I never expected this place to be a Harley place. Tells you how much I know about this world. Brazil is new territory for me.
This is Barra de Tijuca, a noble suburb of Rio de Janeiro. It is young and it is rich and it is always warm, mostly sunny: A perfect place to own a bike. But the crime rate being as high as it is, it makes you wonder how on earth they manage hold on to their machines.
The bikers seem as artificial as this place full of high rise flats and hotels along the vast stretch of white sand and blue water. I sat in front of a bar with a tattoo studio the other night and the local MC turned up, one after the other. All shiny new Harley-Davidson models parked in a row. The guys sat down and their colours were as shiny as their exhausts. Brand new.
Owning a Harley-Davidson and wearing colours seem the necessary ingredients for life in one of the most intriguing cities in the world. It seems to go with the mentality of showing what you’ve got that seems an integral part of all areas of Brazilian life.
In a way a motorbike is equivalent to a new handbag or expensive shoes. Show-off material to let others see you are cool and you’ve got the means.