What happens when two foresight strategists meet? They bond over a love of motorcycle culture – at least that’s what happened to Elodie and Lou, the founders of 2 Speed Biking. The Paris-based collective that started off as an Instagram curative page is not all about MotorGP and engine revving, instead 2SB is spotlighting the entire subcultural movement, which is what their new NSS Magazine-published experimental book is all about.
“Taking motorcycle out of motorcycling” is 2SB’s motto, which Lou explains that it all started because “there was a huge lack of contemporary approach to motorcycling”. While creatives such as photographers and designers were taking inspiration from that world, “there is no connector or no medium” to showcase this. 2SB is the connector between the art, the sport and the community that surrounds motorcycling.
Volume 1 of 2SB’s self-titled publication is not exactly a book nor a magazine, but rather a hybrid experimental middle ground that goes far and beyond what either of those labels point to. Both being appreciative of the aesthetic of a magazine, that’s how the original publication was set out to be. 2 years down the line “as it kept going, we went a bit crazy”, with more and more content coming in and their Instagram community growing.
Incorporating eBay listing screenshots to Biblical-tied articles, and even a section dedicated to motorcycle kinks, Lou and Elodie had complete control and freedom on what to include. Their only rules were “no clichés”, and “to have [a] mix of core bikers and people from the outside world [who] contribute to the ecosystem”.
Working with the Paris-based Horah on visuals and graphics, the two girls met Walter D’Aprile, the founder of NSS Magazine while looking for a financial partner to publish their project. “He was super into the project” and “we thought it was a very good opportunity for us to have this massive Italian media to support us”, says Elodie.
From Mugler’s 1992 motorcycle bustier to Rosalía’s MOTOMAMI era, motorcycle culture has become integral to pop culture, making its appearance far beyond just the race track. “Motorcyclists have always managed to inspire other industries from the imagery associated with it” says Elodie, to which Lou adds “it’s a logical cycle”.
Receiving both praise and criticism from core motorcyclists, the girls explain that more often than not after explaining what 2SB is all about, “they understand our approach and they realise that”. Neither Elodie or Lou are avid motorcyclists, though when touching on the subject of subcultural appropriation, Elodie explains that their work is “benefiting everyone” by connecting the sport and the creativity. “There is enough space for everyone” adds Lou.
Apart from the usual unwarranted sexist comment, Elodie and Lou have always found that, both being women, the male-dominated sports world has always been inclusive of them. In fact, the two never wish to make their gender the centre of their story. “We never brought [to] the table the fact that we are two women working in this industry” firmly states Elodie, “because for us, it doesn’t make any difference”. They are just two enthusiasts and contributors to the subculture.
Lou and Elodie’s approach is both non-judgmental and welcoming. “All views are totally valid” states Elodie. Their publication is a physical rendition of those values. “It’s all about assuming that you can appreciate a certain universe without being fully immersed or involved into it”, finalises Lou.
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