Mopeds and teenage boys have gone hand-in-hand since the 1960s. But in the last year UK BikeLife culture – where young scooter riders upload videos of themselves wheelie-ing down motorways and through industrial estates – has exploded, with the scene’s leaders picking up thousands of YouTube and Instagram followers in the process.
These British riders are beginning to receive international attention, not least from Baltimore’s notorious dirt bike club, the 12 O’Clock Boys. Although they may lack the CCs of their American counterparts, they’ve done a good job of making up for it with charisma and a dedication to the underdog of the two-wheeled world: the humble moped.
In London Bikelife, Daisy-May Hudson lets a nostalgia for the moped gangs of her teenage years get the better of her and travels to industrial estates on the outskirts of London to meet with the underground stars of the UK BikeLife scene. After spending some time at northwest London’s Ace Cafe – an iconic hangout for bikers and petrolheads – Daisy is taken along to one of the group’s big ride-outs, where hundreds of boys take over the roads with their mopeds.