The Dart: A good destination for a motorcycle ride

Published 12:01 am Monday, November 19, 2018

NATCHEZ — Friendships are often based on common interests and thus is the case with a trio of motorcycle enthusiasts who were hanging out at the Malt Shop on Sunday afternoon.

Johnny Nosser, 65, Lamar Heffner, 64, and Robert “Bob” Hulett, 78, look like a tough biker gang when the trio take their spontaneous drives on their motorcycles — but they are just old friends with a common passion, they said.

When The Dart landed near the Malt Shop on Homochitto Street on Sunday afternoon, the three were enjoying a quick bite of ice cream after riding their motorcycles along the Natchez Trace.

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“We’re just riding,” Nosser said. “We do this just about every weekend. … Motorcycles have always interested us and we’re all good friends. … A lot of days we’ll put 300 miles on them just piddling around, but we have fun.”

Nosser — from Edwards near Vicksburg — works as a farrier while Heffner and Hulett are both retired — Heffner from a water plant in Vicksburg and Hulett as a Mississippi state trooper, they said.

Heffner said he and Nosser have been friends since they were kids and met Hulett later down the road.

“He arrested me one time,” Heffner said, jokingly. “We do a lot of cutting up and playing.”

The three said they’ve traveled together, including through the mountains in Arkansas just last month. Most weekends, however, they just ride in whichever direction meets their fancy, Nosser said.

“We’ll go somewhere west, then we’ll go somewhere south, then somewhere east,” he said, adding that the group doesn’t mind taking long detours just to grab a burger or a frozen treat.

“Weekend before last, we were eating dinner near Flora, Mississippi, and jumped on the bikes and ended up back down here,” Hulett said. “We make round trips. … It may take us until dark getting home.”