2009 - 2012
The Black Label Bike Club is known as the first “outlaw bicycle club.” It was created in 1992 by Jacob Houle and Per Hanson in Minneapolis, Minnesota and has chapters nationwide. They are one of the main contributors to the rise of tall bike culture and organize jousting competitions. It is interesting to see this destructive, rebel culture revolving around such a non-threatening object: the bicycle.
I consider them as a blend of punk, grunge and hippie culture. They are an independent community rebelling against the system. In a society that pushes us to consume, focus on money and overly use technology, it is interesting to see a group of young people resisting and fighting against it. Their community is mainly based on the bike culture, art and on the real values of relationships. These basic, simple values that seem to have disappeared. This particularly affected me as I was living in New York City. Everyone seemed to be living virtually with their thousands of friends on Facebook and their obsession for success. But those “kids” felt real. They speak frankly, and are not afraid to take risks and get hurt ( whether it is physically or in life decisions.) They are living now, in the moment and want to have fun without taking life too seriously. They are passionate, well-read, talented young people with real discussions and their phone doesn’t bip every two seconds!
With a recession underway, and social pressure mounting, how does the young generation respond to it? Although they seem to be the carefree, self-destroying youth, they are quite aware of the situation today. As everyone, they love, hate, and also have their fears and concerns.
When I find subcultures like the Black Label Bike Club, a creative group, using very little technology, interested in defending causes and resisting the main stream, it gives me hope, and I think it could be very encouraging for today’s youth.
“It was better ten years ago” is what we, young people, hear all the time. But it only depends on us, on what we are going to make of the future.