The Old Gringos

With local interest on the wane, a graying biker gang resolves to head south of the border. Como se dice "raisin' hell"?

Vic's son won't stand next to his father because the attire looks so embarrassing. Like a kid who has been dragged to a family wedding, the seventeen-year-old sullenly scuffs his sneaker on the sidelines of the biker blowout. He works at Burger King to pay for his own trailer park rental, doesn't know what the Outlaws stand for, and doesn't want to learn. "I never wear biker boots; I don't even ride," he says, twisting his ponytail. "This summer I went with some friends to see Con Air. Everyone in the audience was clapping and yelling whenever the convicts killed someone. And I kept thinking, yeah, if you had to listen to your old man and his friends brag every night about all the guys they killed, this would be so fucking boring. If I have to listen to how he killed a man for stealing a beer one more time, I'm gonna fucking scream. And as soon as those Mexican farmers learn to speak English, they'll be bored too."

The launching pad for colonization is a trailer park on SW Eighth Street in Miami. Beast's mobile home is handmade, slapped together from aluminum slabs and plywood. All the electric sockets sizzle and pop. The only decoration is a sampler over the door stitched by Beast's wife with the Outlaw motto "God forgives. Outlaws don't." The fold-down table is covered with maps of Mexico. The Outlaw disembarkation point on the Gulf Coast south of Tampico is marked in red and black: dirt-poor farm land dotted with villages. On-site reports were dispensed by a biker who sailed there aboard freighters by working as a seaman. "There's plenty of dirt road to ride there: no tollbooths, no suburbs, no cops that can't be bought cheap," Beast sighs dreamily.

"There are bandits and drug dealers down there that are younger than us, but they're not tougher," he adds. "We can either kill them or teach them. It's their choice. It's a new world full of people who can learn our life, be the sons we wish we had. Citizens have the power here. But we'll rule the citizens the minute our bikes hit Mexican dirt. Hell, the people down there are used to drinking dirty water, living off beans, and dying by the time they're 30. They'll get used to anything."

The Outlaws' research has pinpointed wells, towns with electricity, and even a cantina with beer on tap. All the makings of a lawless paradise, including a population that has, presumably, grown accustomed to life being difficult, weird, and sporadically cruel.

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