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November 7, 2021 28 min

Like many other Americans, Jamie Lauren Keiles, the author of this week’s Sunday Read, bought their first motorcycle during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I thought I was just purchasing a mode of transportation — a way to get around without riding the train,” they wrote. “But after some time on the street with other riders, I started to suspect I’d signed up for a lot more.”

Jamie was aware of biker culture, but had decided that these tropes — choppers, leather jackets — “were all but contentless by now, mere tchotchkes on the wall in the T.G.I. Fridays of American individualism.”

However, Jamie was shocked to discover that not only did this strain of biker culture still exist, but that they existed within it. So, curious about what remained vital at its heart, Jamie set out for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

This story was recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publications like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.


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