The Bree Street Bikers are a group of friends who love bikes. They love Bree Street. And they love road trips.
Typically, people tend to have preconceived ideas about bikers, and often associate them with hooligans and ruffians. The Bree Street Bikers break that mold; they are a group of accomplished professionals, who all contribute positively and significantly to the cultural fabric of Cape Town (while still remaining just a little naughty, in the best sense of the word).
The group developed organically when a handful of free radicals started meeting at Jason Bakery to show off their bikes and talk nonsense. And drink tequila and coffee
Andrew Brauteseth (@guy_with_camera) is perhaps the hero of this story, because these are his photographs, which profile the various members of the BSB and the places that they have been. I’m sure you’ll agree, they’re something special.
Andrew is a Cape Town based photographer. During the week you can find him ordering flat whites at Jason Bakery, and helping creative directors with their image problems.
He reckons that design is increasingly becoming a pop-culture topic and that as South Africans, our design culture and awareness is continuously growing; people are starting to realize that they can play a role in shaping our city’s culture(s).
Lauren Fowler (@laurenxfowler) is a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. She has a studio at the Woodstock Foundry where she hangs out and plays with pens, paper and her computer all day.
Have a look at her work, its just keeps on growing from strength to strength.
The whole idea of the Bree Street Bikers excites her as it makes her feel part of something. She explains that when they ride in a group, she loves the feeling of riding as one. The triple headed snake gang sign is her favourite thing to do to the others as she and Gene ride past. Being a girl passenger in this biker group also makes her feel kind of sexy (even though she wore a full rain suit on the last mission.)
Hannah Deall and Andrew Brauteseth
Her introduction to biking was when she was 17 and attended a music festival in Sabie, a small town in Mpumalanga, close to where she grew up. The festival also happened to be the end stop for a biking rally, which brought hundreds of very loud bikes and brash boys to an otherwise rather tame festival. Needless to say, the bikers were rather terrifying, and she made sure she steered clear of anything to do with them.
Fast forward to the present, where she is dating the Über cool photographer, Andrew Brauteseth, who happens to love bikes. So, she has become “the girl who hangs on the back of (his) Bonneville”; she makes it look so good, and describes the feeling of being on the back of a bike as exhilarating, and completely freeing.
Hannah loves that Cape Town is bursting at the seams with creativity, and feels that the World Design Capital 2014 accolade will help make Cape Town an even better place to live, visit, and do business. “Design is not just about beautiful things or places, which we have plenty of, but also becomes a tool to interrogate how we can make life better for all citizens.”
Jason (@jasonbakery and @captainbreadza) owns a Bakery in Bree Street with his sister, Brigitte. He would like to state, for the record, that the bakery is called Jason. NOT Jason’s, as so many of us Capetonians like to call it.
Jason is a small artisan bakery specializing in sourdough breads and awesome pastries, where they bake “today, for today”. They are famous for their Bacon Croissant and 66% Sourdough Rye. Their goal has been to educate the public about real bread; to show that that bread can be a meal, not just the rolls you get at a restaurant before the meal.
The Bakery is the HQ of the Bree Street Bikers. Whenever one of the group gets a new bike, everyone meets at the bakery to christen it with a shooter, which they have named Mexico to Istanbul. Two shot glasses, one with Tequila and the other a double Espresso.
When asked for his thoughts on South African creativity, he explains that he feels that are still developing creatively, which means we get to set the rules and trends as we go. This is awesome, but also comes with a great deal of responsibility.
Paul van der Spuy (@lateralpaul) has been described by Dylan Muhlenberg as the following;
“ Paul has been in fashion since before his hair was white. He understands fit, the importance of wearing something that nobody else has, and is the type of guy who’ll talk to you for hours about his latest custom car project instead of the obvious fashion stuff.”
He is all about passion, life and shirts. He’s the “blue-collar”, part of his co-owned company, BlueCollarWhite Collar. Passionate about retro motorbikes and cars, jeans and tees and getting his fingernails greasy.
Murray Mitchell (@muzzling) is a digital design consultant. He designs and creates all things digital from website to Facebook apps, email campaigns, etc. He also blogs in his free time and has amassed a rather large collection of awesome imagery over the years. Check out www.murraymitchell.com and muzz.co.za.
He explains that the biking culture has typically always centered on a community of sorts, but that in the past it’s been synonymous with bike gangs, Hells Angels and fat old men with beards. More and more younger guys (and gals) are enjoying the freedom they have on a bike and want to share the experience of riding with others, especially their friends, who in this case all happen to hang out on Bree St.
All the members of the BSB ride different bikes, which have almost become extensions of each person’s personal style.
Music is Gene’s main love; “guitar and drum set for the rock n’ roll affectation and French horn for the seedy underbelly of the orchestral scene”. He teaches drum set, and encourages students who don’t have drum sets at home to make their own kits out of cardboard boxes and pots like he did when he was a kid. Maybe that’s where all the making and building of things began. He is also a talented designer/carpenter. Essentially a wooden gun for hire.
Check out his site at www.genekierman.com
Gene used to be a lone biker, having done a six-month trip up Africa on his own, but now he loves hitting the road in “a bristling pod of roaring metal”. Strength in numbers and all that. He says of the BSB’s: “(they) are all really great people, no basement meth labs in this crowd, so it’s good clean fun peppered with an obsession with awesome bikes”.
When asked about South African creativity, he replied: “We are winners across the board, our only shortcoming as a nation is we haven’t mastered the art of blending opposite characteristics. For example, really mean with super charming, really smart with really rough. In short, our small scene on the blustery nipple of Africa is a little cagey and precious. Still, we keep winning, even in our relative isolation.”
Watch this space, this man is going to do great things.
You can find Steven (@LosMuertos_MC) at Los Muertos Motorcycles, in Bokaap. He has worked in various creative environments across various categories – fashion, marketing etc.… and believes that because we are tucked away on the tip of the southern hemisphere, we have had to try that much harder to command the attention of the North… thus producing some outstanding work, and breeding a bevy of exceptionally talented individuals…especially in Bree Street.
Speak to him about all things Bike.
All images from Andrew Brauteseth