It was 2007 and I needed a way to get back and forth to work. I didn’t have a driver’s license and didn’t have a car. It seemed like a hopeless situation because I didn’t have anyone who could let me use their car for a driving test and I couldn’t afford to go one town over for a driving instructor. I found a loophole in Kentucky Law that allowed you to have a motorcycle permit even if you didn’t have an operator’s license. Twenty questions on a test and a $500 Yamaha motorcycle later and I was officially a motorcycle rider.
I wasn’t a biker per se. Back then I couldn’t afford leather riding gear or even saddle bags. These were things I bought over time. Eventually I saved up enough money to get some work done on my bike. Over the next year I actually got enough gear together that I could look the part. I rode that bike everywhere. I didn’t so much ride it until the wheels fell off, but it did explode while I was riding it.
That was fun.
After surviving my first accident I did something most wouldn’t. I bought a new bike and got back on the road. I wasn’t in a motorcycle gang and I wasn’t rocking a patch. No. I rode solo. For years I would ride into a new town and pick up day labor to cover gas money and a place to crash. I rode route 66 in its entirety. I went from NYC to LA. I even pulled an Iron Man run where I did fifteen hundred miles where I only stopped for gas. That last one was exhausting.
I might have started out as some geek with a cheap rat bike, but after two or three years I had made my way as a biker halfway worth his salt. You see some strange things when you ride on the back of a metal horse. This is the story of one of those encounters. All I can say going into this is that I’m really glad I made it out. I found myself in a weird place back in 2011. One bad thing happened after another until I finally ended up settling down and making it a point not to ride alone anymore.
I had been riding with no particular destination for about a week when I rolled into a town called Rozet, Wyoming: Population 25. The town was a few trailers and a strip club named Brian’s Place. I saw a neon sign that read “Bikers Welcome” and parked out front. I walked in smelling like the road and looking like death warmed over. I hadn’t shaved in the better part of a year and I was rocking the Grizzly Adams beard with a leather vest over an Iron Maiden t-shirt. A pretty girl in a skimpy outfit led me to a table and brought me a beer. The place had great service, or so I thought.
There was this girl gyrating her stuff all over a pole as a couple of hecklers shouted insults at her while tossing coins on the stage. They got bounced right the fuck out of there. Even still, the poor girl ran off the stage crying. I turned to the pretty woman that had brought me a beer.
“What’s that about?” I asked.
The girl shook her head.
“Aww poor thing, she did her first show after Ivy. Nobody works it like Ivy. She never stood a chance.”
The girl from the stage came out from the back a few minutes later wearing one of those Adidas track suits with the tear away pants and tennis shoes. Don’t ask me why, but I felt for the girl. I called over to her.
“Hun, don’t let a couple of assholes ruin your night. Lemme get you a drink.”
Dancers don’t tend to accept such propositions. I knew I was just some dick fresh off the road and that I was just a wallet with stupid human attached. I didn’t care and apparently she didn’t either. She sat at my table.
We got to talking. She introduced herself.
“I’m Cherry. Well no that’s not right. My stage name is Cherry. My real name is Candice. I live in Gillette.”
Gillette was a boom town a few miles down the road that was home to miners and riggers. I had stopped through there once or twice for the kick-ass buffet at their Flying-J truck stop. Candice got to talking and we got to drinking and then she surprised me with a question.
“Hey, you good to drive?”
“I’m capable of operating a two-wheeled motor vehicle and a reasonably high speed, but I’ve never been good.” I said.
“How about you give me a ride home?”
It’s not every day that an asshole like me gets to take home a stripper, but I wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Before she could change her mind, we were on the back of my bike and 30 or so miles down the road at her trailer on the outskirts of Gillette, Wyoming. Candice lived with another girl who danced at the club. Her roommate, Sadie, was sitting on the couch rocking a meth pipe back and forth keeping the flame just far enough from the track she was running that she was getting nothing but white smoke. She passed it to Candice to then passed it to me. I ended up getting geetered out of my mind and having the kind of night that most men would give a testicle to remember.
One day awake led to two and two led to 13. Candice and Sadie would dance at the club and spend their money on meth. I’d pick up work with construction crews that paid by the day and pitch in on the drugs and bills. Just like that I had two “girlfriends” and a drug habit. What can I say? Such is life. Things were going great for about two weeks until Sadie informed me that her husband would be coming by later and that I needed to be scarce for a while. Candice and I had been up for two weeks by this point smoking crank and fucking like rabbits in between talking about the road. She donned a leather coat and jumped on my bike telling me to ride somewhere fun.
I was about halfway to Cheyenne when I noticed a bunch of headlights coming in fast on my left mirror. Sure enough, a fucking convoy of Mongols were riding staggered formation at the better part of a hundred miles an hour and I was in their way. Something didn’t feel right. They were riding at night and had a van with them. Maybe it was just the crank or I was just really perceptive that night, but when the first one passed me I thought I saw him point a finger at me like a gun. One by one they passed me and each looked more evil than the last.
I wasn’t going to wait. They had Harleys. I was riding a Honda with an in-line four and raised pistons. I pulled the clutch, dropped a gear and brought the tac into the red leaving those guys in my mirrors faster than any of them could have hoped to catch up. When I was far enough ahead, I cut down a cattle road and parked my bike up by a mesa to rest for a minute and to see if I was being followed.
Candice was chattering on about how she saw Sadie on the back of the lead guy’s bike and my heart damn near stopped. I had shacked up with and had been plowing the fucking veep of a chapter of Mongols’ old lady. That was a no go. You’ve heard of the Hell’s Angels, but those guys are all image. They’re a motorcycle club that has a PR wing.
The Mongols are straight up one-percenter psychopaths. You piss off a Hell’s Angel and you might get your ass kicked. You fuck with a Mongol and those guys will stab you and hatefuck the stab wounds until you are dead, and then they’ll keep going because they are the closest thing to demons you are going to meet in a human body.
I made the mistake of parking too close to one back in Nevada and ended up with a stab wound. I didn’t want to find out what the penalty was for fucking an officer’s old lady. Candice was busy thumbing out a text on her phone and at that moment I realized she was texting Sadie. “Hey girl, parked at some mesa. Just saw you and Billy on the road.”The reply was enough to get me back on my bike. “BRT”
Candice was going on about me being paranoid and I lost my shit. I reached in the hard case and tossed her bag to her as I called her a “stupid whore” and rode off into the night. I took a couple of back roads before making it back to the highway and into Cheyenne. I didn’t wanna stop at a hotel — they probably knew what my bike looked like. Call it creativity or possibly just stupidity, but I walked right into a cop shop and told them I was high as fuck and had been awake for the better part of two weeks tweeking.
My bike was parked in a nearby parking lot and I didn’t have any drugs on me. I figured I’d get picked up on public intoxication and be out by morning. I got tossed in the drunk tank and sitting there in full leather was a fucking Mongol by the name of Billy.
“Nice riceburner you got. A shame you ain’t gonna be riding it much longer. Think I’ll give it to Sadie, a bitch needs a bitch bike.”
Call it amphetamine psychosis or simply that I wanted to take him out before he took me out but I didn’t hesitate. I beat that man within an inch of his life and ended up pepper sprayed and restrained by guards and tossed in the hole.
He didn’t press charges. Shit, he paid my fines.
Billy walks me to my bike along with six of his boys.
“I was gonna kill you for fucking my old lady and smoking my dope. But…” he paused. “You got a Mongol sitting right in front of you and you don’t call the guard, you kick the shit out of him and then I find out you just walked in and told the cops you were high without saying a word about us. Shit boy, I like you. I’m even gonna let you redeem yourself. You do me a favor and I’ll let this slide.”
I looked up at him. “Just like that?”
I felt hands on my shoulders and wrists and he gave me three good taps to the face and one to the gut.
“Yeah. Just like that. I had my boys put a package in your saddle bags. Go to this address…” he said and handed me a sheet of paper. “Drop it off and be on your way. Don’t look in your bag before you get there. We’ll know. I don’t ever want to see you in Wyoming again. I’m serious. I see you again and we’ll keep you in a hole for a month while we figure out a long fucked up way to kill you.”
I believed him.
The address was in a bumfuck nowhere town called Bomarton, Texas. I spent the greater part of a day riding south only to find Bomarton to be a veritable ghost town. The grass in the yards was grown over. The windows on the shops were boarded up and the single church looked like it hadn’t held a service in years. I hadn’t looked in my saddle bags. I didn’t wanna know what I was hauling. Once I got to the address, I reached into to grab the package. Wrapped in cellophane was Sadie’s head with a note on it.
“Dear Shitbird, this one is on you. I have some friends that will be making sure you are taken care of. See you in hell. – Billy”
I heard a loud pop and it was directly followed by my front tire deflating. There was another gunshot and I ran for cover. I felt a sharp pain in my left arm and looked down to see the bullet had grazed my arm. Standing on the side of a boarded up building I tore my shirt and wrapped the wound as I heard a truck engine rev up and watched as as truck load of rednecks tore through the main drag hootin and hollerin. One of the guys yelled at me.
“Billy said you’d be too chicken shit to show. We gonna have fun with you boy! Now run!”
The sun hung low in the sky as I ran north towards a building that looked open. The rednecks piled out of their trucks with guns and took to hunting me down on foot. I ducked inside the building and took note that it had been some kind of store. I stood by the door as I saw the barrel of a rifle poke in and as the fucker tried to turn it and sweep in my direction. I grabbed the barrel and yanked it back as he got pulled in and bashed his head into the wall. I pulled the knife from his belt and put it firmly into his temple.
Now I cannot account for how much of this was me being awake for so long or if maybe The West still has a bit of power to it, but the blood coming out of his head dripped onto the floor and the floor seemed to swallow it up. The more he bled, the less blood seemed to hit the floor. Before long, I looked down and his body was gone. I grabbed the rifle and moved towards the other side of the building when the lights flickered on.
I didn’t even see power lines running up to the building, but all of a sudden busted bulbs looked bright and new. I ran out into the dark and over to the church as I looked back to see the building dark from the exterior. I hid in the church and perched up on the balcony with the rifle waiting for a redneck to come strolling in and sure enough one walked in.
“I see you got a gun,” he said. “Won’t help you none. You’re getting fucked up tonight boy.” As soon as I could see him, I pulled the trigger and put a bullet in his neck. Blood sprayed everywhere.
Again, It must’ve been the drugs and the lack of sleep, but the blood wasn’t pooling on the floor. It was like the church was eating it. Just like before, I looked away and the guy was gone. The empty floor had been devoid of pews, but when I gave it another look I could see pews and even caught sight of people filing in for evening service. Adrenaline and lack of sleep had taken over. I was convinced I had lost my mind. There in this abandoned church in ghost town Texas, I was watching a church service that absolutely should not have been what I was seeing.
I worked my way outside and back over to my bike in the cover of night. Popped a patch on the wall of the tire and hooked up a can of Fix-A-Flat hoping it would be enough and the tire seemed to inflate. With that, I kick-started the engine and started back to 277 as I rode past a shop to see what looked like gray hands pulling the last of the rednecks into a house. I could hear his screams from a hundred feet away and over the roar of my engine.
I was damn near to Seymour, Texas when my makeshift patch gave way at around 80 miles an hour and dropped my rim onto the pavement which in turn caused my bike to lay down and go into a skid. I slid on the concrete for the better part of a hundred yards and hit my head so hard it cracked my helmet in six places. I vaguely remember hitting the ground. After that, nothing.
I woke up in a hospital bed with tubes coming out of me and nurse standing over me saying they had put me in a medically induced coma after I had been brought in with multiple fractures and severe road rash. She told me that I was lucky to be alive. I looked at her.
“Sister, you don’t know the half of it.”