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These photos were taken at some of the many cool events put on by Harley-Davidson of Charlotte.

Check out their new commercials HERE .. and ...

Look what the dealership has going on THIS WEEKEND! ...



In This Issue:









Riding BE-cause - a Focus on Not-for-Profit Events & Efforts


Lil' Weather


Free Thinking with FancyFree


GatorBites with The Litigator, Jason Taylor


Golden Opportunities: Black Ice


NC Legislative Issues with Blastoff


Loose Talk with Jon



Look for much more at






The site of MVP's may not be all that new to some of you as it's located where the former Vinnie's Mountain Island Lake used to be. This can be a fine stop for a warm day's ride. They've got great bike parking and really good eating/drinking indoors and out. They're doing a Thursday night BIKE NITE and we suggest you check 'em out for great food and drink specials and ... cute girlzzzz too! Click on the flyer below for some online coupons.




Erin, the CVMA Public Relations Officer, sent in this info and flyer about the CVMA & the Combat Vets Spring Run

Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Chapter 15-2 is hosting a Poker Run on March 30, 2013 to benefit Purple Heart Homes and Matthew Bailey, a local Disabled Veteran. Registration begins 10 a.m. at Pat Rogers Speedway Harley Davidson in Concord, NC with first bike out at 12 p.m. Route includes stops at Sam Bass NASCAR Art Gallery, Twin Peaks Restaurant, Hendrick Motorsports Museum& Shop, and ends at Iron Thunder Saloon for awards presentation and live music. Prizes for Best Hand and Worst Hand, as well as raffle and silent auction. Entry fee is $20 per rider & $10 per passenger. Contact for more info.

About CVMA: We are an Association of Combat Veterans from all branches of the United States Armed Forces who ride motorcycles as a hobby. Our mission now is to support and defend those who have defended our country and our freedoms. Our focus is to help veteran care facilities provide a warm meal, clothing, shelter, and guidance, or simply to say "Thank You" and "Welcome Home." We sponsor and/or participate in many motorcycle-related charity events each year, and as a non-profit organization, donate to various veteran care facilities and veteran charities.

Leon Yard sent in this flyer. He wants to see as many of our readers in this run as possible!





The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area

for Week of March 12-19, 2013

Tuesday 64 am showers, Wednesday 53 sunny, Thursday 53 sunny, Friday 61 p-cloudy, Saturday 71 sunny, Sunday 71 sunny, Monday 70 m-cloudy, Tuesday 67 sunny (as per on Tuesday 03/12/13)


Feelin' Groovy

Slow down, you move too fast. Got to make the mornin last.
Just kickin down the cobblestones, lookin' for fun and feelin' groovy."
Simon and Garfunkle

So I had "slow down, you move too fast" in my head and did my usual Googling for a video and the one above (click on the song lyrics to see/hear) came up and I had to take a break and sing along. I'm guessing some of you (of the right vintage) will too!

Slowing down ... sometimes the thing to do to regain perspective and energies that are generally exhausted in life's full-on race of time. I'm glad I took a few minutes off to enjoy the video and I'm thrilled to share with you some new stories from our writers today - all of them have some experience with taking a little more time and slowing down to smell the roses ...


This week, while we're all still coughing through the inspired road scatter of M. Gates Kendall's Safe Speeding article, Golden offers a perspective on taking a more gentle ride in his article, Black Ice. I love Golden's writing and enjoy sharing his experience of the ride. Usually he's flying like a bat through the Carolinas, but, as he shares in this writing, sometimes you gotta take it slow and, when you do, you see through new eyes. Glad to have Golden as a part of The Carolina Rider and when 2 of his buddies popped by The BIG RIDE to tell me that Golden (or Bub as his buds call him,) had spent a night or two in the hospital with docs listening to his ticker, it made my own heart stop for a beat or two. But I'm terrifically happy to hear from Golden himself that he is back up and at 'em and ready to be out on two wheels. In fact he may just be doing that right now. Yep, I hope you are rippin' through some asphalt on this sunny afternoon, man!


So glad to have Jane writing again! After a trying past year, she appears to have some new creative energies that are happy to be released. Crisis sped up her life for awhile as she found herself stretched from here to Tennessee during her husband's hospitalization. And then, I'm guessing, there has since been some time for slowing down and appreciating the little things in life again ... all leading up to her Sunday ride experience and the good memories that bubbled up as a result of being in that relaxed ride space once more. Yay for you, Jane! Yay for us! This week she shares of special rides past and present in her article, The Sunday Ride! which you can find ONLINE NOW. With a lovely memorial to her father - well, both her parents really - it's a truly sweet story and reminder of how our minds can wander when we sit back in the saddle and ride easy......


Our NC Legislative Affairs fellow has been missing in action lately and we're happy to have Blastoff back today! He's devoted to motorcycle education and rider rights and has gotten himself into so many good causes that he hasn't had time to write for us. But in an email to me this week he promises to slow down "just a little" and take "just a little" more time to blast off some words of wisdom and passioned pleas to us. Welcome back, Bill! We're glad to have you in our pages at least today and hope to hear from you again soon....

(By the way, South Carolinians, we'd sure love to have someone offer an SC legislative affairs perspective! - contact me if you can and want to do such a thing....)


Funny Bid'ness ...


More Funny Biz'ness ...

And, speaking of comedians ... do you know that our favorite Carolina rider-comedy-queen-celebrity, Julie Scoggins, is doing a show at The Comedy Zone at The Music Factory in Charlotte (900 NC Music Factory Blvd, Charlote, NC 28206) tomorrow night, Wednesday, March 13th at 8pm? Haven't heard her? We recommend an evening of grins and belly laughs with Julie.....!


A lady who graced my childhood used to say, "Go on laugh now, and get it ALL over your face!" I can see her humongous smile spread from ear to ear as she said it, her long red-polished fingernail and multi-braceleted arm pointing at whoever deserved the order she directed with whooping laughter spilling out the corners of her grin.

May you have a good laugh, a tiny giggle, or an easy smile today and every day that you can!


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

It's a cold February morning, but Christy Henderson, (meteorologist for Channel 7 Spartanburg,) promises the sun will shine and it will be warmer in the afternoon. We're counting on you Christy. Mickey shows up at 9am on his Yamaha FZ1, I tell Margie "later," plug in my heated jacket and gloves, fire up my FZ1 and we're off. The plan is to get on NC 80 where it begins at Marion NC, to NC 226 near Bakersville NC where it ends. Then go south on 226 to US 19E at Spruce Pine NC, connect to NC 194 over to NC 181 and be at Christa's for lunch. Christa's is a general store/restaurant at Pineola NC popular with cycle riders of all kinds. Located where NC 181 crosses the Blue Ridge just south of Linville NC. I'm sure many of you reading this have been there.

The temp gage on my bike says it's 32 and my heated gear is just keeping up as we leave my home between Gaffney SC and Boiling Springs NC. Up SC 150 to Boiling Springs and keep going straight where 150 turns toward Shelby, cross US 74 and into Lattimore NC, where we consider many of our rides to begin and end. Out of Lattimore on New House Rd, left on Jack Moore Mountain Rd and turn right onto Duncan's Creek Rd. Excellent motorcycle roads, curvy with very little traffic. Duncan's Creek dead ends into Bostic Sunshine Highway and we turn right for a short run to 226 where we turn left toward Marion. 226 is a super road for bikes, but, beware: keep your radar detector on as the local LEOs know this also. My temp gage shows it is now 40 and the heated gear is doing a fine job. We turn on NC 70 at Marion and run the few miles to the start of 80. Mickey says on our bike-to-bike intercom that we should probably be a little careful as it's still early and there may be some black ice. I agree and slow down going around the corners that are out of the sunshine So with a much more leisurely pace than we generally ride,  we proceed up the mountain.

After a little while I'm thinking this isn't so bad - I'm seeing things I never had time to look at before....


Ladies and Gentleman, I want to thank all of you who attended The Litigator's First Annual Poker Run on Sunday March 3rd. Bikers came from all over, braving the cold to support the poker run and our chosen charity for this first event, Bikers For Bikers Foundation. You made for a successful event and I enjoyed seeing & riding with you all. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

Now, I want to remind you all of something very important. "We the People" are the guardians of our rights. We must be forever vigilant and know what our various branches of government are doing at all times. Do not think that just because a particular branch of government is controlled by your political party that your rights are safe. All branches of government, and all political parties pose a threat to OUR constitutional rights. Below is one example:

In the case of State vs. Heien, Our Republican Supreme Court majority determined you can have a reasonable search and seizure even when the officer is legally wrong in pulling over the vehicle.  That's right, an officer pulled over a vehicle to write a warning ticket because of a rear brake light that didn't work. The officer in the process suspected drugs, searched the vehicle and found drugs. The problem is, the state motor vehicle laws were not violated. So, there was no reason to pull the vehicle over in the first place. Justice Newby wrote for the majority that basically an officer not knowing the traffic law is reasonable and so a search based on a reasonable but wrong traffic stop is also reasonable. The court concluded, "police officers should be entitled to interpret our motor vehicle laws reasonably when conducting routine traffic stops."

Our Supreme Court, led by Justice Newby, has changed the law in North Carolina with regard to the interpretation of the 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution. The law now allows for the subjective "he was TRYING to do right" instead of what has always been required, objective "he was right or he was wrong."  If an officer enforces a non-existent law, the victim of this illegal act should not be treated as a criminal with an unconstitutional drug bust.

I encourage you to read the case and the excellent dissent by Justice Hudson. Remember, Republican does not mean conservative. In this case the Republican judges weaken the constitution and it is the Democratic judges who dissent because of this constitutional violation. The issue here is not the police officer who made a mistake but the court who refused to fix it.

Stay Vertical,



On Tuesday, March 13th, NC HB 109 will be heard in committee. HB 109 is the CBA/ABATE of NC sponsored helmet law repeal bill filed by Representative John Torbett of Gaston county. Rep Torbett is a member of the Gaston County Chapter of CBA/ABATE of NC. This bill will repeal the requirement for riders over age 18 to wear a helmet when riding their motorcycle. This bill should have been passed many years ago. In fact, it is my opinion we should have never had to deal with a mandatory helmet law in NC or anywhere else.

For this bill to get out of committee, we need everyone who supports their Freedom of choice to contact their NC House reps and let them know we in NC are ready to be treated as intelligent adults and not as subjects needing government to make our decisions for us as pertains to our personal choices on safety. This bill is not about whether or not helmets actually make a difference. This bill is simply about the Freedom to decide for ourselves what protective gear we need and when we need it.

CBA/ABATE of NC has been at the forefront in the fight for Motorcyclists' rights for over 40 years. We are very much involved in Safety and Education programs as well. We can not defend your rights without your help. We can not educate the public regarding the safety issues we face every time we ride without your help. Whether you choose to join us as a member is a personal choice. However, if you support us in our efforts to protect your rights, make a phone call NOW to your elected member of the NC House of Representatives and let them know how you feel. If you do not choose to exercise your Constitutional right for Representation, that is also a personal choice. If this bill fails and you just sat there, blame yourself. CBA/ABATE of NC will continue to fight on your behalf. We just will not be as effective.

Bill Starnes,

Legislative Officer, Gaston County Chapter, CBA/ABATE of NC



Well, I can sure tell the season is warming up and I'm not just talking about the weather. Advertisers are thinking ahead and getting ready for you all to ride too. And so I'm happy to report that The Carolina Rider has some new Sponsors for the riding season who are hopping on board to promote themselves as great stops on your ride....

Q2U is a pit bbq joint down near The Buster Boyd Bridge in Lake Wylie, SC. Their BBQ will want you make ya wanna slap your momma, as they say.... Q2U donated their food and catering services to the recent Not-for-Profit Motorcycle Event Planning Seminar that we just offered and everyone was really pleased with the good eating. Plan a stop there SOON and check out their Biker's Special on the flyer above!

MVP's Raw Bar & Grill is another new Sponsor. They've taken over the spot where Vinnie's at Mountain Island Lake used to be. I like their outdoor eating and drinking area and, for me, they're a good little ride destination or stop along the way on one of those easygoing days. MVP's is going to be doing a weekly Bike Nite on Thursdays with cute girls and great food and drink specials as well as music. Check em out.

Mac's Speed Shop on South Boulevard is kicking off their season of Bike Nites NEXT WEDNESDAY, March 20th with a big's gonna be SO big that The BIG RIDE Bus will be there! Come hang out with us and get your bike nite on. You know the place in Southend with the big STAR on the front and good food, good drinks, and good times. Been awhile since you've been to Mac's? Come on! Get to Mac's with us.

And, returning as a Sponsor this season is Quaker Steak and Lube in Concord. You remember when their bike nites drew over 1000 bikes? They're hoping to bring those numbers back up and we're here to help however we can .. and first by getting the word out to you, our loyal readers! Wednesday nights as always ... QS&L gals giving you a cold beer, bikes of all kinds crowded into well-packed rows, bands, vendors, and the whole bike nite thing going on.

Harley-Davidson of Charlotte is not a new Sponsor. In fact, the dealership, located in Matthews, is actually a founding Sponsor of The Carolina Rider and a sponsor of The BIG RIDE Bus. Well, H-D of C has some new commercials playing. Take a listen!

Now I realize many of you aren't in the Greater Charlotte Area where these particular Sponsors are ... but remember, we aim to cover all of The Carolinas so if you know of a business out there who should be part of The Carolina Rider, tell them, email me, get us together! We're growing and looking to grow into all corners of our states.

Finally, as for riding, my own bike has been in the shop getting painted for quite some time now and I'm getting REALLY itchy to ride. Please keep me in your thoughts as I try to be patient....










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Ride Like A Pro












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