About This Site

Riding with a Friend

by Ray Parden

650 BSA Thunderbolt

650 BSA Thunderbolt


When I was in college my Dad co-signed a loan for me so I could buy a motorcycle, that was my first bank loan and my first bike,  a BSA 650 Thunderbolt. That was over thirty years ago.  My brother David, co-administrator of this site, had a bike when he was young as well.  After years of dreaming, in 2005  David and I decided that we needed to ride again and soon we each had a Harley Roadking.

David lives in Colorado and I in Louisiana, so we only get to ride together about 3 times a year, which means often we have to ride alone. Riding/Adventuring with my brother is the thing I enjoy doing the most, I wish we could do it more often, but work and time prevents that for now.  I am also a member of HOG, Harley Owners Group, and they make a few rides a month, but I am usually too busy or lazy to make them, OK, I made one ride, I need to do more this year.  The good news is an old friend of mine, Craig Carter, recently acquired a bike to ride and he’s local.

Craig Carter - Ruddock boat launch photo-op

Craig Carter - Ruddock boat launch photo-op


We made our first ride together a few weeks ago.  It’s nice riding with a friend, even though you can’t talk as you ride, it’s a good feeling.  We rode from Ponchatoula to LaPlace taking the old Manchac road.  The air was brisk and cloudy.  The old Manchac road is straight and smooth, though not perfectly flat due to the settling mud under it.  You can ride fast or cruise at the speed limit.  I admit, I have ridden 100 on both of my Harley’s there, but that day with my friend we were just cruising.

We stopped for coffee and a sandwich at the Huddle House near the Interstate, there was a guy there with a tricked out Shadow that had a fine orange paint job on it.  He rode there from New Orleans and his family came too, in their car.  I don’t know why it is, bikes seem to draw a little bit of a crowd, and spawn conversation, I mean you don’t see people getting out of their cars and standing around talking do you, but motorcycles, aaahh that’s another story.

On the way back we met a group of sports bikes, two of them were doing wheelies down the road as they passed us.  Even though I think they are crazy I know they were having fun, heck I wish I could ride like that.  It’s been a lot of years since I had my old BSA up on one wheel, it really preferred keeping both of them on the ground and I did too.

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