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Ronbone and the Lumbees
A Night Out With Outlaw Bikers

I was new to Baltimore, almost 19 and living with big, Hairy Ronbone, our mode of transportation a Yamaha XT-500. I would ride on the back and carry the beer and groceries, 8 inches for my narrow ass behind his huge, wind-shielding bulk. We went to a bar called Apples and had to leave our knives at the door. We had no knives and looked at each other worriedly, one of us suggesting to the other to make sure we not get dragged into a fight on the parking lot after leaving. There were at least 50 bikers with maybe 10 girls in this place.

Ronbone was a giant freak with high intelligence, fence connections for stolen goods and a delivery job driving his girlfriend’s car around with trash bags full of weed in the trunk. I was his little side kick about whom he made up outrageous stories about finding me living like Tarzan in the woods and doing other outrageous stuff, most of which was entirely untrue.

The guys he hit it off with—as I was a social non-entity who sat and drank and watched in silence—were the Kumbees, one of whom, Apache by name, actually looked like an Indian. The others all looked like Ricans. Ron would race these guys from bar to bar with me holding his beer on the back. He always left them far behind until they finally geared those American-made things out and came cruising by us at 130. His XT seemed to max out at 125.

There was no violence by this 8-man gang of garbage pail Amerindian bikers. They were polite and respectful to staff, did not hassle women and had a good brotherly time, heavily focused on darts and pool. Perhaps, their carrying of multiple knives, some oversized and flagrantly illegal, contributed to their polite society. They made a positive impression on me as a young cipher of a man with no identity. I ended up, 12 years later, patterning my dress and arms after them, except for the vest, carrying various illegal knives concealed on a belt obscured by a draped bandana or a jacket or flannel shirt tied around the waist.

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Sam J.May 14, 2018 10:26 PM UTC

I owned a Yamaha-TT500. It was hands down, by huge percentages, the greatest thing I ever owned in my whole entire live in terms of "things". A friend of mine bought one and let me ride his. It was unbelievable. It was a a big game changer at the time. I bought one two days after I rode his. Extraordinary torque. I rode this thing everywhere. Yes they have better now but it had a sort of...beastliness that most other bikes never had. I think everyone that had one of the Yamaha 500's loved them.