Dear Ma, I hope you’re doing good up there in Heaven. We are extremely busy down here in Big D. Things are really hectic around here this time of year and I am very grateful for that! The service department is a huge part of our business and the biggest source of headaches for me. We work on all American-made motorcycles, but mostly it’s Harley and Victory, sprinkled with Indian, Big Dog, American Iron Horse, Bourget, and that kind of stuff.
Not only are we doing lots of service work, but we are also doing lots of custom work on these bikes. Almost everybody wants their bike to be different from the next guy, so customizing our customers’ bikes is what we do best! Anything from paint, wheels and performance modifications to frame altercations – we do it every day here at Strokers Dallas.
Hey Ma, we’ve got some things cooking with Allstate this year. Ya know that we work closely with Allstate Motorcycle Insurance to create custom motorcycles for them. This year they’re doing something different. They’ve asked me and the Ness family to each build a custom motorcycle to unveil at the Roar On The Shore Rally in Erie, PA, this July.
The cool part is, the public will be able to vote on which bike they like best! I think this is an extremely cool deal, and I am proud that Allstate asked me to participate in this build-off. The Ness family is the top bike-building family in the world, in my opinion, but, I have accepted this challenge and we are building a bike that I am extremely proud of! This bike is coming out so nice that I don’t want to turn it over to Allstate, I want to keep it for myself! But since they already paid for it, I guess I’ll have to say “so long” to her in Erie.
I’m not sure what the Ness family is building, but you can bet your sweet bippy that it will be an unbelievably cool, one-of-a-kind custom motorcycle. I’m not really looking at it like a competition. I mean, nobody can compete with Arlen, Cory, Zach and now Max Ness! Arlen is the Godfather of the custom motorcycle industry and I promise you that his son Cory is on the same level as his dad! So, we are building this bike just like it is one of my personal bikes.
Allstate is giving me free reign to build my style of bike, and brother, we went nuts on this one! I can’t wait to unveil this crazy Rick Fairless Custom at the Roar On The Shore Rally! I have been working with Allstate Motorcycle Insurance for six years now. I can tell you that it is such a great company to deal with that I started my own insurance agency featuring Allstate Insurance. My insurance company – Fearless Insurance Services – is one of the fastest-growing insurance agencies in the state of Texas! I would say that my family is pretty well tied in with Allstate, and I am very proud of that!
We are in our 21st year of business here at Strokers Dallas and I can’t help but look back to the beginning. When I first started I was called the “crazy kid” by the owners of the D/FW area H-D shops. They all said I was “a crazy fool” for opening a custom motorcycle shop and a beer joint on the same property! Well, fast forward 21 years and all the H-D shops have changed owners and the “crazy kid” is now the “old man.” Funny part is, most of the H-D shops in the area are now giving away free beer served by pretty girls to draw customers in on the weekends!
I guess I stumbled onto something that turned out to be a pretty good deal for me and now other shops are figuring it out as well. Bikes, babes, beer and live music have been a mainstay of mine since day one, and I can tell you that it has worked very well for my motorcycle shop as well as for my bar and grill! I don’t know that either one would be as successful without the other. It’s crazy how things around me have changed over the years, and we have stayed the same. Yes, we’ve grown to many times the size we were when I opened, but my business model has stayed the same and it will stay the same until I die and my family can hopefully carry on what this old man started!
So Ma, you have been gone two years now and it is no easier today than it was the day you went off to Heaven. I constantly think about things I should have done or should have said to make your life easier. I know it’s not manly to cry, but I still cry a lot, Ma. When I think about you giving birth to two boys in 11 months, and you were only 17 years old at the time, it seems crazy.
Then I think about how our dad wasn’t around much and how you had to work two jobs to put food on the table for your boys, it makes me sad. Somehow you did raise us good, Ma. Randy is one of the top lawyers in the entire country and I’m doing okay for myself in the custom motorcycle industry. Anyway, I hope you’re proud of your boys, because we are extremely proud of you!
I gotta go for now, Ma. It’s 4 p.m. and that’s my workout time. I workout an hour every day, because I don’t want to grow old and fat… just old!
I Love You, Ma!
Your boy, Rickey