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(photo from a past Charlotte CBA Swap Meet)
March 3rd Edition
In This Issue:
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.
James Avery “Rex” Clark was born in June 2012 and passed away in December 2012 just over six months old. He was the victim of a genetic disorder called SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy). This disease is a severe form of Muscular Dystrophy. It is also known as "Baby Lou Gehrig’s Disease," and "floppy baby syndrome." SMA is the #1 genetic killer of children under 2 years of age. During this traumatic experience, our family was contacted by a group called Families of SMA (FSMA). This organization helped us more than we could ever explain. They provided information about the disease, medical resources, home care tips, counseling for our older boys, toys specifically for Rex, and so much more. In Rex's memory, we decided to put together a motorcycle ride to support FSMA. During our 3rd annual ride, we are hoping to increase participation and raise more money for FSMA on Saturday, June 6, the day before Rex’s birthday. Rex's story and information, including registration for the ride is online at www.rexsride.org . This ride is about remembering Rex, while trying to help support a wonderful organization that touched our lives in a way that we could never repay. The ride begins at Crowder’s Creek Elementary School, 5515 Charlotte Highway in Lake Wylie. Kick stands up at 11AM, and will ride to Cox’s HD in Rock Hill, SC. Lunch and t-shirts are included in the cost for riders and passengers. After ride music is provided by the #1 Party Band on the East Coast! If you would like more information on this disease, visit our website at www.rexsride.org or the FSMA website at www.curesma.org. Thank you for your time and I hope to see you at the ride!
The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area
for Week of March 3-10, 2015
Wednesday 76 p-cloudy, Thursday 60 rain, Friday 46 clear, Saturday 58 clear, Sunday 61 clear, Monday 62 clear, Tuesday 62 chance of rain (as per www.intellicast.com on 3/3/15)
What locals might call "the fairgrounds" and is now called Metrolina Tradeshow Expo. Like most things in my 54 years as a Charlotte native, things don't stay the same. Not knocking it all. Honestly, there have been some fabulous changes in The Queen City. Downtown never looked better than it does these days and my hometown has just about everything one would want .. except the historical charm that has been destroyed along the way of progress.
Oh, sorry, ... I got off track from my original thought. The fairgrounds. I don't really remember going to a fair there. I never went to a race there either but that's another story for others to tell about the history of racing in Charlotte. Not sure when the antique bonanza started being a regular thing out there but it was sometime back in the 70's maybe. And, the place began being called Metrolina Expo and holds shows for many interests - including the annual Charlotte CBA Swap Meet!
This year marks the Charlotte CBA Swap Meet's 48th year. Wow! Now there's some history .. and the feel-good part of it is that it really hasn't changed all that much. Sure, the people are different and the party ain't the same I hear. But the goods - they're there. Tables and floor space speckled with bike parts, helmets, leathers. The smell of beer, fried foods, and musty garage goods in the air. Women in pasties headed to the wet t-shirt contest. Meandering motorcycle-lovers. Some guy trying to figure out how to strap the used set of cool pipes he found to his bike to get em home....
Ahh, The Swap Meet. Ain't nothin' fancy, folks. It's old-home biker style. Mostly unchanged history in the making.
It's coming up this month - March 28 and 29
I'm on Facebook ... "friend me!"
Yep, I got it, the dagummed weather is driving me up the wall and the TV weather “readers” don’t help. I look at the long range forecast and lo and behold! there’s a couple of days that look OK for riding, cross check it with the TV weather and looks good! At this time of year [ couldn’t we ban February ] good means no rain or snow and mid-day temp at least 42! Email the CPRs that we have a day to ride. Next day I check the forecast again and uh oh, things are slipping. Then another day watch TV and the “reader” is jumping around warning of ice storms with 6” of snow , wind blowing at 60 mph with a chance of a sand storm and forest fires. A news alert with much loud fanfare comes on and Wally World announces that all bread, milk and Oreos are sold out. The Dollar Store says it has a few loaves of bread at $10 a loaf and gas jumps to $5 a gallon. Phone my GI buddy in Vermont and he says he’d like to see 6” of snow, it would be a good break for them. Call the guys up and tell them we better cancel and prepare for the winter blast. The day comes we had planned on and cancelled ... birds are singing, the sun is shining and nary a cloud in the sky!!
So that’s the cause of my PMS ... parked motorcycle syndrome.
We did get a ride in on the 12th although the temps were cool. The owner of our fave restaurant [ Christa’s on the Blue Ridge ] called me to let me know she was going to open on the 9th. Christa, her husband and cousin have a good idea, they keep their tips, close the restaurant and go someplace warm for January. And the CPRs try to be the first cycles to they have when they reopen in Feb. Weather was good the 10th but I had a Drs appointment, 13th was good but Margie had an appointment so if we wanted to go as the full crew, the 12th was it. We met at our usual place, the intersection of NC 226 and Stage Coach rd. in Polkville NC. Generally we run several side roads we call “short cut to Christa’s”, these add anywhere from 50 to 150 miles to the journey. But today the forecast called for below freezing temps, snow and winds in the mountains and although it was fairly nice in Polkville—32 degrees and sunny, we could see clouds building over the mountains. Off we went with just a short “shortcut” around Lake James between Marion and Morganton.
As we rode up NC 181 the temps were dropping fast, about 45 in Morganton but rapidly heading to the freezing point as we climbed. Not so bad as our heated gear was keeping up and the sun was shining ,which makes a big difference. Then the clouds moved in dropping the temp 20 degrees or so it seemed, then the wind began to howl and if you’ve ever been on 181 you know you’re moving that bike around the curves and the wind does not help.
By the time we arrived at Christa’s it was getting dark and little bits of white stuff were seen flying by. Into the warm confines of the building we scurried, Christa and Jeanine warmly greeted us, we ordered hot coffee and plates of their oh-so-good ribs. Christa told us that her and Sam had gone to Jamaica and Jeanine and hubby had stayed at home. We hung around awhile , then as it was looking more and more ominous outside , thought we’d better get back down the mountain.
Wow, what a difference going outside - much colder than when we went in. Mickey’s bike thermometer said 28! We better get moving and the wind was “moving” too. Down, down we go enjoying those beautiful curves- some guy in a VW sedan tried to keep ahead of us but ..... At the bottom near Morganton the wind and cold - colder - had not arrived yet, 45 and calm with sunshine peeking through the clouds. And another good ride in the pocket for the CPRs. Hope to meet some of you at Christa’s.
I am writing to inform all that we lost a member of our biker community in the Spartanburg area. Steve Melton, very well known as The Bird Man. Steve could have been seen just about anywhere, on the road or at an event or in a store. Sabrina the Biker Bird was always with him. If he was on his bike, Sabrina was on her perch behind the windshield. If he was not on his bike, she was on his shoulder.
(This photo of The Birdman, Steve Melton, and Sabrina was included in an article by our Poni Princess about Antique Bikes on Main in Chesnee back in 2013)
Steve was 54 years old. Steve lost his life in an accident while riding his Ducati. Details are sketchy but it is being told that when a car turned in front of him, he locked down his brakes and subsequently went over the handlebars. Steve died from his injuries at the scene. It is my understanding that Sabrina will be cared for by a family member. I am sorry to say that I did not know Steve as a friend, but I know that many did. He would always stop to talk with anyone who spoke to Sabrina. If he were paid for every photograph that was taken of the two, Steve would have been a rich man. He never met a stranger. I have included a link to a short video of Sabrina and Steve:
If you are part of the family, please know that our hearts go out to the family. We are truly sorry for your loss.
I admit it, I have stacks and stacks of t-shirts, most of them motorcycle-related. Some of them have seen better days but I love them still, fraid or not. Some of them are "dressy" and some are for working on the tractor. Some, I've cut sleeves out of to wear playing raquetball or simply because I was out on a ride and got hot and wanted to get some sun on my arms. Some are important promotional wear for this magazine, of course; and some (the long-sleeved type,) are for when I teach motorcycle skills classes. There are others just for fun and well, you know ... lots of t-shirts. Too many to really ever get around to wearing them all ... And that's after my wife's yearly purging!
I noticed in the flyer from Indian Charlotte that they're offering a brand new Indian t-shirt if you bring in another motorcycle t-shirt to trade in. Can you give up one of your cherished worn down cotton softies? Might be hard .. but the deal seems pretty good, huh?
Kinda liking the look of their "Deliciously Menacing 2015 Indian Chief Dark Horse" in that flyer too. Check it out!
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