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February 23rd Edition

In This Issue:


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

Learn about: Ride for a Life, April 16th in West Columbia!

Lil' Weather

Free Thinking with FancyFree: Why do you Ride?

Bub: Looking for Good Routes to Ride?

Your Myrtle Beach Discount Card

Gary: Patriot Guard Rides

Loose Talk with Jon: Indian Fusion is a Winner!

CLICK BELOW to buy your money-saving "Carolina Rider" discount card for Myrtle Beach businesses!

CLICK ABOVE to buy your money-saving "Carolina Rider" discount card for Myrtle Beach businesses!



UCP of South Carolina hosts fourth annual Ride for a Life fundraiser

> Saturday, April 16 <

Get your motors running and your kickstands up for a good cause!  United Cerebral Palsy of South Carolina (UCPSC) will host its fourth annual Ride for a Life motorcycle fundraiser on Saturday, April 16, 2016.  Proceeds raised from the event will benefit the individuals served by UCPSC, all of whom have a range of life-long developmental and intellectual disabilities.  The event is being led for the third year in a row by members of the Mad Hatters Riding Club of Gaston, SC. 
Registration for Ride for a Life is available on the UCPSC website,  The cost is $10 for a single rider; $15 per couple; and $50 per groups of five riders.  Event t-shirts are included with the registration fee at no extra cost for those riders participating in the event.  They will also be on sale to non riders for $10 a piece.  Check-in begins at 9 a.m. at the United Cerebral Palsy of South Carolina office at 1101 Harbor Drive, West Columbia, SC and the ride kicks off at 11 a.m.  Riders will stop at several different locations around the Lake Murray area before arriving at the after party destination starting at 3 p.m.  The after party will feature music provided by Tekni-Sounds Media of South Carolina, a raffle, auction, and 50/50 drawing.  Maps and directions to the various destinations will be posted on the UCPSC event page. 
Marketing and advertising support is provided by The Carolina Rider.   
For more information, please contact Alanna Boozer, Development Coordinator for UCPSC, at or 803-926-8878. 
About United Cerebral Palsy of South Carolina

The mission of United Cerebral Palsy of South Carolina is to positively support and impact the achievement of a Life Without Limits for people with disabilities. UCPSC offers a wide range of programs and supports for these individuals and their families, including community living services, adult day programming and employment services. United Cerebral Palsy of South Carolina serves adults with a variety of developmental disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, intellectual disabilities, autism, Down syndrome, Spina Bifida, and traumatic brain injuries.  For more information, visit



The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area

for Week of February 24-March 1, 2016

Wednesday 69h & 100% rain, Thursday 55h & p-cloudy/wind, Friday 52h & sunny, Saturday 53h & sunny, Sunday 64h & sunny, Monday 66h & m-sunny, Tuesday 65h & p-cloudy (as per on 2/23/16)

Why do you Ride?

Over the years, I've heard this statement from more riders than I wish to hear it from: "I'm not like all you other riders." The folks who say it are trying to say that they don't get involved in the same kinds of activities or rides (or whatever) as what they think the majority of riders do.

This is an infuriating statement in my mind and heart. Why? Because it SEPARATES rather than unifies. It keeps us apart. And here's the thing - it's something the speaker CHOOSES to do. The person who says this, thinks this, and therefore IS the statement. If you say you're not like others, you aren't. You've just made the choice to be separate from others. You haven't acknowledged what you have in common with and what joins you to the rest of the human race; only what keeps you off on your own island.

Sure, I know we're not all alike. Sure, I know we all have uniqueness and special gifts and that we are created to be just who we are, not who everyone else is. And this kind of differentiation is valuable and important. That's not what's got me being preachy today. What's got my goat is how easily people create their own isolation because they have made a decision that no one else on this planet has any thoughts or feelings or ideas or perspectives or joys or desires or hobbies or experience of The Ride like they do.

The answer to the question "Why do you ride?" is: BECAUSE I CAN .. or BECAUSE I ENJOY IT. What more needs to be said? That's what joins us together!

As for the kinds of rides and motorcycle-related activities we enjoy, that's as vast as the numbers of riders themselves! Some folks ride as part of groups like Gary whose column today shares his story of riding with the Patriot Guard. You know, folks who ride with the Guard are all different kinds of people and, for the most part, they don't necessarily ride together except when called on and their reasons are pretty personal. For Bub and his CPR buddies who share some of their favorite routes in Bub's column today, they do ride together ... sometimes. And they ride apart as well. They ride on dirt and like twisty rides and they're mostly all leaning toward the older generation in age. But they all love to ride.

Some folks like to go to motorcycle events but some wouldn't be caught dead at an organized ride or rally. Some hit the trails, some the Interstates. As we heard in last week's edition, some ride without helmets and others ride with helmets ... plus there's those who choose to put a lid on it at will.

What's the unifying factor? We like to RIDE. That's why the name of this publication is The Carolina RIDER. It's about being a rider. That's what we all have in common. That's what we can all share. No matter what you think, you ARE like all those other riders. You ride because you like it.

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

Our Editor, FancyFree, asked me to share some of the routes that the CPRs use. I will start off with a couple we use when the weather is cool/cold and the high mountains are either too cold and/ or the roads are icy.   (We do like our twisty roads and ride them the most!)

First some words about Mapping & GPS ...

I’ve started playing with a new program to get a look at our routes, make some plans, and share them with you. It’s called Tyre mapping software.  It is free and is the one I use almost exclusively. There are many ways to use it and I’m still finding more.  Tyre is a Dutch product which explains the European spelling of tire. I have found that Tyre shows more street level views than Google Earth.  When we rode to WV last fall I used it to find county and local roads that Google did not show. 
If you use Google Earth you can zoom down to the route and follow it as if you’re on a bike and look at your house from the street. (Note: You’ll need to install Google Earth if you don’t already have it on your computer.)  It’s a fun tool to play with. I use it a lot when making new routes and want to see what the road/area looks like. Then I go to Tyre to map it and put it on a gps. (Garmin/Tom Tom)

One thing to remember is that when you put a route on a gps you are going from one computer to another.  What you have planned out the gps may not see it that way.  I’ve found to make a route work on the gps I have to use many more waypoints to make the gps follow what I want.    When I first started routing with the gps I’d planned a route from Asheville to Roan Mtn NC.  Mickey and I got on the route in Asheville and it took us out of town and then circled back to where we started.  Did that two times and we scrubbed that one.  A tip that I learned the hard way, when you leave home and put in a route that doesn’t start at home, the gps will ask if want to have it navigate to the start. If you do, make sure you follow it to the exact start point.  Once I made a short cut to the route and the gps never would pick it up, kept wanting me to turn around and go back, so if you are not starting a route where you programed it into the gps  do not have it navigate you to the start.

Low Mountain Ride

The Low Mountain Ride is a good ride by itself and there are many roads around it to enjoy. It’s a route that will be fine for all riders from small bikes to the large Harley Baggers. Nice roads and nice scenery - even in the winter. It would be an easy one to go on if you are coming from the Charlotte area.  If you are coming from the Greenville SC area you can run the route backwards if you want.  All nice NC roads with views and never too far from a major area.

Whitmire Bypass

My next route is a new one although the CPRs have ridden in that area a lot. It’s all in or around the Sumter National Forest where the little town of Whitmire sets in the middle.  Whitmire does not need a bypass but the route is fun to ride and you are close enough to several towns to find a meal or gas. In Whitmire we like Pearl’s resturant for a lunch stop.  Beautiful area with miles and miles of pine forest.   Several roads lead off to scenic parks and camping areas on the Broad River.  Nice to ride there now while the temps are a little! cool.   Generally a 5 degree difference between Gaffney and there.   Coming from Charlotte you could zip down I 77 and get off at Chester ,intersection SC 9, and then ride SC 72 to the start point.  If you live in the Greenville area I would suggest you run the route in reverse which can be done in your gps or in the tyre program.  This route has several dirt roads in it but they are good solid roads maintained by the Forest Service and any bike can run them.  There is a water crossing on the Little N Carolina Rd which I would not take my car across because it is so low, but any bike could do it, even a bagger. This route is good for those days when the temps are in the low to mid 60 and you want to ride in some peaceful solitude.   It is a ways from Charlotte, Gaffney, Greenville but the ride through the Sumter National Forest is worth it.   Some roads are rough and a couple are dirt but are passable to all bikes and cars.   You say you don’t want to get your bike dirty!   Guess you’ll have to sit at home.  As CPR John says: "be adventurous, get off the main roads once in awhile."

Want turn-by-turn directions for any of our routes? Write me!

Got a great route? Write me and let's ride!


EDITOR'S NOTE: Gary rides with the Patriot Guard, devoted men and women who ride for those who have given their lives in service. Patriot Guard is called in by family and not only honors the memories but cares for and supports those grieving. As their website says, "The Patriot Guard Riders is a diverse amalgamation of riders from across the nation. We have one thing in common besides motorcycles. We have an unwavering respect for those who risk their very lives for America’s freedom and security including Fallen Military Heroes, First Responders and honorably discharged Veterans. We don’t care what you ride or if you ride, what your political views are, or whether you’re a hawk or a dove. It is not a requirement that you be a veteran. It doesn't matter where you’re from or what your income is; you don’t even have to ride. The only prerequisite is Respect." This is Part 1 of a short series by Gary on the Patriot Guard. We thank Gary and all who ride for those who have passed on and their loved ones.

3 Patriot Guard Rides

No. 19 (First Woman)

Jo Ann Jordan Ransom

The family of Jo Ann Jordan Ransom had requested the Patriot Guard to stand for their Hero as she stood for us.
Jo Ann served in the United States Marine Corps for over 2 years, and continued her service to our country as a Civil Servant for over 30 years with the military.

Mrs. Ransom was born December 13, 1955 in Chesterfield, SC. She was meritoriously promoted to a Sergeant within 25 months of her service and later being honorably discharged. Jo began her Federal Civilian Service career as a stenographer and retired from Fort Jackson as the Director of Civilian Personnel, having the honor of being the first female director at that base. In 1983 Jo Ann achieved a Bachelor's in Business Administration – Magna Cum Laude and finally earning her Master's in 1984. She was a classic car enthusiast, enjoyed spending time in her garden and had a fondness for animals.

Date:  Thursday, January 14th, 2016
Stage 1:30 PM
Location:  Lady's Funeral Home, 268 N Cannon Blvd., Kannapolis, NC

We will establish a flag line for family arrival 1:45 PM until the service begins at 4 PM.  We will stand down at this time and quietly leave. Lady's Funeral Home has flags on site.

Part 2-Escort and Interment
Date:  Friday, January 15th, 2016
Stage 8:00 AM
Location:  Lady's Funeral Home, 268 N Cannon Blvd., Kannapolis, NC

This was my first female hero to stand for excepting for the Quilts of Valor.

We arrived to a near full parking lot as another Veteran - Mr. Claude Milton Key, Jr., 72 was having services at 2 PM.

Mr. Key was a veteran of the U.S. Army having served in the U.S. Army Reserves at the 846 Transportation Company in Salisbury, NC, retiring after 30 years of service in 2003 from the 120th ARCOM, Fort Jackson as a Logistics Maintenance Officer.

Families have to invite the Guard to stand and those families having ties to motorcycles are more often to invite us.  Jo Ann’s sister, Crystal Bostian of Kannapolis rode a 1972 +/- Yamaha 250 as a teenager and was thrilled to have us there.

Had it not been late in the day – I may have sat in the back of the chapel at the funeral home to attend the service.  Jo was interned the next morning at Salisbury NC as that was the earliest she could be received.  Arlington NC has a half year + wait.  Our veterans should not have to wait.  Salisbury could easily construct another staging area in another part of the cemetery and burying 6 to 8 per day as opposed to 4.  With a target of 6 - the burials could be moved more toward midday making it easier on families and those that honor these heroes.


No. 20 (First Bike)

Morgan Suit

A little to my surprise there were a dozen Guard members standing the flag line.  I went as the Panthers were playing the Broncos for the NFC Championship and I was concerned there might be a low turnout.

This was the first time for me to drive to an event.  My wing with heated grips and seat along with multi layers of quality motorcycle gear affords / allows me to ride in almost any weather.  Rides that are a challenge which may have a low turnout – only encourage me to ride. Having just got home from Church, time did not avail me to pull the Wing out, suit up, etc. so I drove.  Having a choice to show off my New 1.5 L Turbo Charged 2016 Honda Civic that I won, easily add to this decision.  I did make it to the Funeral home on time. I would have been late if I rode my other Honda that happens to be 1.8 L and 50 HP less being non Turbo.

Mr. Morgan Suit served in the Vietnam War with the United States Marine Corps from 1966 thru 1970.  

Morgan Suit
17th Jan. Sun. 2016
McEwen Funeral Home
5716 Monroe Road, Charlotte NC

We will stand a flag line for visitation from 2:00 pm till 5:00 pm. At 5 pm we will stand down when service begins and wait for military honors to be presented during service.

Morgan apparently died of a tear in his heart.  He was a member of the Guard and Rolling Thunder.  Both groups lined up in pairs and rendered honor 10 + Rolling Thunder followed by 12 Guard Members.

Seated with me in the vestibule, his stepson somewhat lost it, gained composure and then left.  I did not know who he was but he told me when he was breaking down.  I was surprised he was not sitting in the chapel with the rest of family and friends or mentioned in the obituary.

A little more than half Rolling Thunder sat for the service and a couple from the Guard. 

I was happy to be in the warmth and to sit down after 3 hours of standing.  I also looked forward to hear the few motorcycle stories from his friends as the doors to the chapel were open.

Sturgis was an annual event for him for 16+/- years and apparently one of his friends from the Sturgis area came for the funeral.  (An opportunity for people to speak in an "open mic" format will be given. The Patriot Guard, Rolling Thunder, Indian Trail VFW, and members of the US Marine Corps will be providing honors.)

Inturnment will occur at Kingsport, Tennessee his birth home so we were not called upon to escort the casket to the grave site.


No. 21 (First Native American / Ten Firsts)

Roger Wayne George

United States Marine Corps Veteran Roger “Wayne” George served four years in the Marines with deployment to Vietnam where he received the Presidential Citation; Combat Action; Vietnam Campaign; Vietnam Service and National Defense Ribbons.

Mr. George, 67, passed Thursday January 21, 2016. He was a native of Rock Hill, Assistant Chief of the Catawba Indian Nation.

This was my first Native American Indian burial.  In 1961 he played football for an undefeated Rock Hill Northside School barefoot.  In Vietnam he was 1 of 20 soldiers to walk out of a valley after his group of 300 had been pinned down for three days.  Number of casualties / injuries were not given but casualties were anticipated to be high.  He apparently totaled his Chevelle having hit a telephone pole at 85 mph and walked away /clearly a man with 9 lives.

Firsts include;
First Native American Burial.
First Honor Mission in South Carolina.  My First South Carolina event was the “Quilts of Valor” – HOTH (Help on the Homefront) Mission).
First time being invited into the service where 14 Patriot Guard / Rolling Thunder sat up front right.
First time in a Mormon / Latter Day Saints Church – elegant but simple with a nice use of wood, fabric and stucco inside.  The outside was brick with a round tile roof.
First “Eagle Staff” led procession.  Friend and fellow Veteran Troy Canty held a leather wrapped staff trimmed in Eagle Feathers with the Catawba Shield in the center led the Casket, Guard, Family and Friends out of the Church.  The hearse then drove the 300+/ feet to the grave site.  Troy again led the group with the Guard establishing a Flag Line for them to walk through.
First Time to hear drums and Native American Chants apparently calling the Catawba / River People to dance / celebrate.   Ronnie and Jason Beck of the Southern Eagle Drum Group led this effort and are to send me the “English” version of the song.
First time to see the V.F.W. Rifle Salute.  Their uniforms were unlike any of the branches I am used to seeing.  They also seemed to load there rifles with an extra charge as their volley seem to stun / shake the crowd more than norm.  The surrounding tree line could have contributed to the loudness.
First time to talk to real Indian Chief so as to get an understanding of the “Chant.”
First time to see one of the tribal members carried what I thought was a peace pipe in a pouch slung across his back.  Not knowing what the ceremony would be like I expected it to be smoked.
Finally I walked most of the small grave yard learning about some of the others buried there.  The grave yard was somewhat random and eclectically decorated.

(Photo from article by Andrew shows from left to right, Long Arm [Quilter/Nancy], then Yours Truly [Gary/Engineer / Adventure Rider / Writer])

Chief Bill Harris gave the eulogy.  – A Native American Chief is the political, social and cultural leader.  The Catawba Indians are the only federally recognized tribe in South Carolina and has about 2,600 members.  Most of the members live on / near the tribe's reservation in York County along the Catawba River.

Chief was a stately man with long gray hair of his 60’s.  Chief Bill did extremely well in painting a picture of Wayne / almost as you knew him.  He told the story of him, one of his three brothers and one of his three sisters terrorizing the neighborhood.  They came upon a kid in an apple tree and began throwing apples at him.  The kid fell out of the tree unconscious – Wayne got his wagon with the intent of burying the kid.  Fortunately the kid came to and all was not lost. 

Chief Bill spoke of Catawba Blood running through their veins and the Indian Nation.

Blake Shelton’s “God Gave Me You” was played on a CD boom box with amazing clarity.

God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
For when I think I've lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it's true
God gave me you, gave me you
Gave me you

Friend Pat Blue told of his life / friendship with Wayne and doing bead work with the assistance training from Wayne’s wife – Cynthia.  Hard to imagine seeing a few burly men doing bead work.

“Amazing Grace” was sung by Karrie Adams - A cappella.  Karrie I think touched us all.  Her voice, inflections and scan of the audience reached out to us.

At least a third if not two thirds in attendance were Native Americans as it was not apparent their race.  Some were dark with “Indian” features some, like his wife, although Native American, was very light skinned without any distinct features.  Long hair and “Indian” tattoos on the neck and / or behind the ear gave away some Native Americans and / or wannabe’s.  Buckskin coats, “Indian – Like” dress, beads and jewelry were also indication of potential Native Americans. Tears were shed by both young / granddaughters, not so old / sons and the old / uncles and other.


(The Fusion with the proud Indian Charlotte staff)

Indian Fusion is a Winner!

In an email from Mark Moses of Indian Motorcycle Charlotte, I just heard that "on late Saturday we heard that Fusion is Daytona bound! " Remember the Fusion bike they built for an Indian Scout competition? You had a chance to vote ... and looks like their good-looking creation has moved on in the competition. Good going, guys!



South Carolina Motorcycle Hall of Fame

And speaking of winners .... Who knew? South Carolina has a Biker Hall of Fame. Well, The Carolina Rider staff is headed to Myrtle Beach this Saturday to attend this year's induction. Stay tuned for next week's edition because we will have a story and pictures and we're excited one of our favorite people will be inducted this year! More to come ...

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