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R.I.P. Tom Fugle

Goodbye to an undoubted original.

I was lucky enough to meet Tom Fugle at the Brooklyn Invitational in 2011. I had heard all about him many years ago from Bill Mize whose bikes were heavily influenced by the El Forastero MC's machines. Bill schooled me on the history and significance of the club (which I am sure you can read about in the articles on Bill in GKM or elsewhere if you aren't aware of it).

Old outlaw club patches have a magic and magnetism to them, as you'll know; it was interesting to study Tom's and imagine the stories associated with the dirt and wear ingrained in his. He was a tall and charismatic figure and left me in no doubt after that trip to NYC the challenges that living the MC lifestyle would present over half a century; and the absolute ornery determination and toughness required to live that life for so long.

He was generous enough to let us peek through the crack in the door into a secretive and closed world; he seemed to thrive in an environment where the bikes he built were so appreciated by us (relative) youngsters. He was a link to a past we all revere and live, to some extent or another, vicariously. He'll be missed by many. Rest in peace, Tom.

I borrowed the superb image of Tom, taken the day I met him, from The Outskirts of Life blog.

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  • Well said,ride free Tom.

  • Very sad news, a true legend of the chopper world. The style that so much of us admire is owed in a great part to this man, R.I.P. Tom.

  • RIP to my dad.

    He gave me his chopper "Only One Love" (which he said I was conceived on - ewww) ;) but let no one doubt, I ride it, and his spirit rides with it too. He'll live on forever.

  • Thanks so much for commenting Natasha. Your dad was a lovely man. Our condolences to you and your family.