Ride rebuilt in memory of brother

Published 7:24 pm Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pete Trujillo, of Niles, had this 1998 Harley Davidson Dyna Wideglide rebuilt in honor of his brother, Al, who died while riding the bike 10 years ago. Pete rode the bike for the first time Saturday. Daily Star photo/CRAIG HAUPERT

For Pete Trujillo of Niles, the 1998 Harley Davidson Dyna Wideglide sitting in the driveway is more than just a motorcycle.

When he looks at the bike he sees his older brother, Al. The guy he used to ride with, laugh with and fight with, like so many brothers do.

“It was a part of him and all of him at the same time,” Pete said.

That Harley was the last thing Al ever rode. On March 12, 2002, Al was driving on a back road in Indiana when the bike left the road and hit a utility pole head on. Al died the next day in a hospital. March 13. A day Pete, 47, will never forget.

“When he died, it was a huge loss to all of us,” Pete said. “We were all so close. and it was never settling for any of us. It always bothered us.”

Pete spent the past 10 years putting the bike back together piece by piece with the help of a few friends. It was finished Friday.

When the man who was working on the bike for Pete rode it up to the house, Pete and his wife were waiting in the driveway.

It’s another day he’ll never forget.

“It was amazing, just flat out beautiful. I think both of us were in tears that night,” Pete said. “Just watching him come in was extremely emotional.”

The bike is painted black and embossed with images from the movie “The Crow,” which is about a person coming back from the dead to make the wrong things right.

For Pete, the bike’s theme is a fitting tribute to Al.

“It represents him coming back, and that bike, when it was done, was going to be his soul able to rest and ride again,” Pete said. “It is about putting everything to rest, and that’s what I wanted.”

An image of “The Crow” is on the gas tank. The words “ride in memory of Albert Trujillo Jr. 5/13/63-3/13/02” are written on either side. On the tail is a saying from the movie: “Then sometimes, just sometimes, the crow can bring that soul back to put the wrong things right.”

Pete rode the bike for the first time on Saturday. He and his 18-year-old son, Gabriel, showed off the bike to friends and had it blessed by Pastor Mike Smith at Hope Community Church.

“When I look at the bike, do I think of him? All the time,” Pete said. “When I get on the bike, probably the first thing I think about is that he is going to be riding with me.”

Some people, Pete said, are superstitious about riding a bike that was involved in a death or an accident. He isn’t worried about that.

“If it’s going to be my time, it’s going to be my time,” Pete said. “My brother rode a motorcycle all his life and died doing what he loved to do. I can’t fault him for that.”