Preview: Urban Dirt Bikers

“If it wasn’t for riding bikes I’d probably be in jail”


A new culture of young, inner city bikers has grown up over the past few years in the UK. Young men and women have taken to the streets on dirt bikes, quads and all manner of motorbikes to perform stunts. Often hidden in the mazes of industrial estates, where they won’t draw too much attention from the public or the police, riders will gather on weekends and perform wheelies and other tricks up and down a strip of tarmac. Clothing and attitude are as important as the bikes and the stunts. Photographer Spencer Murphy, who is continually interested in people who exist on the fringes of law and society, spent two years documenting these gangs of riders and quad bikers.

The full colour photographs in this attractive, hardback book reflect the trust that Spencer Murphy gained in the time he spent among the bikers, which earned him a glimpse of the warmth at the heart of the community. The sport can be dangerous, and the less-than-legal nature of some of the stunts are hinted at by the many bikers who cover their faces and withhold their names. Despite its aggressive reputation, many subjects describe how biking gave them a focus and outlet away from the pull of drugs and criminal activities.

UB2“I don’t like it when people look at me as a girl first and a rider second… People will say I’m a good rider for a girl. It’s not that I’m a girl, I’m just a good rider.”

See our preview of Urban Dirt Bikers below:

Urban Dirt Bikers by Spencer Murphy is published by Hoxton Mini Press on 11th May 2017

(£17.95, h/b, 112pp, 9781910566213)

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