International Biker Clubs, from Russia to Thailand

I’ve been riding since I was 11 years old, when my parents bought me a Honda 50 that I would pretend was a dirt bike, driving the neighbors nuts, cutting up the agricultural fields not too far from our home. And I’ve been traveling the world since leaving home right after my 18th birthday, cutting up Africa, from Ethiopia to Tanzania, as well as the mystical island of Lamu, India, Nepal, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq Syria, Turkey, and then all of Western Europe and some of Eastern Europe before I was 20 years old. But what I want to share with you is some Ray’s biker hang outs just a little bit off the beaten path, starting with Russia and then Thailand, and yeah, there are “real bikers” all over the world, outlaw bikers and some a part of the establishment, as in Russia, and then expatriates, running from the law, as in Thailand. What they all have in common is creating a fun scene to hang out, and then, these are also two places in the world where you can run into some of the most awesome biker chicks.
If you take the subway out of Moscow until it comes up from underground and darts out into the suburbs and then get out and walk or catch a short cab ride into the night you will come to the most awesome biker hangout that I’ve ever been to in my 55 years of searching. It is the home turf of the Russian Nightwolves motorcycle club, who I first ran into in the Crimea, an area of the Ukraine that includes the most beautiful mountains stretching down to the Black sea and hot spots at Yalta. I also ran into another member of the gang in Odessa, who said, “If you’re ever in Moscow, you should drop in.” A couple of years later I was traveling though Russia with a Ukrainian girl who I would later marry. We asked around, found the club house, and it was more than we expected, way more. Outside was a menacing, oversized black Harley chopper, 10 feet tall, stretched, maybe 25 feet in length. My hair was long and my arms tattooed, so the burly guys blocking the parking lot, only wide enough for a Fatboy, motioned me to wander in. These guys were obviously enormously wealthy, as I would later come to know, some of them at least former KGB and current FSB guys, one of whom gave me his FSB card, telling me that he was leaving for Turkey the next day, but if I wound up in any trouble with the law there in Russia just to call him and he would take care of it.
I say that the club was obviously wealthy because as we walked into the acre of dirt parking lot surrounded by 20 foot walls, we were confronted with a huge stage, made of oversized motorcycle parts, with 15 foot high flames rising from either side. Opposite the club was a framework of wrought iron staircases and platforms with tables and chairs, and then there were ordinary wooden picnic tables too, with baby pigs roasting on the spit. Attached to the clubhouse was a “bar,” called the Sexton, with a long winding wooden bar onto which the bartenders were always spilling long lines of Vodka and setting them on fire. At the end of the bar was a band kicking out some really awesome blues, to which were dancing some of the most awesome naked ladies in iron cages. But the most beautiful of all were not the female employees, it was the Russian biker chick wannabes who were just there to connect with one of these notorious bikers. Even my old, tattooed, long haired American biker self was inundated with the girls who wouldn’t take No for an answer. I kept on saying, “Let me introduce you to my fiance …” but they would respond, in English, “Just one dance, pleeeeese?” What were they after? Just the opportunity to have a good time. I’d spent the entire preceding summer traveling around the Ukraine, hanging out with one beautiful young girl after the next, from place to place, traveling also with a couple of body guards and an interpreter. Russian girls, like American girls, all they want is to have fun.
If you find yourself in Russia, you should also go hang out in the Ukraine. When you find yourself in Kiev, the capitol of the country, check out the Deja vu Biker Bar on Bagdan Melnitski street. Antiqe Harley Davidson’s hanging from the wall. A bunch of really fun guys and girls. I rented the former home of the Greek Ambassador across the street for next to nothing. And if you want to have a good time, guaranteed, show up at the Opium dischotech around 11:00 PM, when it opens, so that you can pick up one of the tables looking over the dance floor. The tables are pricey, if I recall correctly around $50. But all the single girls there would love nothing more that to come hang out and from the vantage point above the dance floor, you can scope them all out, and then take your pick.
As much as Russia is a kick, and the girls definitely worthy of being included in a Beach Boys song, I grew up in Hawaii, and there is no way that I could possibly hang there in the winter. Winter time is for Costa Rica or Panama or Brazil, or better yet, Thailand, and yeah, there is a major biker scene there, some guys who don’t have a choice but to retire outside America or Europe, where they’ve worn out their welcome, and more and more now, guys who just want to retire to paradise. And paradise it is.
My friend Red belonged to the Jesters motorcycle club in Pataya, which is a beach maybe 50 miles outside Bangkok, and he swears by “his” beach. I know the Jesters because every year they come down to “my” Biker Rights Advocate enclave at Patong beach, on the island of Phukett. A bridge connects the island from the mainland for those arriving by land, although it is a 20 minute, $100 flight from Bangkok. And for my money, I wouldn’t even leave the Bangkok airport, just catch a flight to the island, and enjoy the biker beach scene.
There are five motorcycle clubs on the island, the biggest being the Phuket Riders Club and they host “Bike Week” at Patong Beach in March of every year.. All the clubs get along and often party together. And there are a hundred biker friendly bars including blues clubs with live bands. I lived there for 2 years and my usual routine was to wake up in the late afternoon and then ride or swim and then write until 3:00 in the morning, and then head out to the clubs above the strip, where the working girls would go after work to just hang out with the “long-timers,” just to have fun, dance, and get wild. There is a distinction between long times and tourists, although it needn’t have anything to do with how long you’ve been there. It is mostly just a state of mind. The short-timers are usually either tourists or guys coming in to exploit the girls. Maybe I have too much faith in mankind, or maybe its just my experience on this island, but my observation was that even the ones who came into town with the objective to get to know a hundred girls in a month usually ended up falling in love after a couple of days, looking like sad puppies because the new love of their life had to work. From my observation, this is just a reflection of the fact of the matter that these are just really fun, good-time girls, and when they are off work, that’s when they want to have fun. The girls like to hang out with the bikers, especially if you have a “big bike,” which can be either a Harley or a big Japanese cruiser. The island – obviously – is just one beach after the next, with little restaurants at each, and what I like to do is just set out around the island, looking for another little beach with another little restaurant, and hang out with the regulars who somehow managed to find it before me. If you go to Bike Week in March, then you have to stick around for Thai New Year, April 13-15. New year is celebrated by throwing water at each other, and no one is exempt, indeed the most well dressed women and most dignified men are the ones who end up the wettest. Ride slow or don’t ride on these days, because bikers are definitely not immune, and you will get splashed in the face and the chest including by full buckets of water as you ride up Bangla street.

Source by Ray Henke