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Born to Be WildThe Rise of the American Motorcyclist$
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Randy D. McBee

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469622729

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469622729.001.0001

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How to Kill a Biker

How to Kill a Biker

Small-Town Invasions and the Postindustrial City

(p.61) 2 How to Kill a Biker
Born to Be Wild

Randy D. McBee

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter looks beyond the sensational headlines about violent motorcyclists to understand the stereotypes attributed to them, paying particular attention to the growing conflict between motorcyclists and automobilists on America's highways and the rise of the middle-class rider. Scholars have thoroughly described the automobile's ascendancy in the postwar years and how it affected transportation alternatives and the shape of urban/suburban spaces. But they have ignored the unprecedented growth in the number of registered motorcycles and the conflict on America's highways that accompanied their expansion. Even before the Hollister Rally, the nonriding majority was complaining about how daredevils, hounds, and motorcycle cowboys compromised their use of the country's roadways and posed a threat to highway safety.

Keywords:   highway safety, middle-class rider, automobile, urban/suburban spaces, transportation, stereotypes

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