BikeLife: Meet the UK’s Dirt Bikers That’s Speeding Past Death on the Urban Fast Lane
It all started with a 2013 video that Photographer Spencer Murphy found online showcasing Baltimore’s 12 O’Clock Boys (shown below), a collective of renegade dirt bikers that took your ordinary dirt bike to a whole new level, rife with death-defying wheelies and insane sprints down busy Baltimore streets. The movement, once shared online, lit up like gasoline around the globe, sprouting new groups (not gangs) of “Riders” the world over. It came as no surprise then that the US’ cultural kin Great Britain adopted their own scene, and after many attempts at entering the community with a few dead-ends here and there, Murphy met UK Rider Izzy who brought him into the fold to help document that bike life.
“From what I can tell it’s as healthy an outlet as skateboarding or parkour, just more dangerous and anti-social because of the fact they don’t have a place to go, and because of the noise and their scary appearance. Many would tell me it was Bikelife that kept them off the streets and out of criminal gangs,” Murphy tells Huck Magazine on what he came away with on the “sport.” While regarded as criminals, BikeLife can just as easily be seen as a response to poor social conditions in a bid to skirt passed the potential of an even more dangerous path. Check out a selection of Murphy’s images throughout which feature in his photobook dubbed Urban Dirt Bikers–which you can get for yourself here.