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Who you calling a chump?

Dear Grandma and Grandpa,

We are doing swell down here at good ol’ Strokers Dallas. Please tell the Lord I said thanks for letting summer finally arrive.

It’s amazing how much difference the weather makes in my business. Us in the motorcycle industry are dependent on good weather — kinda like you were, Grandpa, when you were farming.

Hey Grandpa, next time you and the Lord are hanging out, maybe buy him a beer and ask him for a favor for me. (That reminds me, do y’all have beer up there? I guess since it’s Heaven, ya gotta have beer, right? Do you get to hang out with the Lord, or is he like Beyonce — he only hangs out with a select few high-rollers?

Not saying you’re not a high-roller, Grandpa, but I don’t think many farmers are considered high-rollers. Actually, I’d like to hang out with Beyonce … that’s my idea of Heaven. Anyway, I got carried away there.) Can you please ask the good Lord if he’ll do a favor for me? Tell him that if he gives me good weather on Friday, Saturday and Sunday that he can make it rain and snow the other four days and I won’t complain one dang bit. As a matter of fact, it’s raining here today and it’s a Thursday as I write this.

So come on, Lord, make it pour if you want, because the forecast for this weekend is sunny and 90 degrees.

I just got back from our annual “CHUMP” trip in Santa Fe, N.M. I rode my Victory Cross Country. Brother Randy (the big-shot lawyer) rode his Victory Cross Country and Joe T. rode his Victory Vision. My friend Jay rode his H-D Street Glide. The trip was a good test because I just put a 26-inch front wheel on my Cross Country, so I was anxious to see how it handled the trip at extended highway speeds. I was actually shocked at how well it did handle. We’ve done many 26-inch front wheels on Harley-Davidsons and they handle just fine, but this was our first 26-inch on a Vic.

I swear to you that I could not tell any difference at all between the 26-inch front wheel and the stock front wheel. After 30 miles, I completely forgot about it. We cruised at 85-90 mph and I got the Cross Country up to 120 mph just to test the stability of the front wheel (I know, Grandma; sorry).


Oh yeah, I also got HUGE news. In August, I am being inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame, and that’s as good as it gets for some lucky chump from Texas like me. It’s a very high honor that I never dreamed would someday be bestowed upon a goofball like me. It just literally makes me shake my head that I have been selected to be enshrined in such a prestigious institution.

Maybe they’re crazy for putting me in, but I’m proud to accept it. This will be my 27th year in a row attending the Sturgis rally. The first year I went up, Lena was a newborn. This year, Lena is going with me for the first time. I will be the proudest man in the Black Hills.

This industry has been so good to me. I thank God every day that he allows me to make a living doing what I absolutely love to do. Sure, the motorcycle business has its headaches, just like every other business. I’m sure that even the photographer for Playboy has a bad day every year or two.

The second word of motorcycle business is business — and it has to be dealt with like a business. I’m a pretty intense businessman, and I’m sure that some people don’t like me. (Yes, Grandma, it’s true. Some idiots, I mean people, just don’t like your grandson Rickey Fairless.) Maybe they don’t like the style of bikes I build, or they don’t like my paint jobs, or maybe they just think I’m an idiot. Hey, that’s cool. I’m a big boy and I know that not everybody is gonna like me or my work. I don’t like everybody I meet, either.

But I really do want everyone to like me. I try very hard to get people to like me. I shake thousands of hands every week and I personally give tours of Strokers to anybody who asks for one. I’m not a bigshot nor do I want to be; I’m just a hard-working boy from Dallas, Texas, who is in love with motorcycles and the motorcycle industry. My intent is to leave the motorcycle industry better than I found it.

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