An exclusive account of Australia's outlaw motorcycle clubs, written by our foremost expert on bikie culture.
'If it's a good ride, there's nothing like it . . .you and the machine become one. . . . It gets to the point on the edge of a hard ride where there is a balance between taking your machine further and a fear of dying. Managing that space is real freedom.'
Riding like there's no tomorrow on the open road, the wind in your face, handling a powerful and responsive machine - you can't get that sort of freedom in a car. Bikies consider themselves 'the last free people in society', unconstrained by the regulations that rule ordinary citizens. And they guard their privacy jealously.
Arthur Veno's account of bikie culture is as close to firsthand as is ever likely to be published. Australia's leading expert on the bikie scene, Veno reveals the true picture of the brotherhoods. Drawing on in-depth interviews and personal stories, along with meticulous research, he explains the rules and rituals of becoming a club member, tells of landmark incidents in bikie folklore, profiles some famous biker identities and, in the final chapter, takes off with the Gypsy Jokers on their controversial New Year run in Western Australia.
Winner 2003: The 51st Annual APA Book Design Awards, in the category - The Best Designed Non-Fiction Book (text).
Shortlisted 2003: Galley Club Awards, in the Webfed section, Category 7 - Mono/duotone book, limp bound, no price limit.
Professor Arthur Veno was born in the US and has lived in Australia since 1974. Most recently director of Monash University's Centre for Police and Justice Studies, Veno has studied the clubs for seventeen years. But he's no ordinary academic - he attends club nights, field days and runs, and counts members of the Gypsy Jokers, Hell's Angels and Coffin Cheaters as his friends (they call him the Mad Professor). Veno now grows trees on his farm in rural Victoria, and is a consultant to various groups on human rights and criminal justice issues, as well - of course - as the bikie clubs.