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Bikers 74








We don't normally post scans from old magazines but man, this was too good to ignore. Our friend Steve Rebuck mailed me a copy of Bikers 74, a UK publication by the English Libary from, you guessed it, 1974. He added the immortal line "I figured you guys would enjoy this" and he wasn't wrong. It comes as A4 size but folds out to A3, most of the photos are by Phil Mather. The English Libary are also responsible for trashy biker books like Chopper, The Leather Boys and the classic, Angels From Hell. Here is the first paragraph from the first page

"The motorbike-to the tens of thousands who ride one to and from work it's just a cheap form of transport; to the additional thousands who wheel gleaming machines out of garages at weekends it is a means of recreation; but, to the kind of biker you'll meet in this magazine, the motorbike means a lot more. It symbolises a whole freewheeling life-style which is a unique amalgam of speed, danger and excitment culminating when you're out there on the road tied to nothing but your bike-'like a castaway on a rushing island of machinery'. When you're going too fast into that hairpin or likely to come off at the next corner, there's no one to help you and you stand or fall by your own decisions. For the biker this is the ultimate high. For once he experiences the thrill of being in complete control of his own fate"

Right on brother.

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So the run home was hard and fast, 800 miles in a day. I didn't take pictures, but I do have a story with multiple back stories.

I like to take cheap trips on a cash only budget. I have a debit card and more money in the bank, if I really get into a bind. I don't do credit cards at all. Pay at the pump with a debit card on a bike is a bad idea. For every $12 tank they preauthorize and hold $75 of your money. An eight stop day is $600 held when you only spent like $80.  So I have just enough cash to get there and back and eat and drink and buy a round or meal for someone else along the way.

I was trying to make time with only gas stops when I had to. So there I was, needing gas in West Memphis. I knew this was supposed to be a rough town, but I needed gas and there was a huge Pilot so that seemed safe enough. I stopped. Sure enough, someone approached me with an offer. "I need five dollars for gas to get home and I'll give you this new pack of smokes."

Sure as you're born, he has an unopened pack of Newports or something menthol in a green pack. I would have loved to help him, but I really didn't want to pull my wallet out. He wasn't particularly scary. I didn't want cigarettes. I didn't want to show him where my money was either. I have studied a fair amount of marital arts, but still didn't want to kick someone's ass over a hundred bucks in my pocket or get my ass kicked by one or more guys over a hundred bucks either. I especially didn't want to not have any means to get home either. I politely declined the offer to buy the cigarettes. I really wished I could have helped a person in need though. I don't even really care about how a person got to the point in life where they had a nicer vehicle than me and cigarettes but no money for gas. We have all made bad choices for sure.

Anyway, if I had a do over, I would have and should have gone into the gas station and prepaid for 10 or 20 bucks worth of gas for the gentleman. That would have been a lower risk way to help someone. Live and learn.

Keeley Vision



Pretty good review and photography from Born Free 7 on this guys blog / website. Check it out if you're into motorcycles and hooliganism.

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