especially the city’s massive Puerto Rican Day Parade. They ride to bike meetups and festivals—sometimes as far as Connecticut—and line up next to motorcycle clubs to hang out and drink and have a good time.
From their matching black leather vests to their want of respect, they have more in common with a motorcycle club than a road biking spandex club. It’s not about exercise, but it’s also not about beating the crap out of people or initiations or hazing or acting tough.
There may still be outlaw motorcycle gangs who make few friends and many enemies, but the Classics—who don’t like to be called a gang—are not outlaws. They have jobs to go to and rent to pay and children to take care of. In their free time, they ride.
“We ride to have fun and enjoy life,” says Tony. “It’s all about family.”
House of Bikes
The Classics are well known in the Bronx and in New York City. They are one of an ever-changing number of Puerto Rican vintage bicycle clubs in the city and members say they are the largest, most respected, club in the city.
They aren’t even the only club in the Bronx, but Speedy, a 48-year-old who lives on 163rd Street and asked not to use his real name, said if you put the other Bronx clubs together, “We still outnumber them.”
What many people want to know about the Classics when they see them is, are they all Puerto Rican?
They have 109 members: 108 Puerto Rican and one Dominican, Benny. He is a sergeant and one of the most respected men in the club. They had some Cubans.
Are they all from the Bronx?