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March 24th Edition
In This Issue:
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.
A little Swap Meet story by FancyFree (rerun from 3/3/15)
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 WEEKEND! - March 28 and 29
Report on Saturday's Ride: Vince reported in that the Ride for Carlo G raised $5,259.00. It was a beautiful day to ride and folks showed up and contributed; even tho the ride organizer, Vince, was finding himself discouraged toward the end of his event planning. It shows - devotion to a cause plus equal devotion to the minute details of the planning for an event CAN really pay off!
The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area
for Week of March 24-31, 2015
Wednesday 69h overcast, Thursday 80h , Friday 62h 70%/rain, Saturday 54h clear, Sunday 59 clear, Monday 72 clear, Tuesday 69 clear (as per www.intellicast.com on 3/24/15)
Whatcha Got Planned?
There's a lot more up the road ... but as we look ahead at this moment, we here at The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine currently have the following events on The BIG RIDE 2's schedule to attend:
What organized rides and events are in your plans this Spring and Summer, Carolinas? Beyond that, where you planning to ride and play? If you're involved in a motorcycle event somewhere in The Carolinas, make sure it's on our online Events Calendar! And you might want to have a chat with us about getting the word out to our 75,000 subscribers in an upcoming Weekly Magazine. If your event is for-profit, we have great advertising rates that you don't want to pass up. If your event is a not-for-profit charitable or educational cause, READ THIS info on how we help out such efforts for FREE! All we ask is that you include our "Marketing Support by The Carolina Rider" logo on your marketing materials (flyers, shirts, banners, etc.) It gives your event some great "cred" plus gets more folks connected with our mag.
As I write this, my greatest wish is a lazy backroads ride with stops for easy-going meals and drinks along the way plus some great sights, friendly folks, and fun artsy stuff to explore too. With the Spring weather dipping up and down in temp and sun and rain vying for top position, sometimes we just gotta daydream. And dreaming is good for a grey day in March... especially when there's great riding available tomorrow!
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EDITOR'S NOTE: Not for the tender-eared reader, Shaggy's eloquent writing sparks fires to the left and the right of his high-speed rolls on Kingshit. And that's one of the many reasons we love and keep him here at The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine. We need his "headlight glare" to keep us all awake and aware. You don't need to agree with him or like his style. You don't even need to read his rants. But you can reply to him! Thanks, Shaggy, for being you...
ST. PATRICK’S DAY, ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY MILES,
& THE WRATH OF GOLDWINGDICK!
BALLGAME!!! Fuck this and everyone involved with it, beam me up Scotty because there ain't shit here! I could’ve sworn that I heard an “end of a b-list super villain” death rattle when I laid eyes on that Starbucks cup in the cup holder of that canary yellow Goldwing that was being piloted by what I’m sure was the original AARP card holder wearing an O.C.C. t-shirt. They still sell those fagot-assed shop rags? My anger problem be damned, I know I’m not the only one that would rather have their fingernails peeled back than see shit like this.
It was just a really solid looking Tuesday until this fuckstain caused a hard spot on the carpet. I was standing at the gas pump at the local Kangaroo (trying to smoke, pump gas, and decipher a map at the same time) when I saw this thing pull in beside me. Then to top it all off he took it upon himself to walk over and start inspecting my bike.
What the hell man? This isn’t the Geezer Glider; ugh, I mean Easy Riders show. I’m no stranger to anything like this, sometimes you just have to look and I’m not bitching about that. What sent me to DEFCON four teeth grinding is when he started asking about this and that on KINGSHIT. .... I’m busy fucker!!!
Goldwingdick: I like that sissy bar, where’d you find it?
Here is where Goldwingdick really fucked up....
Goldwingdick: Why on earth would you want to do that?
I was half way through yelling “BECAUSE FUCK YOU THAT’S WHY” when I forced myself to stop. For some reason or another BUB crossed my mind. I’ve got all the respect in the world for BUB (granted our main shared interest is our dislike for Goldwings and the overly done HD baggers). When I first started writing for this magazine I never really pictured him being the one person I connected to the most but every time Bub and I are in the same room we always have a ball talking vintage bikes and various other topics. The thing I always admired about BUB was that he was the type to do his own thing, never falling into a status quo or a predetermined niche. I.E. breaking fifty and buying a road barge, but to each their own or so I’m told. With that I was thinking that maybe I went off a little too quick on Goldwingdick so I walked over to that gaudy assed road couch he was on (I refuse to classify this as a motorcycle) and I gave it a once over and tried to force some polite conversation. Nothing was eye catching as you can probably imagine, just a stock late model Goldwing. I flipped the switch for whatever reason and saw that his odometer only showed around 3700 miles. I asked him how long he had owned it and his response was that he bought it brand new in 2004. Again, muzzle over my mouth lets be civil about this.
Me: So you’ve put 37xx miles on this two wheeled RV in eleven years?
Hey BUB, did you hear that shit? Me and you drove all the way to Charlotte to make fun of the weekend warriors and we could’ve just hung out at the friggin gas station all day. That’s all the hell I needed to hear. I was back on KINGSHIT and headed to the mountains to work out a little of this pent up aggression. I mean for fucks sake, to those of you that do any serious kind of riding doesn’t that shit piss you off just a little bit? I wouldn’t wipe my ass with a Goldwing but I kinda feel sorry for the bike. Think about it, that’s the Cadilac of the motorcycle touring market, if you look at the actual storage capacity, combined with the power to weight ratio you really do have something to work with if you’re into that kind of thing,,,,,, can’t imagine why though.
But fuck it, you go ride your geezer glide and I’m going to get on with my plan for the day. A lot of people don’t know this (for the simple reason that I don’t really like talking about it) but other than the occasional swig with the guys or the mandatory strip club chugger I have been almost entirely sober since last summer. How and/or why are my own business but on a day like St. Patrick’s day it does leave you feeling a bit left out. Well this isn’t the first time I’ve been here, I’ve been alone most of my life and honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m not being an asshole about it, I really just don’t like being around people,,,, ANY people. You mark my words; people are what’s wrong with the world today.
With a tank full of gas, a lung full of Camel smoke, and a stomach full of Red Bull I left the gas station and hit HWY 29 bound for Blacksburg. If you’ve ever been through Blacksburg then you know that there is NOTHING of any interest in Blacksburg so I’ll just say that I rode through it and hung a right on HWY 5. Hwy 5 is another part of the trip that is often uneventful but I still enjoy it. It’s not heavily traveled; it’s not riddled with pot holes or tar snakes and is usually pretty clear of any law enforcement. Simply put, it’s a playground. But with luck like mine, I would be the one to find the cops on this otherwise uncharted road. With a clear four lane in front of me and Lzzy Hale screaming into my headphones I didn’t notice that I had let my wrist get heavy and was going in excess of 90mph, that’s when I saw the motorcycle cop (a rarity in these parts) booking it down the oncoming lane. He flashed his lights at me and I started backing off of the throttle and eventually pulled over and readied my license, registration, and pitiful excuses. I waited a good twenty or thirty minutes and realized he had had more than enough time to get that ST1300 to a turn around to come get me. I guess he was enjoying his ride to much to be bothered with anything else and decided his lights were warning enough. After hanging out a little longer to make sure my tag number wasn’t going to end up on the ten o’clock news I decided to do the last little bit that I had on five and make the left turn on to 162. Again, not a whole lot to report on 162. It was warm, it was dry, the road conditions were good, fuck man it was almost peaceful to the point of being boring. That’s probably why I almost missed my turnoff for the Kings Mountain national park.
This route has recently become a favorite of mine, there’s several fun ways to get to it and it’s not all that far from the house. The scenery here is gorgeous and the fact that it’s not as popular as other places I like to ride ties in great with my borderline ant-social tendencies. This time I only made it about halfway through the actual park. Where I usually go all the way through and either make my way back to either hwy 29 or I85 I just stopped half way at the little guard shack/ranger station. Like all national parks I they have a display board with facts about the park and other attractions in the area, for some reason my eye caught the Crowder’s Mountain section. Personally I’ve never been to Crowder’s and thought I might check it out so I went to the guard shack to ask for directions. That’s when she walked out, and brother, on St. Patrick’s Day it couldn’t have been better. Tall slim frame with curly red hair on the top of her head and a set of eyes that I almost fell in to. “Oh when the Irish eyes are smiling”. She asked if I needed anything and fighting every urge I had to say something dirty I just asked for directions. She gave me a map and started talking but in all honesty I never heard a word that woman said other than go back to 162 and follow the signs. I went back to 162 and followed it for what seemed like forever. I never saw anything that Said Crowder’s mountain but I did see a sign that said HWY 74. Instinct took over and I was on 74 and heading west.
Now 74 can be slightly unpredictable, depending on what time you land on it you can either have miles upon miles of open road and a chance to beat the living hell out of your throttle or you can have bumper to bumper traffic and the opportunity to join in on several red light cussing matches. Well I made it at the moderate hour when traffic was light but you could tell it wouldn’t be for long. So I just bit my lip and twisted the wick as far back as it would go so I could get out of Shelby as soon as possible. Once on the other side I actually decided I’d rather slow down a bit. I let my feet hang off the pegs and used my clutch hand to light a cigarette while doing 70mph (God bless the man that invented butane lighters.)
I could see an exit sign in the distance that read “Chimney Rock and Lake Lure EXIT” and thought “Shit HWY9 came up quick”. Upon closer inspection I realized that this was actually the 221 exit. Instead of doing more unnecessary miles on a super slab id try this new way, new to me anyways.
221 goes straight through Rutherfordton and turns to 64/74A. at this point that is all I knew about 221. What I never expected was the bevy of new twisties I would encounter not to mention the several super steep dips the road took. Seriously it was like riding into a hard shell taco, straight down and then straight back up. Towards the end the twisties started coming faster and closer which was EXACTLY what the fuck I came this way for! At almost the exact same time the thought crossed my mind that I hadn’t bought gas since leaving Gaffney KINGSHIT started to cut back. Shit, for a nice day like this something was bound to go wrong sooner or later. I know I mentioned before how much I like riding alone, and its true I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world but at that moment I would have paid top dollar to have someone in front of me with a camera to video me leaning deep and fast into a curb with one hand on the throttle and the other switching my reserve on. If I could’ve worked a power slide into that we could have had some serious Moto GP shit happening here.
I made it to Chimney rock unscathed and without having to push the bike. Propping my feet up on the turn signals and resting my head on the handlebars I lit another camel and just started replaying the day through my head. Even with the run in with the overzealous poser and the friendly fuzz reminding me he was still around this was the best day out I’ve had in a while. With riding season on the horizon I hope it’s not only the beginning for me but also all of our staff and readers here and TCR. Ride safe and ride far folks, let’s make this the year of worn out odometers instead of oversized tires, and if anyone is in the area, swing by the guard shack and report back to me as to whether or not the “red headed ranger” was wearing a wedding ring.
Parts for Sale! - Contact 336-423-4476 text or call
Parts for Sale! - Contact 336-423-4476 text or call
Parts for Sale! - Contact 336-423-4476 text or call
Parts for Sale! - Contact 336-423-4476 text or call
EDITOR'S NOTE: Danny emailed this in response to our recent feature on Happiness. If you missed that happy collage of writings, you can find it in last week's TCR Weekly. Enjoy and be happy!
Rx Re: Happiness
This poem says it all pretty well for me. When I ride I am addressing a need that is buried deep and hard to reach. For me, riding and music have a way to get beneath the hard outer crust and deep into the soul. When I ride, I get some of that healing the inner self needs from time to time. It’s like a hot shower for the soul after a hard day of work. The work gives you meaning, and the shower gives you cleansing. You need both to have purpose and happiness.
Chaos and strife are constant, and everywhere, but you have to seek out peace and serenity, wherever you can find it. It’s much more rare, and it’s harder to find and hold on to. To me, that’s what’s so special about riding. It helps me find that balance in life.
MSF is introducing a new curriculum that is even better that the old one. The instructors are being trained now for a roll out in the fall. I was privileged to get a look at the new stuff this past weekend and I'm impressed. The classroom is new and improved as well as new range exercises. I'm excited to be a part of that.
So, keep your eyes open and come join us in being safe.
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