise… They proved to me that I should be more accepting of the younger dudes that are energizing the scene. The way I see it if you spin wrenches, show respect for dudes that have paid their dues already, ask questions, have a willingness to learn and put miles down, then maybe some of us grumps should be more welcoming with these new riders.
With tools in their hands, some beer, brotherhood and bbq to go around at the Snake Hole Garage it was hard for me to feel this was much different then how I got started. Sure there’s a bunch more technology involved these days, but the spirit and allure of adventure and danger that a motorcycle brings to any occasion remains the same. So, before you call the next dude you see in skinny jeans a “punk ass hipster”, check out their sled, find out if they actually wrench or are just posing, and in many cases be prepared to be surprised. Some of these guys geek right out on vintage stuff and know as much or more than you and I about old pans & knuckles.
Today’s bikers fashion may be hip, but its shit-ton better than the miles of Velcro dorags, clip on ponytails and ugly tribal skull designs of the preceding 20 years of biker fashion black hole.
Personally, I’m gonna give a bunch of these new guys that benefit of the doubt, knowing that many will ride the fads and fizzle out. However, there will be percentages that become life long riders and wrenches. I maybe in my 25th year of my 2-wheeled heaven, but I didn’t get there over night. So if you’re a grumpy old bike rider, quit complaining and take the time to teach the next generation the ropes.
The guys at Feltraiger and Lowside Magazine came together this fall to support the Greasy Dozen movement by doing a release party for Carmine Bellamore's Greasy Dozen Panhead build. Its all about built not bought motorcycle culture and we really appreciated their support. These pictures were taken at the unveil party and at the Snake Hole Garage BBQ the following day.
Win sponsorship for your build here http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showthread.php?t=33612
Keep it between the ditches and the shiny side up.