Rides and Tales

Observations From Behind Bars


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I was waiting for the traffic light to change at Flour Bluff Road and looking in my rear view for the bike I could hear burbling up behind me. The rider pulled up nearly even with me,  looked over from a fairly new Vulcan at my crusty old Baby Shadow and told me, “Nice ride you got there”. I turned and spoke briefly, noting that he was probably on the fair side of 30 years, short hair and cut-off shirt. Giving that chewing gum a workout, he looked like a sixties throwback. Despite his youth, his  manner said “old school” and, when I saw where he turned off the road, I figured  there was every chance his that his dad’s path and mine crossed somewhere in the smoky past. There are, after all, young tramps who have been schooled by the old ones.

Had the kid’s dad been a rider in Flour Bluff around 1970 there is every chance we would have rubbed elbows at Ray’s Pool Hall. The winds of change blew away first Ray, then the pool hall, but there was a time, oh, yeah, there was a time.
There was a time when the world was young; good dope and cheap beer grew on trees then fell to the ground where it was gathered up by fun-loving long-haired  girls. We didn’t think of ourselves as bikers anymore than we thought of ourselves as bar room  brawlers or pussy hounds. It was just life and we knew it was good.

The roughest guy was “president” and the smartest guy was Road Captain and rides might be planned a week or a day in advance but they were always worth being there for.

In those days, there were two, and only two, clubs in our town, an AMA club and a 1%er club. One of the AMA guys had such a good time with us that he became a semi-familiar face at Ray’s and had some involvement in the his club’s offer to patch in the group.
Votes were voted, negotiations negoted, beers consumed and a big party thrown for their National President who talked about the club’s bylaws.
We weren’t tickled by the parts requiring cash penalties for dropping a bike while showing off, or engaging in a bar fight while wearing colors, or any of several other things that were considered either “infractions” or “past times” depending on which side of the Oso Bridge one lived on.  We were, however,  swayed when their Prez uttered those three little words no Bluff boy could resist:  bail bond insurance.

Then, I remember being outside with Bucky and the Crazy Mezkin when Gwen with the big tits walked up with some lightweight who told us, “You guys scare me”.
But, that’s neither here, nor there.

Club life was too structured, I guess, and the chapter never took root. Ray got that old travelin’ jones and left his place to one of the guys who really didn’t have any business experience. The Selective Service lottery was cranking and some of the gang joined the Army or Marines to keep from going to war (no shit). Time and the tide washed over all of us, washing some  away, leaving some unchanged except for  gray beards.

Their values survive and the evidence is sons who greet old guys on Hondas


Written by fiddle mike

March 4, 2008 at 1:57 am

Posted in biker, culture, motorcycle, Texas

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