Chapter Member Spotlight - Brad Vidrine

Chapter Member Spotlight - Brad Vidrine

Chapter Member Spotlight - Brad Vidrine

Well, Mine is a long story with lots of twists and turns. As most folks, I had lots of dreams. Both 4 wheeled and 2 wheeled. Back in the day when muscle cars were actually fairly commonplace and cheap, I owned several which are now considered classics. I was able to live a lot of those dreams, but in the end, the 2 wheeled dream won out.

I have lived in Ville Platte, La. most of my life. Opelousas, La. and Florien, La. were home for me during my Elementary & Jr . High School days, but wound up back here, so never really drifted very far from home. Although later in life my work took me to many areas of this big rock we live on. The oilfield was good to me and I got to see and live temporarily in many interesting places around the globe. One of the most interesting was the north parts of Argentina. Damm I liked that place!!!!!! (If you like awesome beef, great beer, and a laid back lifestyle, Argentina is the place). But as a kid, I was a middle brother, and was always a bit of a rebel in many ways. At least in my parents eyes. Neither of my brothers had motorcycles until I got it started in my family. Later my older brother then my younger brother realized what I was seeing. It all started with an Allstate MoPed. (Yea, Not really a "Motorcycle", but it was a start of 2 wheels) But yep, one of them two speed things that was probably the most complicated and hardest two wheel vehicle I ever rode. Notorious for the take off wheelie that would put me sitting in the middle of the road at just about every stop sign. (I wish I still had it. I THINK I could master it now) That was at the age of 12, so that should tell you how long it's been since I started riding. Since then, I have owned many differ ent types and styles of motorcycles. Most of them Non-Harley Rice Burners. I rode with friends, small groups, and my brothers on occasion, but the majority of my riding has been alone. Even in those early days, I enjoyed the wind in my face, knees in the breeze, & the feel of an open road. Even though those were short roads at the time.... I remember the movie Easy Rider and the carefree lifestyle characterized and always thought about how cool that was. Of course, I knew it was just a movie. However, now that I have been to a lot of those same areas portrayed in that movie, I actually understand. (Remember the saying, "If you have to ask, you wouldn't understand)

I started riding bigger street motorcycles and covering more ground until kids started arriving. At that time I decided it best to do something a little less dangerous, so I started racing Motorcross and Hare Scrambles. I raced mostly small local tracks, but I did make it to the big time one season where I raced a Motorcross Event inside the Houston Astrodome, finishing a respectable 3rd place for that event. But, at the time, if I didn't win, I just as soon had been last. LOL I never gave up on a dream of riding motorcycles across the grand United States. So, as the kids were growing older I elected to purchase another cruiser and started riding locally again. But after they left the nest, it was time to hit the highway. I was able to ride a lot due to the work that I did. As I worked in the oilfield all of my life, the majority of that time I was working on an equ al time On / Off so when I was off, I got to ride further away from home as I had more continuous days off available. Most of my friends had regular jobs so while they worked week days with only weekends off, if I wanted to ride, it was going to be alone. (Which is not always a bad situation, although I really do enjoy small group riding).

With many miles already behind me, around the year 1996, I purchased my favorite motorcycle which is my 96' Heritage Softtail, which I still own and ride. That Heritage has carried me across the country many times over. With that bike having 135K miles on it now, she is still my favorite ride. I have only been a Cajun HOG Member since early 2017 when I purchased my latest Harley Davidson. I enjoy riding with the people I have met at Chapter Meetings and Events. Although I have never made any of the longer weekend rides with the chapter, I look forward to the time when I do. Case in point was the recent Chicot Park "Bon Temp" weekend. Unfortunately that timeframe conflicted with Squirrel Hunting opening season, which as some of you know, is sacred to the folks of Evangeline Parish. LOL But, I always enjoy the rides with our "Cajun Chapter Brothers and Sisters Of The Wind" on our local back roads of Louisiana. As different as Louisiana is to any other part of the United States, we do have some damm nice riding in our area and I so appreciate the Cajun "Road Captains" that lead us thorough some of those back roads. I have owned other Harley Davidson motorcycles. Some come and some go in fairly short order. I am currently riding a 2017 Limited which I used to complete "ONE OF" my bucket list rides last year, which was to ride around the United States Lower 48 on her outer boundaries. (I was on a road trip to Apalachicola, FL. to eat oysters when I met someone who inspired me to do this. A story much better discussed over a few beers:):):):))

I didn't do it in a single ride, (Unlike the person I met) but I did complete it in 2017. Again, mostly alone, although occasionally I have met people along the way that would ride with me for part of the way. The biggest part of that Bucket list (and one of my favorite rides) allowed me to capture the 25,000++ mileage patch from our Cajun HOG Chapter for 2017. That ride was awesome. Starting out in Ville Platte, La, and riding to Brownsville, Texas. From there I rode the entire Mexican border as close to the border as possible. I managed to ride through Big Bend National Park on that ride and on to San Yasdro, Ca. along the Mexican Border to capture the Southwest Corner marker. From there, I proceeded north along the Pacific Coast until I reached California Route 1 where I rode right up to an area called Ragged Point in northern California. At that point, I had to turn around to go around the famous Big Sur rock slide that changed the landscape of some of the most awesome scenic coastline The USA has to offer. I backtracked and went around it, then got back to the coast to continue north to capture the Northwest corner marker in Blaine, Washington at the Peace Arch State Park. That completed my 4 corner quest. (I had gotten the Southeast corner in Key West, FL. in 2015 and the Northeast corner in Madawaska, Maine in 2016) At that time, I was very near completing one of my BIG Bucket list items, so proceeded east on US Highway 2 along the Canadian Border where I eventually reached a small "one horse town" named Malta, Montana. This completed my milestone of circling the United Stated on her outer perimeters. This is a fairly small town and happened to be a Sunday. I was unable to find champagne, so had to celebrate with beer at a small bar with a couple of bikers who just happen to be there shooting pool. They bought the beer when I told them of my achievement.

Of course, I had to get home so rode south from the Canadian Border with hair on fire. That trip back home made it the second time in a year that I wound up passing through Sturgis and The Black Hills area. (An area I return to as often as I can) That particular road trip was 35 days and just a few miles short of 11,000 miles which contributed to the biggest part of my 25,000++ miles for 2017. The amazing thing was that in that entire trip, I never had to put on rain gear. Absolutely amazing. (And extremely lucky I reckon) During that ride, it allowed me to complete the passage through every state within the Lower 48 states of The USA, as I had never been further west than Montana before that trip. (Complete with a photo at every "Welcome To" sign.) Matter of fact, My small Cajun HOG Flag I used on that trip is somewhere out there on the coast of Southern Oregon, where I forgot it hanging on the back of the bike when I took off after taking photos. 

The Northwest, in my humble opinion, is by far the most amazing two wheeled riding area I have been to, and now that the Big Sur section of California Route 1 is reopened, I intend to go back there to capture that 100 mile section of the Pacific Highway. So, 2000 miles to get there, 100 miles of unseen highway, 2100 miles back.. I reckon that will make another great road trip. Hopefully I get a few takers on the trip to go with me, whenever that may be....... Ha, maybe I can find my Cajun HOG Flag alongside that highway. LOL

I usually lead when with the small group I ride with. I have had the pleasure of riding with a few Chapter Members on rides not associated with HOG as well. When we get someplace interesting that I had been before, I am often asked, "How da hell do you find these places"? I say "It's Simple, you gotta get out and ride. And off the beaten paths".

I am a "road less traveled" kinda guy!!!!!

By Yvonne Menard

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