Hopson on bike

State Rep. Chuck Hopson and his mother-in-law, Lucille Smith

By Kelly Young

countybeat@jacksonvilleprogress.com

Motorcyclists can rest easy knowing someone in the Texas State Legislature has their backs. An avid motorcyclist for more than 50 years, State Rep. Chuck Hopson loves to tear up the roads as much as anyone.

“I think I first got into motorcycles when I was in the ninth grade. I rode one all the way through college because I couldn’t afford to buy a car,” Hopson said.

Unfortunately, Congress’ busy schedule generally keeps Hopson from finding time to ride his bike while the House is in session.

“When I’m in Austin I don’t get to ride very often, we’re just too busy to find time to ride, so I have my bike sitting at home right now,” he said. “When I’m at home I try to ride weekly.”

Hopson presently owns a Suzuki 1500 CC Intruder motorcycle, and he has lost count as to whether his current ride is his 15th or 17th bike.

According to Hopson, despite his love for the road, his wife Billie has never ridden with him.

“She has never even been on it — she’s just not a motorcycle girl. I’ve gotten her mother on it with me, but I’ve never managed to get her on it,” Hopson said.

Ride Texas Traveler magazine, in its March edition, published their readers’ choice awards for the top roads in Texas for motorcycling. Several East Texas roads ranked among Texas’ best.

U.S. Hwy. 69, from Tyler to Lufkin, was voted the fourth best section of U.S. highway in Texas. Texas Hwy. 21, from the Louisiana border to San Marcos, was named the ninth most scenic road in Texas. U.S. Hwy. 69, from Tyler to Trenton, was determined to be the fifth best wildflower road in the state. Texas Hwy. 21, from Crockett to Milam, was deemed the fourth best motorcycle road in the Pineywoods.

Hopson has a few personal favorites of his own.

“I like to drive around old O’Keefe Road where it winds down to Gallatin, and I like to ride around Lake Jacksonville too,” he said. “I think the appeal of the motorcycle is that it is the closest thing to flying that you can do while still staying on the ground. You can smell the fields and you can smell the flowers, and you can really feel the road beneath you.”

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