I dunno why this topic never occurred to me before, but then my nearest and dearest would agree that I am often a bit slow on the uptake. Considering that a lot of Goth looks have a reasonable amount of crossover with classical biker styling, not as many Goths are actually bikers as I would expect there to be. Rock’n’roll bride has some awesome images of this Goth biker wedding though, which are definitely worth a look.
I am both a Goth and a biker, having been the former for some 23 odd years, and the latter for nearer 11.
But one thing I have learnt through experience is that what might look like obvious Goth/biker crossover styling doesn’t actually work out like that in reality, which I will go into in more detail below.
I strongly suspect that Goth bikers are more of a thing in America than they are over here, as in America biking culture in general is much more widespread, and treated more as a lifestyle than a mode of transport. The kind of large, chromed-up shiny black Harleys that you see on the teevee box ridden by Goth badasses aren’t really a common thing over here, but nevertheless, there are a few of us dotted around, although I am more about the commuting Honda than the ratted-up hog.
So I first began biking in 2004, with a 50cc moped, because I’m just too cool for school. I actually fell off on my CBT (the basic one-day training that you have to pass to be allowed onto the road with L-plates on a low powered bike) and to this day, I am not sure how I fell off a moped in a school carpark at 10mph, but there were wet leaves involved. Anyhoo, I passed out, and that was me, quite happy rattling around on my little rickety moped, with no intentions of ever passing my test or getting a bigger bike. My moped was a Suzuki AP50. I called it “Mop.”
This is how I saw myself…
…Except this was my hog.
A pair of gloves were responsible for my taking my proper big bike test. I went into a biking shop to buy my basics, including gloves and a helmet, having borrowed these things for my CBT. Being as I am both a Goth and a self-identified Boss Ass Bitch, I naturally gravitated to the glove selection that put me in mind of Wesley Snipes in Blade; fuck-off great leather gauntlets with chrome reinforcement over the knuckles. Yes, my friends, I was going to be that sort of biker.
Tell me you don’t want them.
I picked up my gloves and went to pay for them, and the guy at the till asked me what bike I had. I proudly pointed to my Suzuki AP50 outside of the window, and the guy did a double take, looked at me incredulously, and then burst into fits of laughter, the kind that involves gasping for breath and involuntary tears.
Lady Gothique was not impressed.
When he recovered enough to use some words, he pointed out as politely as he could that people were going to rip the right shit out of me if I was stomping around in floor-length leather, armoured gloves and shit kickers, before mincing off to rev up my wheeled sewing machine and roar off into the distance on a moped at a capped 30mph.
Obviously, he was right. But I badly wanted those fucking gloves. Six months, £600 for lessons and tests and 700 extra CC’s later, I was able to wear my gloves without looking like a monumental dick. Well, not because of the gloves, anyway.
Something else I have learned, and a word to the wise- New Rock boots, the ones marketed as biker boots, with lots of bungees and a platform. Obviously these were going to be the icing on my Goth biking outfit; until I tried to ride with them. Platform boots and bikes do not mix. I looked like I was riding a monkey bike, with my knees up round my ears, I could not feel the peddles, and I felt as if I was on stilts. Motorbike boots it is.
Not suitable for biking.
Are you a Goth biker? Share your story!