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March 8th Edition

In This Issue:

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

Lil' Weather

Free Thinking with FancyFree

South Carolina Biker Hall of Fame

Your Myrtle Beach Discount Card

Orangeburg Ron: My Friend Bill Furr

Loose Talk with Jon

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The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area

for Week of March 9-15, 2016

Wednesday 79h & p-cloudy, Thursday 78h & cloudy, Friday 81h & p-cloudy, Saturday 77h & m-cloudy, Sunday 73h & 80% t-storms, Monday 77h & 50% t-storms, Tuesday 78h & sunny (as per on 3/8/16)

Take off that coat and get some sun!

Less than 2 weeks from the Vernal Equinox - Spring! But we don't need a calendar to tell us that. Just a peek outdoors and a glance at the 10-day forecast and we're assured Springtime is upon us. Have you noticed the longer days of light? The buds on the tips of branches? Some wide-open blossoms along the roadsides and the absence of our extra layers in the afternoons? It's been a mild-ish winter but us sun-lovers are still awfully glad to be moving into a fresh new season.

The Carolina Rider calendar is also a great indicator of Spring's arrival. Back in February, (just a few days ago, LITERALLY!,) there was so little on the calendar that I had emails from folks asking if something was wrong. Nope. Just that time of year. But just take a look at March and you'll see the steady weekly increase in motorcycle happenings. The last weekend of March has a nice selection - enough to give you do-it-all kind of folks a little anxiety attack!

Here are some that we are proud to help promote:

Durham HOG 30th Annual Bike Show & Chili Cook-off is March 19th. These guys crank out a big do and they know that in addition to showing off some chrome, feeding folks makes a difference too!

4th Annual Blue Ridge Harley-Davidson Bunny Run is March 26th. Footloose tells a little more about this yearly hop around Hickory.

43rd Annual Spring Swap Meet Bike Show put on proudly by the Charlotte CBA is the same weekend, March 26-27. This is to be their last time at the old Metrolina Fairgrounds so stay tuned for the new venue for the Fall Meet.

That's March ... and briefly here are a couple coming in April:

SC Midlands Ride for Kids is April 10th

4th Annual Ride for a Life is April 16th

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

On a front wall of a coastal bar, 17 faces define a 3-year effort to honor biker-types who have left significant tire marks on the world around them.  Most honorees are still with us, some have passed on. The 17 Hall of Famers range from charitable community folks in black leather to those with names and devoted hearts in racing or building or event creation.  Honestly, the SC Biker Hall of Fame illustrates some of the great diversity of motorcycle-lovers and those who love them.

Footloose and I had the privilege to spend some time with SC Biker Hall of Fame founding father, Bill Barber. Bill’s the General Manager of Suck Bang Blow. You know, that biker bar in Murrells Inlet, SC? Yes, the place you get your party on during Bike Week. Yes, the place with the indoor burn-out pit, a variety of “out-back” and “up-front” outdoor party spaces, and the big party that never ends but gets way bigger during bike weeks!  You know, Suck Bang Blow, of course.  The one, the only, the original. (The bar’s other location closed several years back but “the original” is still kickin’ 365.)

SBB is an expected stop on everyone’s beach ride and since 2014 is the proud home of the SC Biker Hall of Fame. Bill Barber took the idea out for a ride and got a couple other folks to ride along as founding members on the Board of Directors and each year the mission and purpose gains more and more ground and the Induction Party bigger and better.  The original Board of Directors began with who was right there at the bar but each year new Board members are chosen from the HOF inductees and the net of nominations is cast further and further.  “Eventually,” Bill says, “the whole thing, the Board of Directors, will be overseen by Hall of Famers themselves.”

(*Read more about 2016 inductee Bill Furr in Ron's column below)

Besides the wall display, SBB throws a glitzy party early in the year to give out the honors and have a good time too; but there’s even more to the SC Biker Hall of Fame: outreach.  They’ve established a SC Biker Hall of Fame Foundation and have several events throughout the year to raise money for bikers in need.  “The Foundation is an official non-profit and we’ve created it so that there’s always money that can go quickly and directly to individual needs that come. You know, when a crisis hits, when there's a crash or a death, there’s no time to wait for forms to be filled out and multiple meetings to be held. We cut a check that can meet immediate needs.”  Yep, the biker spirit! Now that’s what it’s all about.

There’s a stack of nomination forms under the Hall of Fame wall waiting for you to pick them up and nominate a worthy biker. The forms state, “This award is designed to recognize individuals who have made a long term positive impact on the South Carolina Biker Community.”  Know anyone who might fit into that circle?  So many wonderful bikers; SBB may have to expand even more once word gets out further and nominations fire up even hotter!

You’ve got till January to get your nominations in. Here’s the form ...

Read more about SC Biker Hall of Fame Inductee, Bill Furr, in Ron's column below!

My Friend Bill ...

...inducted into the South Carolina Motorcycle Hall of Fame!   This is the first of a couple of articles on my friend Bill – 16 time World Champion in Top Fuel, Pro Fuel, Pro Bike in IHRA and AHDRA drag racing and engine designer.  Bill has won twice as many championships and his next closest competitor and close by is his own son, Armon.  This article focuses on a defining incident for Bill back in 2004, and he never lets you leave his shop without a helmet.  Read on and you will understand why.

He says that you can puncture or break a lot of body parts, but your head isn’t one of them that heals.  “Puncture that noggin’ and it doesn’t heal.”  I tried once to take my bike home without wearing my helmet and he said I wasn’t leaving without either borrowing a helmet or wait until I bring my own tomorrow.  Then he showed me his helmet from the incident described below.  Next time I’ll provide some of the facts about his Championships, his engine design and his current Orangeburg Cycle shop and Orangeburg Cycle Racing on Hwy 301 in Orangeburg.

(LEFT: Bill and his son Armon in a photo from Orangeburg Times and Democrat)

Bill had an accident at 215 mpg just after crossing the finish line at the Motorplex Dragstrip in Texas in 2004.  His tire was "chunking" (where chunks of the tire come out) and as he crossed the finish line his rear tire exploded. Bill came off the bike and slid another 400 feet down the asphalt (a reminder of ATGATT – all the gear all the time,) and Bill credits his leather riding suit ($2,500- I know a little more than we wear on the street, but then we probably are not going 224 mph,) was shredded, but he was moving his arms and legs.  His son Armon will tell you that he was ok, because he asked if he won and how fast he was going.

He thought he would be back riding in a few weeks

... but it took nearly two years

A helicopter flew Bill from the track to the Baylor University Medical Hospital. He'd stay there for eight days. A tube was put in his chest to relieve the pressure of a collapsed lung, and the list of injuries included a broken finger, several broken ribs and severe abrasions on an elbow and a knee.

(Bill, left, pictured with our own Jon "Footloose" Pendleton at the 2015 Veteran's Ride in Columbia)

His next outing was in Gainesville Florida where his last trip in 2004 recorded an AHDRA record 220.85 mph.  He finished second that day to his longtime friend Mike Romine of Sturgis Michigan with a 6.89 and 208 mph – not bad after a horrific accident that many don’t come back from ... and 23 month layoff.

During his ‘layoff’ Bill was looking for a way to get more rpm’s quicker and designed the 60 degree motor as opposed to the typical 45 degree motor.  After many thousands of dollars that motor served him and his son Armon well to go on and win many more championships.

Blue Ridge Harley is Hoppin'

Just heard from Ron Hall at Blue Ridge Harley-Davidson in Hickory. They're having their annual Bunny Run on March 26th. It's the 4th year and Ron told me, "This is our biggest charity run of the year.  It benefits the underprivileged at-risk pre-schoolers and the teenage orphans at the Sipes Orchard Home in Conover." Blue Ridge Harley does a lot to reach out to the communities around them. There's some kind of charitable benefit going on there most of the year. The Bunny Run sounds pretty cool. According to Ron, they have "committed to fund the Blessings in a Backpack program at Sipes Orchard Home.  This program gives kids a backpack of six nutritious meals so the children have food on the weekends for the entire year.  We currently have approximately 50 pre-school and 6 orphans at the home." Definitely sounds like a worthy cause. Lots going on that weekend but I'm betting some of you can get up to Hickory for this one too! Thanks, Ron, for sharing what's up.

Let us hear what your groups are doing out there. Write FancyFree and she'll send you the flyer on how The Carolina Rider helps out not-for-profit charitable and educational motorcycle events. We're here for you and appreciate all you do in the world.

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2764 Pleasant Rd, PMB 4100

Fort Mill, SC 29708