This story is a perfect example of the alternate markets Wagner looked into when assembling his collections. I honestly can’t see any editor besides Wagner finding a story in the September issue of Easyriders. Easyriders is a currently running magazine focused on the American made motorcycle- Harley Davidson, Indian etc. In addition to the motorcycle articles they included topless spreads of women, and stories. As stated in his introduction, “…finding good horror fiction becomes something rather like fishing a good trout stream..with effort and patience the results are most rewarding.” Nice catch on this one.
This is only the second published story by writer Kevin A. Lyons and Wagner predicts that we’ll see more from him down the line. Sadly, checking the Speculative Fiction Database and searching the web it appears this is the last story of his. Bill Wolfe’s Riding Spirit is short (possibly the shortest in the collection), predictable, and could have waited longer for some of its story beats to hit, however, the added flare of a dash of biker culture, and the main characters job, cleaning roadkill off the highway, give this story an original feel.
The story is a ghost tale about a biker (Billy Wolfe) who evades the cops late at night every full moon, burning rubber on his Harley through the Dell Water Gap. Fellow bikers and some ‘straight’ folks begin lining up to see him evade the cops every time he takes his ride. No one can figure out how he seems to appear from nowhere and disappear the same way. One day while cleaning up deer off the roadside the protagonist finds a cabin in the woods that answers all his questions about Billy Wolfe’s secret.