Big Ruby’s Wager.


The seventy one year old man set down his coffee cup and opened the garage door. He was greeted by the bright desert sun which filled the garage with light. A warm smile appeared on his face as he looked down on her. The object of his affection was a motorcycle, but she was no ordinary bike. She was a 1950 Vincent Black Shadow.

The man had found her while in the Army, stationed in West Germany in 1960. It was love at 1st sight and he called home to beg his dad for a loan to get it shipped home to Nevada. His father agreed and when the man got home in 1961 the bike was waiting for him still packed away in its shipping crate.

Although her paint had slightly dulled over the years, the little chrome she had shone and she ran like the day she was born.

“A super bike before there was such a term,” the man mused, “capable of 125 mph in a time when most bikes could barely achieve 80 mph.”

The Black Shadow featured a 998 CC engine, a sprung rear sub-frame, and extensive use of aluminium alloy. Her Overall weight was a relatively light 458 lbs. While other contemporary motorcycles tended to be polished and chromed, the “Black Shadow” was unusual in being predominantly black.

The black enamel crankcase was effective both for marketing and heat dissipation. Fewer than 1,700 Vincent Black Shadows were made and all hand-assembled.

The man straddled the bike and gave her a kick and she roared to life. His well-tuned ear listened for any irregularities and found none. As the black beast purred, his mind drifted back to his youth.

It was the summer of 1964.

He was known as Vinnie and was a member of an Outlaw biker club.

Vinnie heard the rumble of three bikes slowing down in front of the truck repair garage where he worked and had an apartment on the top floor.

He took one last look in the mirror to check his club vest. He wore blue jeans, engineer boots, black T shirt and blue denim jacket and on top his club vest: “The Rattlers MC.” His hair was a sandy brown slicked back with a dab of pomade and he had a well-trimmed goatee.

“Vinnie, You handsome devil, while were young!” Snoopy the resident club funny guy yelled as Vinnie bound down the stairs and joined him in the yard.

Snoopy was not alone. Chester and Iron-butt sat on their idling bikes waiting for him.

Vinnie sat astride his beloved Black Shadow, gave his bike a kick start and followed the three Rattlers out to the street.

They owned the road as they rode.

A few miles down the way, they saw the rest of the club members at the Texaco station near the highway.

It was late Friday afternoon and the Rattlers were milling about. Some were topping off their tanks and others were just joking around anxious to hit the road with their biking brothers.

A short time later, all were set. The club president, Ike Wilson, gave the signal and the club roared off onto the highway. Their destination was the Oasis Hideaway a roadhouse/gas station/motel about 30 miles down the road, out in the middle of the desert.

As the club rode out, the line of bikes began to stretch out in an impressive convoy.

Out front, the swift British café racer bikes, Triumphs, Matchless’s and Vinnie’s Black Shadow vied for the lead. The newer Harleys and Beezers (BSAs) did their best to keep up, and the older Harleys and Indians brought up the rear.

The Oasis was considered “neutral territory” and a favorite meeting spot for biker clubs and cross country truckers. The food was decent and the bar had live entertainment on weekends.

The proprietor was a tough old SOB who went by the name Tonopah Pete.

Pete was a B-29 pilot during WW2, then finished his service out of the secretive Tonopah test range and air base that was nearby.

The Oasis was a rough and tough place but it was generally understood by the patrons that all “disagreements” were settled outside.

If a fight broke out in the bar, Pete would quickly restore order with a baseball bat he called “The Babe” that he kept handy behind the bar. He had enough respect from his patrons to know better than to mess with him and his bar.

As the club rode down the highway, Vinnie mulled over his current status in the club. Patched in last winter, he was well liked by the other club members but had yet to make his mark.

His club vest was relatively free of embroidered patches. The Rattlers went by the “bought and earned” patch system.

Vinnie had the “1% percent” patch which meant Outlaw biker, the “number 13” patch which meant the 13th letter in the alphabet – M for marijuana and he had a “RIP” patch to honor “Bowser,” a club brother who had been killed when hit by a truck that spring.

Other brother’s vests were adorned with earned patches like:

the “MOM” patch stood for “Man of Mayhem” earned for a notable fight and

the “Ace of Spades” patch was earned for taking care of a club vendetta.

Snoopy had told him not to fret about it, he had “Club spirit” and to their club “Prez” Ike, that was the escort bayan bursa most important thing.

As the club rode closer, a reshuffling of the bikes took place. Ike was not a stickler of biker club protocol, but when the club arrived at a destination he liked to take the lead. With Ike leading the way now they filed in to the parking lot and parked their bikes in a long angled row.

An hour later, Vinnie sat at a table with his brothers.

Snoopy who wore a vintage leather fighter pilot helmet and goggles when riding;

Cy short for Cyclops who had lost an eye in a job related accident and

Iron-butt who earned his name by riding 1500 miles one time only stopping for gas.

At the next table, the manic brother known as “Auctioneer” for his “Benzedrine fueled mile-a-minute” way of talking, was babbling about the Beatles the British band that was taking the country by storm.

Snoopy rolled his eyes listening, and then slammed the table.

“Vinnie, your turn. Decorate the mahogany,” meaning “buy a round of beers.”

Vinnie went to the bar and returned with the beers when suddenly the song “Leader of the pack” by the girl group the “Shangri-La’s” began to play on the juke box.

Snoopy jumped to his feet and using the beer as his microphone began to mouth the words as he serenaded Ike much to the delight of the club who cheered him on and the entire club joined in on the refrain yelling, “THE LEADER OF THE PACK! VROOM VROOM VROOM.”

The song over, Snoopy took a bow to loud applauds and laughter and sat back down.

A brother came in from outside and said something to Ike who turned his head and stared at the door. A moment later a large biker dressed head to toe in black leather walked in, followed by 7 or 8 similarly dressed bikers.

It took Vinnie a moment, then it dawned. He realized they were all women!

In an instant the bar got quiet.

“Oh fuck, its Big Ruby.” Snoopy said quietly.

Ruby stood at least 6 feet tall, weighed 200 pounds, her jet black hair was slicked back and she had a large stogie cigar in her mouth. She slowly looked around with an evil grin. Spotting Ike, she walked up to his table.

“Well well well, if it isn’t Ike and his Rattlers. Hope you and your boys don’t mind a little company tonight.” Ruby said with a fearless laugh.

“Not at all Ruby, as long as you and your girls play nice.” Ike said kicking a chair in her direction.

“Pete! Open a tab for my girls and bring me my Bourbon and leave the bottle.” Ruby said as she sat down on the offered seat.

And with that, things got back to semi normal.

The brothers, sitting and standing at the bar, made room for the female bikers and the women who had rode out with the Rattlers quickly found their boyfriends and stood close to them.

Vinnie watched from his table. He saw immediately the new arrivals were a club, but had never heard of them.

With questioning eyes he looked at Snoopy for an explanation.

“The Vixens. Female only club out of Las Vegas.” Snoopy said quietly.

“Female only?” Vinnie replied a puzzled look on his face.

Snoopy sighed and leaned in to whisper into Vinnie’s ear. “They’re fucking Dykes…Lesbians bro.”

Snoopy stood up, flicked his head towards the door and mouthed the word, “Outside.”

Vinnie rose and followed him.

Outside they lit cigarettes and leaned against the wall.

Looking around and sure they were alone, Snoopy gave Vinnie the rundown. Ruby was the daughter of a wealthy construction mogul with Mob ties.

As a teen when most girls were chasing boys, Ruby was stealing cars and motorcycles.

A stint in the girl’s reformatory only made her worse. In her 20’s Ruby was arrested once again for running a chop shop in Reno and did a few years in prison.

Now in her late 30s she lived off a nice trust fund and kept a semi low profile with her Club.

Ike had known her for years and had told Snoopy she is one woman you did not want to fuck with.

In Ike’s words “Ruby was a good friend to know and an enemy to be feared.”

The two bikers went back inside and Ike gestured for the two of them to come over to his table.

“Ruby this is Vinnie and you know Snoopy.” Ike said.

“Beat it Snoopy, I want to speak to Vinnie.” She dismissed Snoopy and turned her attention to Vinnie. “Have a seat young man,” Ruby said warmly.

Vinnie sat down and Ruby poured him a whiskey.

“Ike tells me that’s your Black shadow outside” Ruby said.

Vinnie nodded and sipped the whiskey.

“A very rare bike. I want it for my collection.” Ruby said with a wicked looking smirk on her face.

“Sorry, she is not for sale.” Vinnie said firmly.

Ruby let out a deep laugh that gave Vinnie the chills.

“Now who said anything about money? Ike here tells me you’re quite the rider.

Let’s have some fun tonight, perhaps a race?”

The discussion about a race got the entire bars attention. Everyone looked over and bursa sinirsiz eskort strained to hear this interesting conversation.

“For pink slips. You against my best rider?” Ruby said with a smile.

“That depends on the bike.” Ike interrupted.

“Shut the fuck up Ike, but if you must know, it’s a triumph 500 CC engine on a BSA “feather bed” frame, and it’s quite nimble.” Ruby grinned.

Ruby looked at the bar and gave a wave. A lovely petite Hispanic woman walked up behind Ruby and put her hand on Ruby’s shoulder.

“This is Rosa, my very special pet and my best rider.” Ruby said caressing Rosa’s hand.

“So what do you say Vinnie? If you’re a chicken-shit-pussy and afraid, Rosa and I will understand.” Ruby chuckled.

The bar was silent. Vinnie could feel the entire club looking at him. It was a make or break moment. The atmosphere felt heavy and loaded all of a sudden.

He thought a Triumph 500 would be a very nice addition for his club.

His mind made up, “You got a bet Ruby,” Vinnie said with confidence.

Twenty minutes later, the details and rules for the race had been hammered out. The race would begin right outside on the highway. Two miles of a relatively straight road, then they would veer right onto the Plata pass, four miles up till where it leveled out.

A member of each club would be there to witness the racers tapping the elevation sign – The turnaround point.

Then back down again. The winner was the first to pass over the finishing line, a chalk line drawn on the road outside the Oasis.

Cy, Ike and Snoopy coached Vinnie as he got ready.

“You can take her Bro.” Cy said patting Vinnie on the back.

“Her bike is lighter and has massive road racing brakes, but you got the horsepower.” Snoopy added after looking over the TRIBSA Hybrid.

“You will be up front till you get to the pass, then she is going to able to out brake you. Don’t panic and don’t lock your brakes. Its 12 miles. Just keep her close. Those last 2 miles will be the real race.” Ike said calmly and tactically.

Tonopah Pete was chosen by both clubs to be the starter.

He stood in the middle of the road and motioned the bikes forward to the starting line. His arms out right he pointed to Rosa who gave a nod then to Vinnie who nodded to say he was ready too.

Pete raised his hands over his head as both bikes revved their engines up and down.

Pete dropped his hands sharply and the bikes screamed off into the night.

Rosa’s bike took an early lead due to it lower racing gear set up, but then the black shadow found it legs and muscled ahead till Vinnie was at least 50 yards ahead.

Vinnie never looked back but could see Rosa’s headlight in his mirrors.

Vinnie saw the road flares up ahead. An agreed upon marker to tell the racers the entrance to the pass was up ahead.

Iron-butt pumped his fist as Vinnie flew by in a blur.

Vinnie down shifted and swung onto the pass. In a heartbeat Rosa was right on his ass again.

Side by side, Vinnie did his best but on the first tight turn Rosa was able to late brake him and took the lead again.

Remembering Ike’s advice, he let her lead.

It was all uphill so both bikes rode in a mid-gear.

Both riders rode fast but cautious, taking care of their engines and transmissions.

They reached the top and Rosa slowed and tapped the sign 1st with Vinnie right behind her.

Their eyes met and Rosa smiled as they headed back down. Now the real race had begun.

It was the same going down but faster.

“Damn she was good!” Vinnie thought as he did his best to keep up.

Turn after turn, Rosa found the perfect apex and bolted further and further ahead.

At one point, Vinnie lost sight of her completely on a blind corner.

Vinnie made up ground as they got closer to the bottom and the road straightened out.

As they roared back onto the highway Rosa was 50 to 60 yards ahead easy.

Vinnie crouched down and pegged his throttle and in high gear began to gain on Rosa.

The neon sign for the bar was fast approaching and they were soon side by side, neither rider looking at each other.

As the bar got closer and closer Vinnie nosed ahead. And that’s how they finished.

Vinnie hit the finishing line ahead by a ½ a bike length.

The Rattlers cheered and surrounded Vinnie as he killed the engine, and got off his bike, patting him on the back and pouring beer over his head.

The Adrenalin pumping through his system made it all seem like slow motion and dream like.

Snoopy pushed through the gaggle of bikers and gave Vinnie a bear hug.

Then, as seen in black and white movies, he flamboyantly gave Vinnie a smitten “leg popping” kiss on his cheek and fluttered his eye lashes.

The brothers roared in laughter.

Vinnie looked around and saw Ruby walking towards him.

“Well done kid, and don’t worry I’m not gonna kiss ya, but Rosa escort bayan will. She aint no virgin but she’s never been with a real man before.” Ruby laughed.

Ruby then addressed the entire crowd.

“The night is young, boys and girls…let’s get fucked up! The Vixens are buying.”

The bikers cheered and began to go back inside.

A hand grabbed a puzzled Vinnie’s shoulder and spun him around. It was Ike, beaming at him like a proud father.

“You did good kid…real good. You won yourself a nice bike and here’s an extra bonus.” Ike said as he peeled off 5 crisp 100 dollar bills and stuffed them in Vinnie’s vest pocket.

Then Ike handed Vinnie a motel key.

“You also won Rosa for the night. Have fun Champ.” Ike grinned at Vinnie and walked off.

Snoopy who had witnessed the exchange, caught up with Ike. The two brothers watched as Vinnie rode his bike to the other end of the lot and to the motel.

“Wanna tell me what the fuck that was all about?” Snoopy asked. He knew there was more to it than rewarding Vinnie from the goodness of his Rattler heart.

“A side bet I made with big Ruby.” Ike grinned.

“And what if he lost?” A stunned Snoopy asked quickly grasping Ike had won the side bet and there must have been a flip side to the coin.

“Well…I would be 1000 dollars poorer and young Vinnie over there …would have most likely… gotten pegged by Ruby tonight!” Ike began to roar with laughter.

Snoopy fell to the ground and began rolling around in the dirt in fits of hysterical laughter, tears ran down his face and he was unable to talk, which soon infected Ike who also began laughing uncontrollably. After a minute or so Snoopy rolled onto his side and looked up at Ike.

“Do we have a patch for that?” Snoopy managed to ask between ragged breaths.

“Oh I dunno, how about some butt cheeks and a strap on?” Ike replied; hunched over, hand on knees.

Once again both brothers completely lost it, tears streaming down their faces. Eventually and after the longest 10 minutes ever, the men finally composed themselves. Ike offered a hand and helped Snoopy to his feet and dusted him off.

“You’re a fucking evil tyrant Ike, anybody ever tell you that?” Snoopy asked as they approached the door.

“Hey it was cunning calculated risk. You know best how that kid can ride and it paid off.” Ike thought for a moment and said, “It goes without saying we best not mention this for a few days.”

Snoopy nodded, eyes still wet from laughter. “As your most trusted adviser I completely agree.”

“Now let’s get drunk.” Ike said as he held open the door.

“As your most trusted adviser I completely agree.” Snoopy repeated again.

Both men tried to stifle their laughter as they stepped back inside the bar.

A still puzzled Vinnie killed his engine in front of the motel room. Opening the door, he saw Rosa sitting on the bed drinking a beer. He rolled the treasured bike into the room and put the kick stand down.

“Thieves” Vinnie said explaining his actions as he shut the door.

“I hear that,” Rosa said with a slight Hispanic accent.

The room had a typical “no tell motel” décor of the time. A leopard print bed spread on the bed and a zebra print throw rug on the oil stained wooden floor from the many bikes that had occupied the room before. Bikers just didn’t like leaving their prize possessions outside.

The wallpaper was faded and peeling and the ceiling once white was now nicotine stained brown. It was shabby indeed, but the sheets and bath towels were crisp and clean and if you were lucky the shower would have hot water.

Awkward best described the mood in the room as Vinnie took off his jacket and vest and hung them on the cheap coat rack.

He could see Rosa had thoughtfully filled the bathroom sink with ice and beers. Vinnie grabbed one and popped off the cap using the edge of the beat up table.

Turning around sipping the cold brew, he looked at her. She was a tiny thing, maybe 90 pounds soaking wet. She had long dark hair and big brown eyes. She was wearing a white T-shirt that highlighted her smooth brown skin and a pair of skin tight leather pants that looked painted on.

“Wanna get high?” Rosa said breaking the silence.

“Sounds like a plan.” Vinnie smiled.

“Panama red, Ruby knows a guy” Rosa said showing Vinnie a fat joint she had rolled. She patted the bed and the biker sat beside her.

Vinnie fired up the joint, took a big hit, savoring the taste of the potent weed then passed it to Rosa who did the same.

The two bikers smoked and rehashed some of the highlights of the race, using their hands to describe the turns.

The adrenalin was wearing off, the weed began kicking in and the couple began to relax as they chatted with enthusiasm about their favourite subject – bikes and racing.

“You Know, you’re a pretty cool chick, feel kinda bad taking your bike now.” Vinnie said.

“Well don’t, it’s not mine. Ruby had it built just to race you,” Rosa laughed.

Rosa went on to explain the Ruby had heard a new Rattler rode a black shadow and knowing you selling it was not going to happen, she came up with the idea of a race. Ruby had heard the Rattlers were coming out to the bar tonight and the Vixens made the run from Vegas hoping Vinnie and his bike would be here.