That said, Lisa has grudgingly added an accessory to her bike-wear. Over her stylish, sequined bandanna is now a helmet.

"I know it's not the law, but it's a chance you take," she says. "To me it's not worth the risk anymore."

As most clubs do in times of adversity, the Bastards are back on their bikes. Born to ride and danger be damned, they continually seek escape—if not peace—in a world where peril in the form of everything from the elements to their enemies is only a hiccup away.

Rick Fairless, who established Strokers, the Mecca of metroplex motorcycle hangouts, is considered one of the godfathers of the Dallas bike community.
Hal Samples
Rick Fairless, who established Strokers, the Mecca of metroplex motorcycle hangouts, is considered one of the godfathers of the Dallas bike community.
Healed by weekend rides, Rico's sister, Lisa Santos, and Bastard brother, Gonzo, share a laugh at Strokers.
Hal Samples
Healed by weekend rides, Rico's sister, Lisa Santos, and Bastard brother, Gonzo, share a laugh at Strokers.

"Danger's everywhere, not just on a motorcycle. It's a part of life," says a solemn Mongo over a beer at Duke's. "We're not some renegade group looking to always get drunk and get in fights. We're just like-minded guys who'd rather die at 50 having a great time on the road rather than sitting on some couch wasting away playing video games and being miserable until we're 80. Rico was full of life. Loved to have fun. Loved his family. Loved us. And he loved to ride his bike."

You were supposed to hear that from Rico.

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