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February 10th Edition

In This Issue:


Riding BE-cause - Charitable & Educational Events in the Carolinas

including ... An Update on Carlo G

Lil' Weather

Free Thinking with FancyFree

The Tarheel Tornado: A Beautiful January Ride

TCR Classifieds

(For Sale: Road King Trike & a Corvette too, Custom Roadglide + Trailer, Switchback)

Bob's Ride: What're they riding out There?

Loose Talk with Jon



An Update on Carlo Gagliardo

I just wanted to take a moment to write in and first thank Jan and Jon for all they have been doing to help with the planning and organizing for the upcoming benefit ride for Carlo.   You all have been amazing in your generosity and technical planning.  For everyone who has written asking how Carlo is doing, well it is a mixed bag of news.  Carlo spent 25 total days in CMC-Main and underwent 4 surgeries before he was released and allowed to go home.  He is in good spirits but he can’t walk, and of course he can’t work.
The problem for Carlo is a skin flap that was surgically placed over where he suffered the compound fracture has not successfully adhered and has begun to die.  So today, the day this story is being released, Carlo has had to return to the hospital where surgeons will be performing a 5th surgery on him and figuring out a new course of action for trying to close the wound left open from the compound fracture he suffered from the accident. 
Other than that, the recovery road will be long and financially has the potential to be devastating.  Carlo’s Shop, Carolina Cycle Service is open in Indian Trail, NC though, as some friends who are motorcycle mechanics themselves have opened it for him doing as much as they are able to.  The GoFundMe Campaign is still active and donations are still coming in periodically.  We are in the process of designing a t-shirt that can be bought by those participating in the Benefit Poker Run (or really anyone who wants to get one). 
As always, a big thank you to all those who have sent thoughts and prayers and donations.  Everyone is invited to join us on March 21st (Rain or Shine) to participate in the Poker Run which begins at Iron Horse motorcycle dealer in Monroe, NC with stops at Corral Motorcycles in Monroe, Ben’s V-Twins in Indian Trail, Carolina Cycle Service in Indian Trail, Cycle Gear in Matthews, and Harley-Davidson of Charlotte.  Cards will be drawn at each of those 5 stops.  Then all riders will meet at Stooges Pub and Grub located at 13230 Albemarle Road in Mint Hill, NC around 1pm.  At that time, riders get to make a choice of whether they want to play “Stud” or “Draw” Poker.  If they want to play “Stud” then they keep the hand they have and they just turn in what they have.  If not, then for a $5 donation, riders may discard up to 4 of their 5 cards and draw new cards at Stooges and enter the “Draw” pot.  There will be a grand prize for each pot.  Raffle ticket door prizes will also be drawn at Stooges. Event T-shirts will be available for purchase and there will also be a chance to win a GoPro high definition helmet camera!
All Benefit participants will get a free entry into the Stud Poker game and 1 free Raffle Ticket.  Draw Poker entry can be purchased at Stooges for a $5 donation.  Additional Raffle Tickets can also be purchased at Stooges, $1 each or 6 for $5.  We really hope you all come out to enjoy the day and help to support Carlo's recovery.  


The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area

for Week of February 10-17, 2015

Wednesday 57 clear, Thursday 51 p-cloudy, Friday 41 p-cloudy, Saturday 48 p-cloudy, Sunday 34 clear, Monday 43 clear, Tuesday 45 chance of rain (as per on 2/10/15)

Are you Happy?

So I've been listening to an audiobook of, The Geography of Bliss, written and narrated by Eric Weiner. Eric posed the question, "Where are the happiest places and people in the world?" and set out to come up with some answers. He visited such places as Iceland, Qatar, Switzerland, Bhutan, India, and several other parts of the globe and talked to tons of unique creatures about their own perspective on happiness. Some folks didn't like the question, "Are you happy," and in fact, took it as a bit rude to even ask. Some cultures he visited have certain hedonistic indulgences that they utilize to get their happy on - think Amsterdam. And, the king of Bhutan actually focuses a lot of his power on the GNH - Gross National Happiness!

Eric ponders and dissects happiness; turning it over and over like a prescious gem under a jeweler's loupe. What IS happiness? Is YOUR happiness the same as MY happiness? How does one FIND happiness?

While I know a ton of forever-blue riders who ride with a negative tint on life, it seems to me that motorbike aficianados might be a rich wealth of insight into HAPPY. Why else do we ride? And so, while Eric Weiner failed to ask us as he most certainly should have, I would like to pose the questions to you:

  • What about riding makes you happy?

  • Where and when are the happiest places and times to ride?

  • How does riding a motorcycle relate to happiness in general?

  • And what is happiness anyway?

Write me! I'll be publishing your responses in the next month...

Looking forward to your answers!

I'm on Facebook ... "friend me!"

A Beautiful Day for a Ride in January!

January 17th was a gorgeous day, and a great opportunity to take a ride. I had a few errands to run that I could do on the bike, so I thought I would take care of that, and then take off to South Mountain in Burke County. As I left to do the errands, I realized that although it was a pretty day, it was still a little cold, and I found that I had underdressed.

Once I finished the errands around lunch time, I headed back home and got out my chaps and heavy leathers and off I went. I did not want to get caught in dropping temperatures with what I had on. My interaction up to this point with the South Mountain range has always been on the western side, and I had never been to the State Park station on the east side. I had a tip on some land up that way that I wanted to go look at, so I thought it would make for a good ride and some exploration all at the same time.

The weather could not have been better. It was nice and sunny, cold but not bad at all, and the country side I was heading to is beautiful. I took back roads all the way and took my time just enjoying the ride. I went through Cliffside, up to Ellenboro, through the Hollis Community and Sunshine area, and old Hwy 18 to the park. I rode into the park and checked out the camp ground and the visitor’s station. There is a beautiful rock formation at the road leading up to the park that easily rivals Sliding Rock over near Brevard, but it is on private property. They have a huge billboard declaring that, and no trespassing is allowed. It is a shame what frivolous lawsuits have done to preventing everyone from enjoying the outdoors these days!

The park was great. I wouldn’t mind spending some time there in the future, but I rode on to find the property I was looking for. I rode around the area for about an hour, and did not find the property I was looking for, but got to see some pretty countryside. From there I rode back to Forest City for dinner. It was dark by then, and getting a little colder, but I was ready for it. I stopped and had dinner, and did one more errand then back home for the night. It was a real enjoyable afternoon ride, and one I would do again.

We live in the best place in the world. We have everything from mountains to beaches with great overall weather to enjoy riding your favorite two wheel transportation, even during the winter months. I didn’t see many bikes out that day, but maybe I’ll see you out there the next time we have another beautiful day for a ride in January.



1996 ROAD KING TRIKE – 14,000 miles - Lady rider, Garage kept, Red/black. No reverse. $25,000.00  828-208-7579

1994 CORVETTE - White w/red interior - all original, 65,000 miles, garage kept, Extremely clean. $13,000.00  828-208-7579

Check out THIS Custom Chopper!

1998 Custom Rigid, 120CC Delkron motor - This is a great custom chopper, has many upgrades including, ape hanger handle bars, 5 speed baker trans, custom wheels, new tires, open primary, JB brakes and a chain drive. This bike screams with 120 hp and low miles. One owner. Call 704-236-9222 to see. Owner is motivated. $8500

Last week, I left the chilly temps of my Carolina home for the warm sunshine of Los Angeles, California. Unfortunately the trip was for business, which left me little time for much of anything else. But being in 75 degree weather in the middle of January when it’s cold and wet at home isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Yeah, it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it, right? Being a motorcycle guy—and a guy who travels for a living—I’m always on the lookout for new trends and what folks are riding in other parts of the country. Since California is large enough to BE its own country, I can’t think of a better place to do a little impromptu investigating. I guess I should mention that my findings aren’t based on fact or scientific research, just casual observation. And no animals were harmed in my study. Ok, maybe a few cows and chickens, but what can I say? Doing research for you loyal readers of The Carolina Rider makes me hungry.

What are they riding out there?

Here in my neck of the woods, cruisers of all brands--along with a smattering of Gold Wings--rule. Maybe it’s our easy going attitude or our slower lifestyle, but whatever the reason, folks around these parts seem to prefer the laid back, relaxed ride of the classic cruiser. But out on the opposite coast, I saw a virtual smorgasbord of bikes of all types and badges--cruisers, touring rigs, sport bikes, dual purpose and standards. I counted brands from Harley-Davidson, Ducati, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, BMW, Yamaha and Kawasaki. An array of Hondas, Suzukis, Victorys, Triumphs and the occasional Indian could also be found roaming the city streets and interstates of the L.A. area. With the highest gasoline prices in the nation and precious few places to park a car, commuting by motorcycle makes perfect sense.    

Cholo style? With a glass of sweet tea, please….

Ok, when I heard the word “cholo”, the first thing that came to mind was those deep fried corn fritters that they sell at the fair called a churro. Yeah, I need to brush up on my Spanish. In the Latino biker community in Southern Cal., many owners build their bikes cholo style. Start with a basic, run-of-the-mill Road King or Softail Deluxe (those two models seem to be the most popular to “cholo-ize”) and add a 21” spoked front wheel and wide, whitewall tires. Then slam the rear end lower than a frog’s butt while throwing on a set of 18” ape hangers. Paint the tins in the brightest, retina burning color you can find. Chrome everything else. Cholo style is to motorcycles what the low riders were to cars in the 80’s. The owners put a lot of time, hard work, and copious amounts of cash into their rides. Although it’s not my particular cup o’ Joe, the bikes truly are rolling pieces of art. I saw some very sweet rides--as sweet as a sugar coated churro.  

You can do that in California?

In all of my 25 plus years of traveling around California, I still can’t get used to lane splitting, or filtering, as the locals refer to it. Lane filtering is perfectly legal in California—the only state in the U.S. that allows this practice. There is something just a bit unnerving about driving along the 405 at 65 miles per hour in heavy traffic and having a motorcycle squeeze between you and the car beside you. California state law says that lane splitting “should be done in a safe and prudent matter.” I guess safe and prudent is in the eye of the beholder. A study done in 1981 (Hurt) supports that lane splitting does not cause more motorcycle accidents, “but slightly reduces crash frequency compared to staying within the lane and moving with other traffic.” Still, I can’t see me threading my big old Electra Glide between a soccer mom in a mini van full of screaming kids and an 80-year-old lady in a ‘96 Buick Roadmaster that’s late for her appointment at the beauty salon. It’s tough enough dodging the texters, tweeters and cell phone idiots.

No doubt, the folks out in Southern California are blessed with some of the best riding weather in the country. Mild temperatures year round, low humidity and rainy days as scarce as a Big Foot sighting make it easy for our brothers and sisters in the bottom half of the Golden State to log a lot of time in the wind. But it costs a fortune to live there, land is at a premium and it seems as though there are more people than trees. There is the occasional earthquake, and is it just me, or are they always in a drought? Sitting here in my office looking out the window at another chilly, rainy day, I sometimes envy those folks in California who get to ride in nice weather all year. But then again, they don’t have good barbecue. Or sweet tea.            

What defines a "motorcycle?"

I've been on the road a lot over the last week. Actually, not the road, the AIR. I'd much rather have my own 2 tires on the ground than be at the mercy of whoever's flying the plane, but alas, such is my life at the moment. I had the opportunity to enjoy the International Motorcycle Show in Minneapolis. Some cool sights like this one ...

Brings the questions: Is this a motorcycle? and What defines something as a motorcycle?

Just wonderin'..

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