MEET THE ESSENTRIC RIDERS OF SHANGHAI’S MOTORCYCLE SIDECAR SUBCULTURE

In a population that has more than 24 million people, only 250 have motorcycle sidecars. This small number of people who have motorcycle sidecars all comes down to the government which recently said that it will not be issuing out new licenses any more. The story of these quirky aficionados as well as their electric rides have been documented French photographer Aurélien Chauvaud’s in his meticulous series titled Shangai Sidecar Riders.

Through a friend of a friend the French photographer managed to take his first ride on the famed sidecar. While recalling the adventure, Chauvaud said that during the race there was high humidity and triple digit heat that engulfed the city. The French photographer was captivated when he took a Chan Jiang motorcycle for a spin.

“I was amazed by the machine,” said Chauvaud. “There was this feeling of open-air interaction with the city and the people, completely 360 degrees, and you get to go through all these little roads where nobody goes.” He added stating that the Chinese life offered him a unique and interesting story to investigate.

He photographed over 80 riders upon which he realized that most of the riders bear some little resembles to any given biker culture population. “This American myth of the biker, that imagery and idea of life is very much in conflict with what China is today,” he said. “I don’t think you’re gonna find something like the Hells Angels in China.”