BOOK REVIEW: STORMRIDERS M/C 40 YEARS IN THE MAKING BY Angela Coloni, 2020
Forty years ago, five small-town southern Illinois coal miners gathered together to create a motorcycle club. The Stormriders are now known to be the biggest non 1% motorcycle club in Illinois. The author guides you through their history by interviewing new, old, and retired members which bring a collection of stories from different perspectives. The author also includes her and her siblings’ insights as they are the children of one of the founding members. This book gives outsiders a peek into the world of club life. It will also hit home for those readers who are already familiar with motorcycle clubs, as the topics range from light-hearted to serious issues surrounding this lifestyle.
MOTORCYCLE TIMES BOOK REVIEW RATING
GREAT READ, VERY ENGAGING, WELL WRITTEN.
While the generic introduction provided above may be just fine for all the other sites listing this book in their inventory; it just didn’t feel like enough for Motorcycle Times. As soon as I opened it and scanned through it I picked up on several key points I was sure would help me enjoy the read. You see, this book of memoirs and storytelling is written mostly in the context of First Person. Therefore it reads like the author is talking directly to you for the most part. Other key parts are in person interviews so you get the story directly from the people who were there. Add several pages of illustrations and it’s off to a good start.
It’s kind of like when you stay up late and talk about things with someone you really get along with. I found that I really did enjoy reading the book. It’s just interesting to have access to this personal viewpoint from inside the club and as a member of the founding family. The insights Angela and the others share range from the obvious to the profound and serve to enrich and deepen the experiences being related.
There are examples of boundaries and respect, of boundaries being crossed, examples of a club that is like a family working it all out.
And there are good times too, One of my favorites being the card game in the old house that was literally falling down around them and they just did what they had to do. They kept picking up the table and moving out of harms way.
Or the time Wing and G.I. Joe attended a Jap Bike Bash. If you don’t know what that is, it’s when a club or an event gets a Jap bike and sells sledgehammer hits for a dollar. Often it’s three hits for a dollar but could be a dollar apiece or any price. Whatever, you get the idea. A bunch of bikers pay money to bludgeon a poor defenseless Jab bike into smithereens and beyond with a sledgehammer.
So anyway, Wing and G.I. Joe are there and after the bike is obliterated they grab it and throw on the nearby bonfire. Some of the others are freaking right out because there might still be gas in it. So G.I. Joe looks at Wing and says “should I?” And Wing says “yeah.”
So G,I, Joe pulls out a fake hand grenade and pulls the pin. Everyone scattered and they just stood there laughing!
And there’s some gritty stuff in there too. I’m not going to get into it here because it’s the kind of stuff you either hear (or read) for yourself or just let someone who was there tell you straight out.
And that’s also how this book is. You quickly get the insight that this is about key members relating stories and events that are important parts and pieces of their legacy as founders and key players in what has become the nation’s largest non 1% club. They didn’t necessarily know it at the time but that’s how it turned out and it’s good stuff.
The author, Angela Coloni sums it up in her closing statement.
” I cannot say there is an ending to this book because I hope their story goes on and expands even more than it has in it’s past 40 years. This club defines brotherhood in itself – Stormriders = Brotherhood.”