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With my new found love of being on a bike on the road, I was lying in bed one night drifting off to sleep when I had a peculiar dream about being in a motorbike gang! I was riding around Leicester with about 20 other Aprilia Habana riders and that was the extent of the dream to be honest! But it got me thinking, what were motorcycle gangs all about? What’s the history? How do you qualify to be in these gangs?  And are they still going? Oh… and… which one shall I join?

The most famous and renowned motorcycle gang I can think of is, of course, the notorious Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. When I think of the Hells Angels, I think of big hairy men, on Harley Davidsons, wearing black leathers riding through the baron landscapes of America. And to be honest looking further into it, I suppose my first impressions aren’t far off. But there is more to them than we think, first formed in 1948 in California, later then coming to the UK in the mid 1960’s.  There are many articles and stories of how the Hells Angels are part of a large criminal circle here, America and in Canada. The Hells Angels members have always denied that this is the case, claiming that are nothing more than a group of motorbike enthusiasts meeting to ride together and socialise. Most notably was the shooting of a Hells Angel member in 2007 on the M40, by member of a rival gang. This does make you think that maybe there is something more sinister to these supposedly friendly gangs formed of like-minded people. Hmmm… so reading up on the Hells Angels hasn’t made me feel like I would fit in there, who next?

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The Rockers, this group of motorcycle riding, rock and roll listening, slick looking cialis online without prescription guys were formed in the 1950’s.  You might know of them as Greasers or Grease, an insult used by the Mods (I’ll talk about them later) The Rockers centred around rock and roll music, hence their name. These guys were young, rebellious and a new generation of post war kids. They travelled up and down the country stopping and meeting at the transport cafes. One of the most famous cafes hey used to meet at was Londons ‘Ace Café’ which was reopened in 1997, and visited by thousands of motorcyclists each year, with organised meets still being arranged today. The Rockers rode bikes named ‘café racers’ these were bike customised purely for more speed and power, the rockers were sometimes named the ton-up boys, the reason being they customised and tweaked their bike with the aim of hitting 100mph aka a ton. A 100mph might not seem like a great deal to you guys, but back then that was seriously fast.I really like the sound of these guys, meeting up at a café, listening and dancing to Rock and Roll and then riding  on as fast as possible to the next, to do the same!

The Mods, I suppose you could call them the rivals or enemies of the Rockers, originating from London in the 1950s. The Mods weren’t big bike riders but scooter riders, like myself. The Mods didn’t listen to Rock and Roll, they listened to Ska, Soul and R&B. As well as the music they listened to, fashion was a huge if not the biggest part of their subculture. Think sharp tailored suits, Fred Perry shirts, loafers and cool neat hair.  It was all about how they looked, they were a new generation of youths, that had a new found wealth that they wanted to show off, they wanted to be seen as sophisticated and cultures, taking elements of Italian and French fashion.

Most famously Mods rode around on Vespas and Lambrettas, it was almost seen as a must have fashion accessory. They painted them in bright colours, accessorised them and added a huge amount of mirrors and lights. This seemed to be their way of saying, look at me, I’m cool and I have money!

Reading up about these groups or gangs has been really interesting, so whose gang would I join? I do love the sound of the Mods, their style, their music, their scooters but I don’t want to fight with the Rockers!

Maybe I’ll add some mirrors, wear Fred Perry and become a Modern Day Mod. What about you?

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