THE RENEGADE’S JOURNEY
What makes a man leave everything to make his motorcycle roll? Toño Renegado left home to travel 5,800 kilometers on a motorcycle, overcoming desert, mountain and coast, all for cotorrearla again with his carcasses from all over Mexico. For this he resigned his work as an electrician because he was not given permission to travel. He told his daughters and wife that he loved them. He kissed them: he crossed himself. And he pressed the accelerator on the Saltillo-Torreón highway, waiting for the breath of someone to find it …
“It’s all a memory of asphalt and solitude; A close of eyes in the darkness.
Toño Renegado showed a map of the Mexican Republic, leaning on the table in a bar where he used to go two or three times a week to listen to rock and drink a bucket of ten beers in the company of Lys, his wife.
After the metal chords of Iron Maiden he said that he had three years as president of the Renegade Motoclub. And this year they would celebrate the 25th anniversary in Mexicali, Baja California, touring the Rumorosa: challenging their curves; Eating seafood in droves and drinking beer as corsairs.
Despite having everything against it, I would travel, I needed it because of multiple personal problems. Life itself.
“And how many Renegades are in Saltillo?”
“But me and the other one, but the other one does not have a motorcycle, because he lost it and was out of work.” I am the president, I have to be there.
Toño Renegado is 30 years old, long hair: permanent circles. You almost always wear a denim vest from the motorcycle, red long-sleeved shirt and paliacate.
It has many memories of the road, fantasies, a violent north of the country that has explored after hours and hours of sun: What interests me is to shoot. I’ll do it anyway I do not know you ?.
We met on January 6 in a toy delivery organized by the newspaper where I work in popular colonies. Motoclub Renegade and Gargoyles decided to help by giving away toys on their motorcycles.
“Motorcyclists are gracious. You meet beautiful people all over the country. I would not change it for anything.
“Is not the trip boring?”
“No, it’s therapy. You go singing, suddenly you scream, remembering you fuckers.
The road likes it in spite of being a killer by nature; When he goes to a place he does not usually rest. He drives at night, hitting memories in his head: no worries. Free, stealing quota booths.
“It’s not fair to be charged like a car, a motorcycle is not a heavy vehicle. I know it’s wrong, but they should charge half.
Toño Renegado is a bandit of the asphalt, so has forced the system. He does not use drugs. Sometimes when the rock gives permission dances cumbia in slums of bad death until dawn.
“For a woman you’re not going to fight with a carnal. We walk on our roll Are you going to travel to Mexicali?
Just a night of cumbia invited me. Renegado had problems at work, with the boss; With all, with all. Little money. A vacation that was denied and that would serve to travel.
“Do not give up, Toño.
“I want to roll.” I was going to give up anyway.
-And your family?
“They support me, they know this is my passion. I pass by you, you tell me what you think. And so you get used to the bike.
I had never gotten on a big bike, less a chopper, less a traveler. In tight corners it tilts almost to the ground. We are in the city; The engine roars. The lights of the cars illuminate us.
We do not have a helmet; We went up a bridge.
We see the city with its lights electrifying everything: bars, restaurants.
The wind blurring the night, shaking the hair, caressing the face. Then down a slope, passing a van to over 100: children greeting through a glass, ladies watching with a frightened face, a couple going for a few beers to talk about life, a motorized dream.
Juan Antonio Ramírez Neave is Toño Renegado. He was born and raised in Saltillo. Robust, he wears industrial boots, denim trousers. Believe in God, but entrusted to St. Jude Thaddeus .. Smokes Benson & Menthol Hedges.
She has a knife and a traveling motorcycle Royal Star Venture, 1999 model that she bought from Maria Gumersinda Nájera Encina, More, from Motoclub Gargolas, who sold it after the death of her husband.
-It’s the plan, that Pedro Rivera Hilario keeps rolling. It is the legacy that left us. One day be able to say ‘ mission accomplished ‘ .
The deal was that Toño paid as much as he could and as he could, usually one thousand pesos a month. Pedro Rivera, More said, drove his motorcycle all his life. The Royal Star acquired it in Monterrey.
-Bought another bike. He was planning to sell the Royal Star. He left three vehicles. When he was not there, the furniture was going to stay. We wanted their bikes to continue rolling.
They had three children, Yajaira, Zoraida and Carlos Alejandro, who died on April 18, 2008 at the age of 26 on the Piedras Negras – Laredo highway, when a drunk driver drove him to the front.
Six months later, on Oct. 25, amid more than 10,000 choppers Pedro Rivera suffered a heart attack at an event in Leon, Guanajuato, he was 50 years old.
-Life is like that, God gave them the opportunity to die in what was their life. I would like to die like that too.
More, 53, said her husband’s dream was to have a traveling Goldwing motorcycle. He bought it months before he died, now it is handled by Yajaira, mother of Diego Armando Ruiz, who at age three was named the smallest biker in Latin America. Motoclub Gargoyles are familiar, more than 50 people roll through the republic.
Toño knew it in the way, when it was not surnamed Renegade and belonged to Spartanos.
“It’s easier for Toño to travel because nothing else is him,” says Vámonos. And he hits her until she gets to a place …
Toño Renegado has some rules when he travels: not to sleep, he almost does not eat; Do not waste time do not drink beer
-I want people to know what we are, motorcycling is a passion, it’s a lifestyle, it’s not a hobby. We strive to do what we like.
-What does the trip represent as a person?
-I realize that I am something important in the world, it is growth for me, I feel that I have no limits, I have no borders. People are afraid to go to the border, I want to show them that there are still good people, you always find good people on the road that will help you. Are you going to go?
On the morning of April 26, Allen Gonzalez, of Nuevo Leon, passed to Saltillo by Toño Renegado, who after praying with his wife turned on the engine of his motorcycle, tied a suitcase, put on gloves, helmet and glasses to take road.
It was a cool, cloudless day. Under a clear blue sky they parted the motorway with their motorcycles. At two hours of travel, the sun began to warm the leather jackets and their long-sleeved T-shirts. They robbed two booths of quota receiving claims, saving 171 pesos.
At times they raised the speed to more than 150 kilometers per hour, they saw the plain of edge of the highway. The palms of the desert; The towns desamparados and the indications shot by bands of narcotraficantes … I went with them.
The clubhouse of Renegados in Torreon is a property in the colony Laguna Sur, the president is Buyo, had left for Mexicali a day before. There were Fausto Natera, Luis Rodríguez, Larry, Samuel Morales, Greñas and Jorge Luis de la Fuente, Flander de Nuevo León, as well as Juan Antonio Saavedra, Yani, from Tampico, Tamaulipas.
Yani and Flander had also given up their jobs to be on the 25th anniversary of the motorcycle.
Kilometers before arriving at Torreón Toño Renegado’s bike suffered a defect in the ballas, had to change them. Allen and the others came forward to gain time.
-The club is characterized by that, you have to shoot. If you break down you have to pull it out. This fart is despapaye, but also responsibility is required.
Toño’s plan was to repair the balatas and wait for Emanuel Saavedra, Chato, 26, from Torreón, to start his 1980 Suzuki motorcycle. All day and part of the night they worked on them, they got spare parts, they drank logs, Idealizing the encounter with the carnal.
The Forsaken call themselves Carnal.
On the road we are Carnales.
It was already a day lost in Torreon. The night began to fall in the Shire, but not the heat. Toño and Chato worked all the dawn to leave at 10:00 am the next day.
It was a long trip, Chato’s motorcycle constantly failed the carburetors and had to stop, use mechanics. Take it easy.
The trip of three hours became seven, the first stop to eat was in Camargo, at Chico’s house, where Armadillo also arrived, both Renegades who could not travel. It was another two hours of waiting, to get pieces for Chato’s bike.
Toño urged him to come to the presidents’ meeting; Share ideals.
-We are defending the country, we do not let motorcyclists enter the United States. We help to avoid bad motorcycles, there are gangs.
“What do they say at meetings?”
-They reiterate the pride of being Renegade, to enter are many tests. You have to roll. Have a motorcycle spirit.
-And the women?
“There are no women in the club, only as companions. It may sound macho, but it is to avoid misunderstanding, for women’s issues a club can be separated.
Chato’s bike again failed in Ciudad Delicias. The afternoon was running out. He stayed there, at Mike’s house, another of them repairing his vehicle.
Toño continued his way, did not see back, only embraced Chato: We are delayed, we have to hit him at night to arrive.
It was a frosty night on the Chihuahua highways. We cross the mountain range with extreme temperatures and a sky covered with white stars on a black road. We had to use the little clothes we carried to fool the wind, cover our faces with little bandanas so as not to breathe the cold, think of so many things, seeing the dense mass fragmented by the light of the headlight of the motorcycle.
Pure asphalt, solitude and nothingness around.
Tears in the dark were not a memory, but a cold.
Nuevo Casas Grandes was far away.
As a good president of a motorcycle club Toño Renegado has groupies, but it is a mandilón. Always and every now and then he telephoned Lys, who is actually called Francisca Lizeth Marines Aldaír, 26 years. He met her seven years ago when they worked in a factory: they fell in love. It was the first chopper wedding in town.
“I always support him in all decisions, whether good or bad.
“And what will happen to the family?”
“We’ll see what we do.” He had too many scoldings in the jale.
She worked in the copying center. Every day they met in his apartment, in the dining room. Sometimes on the street. They started a relationship the last days of April 2004.
Lys’s father disagreed with the man in denim, leather and motorcycle who dreamed of roads, carried a razor, and challenged authority.
They were finally married on March 19, 2005, she in white, he with tuxedo and bow, but above the motorcycle. They had two daughters: Eva Yadú and Mixtli Lizeth. They formed a family next to Cristina Alejandra, daughter of Lys that Toño decided to create.
The wedding was unique, remember Lys, Toño belonged to Motoclub Espartanos; Camels were organizing an event where there were more than four thousand motorcyclists.
Witnesses of honor were State Policemen working near the event: With the pitiful emotion did not know what, Lys smiled.
Do not be jealous that Toño Renegado walk in motorcycle events, which is synonymous with women who are approaching, alcohol, bars, beaches, rock groups, cumbia.
“After all, it’s the president, you’re going to get women, whatever happens there, it stays there.
To Toño Renegado I did not know any woman, neither in the way, nor in the event.
Kilometers before arriving at Nuevo Casas Grandes Toño invaded rail track due to the dream, happened meters before arriving at a position of revision of the Federal Ministerial Police. The cold was intense. Someone or something woke him up.
To Toño came many crazy theories of which he would speak later in Imurís, Sonora with El Niño del Tambor.
That early morning we slept for four hours inside the facilities of Firemen, who saw the people of Monterrey pass that we were ahead on the trip.
Firefighters Elli Trejo, Pedro Moncada, Raúl Ramírez and Jesús Manuel Morales wished luck before talking about being careful of the checkpoints of drug gangs. They gave coffee, biscuits and blessings.
The road followed, gray and hot, full of mountains and fiery plains, until we stopped in the limits of Sonora and Chihuahua, where Toño prayed to an altar of the Virgin of Guadalupe, observed a canyon surrounded by hills pelones, felt the last blizzard Of winter flying his hair, lit a Benson & Hedges, said looking at that, that was all: It is poetry without words, here you set the world.
There was silence. Then he decided to do a ritual he learned from a shaman who has a tattoo business in the center of Saltillo, a person from the Sierra de Guerrero who prefers not to say his name: his nickname is Tiger, Tiger is. Invokes Indian spirits in a temazcal on the old road to Arteaga.
As there was no pure tobacco, he undid a cigar, scattered it on the four cardinal points, throwing the particles into the air, floating like cottons in a gale. He invited us to do the same, we lit another tobacco. Smoke filled his chest, ran his throat and came out through his nose …
What that man did was ask for protection from the spirits. He was reporting to the four courses, he was lining up, El Tigre later told, before convincing him to enter a Temazcal to purify me.
“It’s like giving without asking for something, our old men talking to the spirits.
Tigre said that some years ago they were Renegades to put them in the Temazcal. It was precisely the year that Toño was surnamed Renegado, after a national meeting. That time, he said, a brotherhood was born because Motoclub Renegade and he believed in a red road, of wisdom … the way of fire.
“It’s an indigenous road.” Its colors, its ideals coincide with what we believe, even if it was the vision of a dead man.
Because the founder of Motoclub Renegado, Antonio Álvarez, Toñón, died in an accident in 1990. The shield represents, Javier González, Chibuya, Secretary of Mexicali, told me his roots by the plume adorned with 27 pens that are the 27 of March, Foundation date.
-The red color is the war for us, it represents our defense, our roots.
And Tiger taught that all tribes coincide with the same colors …
Imurís, Sonora met us with a broiler where they roasted meat. The grill said that a day earlier motorcyclists from Monterrey had eaten at his place. Until then came Luis Maldonado, Spiral, a globetrotter with the tattooed face of Magdalena de Kino coming from Parras de la Fuente, Coahuila.
“No, honey!” You’re The Drum Kid!
“Yeah, that’s how he put a newspaper over there.”
“This … I put you like this.
It happens that weeks before leaving, Luis was walking in Parras in El Estanque de la Luz dancing and singing with a drum, invoked evil spirits: he brought a jar with marijuana, alcohol and peyote. People who passed by the place warned the police, after beating they arrested him.
The popular newspaper where I work headlined the news on the cover.
And Drum Kid was left.
From adolescent he decided to cross the Mexican Republic. His grandfather taught him black magic, occultism. He has devilish figures in his hands, which he made with fire.
He was born 29 years ago.
Wear sun hat and glasses; long hair.
He has seen the sea, desert; Ice, mountains and green plains.
He does not want to stop walking.
One day he got mad and left the house.
He sells drums. Sing strange things.
One day he came across Los Zetas in a deserted area.
He likes to go to caves and do witchcraft.
He fell in love in Quintana Roo; He did not want to tie himself to someone.
Drummer shared the table, guessed that Toño Renegado had something, like hidden powers. I could not see it in my face.
They talked about freedom, about shooting, how miserable the world is.
They also talked about magic and fantasy.
Toño remembered once that it was going towards Los Cabos, the heat of the desert was suffocating and had not slept. He was losing sight of the asphalt and drove asleep a few meters. An eagle flying low matched its path. Woke up.
An Indian sorcerer confided to him that it was a divine sign that warned him not to die, like what happened before arriving at Nuevo Casas Grandes, when the bike did something strange and woke up.
Drummer Boy said goodbye as a friend, thanked someone to understand: On the road we are all the same, answered Toño Renegado.
I’m sure I’ll bump into Drummy Boy somewhere.
And I’ll make you a profile like this.
They left Hermosillo to meet Los Renegados and have a branch of the motorcycle club. Ulises Garcia, El Maniaco and Francisco Javier Cortés we met in Caborca, in a mini super where we had drinks.
If they tell me No, I’ll keep waiting, thought El Maniaco: nine years of motorcyclist, 32 years old. He is an instructor in a gym.
“I’m very interested in the name: Renegades, the color red, the brotherhood there. Back in Hermosillo we are comrades, friends. They call themselves Carnales.
Francisco Javier, 45, with only 24 months of running, went back and forth to Canada a year ago.
Together we followed the road, the night fell again. We skirted the border, at least we could see the lights on the other side of the wall. Toño cursed the border patrol and gang motorcycling.
We arrived at an uncertain hour in Mexicali, carnales from all over the country were walking around the city patrolling its streets. The hotel headquarters, at least where they hosted those who came from outside, was located in the historic center. Place of passage for migrants, assailants, murderers or renegade travelers without destination.
El Maníaco, Francisco Javier, Toño Renegado and I settled in.
In a bar we talk about the road; Of everything that hides.
To wake up after almost three days of motorcycle travel without stopping is to be born again, more when you are sure that you could die and that something out of this world saved you.
Travel is tired, if you do not tie the helmet well the air can fly, if you do not wear a mask or a handkerchief that covers the face a mosquito can get muddy.
Wearing jackets and denim is not vanity; It is necessity before a possible fall.
The heat does not sit on top of a motorcycle even if you are at 40 degrees.
Cold is cruel in chest and hands.
When one travels for hours and hours he arrives at the destination covered with flies, his body aching and his eyes burning. It is a bit tedious to have to load fuel at each gas station.
The capacity of the tank of the motorcycle is 21 liters.
Boots are necessary to dampen the weight of the vehicle.
Toño Renegado wears keychains and religious prints as amulet.
How are you, carnal? “Allen Gonzalez received a hug before departing to a restaurant in La Rumorosa, where they put a plaque commemorating the 25th anniversary of the motorcycle.
He asked about the trip and its setbacks; We are always following their rounds.
More than 150 motorcyclists rode in caravan, all waving in embrace; All fleshly.
Live today, brother … Just. There are no worries here, Allen said before getting on the bike.
And there was no more, because La Rumorosa and his carnales made Toño Renegado forget that he did not have work and had to return with the family to pay debts that acquired during the trip.
The curves with anxious spirits, watercolor ravines and car graveyards were now the landscape.
Jorge Luis de la Fuente, Flander, 10 years of motorcyclist, decided to leave work to be on the anniversary, became Renegade for brotherhood, unity and conscience that characterizes them when motorcycling is spoken. I worked as a chauffeur; Has a daughter and Sandra Marisela, his wife. She carried the expenses of the trip.
“I asked permission to leave for a week, they said: If you want to take all the time you need. And then I came.
While Juan Antonio Saaavedra, Yani, 30, worked as chief security in a bar. He traveled with little money. He said goodbye to his nine-year-old daughter.
“They rebelled, they did not want to give me permission, and I came.” I had been working for six years.
“Is it worth giving up everything for this trip?”
-In some things yes, like work (laughs). But this is ours.
Yani said that he saw everything from sandstorms to a shooting out of Tamaulipas. He has been a Renegado for three years, the same ones he has as president.
By this time the trip to Yani had run out of money, the decision was to buy motorcycle oil or drink beer. Received a call from his wife, they argued. He got angry.
He remembered that he met her coming from Guadalajara, when he was coming off the bike. He was drunk and full of flies. That’s what they wanted: I’m a good runner, I’m a walker and drunk. That’s how they know me. Do not complain.
Toño Renegado heard his story, answered with a long Simoooooon, so he says when he thinks, when he says, when he does not understand. And went to spend a voucher for a pantry to buy a pack of 24 beers and share.
Yani could not stand it any longer: I’m going for a cheve, I’m going to spend the oil.
There was everything in the events, I mean music, food, brotherhood. Toño Renegado spent it counting and listening to roads, imagining landscapes and talking about mechanics and fantastic events.
Despite not having money, she had a good time. He always does something to get ahead, like in 2007, when he was appointed president at a national meeting in Saltillo.
That occasion had to receive with all his carnal, he pawned his motorcycle in 10 thousand pesos, so he bought 400 beers that were finished in one day.
When the Renegades found out they did not let him spend more, after finishing the one-on-one event, he supported him financially with what they could: The club’s chill is that they understand you, he said.
Mexicali took an electricity tool to sell it and got a loan. Lys sold an old Volkswagen car she had, got another loan and sent it to her husband in bank deposit.
One of the tires with which it traveled was smooth, his carnal ones cooperated to buy a new one to him. At four days Chato arrived, immediately joined the party and toured Tijuana, Tecate and Puerto Peñasco.
They saw the sea, its cliffs. Beaches and seagulls poking food.
I said goodbye to Toño Renegado in Mexicali, I had to go home because of work: tragedies, death, blood.
The last night I saw it was when they had the national board, where they caught the attention demanding that they put up the spirit of motorcycling. Toño Renegado was sitting, drinking and listening to a group of heavy metal in a park where they congregated to the motorcycle club.
We toured the historic center for the last time, we toasted, we took care of the assailants, we saluted prostitutes and patrons; Musicians and drug dealers, we wanted to go to the bars, but there was no money. We remember tips, wives, loves, friends, family, work.
Then we flew, we parted the asphalt of the boulevards with fists high, meters ahead, behind us, to one side, all over the city had Renegades doing run run on their bikes.
Mexicali was red, its night, its dawn …
Toño Renegado returned with Chato crossing the desert of Sonora and the mountain Tarahumara, they drove day and night stopping twice to sleep. They visited El Maníaco in Hermosillo, hosted for the first time as Renegado upon being accepted as president.
Maniac at all times nicknamed Toño as Gordo.
In San Luis Rio Colorado they found a lady from Yucatán who was abandoned by polleros in their attempt to cross the border. They helped her by taking her to Sonoyta.
Lys received Toño with a meal of roasted meat to which they invited me, there he told many of his adventures.
He did not return to the bar where we planned the escape because he struck a guy who wanted to woo his wife.
He followed with his knife, St. Jude Thaddeus and his eternal garb.
The last thing I learned from Toño Renegado was that he did not find work as a technical electrician, he cut his hair for several interviews.
But he did not leave the bike.
Finally he went with a contractor: he washes trucks and takes out garbage in Petróleos Mexicanos.
Is happy. The other year he plans to go to Tijuana on the 26th anniversary.
He would give up everything again.
Whenever I see a motorcycle I remember Motoclub Renegade.
And I smile.
I would climb on a motorcycle only if we go south.