It’s not the image you might associate with feeling safe: a gang of bikers roaring along the road on their motorcycles, long hair blowing in the wind, their arms heavily inked. And so curtains twitch in this suburban neighborhood as the leather-clad gang rolls down past their homes. But then the gang stops. And a girl, aged only 11, looks on nervously as the men – and women – approach her; she knows that they are here for her.
One biker acts as a roadblock, arms folded and standing next to his motorcycle at the bottom of the street. You shall not pass, he seems to say. The other gang members pull up outside the girl’s house, and their 14 black-and-chrome stallions stand glinting in the Arizona sun.
One by one they approach the young girl. First is a 55-year-old man with long hair and a handlebar mustache; he’s the leader. He reaches for the girl, his skin weathered by the elements of the open road, and speaks. “Hi, I’m Pipes,” he says. Scared, the girl replies, “Nice to meet you,” and her tiny hand is enveloped in his.