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September 2012 Thunder Rider Featured Bike

By Al Hicks

My first bike was a 1970’s model banana bicycle with a go cart motor held into the frame with baling wire with a string for a throttle and hedge row for breaks. What a beginning to unbelievable rides. I joined the Army in May 1977 and in six months I was a paratrooper stationed at Fort Bragg. I have jumped from propeller planes, jets and helicopters. I have hung from a helicopter by a rope while traversing the landscape. I have been around the world; I’ve seen awesome things along with some ugly things. My last active duty date was January 2004.I still do static line parachute jumps today with Phantom Airborne Brigade.

In July 2004 I was riding my bike when a van pulled out in front of me, my bike and I slammed into the driver door at 45 mph landing me in the hospital for a few months. After a lengthy recovery from the accident I purchased my 2008 Road King in September 2007.

After riding a couple months I decided on getting the paint done so I purchased tins off of eBay and sent them to Nub’s at Nub Grafix, Walden, New York for the paint with just an idea. What you see is not only the paint skills, but the vision from an “Idea”, an artist indeed.

My next adventure was coming to Daytona for Bike Week 2009. Some buy t-shirts I purchased a house. I have lived here since 2009. I’ve ridden from here to Washington D.C. to Erie, Pennsylvania and back non-stop. From Erie it is nineteen hours with seven stops for fuel and a burger. I have ridden my bike for 33,000 miles and plan many more. I ride everyday with myself or with friends on charitable poker runs. I have made more friends than I can remember names. It’s been a great ride so far for me.

I would like to dedicate this page to my brother’s son Randy who at age twenty died serving his country as a Marine.

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