Bikernet Blog Search Bikernet
Ride Forever -
Thursday Edition

Bruno is Coming

Bikers Meet the Old West

By K. Randall "Bandit" Ball, illustration by Jon Towle R.I.P.

Share this story:

Editor’s Note: We are having some fun with the notion that bikers may become the cowboys of the future. So, we took liberties with a movie from 1974 with Burt Lancaster, called Valdez is Coming. Watch for the final chapter in April 2023.
Bruno rode a Sportster like the wind caught fire. He rode hard and fast as if every Orange County law enforcement agency was after his fat ass. Not much to look at, his round features and big smile said a lot about the man and his continence. He slid to a stop in front of Cook’s Corner in the Irvine Hills, on a Saturday night.
Cook's Corner was a rustic biker bar with worn pine panelling, a sagging front porch and a neon Schlitz sign hung in the dusty window. 

The city from Laguna to Irvine and El Toro closed in on Trabuco Canyon like a concrete plague. Cook’s resided in the last remaining unencumbered scrub hills. Bruno tied his helmet to his bars and stepped up to the entrance. The door cried in pain as he pushed it open. The inside smelled of sawdust, tobacco smoke, and beer. The Four Tops' "Only the Lonely" played on the juke. Straight ahead was the bar. In between, six Comancheros  M/C members kicked the shit out of someone on the floor. 

Other patrons pretended not to notice. Four Comancheros at a table watched like officers on the bridge of a ship.
A young woman with long black hair wearing a denim vest wept at a table in the corner, her face buried between trembling hands.

“What the fuck?” Bruno approached the melee on the slat floor scattered with cigarette butts, peanut shells and dust. He yanked one rider from the rat pack to see a black motorcyclists on the wooden deck bloodied and desperately trying to protect himself.

Bruno tossed the young skinny patch-holder aside and suddenly the fight stopped. The brothers stood in unison and stared at Bruno.
“That’s enough,” Bruno said. “Let the kid go.”

A big Hispanic with massive arms stepped up. Meaner than cat shit, he glared at Bruno and spit on the deck. “What the fuck is it to you? He stole a club bike. He pays.”

Bruno looked down at the battered kid on the deck, who shook his head tearfully through blood and spit and muttered, “I never stole a motorcycle.”

Bruno looked back at Pablo the club VP with tattoos running up his neck and one on his temple. “Did you get the bike back?”

“That’s none of your fucking business puto,” Pablo snapped as nasty as a stepped on rattlesnake.

“Pick him up,” Pablo ordered and the brothers hauled the black rider to his feet.

“I ride a sport bike,” the rider said through bloody teeth under a crushed nose.

Pablo spun in the direction of the young man in the darkened bar. He pulled a shiny 12-inch, straight blade and buried it into the abdomen of the kid just below his ribs and twisted the blade. The African American youngster gasped and stared wide-eyed. Pablo wiped the bloody knife on the kid’s t-shirt as he took his last breath. “Drop him, let’s ride.”

 Pablo stepped up, the knife reflecting from the dim barroom lights and neon. He wasn’t much taller than Bruno, but big and buffed. “That was your fault, don’t interrupt,” he muttered his voice low and gravely.

Bruno watched the knife. He was too close, but the big man put it away and then shoved Bruno hard. Bruno stumbled and knocked over a table as he hit the deck. Before he could get to his feet, he was surrounded by Comanchero brothers some reaching for weapons.

A tall white member sporting a Prez patch sewn over his leather vest pocket, stepped through the crowd and put his arm around Pablo as he stared down at the redheaded white boy. “You don’t want to mess with my brothers. As you can see, if some sonuvabitch steals one of our bikes, we don’t fuck around. Let’s ride brothers. Nobody messes with the Comancheros.”

Bruno quickly jumped to his feet as the members jammed to the parking lot, fired up their bikes and rode out. He made his way to the bar and ordered a Jack on the Rocks as the young girl dove to the side of her boyfriend weeping and holding him in her slender arms.

Bruno took his drink to her table, sat and watched for a moment. Other patrons tried to console the young girl. The bartender called 911. Bruno didn’t want to be there when the cops arrived.

Shaken, he downed the whiskey, stood and headed for the door. Outside, he unhooked his helmet and suddenly the girl was as his side. Mexican, she had warm features and he studied her for the first time. Under the vague, distant, parking lot lights, her features glowed like a camp fire, beautiful, partially because of her pregnancy. He look down at her stomach.

“What am I going to do now?” Sheila said and ran her slender hand over her baby bump. “He never stole anything. It’s my fault. My ex was a Comanchero.”

Bruno ran a gloved hand over his face and looked around the lot as if searching for directions or answers. “Get on,” he said and jumped on his motorcycle. “Let’s get the fuck out of here.”

Bruno had to think, and the best place to accomplish that was in the saddle, cutting a dusty trail to nowhere.

They rolled through the canyon, onto 10 freeway, turning off on the highway leading into 13 Palms and the desert. He pulled up to a small concrete block house in the middle of no place and a Hispanic brother came out of the pad. “Ola, what the hell are you doing here?”

Bruno scowled. The two went inside and the girl sat at Diego’s dining room table. “Family?” Bruno asked her.

“I can’t go there,” Sheila said. “The Comancheros threatened my people. There’s no place to go.”

Diego’s wife brought chips and salsa, tea for the girl and whiskey for the men.

“What happened,” Diego asked.

“I can’t tell you,” Bruno said, “and neither can she. The less you know the better. Can she spend the night?”

Diego looked at his wife and she nodded. She wouldn’t say no to a young Hispanic pregnant woman.

Diego walked Bruno back to his racy-looking Sportster. “I’ve got to figure something out,” Bruno said.

“We’ll be here,” Diego responded, nodded and patted Bruno on the shoulder. They rode together back in the early chopper, Long Beach days. Bruno did Vietnam service time and rode with a couple of Port of LA clubs. He straddled his bike and rode into the night over the curvy pass and onto the freeway toward Los Angeles. All along the way he thought about the girl and her predicament.

The next day as the early-morning sun danced along the desert sands, the performance Sportster slide to a stop in front of Diego’s miniscule pad. Bruno jumped out of the saddle and barged into their front door.

Diego, his lovely wife Maria and Sheila sat at sort of a rickety wooden picnic table. They called it their dining room table, the only table in the two-room cinderblock pad. They dug into huevos rancheros, juice and coffee.

“Who’s the father?” Bruno blurted. “Was it the dead kid or the clubber’s.”

Sheila swallowed hard and followed the gulp with a swig of freshly squeezed orange juice. “The dead kid, goddammit,” she muttered.

“Then the bastards owe you,” Bruno spat and grabbed a tortilla off the plate, rolled it and stuffed it in his mouth. He snatched her cup of joe and washed it down. “Let’s go.”

“She’s not going anywhere,” Diego barked, unusual for him.

“Si,” said Maria, the resilience strong in one word.

“She’s pregnant,” Diego confirmed. If you’ve got a problem with them. It’s on you.”

Bruno looked at the girl, at Diego and Maria. “I’ll be back,” he said and bolted for the door.

Diego turned to Sheila, “He has a big heart.”

Bruno gassed up and hit the freeway. A soft-traffic Sunday, he peeled through mild congestion like a snake through weeds until he leaned onto the 605 freeway heading east toward no-mans’ land on the outskirts of Duarte, California, an industrial wasteland. Rolling off the freeway onto a wide boulevard he peeled passed manufacturing block buildings until he rolled up to the front of the Comancheros club house.

He continued past the chain-link fence surrounding the compound until he found a coffee shop where he parked his Sportster and made his way back to the compound on foot. Brothers patted him down and allowed him entrance into the asphalt grounds containing a small two-bedroom clapboard home and a large tin and steel industrial building. Old school industry surrounded by newer buildings in stages, stucco, block and finally concrete tilt-up structures.

He made his way through lines of choppers, Dynas and baggers to the front porch. As he approached the wooden slat deck Pablo burst out of the front door. ?“What the fuck do you want, except to die like that black punk?” He demanded.

“I want to talk to your boss,” Bruno said. Rapidly he was being surrounded by members of the club, all carrying some level of weaponry.

“You’ll talk to me or die trying,” Pablo said. A snarky bastard with a large fuzzy head of hair and a long jet-black fu man chu mustache, he ground his teeth and spit. With 20-inch arms and a 46-inch chest the imposing figure made an evil statement and Bruno knew what the sonuvabitch was capable of. “What the fuck do you want?”

“That kid didn’t steal a club bike and you know it,” Bruno snapped and stared at the club monster. “The girl was the problem and now she’s pregnant. What the fuck are you going to do about that, leave her on the streets?”

The ragged wooden-framed screen door on the bungalow burst open and out stepped the tall wavy-haired white guy carrying a cup of steamy hot coffee. “What’s up?”

Pablo stepped aside. “This punk came back.”

“Just want to know what you guys can do for the pregnant girl?” Bruno asked.

The club prez stepped up to the porch railing post and leaned against the 6 by 6-inch wooden post. He sipped his coffee. “What do you suggest?”

“I will put up a grand, if you will,” Bruno said.

“Why would you do that?” The prez said looking into his cup. “What has she done for you?” He snickered as if sexual favors passed between the two. Others grinned.

“Nothing,” Bruno said. “She’s pregnant and needs help, that’s all.”

“The bitch gets nothing from my club,” the prez said and smirked. “Unless she wants to come around and take care of the brothers.” He laughed a haunting tone and threw his remaining coffee at Bruno. “Don’t come around here anymore, if you know what’s good for you.” The prez nodded to Pablo. “Show him to the gate.”

Pablo singled-out two of his Lieutenants to assist Bruno to the gate.

“Just a grand to help the girl out…” Bruno said the coffee dripping off his vest. He pulled a black and orange bandana out of his back pocket and wiped his face and bright red mustache. His eyes frowning, he was struck by an aluminum baseball bat from behind. He dropped to one knee but recovered quickly and got to his feet. Another brother shoved him toward the gate and he stumbled.

Bruno turned to face his assailants and Pablo. He had only 25 feet to the wire gate, but he wouldn’t run. Another bother approached with a 4-foot two-by-four and pulled back for a swing. Bruno turned, stepped up to Pablo and grabbed his black leather and spun him as a barrier from the wooden plank. It hit Pablo and the brother froze. The massive weight-lifter wasn’t fazed.

“Just a grand muthafucker,” Bruno said gnashing his teeth as his eyes made direct contact with the VP. He shoved him hard into the other brothers, but more kept coming.

He fought off two more, but the bats were coming hard and fast and a machete barely missed his hand as he reached for the gate. It smacked the galvanized post with an eerie clang. Another bat hit his other hand while pushing the gate open and Bruno stumbled out the gate and fell in the sandy dirt at the road’s edge.

The members pulled the gate closed abruptly as Pablo approached. “Next time you won’t leave in one piece, punk.”

Bruno got to his feet and turned toward Pablo. “How about $500. That’s my final offer,” he said clutching his bruised hand and smiled, turned and walked away. “Good for today only.” He waved his arm and walked away.

Pablo and the brothers stared in disbelief. “What’s with this guy?” Pablo muttered grinding his teeth.
Quick, read the next and final chapter: 

Based around a true story. Check it out!
Based around a true story. Check it out!

Share this story:

Back to Motorcycle Mystique, Two Wheeled Tales

Reader Comments

Gritty and hard hitting by a bropther who's been tn the wind for so many years. Looking forward to more!

Madera, CA
Thursday, March 23, 2023
Editor Response I'm working on it. We would like to expand your Trike Alert. Can you send me a before and after shot of the complete trike?
I've seen the movie and it was good. Wondering if you're going to take liberties with the ending and put your own twist on it. Love it when the hero first gets the shit kicked out of him then returns to exact his revenge on the perpetrators.

Monday, March 13, 2023
Editor Response Hang on, it's coming...

Your thoughts on this article

Your Name
Anti-Spam Question:
Please enter the words you see in the box, in order and separated by a space. Doing so helps prevent automated programs from abusing this service.