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January 24th Edition
The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area
for Week of January 25-31, 2017
Wednesday 69h & sunny, Thursday 58h & p-cloudy, Friday 50h & sunny, Saturday 49h & sunny, Sunday 50h & sunny, Monday 44h & sunny, Tuesday 54h & sunny (as per weather.com on 1/24/16)
Grateful for Winter in The Carolinas
As this week's TCR Magazine comes together on the screen in front of me today, I am concurrently enjoying views on several "big screens" that look out over the world around me. The large windows of my office give me a treehouse view of this gorgeous January day. Bare trees against a denim blue sky backdrop, crunchy leftover leaves shimmying on some trees as an easy breeze fluffs through, filtered sunlight shimmering on the coats of 3 standard poodles piled on the floor napping. It's a grand Winter day here with temps warming to the mid- 60's today and sun, sun, sun. Mmm. No wonder so many folks from colder climates choose to "come on down" and make The Carolinas home! We are indeed fortunate to experience a full spectrum of seasons, temps, and conditions.
Not that I need reminding
Being a native Charlottean doesn't mean I'm numb to the grandeur around me. Still, a brief chat with our UPS guy, Elvis, just now reminded me of our gentle winters once again. He's happy indeed to not be freezing cold on his rounds, grateful to drive where he's not challenged constantly by winter road conditions that others tell him about, enjoying today's blue skies and bright sun. As Elvis said, "sure, there are colder temps called for this weekend ... but is sunny with highs in the upper 40's truly cold?!"
Bub and the CPR's Encounter Brown Ice
Bub and the CPR's recently got caught out and about amidst some challenging winter road conditions. Of course, they asked for it. The knew there was a chance and rode anyway. Go CPR's!!! Still, brown ice and slippery roads ain't easy rides. Glad they're all fine despite a little slip and slide biz-ness! Go CPR's and keep going and going again!!
Lester asks: Is the Weather a Threat to Charlotte's Easyriders Show ... or is it Something Else?
In his column this week, Lester takes off on a small rant about folks not showing up for the Easyriders Show like they used to, for attendance being a threat to the life of such shows existence. He mentions last year's little snow's effect on who showed up, this year's drizzly rain. Is that it? Is it the weather? What is it that keeps some riders from attending? Write in!
It was so good to chat with folks at the show on Saturday. Good to meet readers from Virginia, South Carolina, and around NC as well. Seems like this show is the only place I see some of you each year. Good catching up! Some of you were new to the show in Charlotte. Some remember past days of the show's glory.
So, I'm with Lester. What's it gonna take to bring the show back to its former size and popularity? Let us know and we'll share your thoughts with show organizers. Who knows, maybe they'll listen!
We've got photos from Saturday's show in our online Gallery now and will have more photos in next week's edition of The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine. Take a gander!
I came out of the curve on Dysartsville Road going kinda slow ... road was damp and there was some mud and gravel in spots. ... Over the helmet intercom I heard John say he had slid off of the road onto the berm. ... I looked in my mirror to see Charley go over the side of the road, down the bank into a field! ...
... It was Friday the 13th of January and the forecast called for scattered showers in the mountains ... 20% and temps in the 70's here in Gaffney and upper 60's in the mtns. And what do you think the CPRs (Carolina Pro Riders) did?? Of course you’re right! ...
Fire up those ponies!
We met at the crossroads in Polkville NC, the halfway point for Mickey and myself and for Charley and John from Lincolnton NC. The good news is that it would be John’s first ride since he and a table saw mixed it up back in Nov. We discussed the dampness of the roads and decided that they would dry up as the day wore on and the mountain roads would be better because of some wind forecast for there. The plan was to ride up to Loafer’s Glory NC and check out a burger joint there said to be the best around. And if that didn’t pan out to continue on up to Bulladin NC and we knew the burgers there were good. Thought we’d continue on to Roan Mountain TN then loop around back home.
So we’re about 30 miles from Polkville and Charley goes off the road and over the bank! I can’t see him in the mirror as he disappeared, but he called out that he was OK. He seen John slid onto the berm and knew he couldn’t stop or turn inside him as his tires were slipping too so he headed straight off the road into the field and lucky for him it was fairly solid and he was able to turn and head back onto the road. Neither John nor Charley came off their bikes. They just slipped and drifted off the road.
After we all calmed down we discussed what had happened. We were probably going a bit too fast and the mud on the road made things much worse. I suggested that we turn around and see what the roads were like below Gaffney or continue on and see if they dried up. We decided to keep going and I mentioned that the little dirt road called Pepper Creek which goes up to the Blue Ridge Pkwy and on to Spruce Pine NC would probably be good and for sure would not be dusty.
Oh, for some dust ... !!!
We rode on and as we drove NC 126 around Lake James tried to reason why the roads were so damp and even very wet in spots. Can’t remember if it was John or Mickey that said it was because the weather had been cold; that the roads had snow on them for a couple of days and then today it was much warmer and the roads were sweating, just like a bottle taken out of a refrigerator sweats. (Told you the CPRs were smart!)
We got around Lake James and were on NC 221 north of Marion and here is Pepper Creek Rd, the first mile of which is asphalt. We ride onto the dirt section and sure enough, no dust ... just mud! Not the soft, pull-your-shoes-off kind of mud; just hard packed dirt with some moisture on top which makes it almost like BROWN ICE!! We had enough traction to keep going and the video picks up as we get near the Blue Ridge Pkwy. You can see what I mean about brown ice. At this point we decided that the roads were not going to dry soon so we thought we’d better get off the mountain and find a lunch place down below.
Mickey suggested we continue on the Blue Ridge and get off on 74A near Asheville NC; but within a few miles a barrier was up closing the road at NC 226. Back down to Marion we went and found a good couple of fairly straight roads. I commented that this was the first time the CPRs "looked" for straight roads .... which led us to Strawberry Hill !!!! They have a good lunch. So, hamburgers with all the trimmings came for the other 3. I got fries and a strawberry sundae! :)
The Bus was a'Rockin'
It took awhile for folks to wander over to The BIG RIDE Saturday but we did have a good crowd passing by all afternoon. I guess it was the rain that kept people from coming early. It wasn't till maybe 1pm that I noticed the crowd had finally arrived.
The BIG RIDE was over by the stage and the band and house music did give us a challenge to communicating with you. Thanks for coming over and shouting at us ... literally!
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The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine
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