Suicidal Urban Riders
Started in Paris and now with members all around the globe, Suicidal Urban Riders wear some of the most distinctive kits we’ve ever made. A fascinating story, we sat down for an internet based chat.
Slightly unusually for a lot of clubs, S.U.R really found its feet on Strava.
“I joined Strava in February 2017 and I discovered their Club system. That basically anyone can create any club. I thought it was awesome. I was looking for strange, unusual, metal-affiliated Clubs to merge my 2 passions but only found small, local Clubs that were not exactly what I wanted.”
What might have been a niche area of riding turned out to be something hugely popular.
“I was Riding fixed gear everyday in Paris I felt like there was something really bizarre about LOVING something that was so dangerous. And I knew there were many like me. Many bike messengers in particular. With Strava I soon realized that this was global: all bike messengers from all around the world in big cities had more or less the same approach to cycling…”
This collection of urban fixed riders needed a unique style that spoke to who they were.
“I created the Club of the SUICIDAL URBAN RIDERS with that in mind. Something a bit radical, something different and unique, mixing urban riding with a punk attitude and metal visuals. Just what I liked. Something very personal actually. My thing you know. Not trying to imitate anything or anyone. My thing, something that looked like me so to speak. And to my surprise it grew. Nicely. Riders joined the club. Shared my radical vision. Appreciated the fusion of 2 paradigms. Enjoyed the dark aspect of it. The dark humor of it. The radical visuals. I never expected it to grow so much.”
What started as a very personal endeavour turned into a global community. From the outset though, Sam knew he wanted a kit that stood out.
“I decided that it’d be kinda cool to have custom cycling caps with the visible DOOMED logo. So I did it. And then why not socks? And naturally it evolved towards a custom jersey and a Winter jacket so I ended-up working with Milltag. The riders were thrilled by the S.U.R. apparel I proposed so I kept on doing it and will keep on doing it for every season!”
When asked to describe S.U.R in three words, Sam opts for: Reckless Badass Maniacs.
“Need I elaborate? One of our mottos is ‘Look Badass, Ride Badass’ we’re not pros or anything, far from it, what unites us is our irrational and dangerous devotion to cycling but with a twist. With a certain ‘i don’t give a fuck’ attitude”. S.UR’s hgardcore attitude is one that people feel keenly all over the globe, in major cities from Paris to Oslo to Shanghai.
We’ve always loved working with Sam to turn his ideas into reality. With plenty of small details and complex patterns, it’s a challenge we absolutely relish. As the self proclaimed ‘Black Metal Rider’, there was an obvious place to start for inspiration.
I love Black Metal so of course I wanted, nay, I NEEDED a design that would pay homage to the Black Metal universe. Had to be black. With white logos and fonts. I wanted a logo and a 1 word slogan that would look metal. The DOOMED slogan borrows from obvious Black Metal band logos, with the inverted, symmetrical D at the end. Something aggressive. For the logo it had to feature all the elements of the Club and its core: the bike of course with the chainring and the chain, something round that is reminiscent of a pentagram (naturally) with the inevitable but discreet skulls, a reference to the ‘Memento Mori’ paintings, bas-reliefs and Renaissance engravings. We’ve got many real metalheads like myself but not only so many miss the references and yet they still enjoy and appreciate the design which is, indeed, quite different from the rest and easily identifiable.”
Identifiable is certainly one way of putting it. You wouldn’t miss an S.U.R rider if you came across one. Riding almost exclusively fixed gear, the core ride for the Parisian cohort is the infamous ring of Longchamp.
“An oval, half-closed road of 3,5km with a small slope that kills your legs and makes people sprint. On that ring there are dozens of riders in different packs, riding at various paces. A bit like Regent’s Park laps in London.”
Sam’s fellow S.U.R ‘Troopers’ are located all over the world now.
“Many are bike messengers and it is especially true of our Troopers worldwide. We’ve got members hailing from almost every country in Europe, many from Brazil and North America, a few from Russia, the Middle East and Asia.
“we’ve got all kinds of riders, some riding MTB in the forests, some racing fast in established Cycling Clubs, some typical bike messengers riding fixed gear bikes and cargos, some teenagers and some riders in their 60’s even! So I see it all, I see them, as an army, Troopers of the DOOMED ARMY, more than a cycling club really. I pay attention to new members which is not easy since we’ve got more than 1,200 members now! The CLUB thing is central to cycling, the gathering of like-minded individuals who start sharing their rides.”
S.U.R has big plans for 2021 having seen the 2020 fixed season all but cancelled due to Covid 19. With a fixed crit team in the works; the so called ‘Doomed Army’; Sam is hoping to create the most badass team on the circuit. If that sounds good, or you want to get your hands on some kit, you can find S.U.R on Facebook, Instagram and of course, Strava.