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March 31st Edition

In This Issue:


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

Lil' Weather

Free Thinking with FancyFree

Sandy Reece: Hugging a Roadrunner

Join Team TCR

TCR Classifieds: Motorcycle PARTS for sale!

Guess who else is HAPPY? - Bub, of course!!

Vince Esposito - What is a Biker?

Loose Talk with Jon



The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area

for Week of March 31- April 7, 2015

Wednesday 72h clear, Thursday 74h m-cloudy, Friday 82h 50%/rain, Saturday 64h 60%/rain, Sunday 68 clear, Monday 72 p-cloudy, Tuesday 73 30%/rain (as per on 3/31/15)

Calling Women Riders

The following annual event popped up on my radar and made me think, once again, that we're not hearing as much from the WOMEN RIDERS as we are the plentiful men riders. We're a intently-growing number and our passion for the ride may in some ways, top that of our male riding partners. Our ride means a lot to us all; don't get me wrong, that's clear! But I hear so much from women about the link between riding and independence, personal self-expression, physical "core" strength, individuality, and definitely confidence. What do you think?

Our Sandy Reece has been representing us women-of-the-ride so beautifully in her writings for The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine over the last couple years. We're so grateful for you, Sandy! A strong and artistically-sensitive woman, Sandy has a long history with motorcycles. Her husband does not ride. That's a different twist on the woman-rider profile. Many women riders ride with their mate; either on the back or on their own bike. Sandy rides with other women (and men!) and rides far and wide to pursue her love of living free in two-wheeled bliss. Today's story by Sandy is about another long-time rider of the female gender. Now in her 90's, she's still an inspiration for Sandy.

So what about you? Are you a woman who rides? Do you ride on the back? Do you have your own bike? Do you go both ways?!

Let's hear from you. As our own celebration of International Female Ride Day and simply of women riding everywhere, The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine wants to hear from as many women as possible and we'll be publishing a Special Women Riders Feature toward the end of May.

We are women - hear our engines Roar!

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

Can you imagine the possibility of catching a Roadrunner much less hugging one?  My version of a Roadrunner is not the bird of speed but a lovely lady who loved speed and riding her motorcycle with her husband...

My wonderful friend, Ms. Betty, and her husband Robert shared the love of motorcycling.  Robert (generally referred to as Bob) was a master at rebuilding old motorcycles and giving them life again.  Long before Dale Walksler, owner of Wheels Through Time Museum became a household name in antique motorcycles and the star of the television series called “What’s In The Barn?,”

Bob was leading a normal non-limelight life in Kansas finding, building, and riding some wonderful historic machines.  Many of these machines were also found “in the barn”. Bob was an insurance man by trade.  He would pay a visit to a homeowner concerning an insurance claim and conversation with the owner would lead to motorcycles.  Interesting enough (see photo) Bob found many a-treasure in an old barn.

As a young 20 year old, Ms. Betty started riding on a ’45 Harley Davidson provided by her husband.  From that point on, they were a riding pair.  Ms. Betty even recalls a time while very comfortable riding together and knowing their every move, Bob wasn’t paying attention one day and hit her motorcycle from the rear with his own motorcycle. He asked her later, “I thought you were moving right along and then you stopped!” Members of many motorcycle riding clubs, they made quite a few journeys around the US.

One memorable ride for Ms. Betty was her competition at Daytona, Florida. (see photo on the beach) She entered and placed in a motorcycle race as one of the few women entered into the competition.  She finished well and received a trophy for her win.  In the photo, notice the difference in the winner’s trophy for men and the winner’s trophy for the ladies.  Can you say “discrimination”?

Ms. Betty never owned a new motorcycle as Bob rebuilt many forgotten machines and made them available for her to ride.  One of her memory tokens is a Roadrunner charm for an entry into competition.  She is very proud of her Roadrunner as it reminds her of yester years as a rider.

Time has passed and memories are full in photo albums.  Ms. Betty is now 90 years young and she loves to talk of her time spent riding her motorcycle and the friends made over the years.  Her memory is sharp as a tack. As for Bob, he has crossed-over and someday they’ll meet again one day and the ride will be once again shared by two.

Dedicated to Ms. Betty Deering… it is my honor to know and love you, my friend!


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

Several weeks ago Fancy Free posed the following questions:
What about riding makes you happy?
Where and when are the happiest places and times to ride?
How does riding a motorcycle relate to happiness in general?
And what is happiness anyway?

At the time I thought –aaaahh, that’s easy, but then I started thinking  and it’s been driving me crazy -- I know Shaggy, what’s new?  I don’t have to be riding a bike to be happy, today I washed both bikes and lubed the chains and I was happy.  Walking down and opening the shed makes me happy to see my bikes and I realize how fortunate I am.  But then to swing a leg over and sit in the saddle, fire up the engine and shift into gear----happiness abounds as I think ahead to the ride.  Down the road I go and cares melt away, as is well.  But the questions remains “what” about riding makes me happy? I can not pin point one thing, all aspects of riding make me happy.  Well----all except that time a guard rail and I had a run-in in West Virginia!

Where and when - I would have answered riding in the Western US, but then this week the CPRs rode along the Brown Mtn Beach rd and I looked at the river below us and the beautiful gorge it had carved out of the mountain and I thought this is as beautiful as anything I’ve seen out west.  For me I guess I have to answer whenever and wherever my cycle takes me---safely, that is.

How does it relate - to be happy you must have a good frame of mind, worries are left behind and while I have not been in a good frame of mind at times while riding, I soon was as the wheels turned.  And worries?  You really forget about them as you ride, cause you must concentrate on what you are doing and you don’t have time for worrying about something or one.  Face it, riding a motorcycle is dangerous and you must focus on what you’re doing.

What is happiness? As James Brown put it - “I Feel Good!” You can’t feel good if you’re unhappy.

And now on to telling you about the rides we’ve been on.  The pictures and video are of our ride to Blowing Rock on a dirt road that Charley and I found a couple of years ago and haven’t been able to find again until Tues the 24th.  We thought we’d found it a couple of weeks ago but it was the wrong one.  You have to go east off of hwy 181 into Pisgah Forest.  We started on a Forest Service road that was nice and not too “dirty”.  That is it was packed down and not much dust.  Some gravel but mostly in the center and on the sides.  We had been on several dirt roads lately and as my Honda CB 1100 was needing new shoes, I decided to put on some adventure type tires or as known in the good old days---semi-knobbies!  And they did good, except for the fact small stones get caught in between the knobs and fly out behind me.  Mickey soon learned to follow not so close.  The rough tread on the front wheel especially felt better than the street tire, steering was more solid.

What do the CPR's have to be happy about? - Life is GOOD!

We had to run on several different roads, a couple of which were paved but then we got on Globe Road which was solid dirt and started winding up the mountain toward Blowing Rock.  The video starts then.  As you can see it became narrow in some places and sometimes the road was on the edge of a canyon-----don’t look down!!!  We were concerned when we met the road grader because the road surface would be soft and rocky where he had been, but he had just started a section and we were quickly through it.   Then a few houses start to show up and we go around a sharp curve and there’s pavement and Blowing Rock. A wonderful ride, even if your bike can’t make it , maybe your SUV.

Here is the link to the video ...  and it is in Hi Def  with sound.

Sunday before last Mickey and I took a ride over toward Lake Lure, there are some great roads over there.  Mickey had found roads that led from our homes over to that area without involving major hiways.  We pride ourselves on finding roads like that, if they have no yellow center stripe or white edge lines we’re happy!  But we have to remember that these are basically farm road and try to be prepared for the unusual.  Tractors, slow moving pick ups and animals.  This particular day all had been cool and on the way home an oncoming car flashed his lights at us.  Was he warning us of a cop or just saying “HI”.  But what would a cop be doing on a road like this?  Very little traffic, can’t make money that way.  We soon found out!  We came over a rise in the road and there stood a lama!  As we slowed, it walked off the road into a field.  It didn’t seem frightened, just lost.  I’m sure his owner soon reclaimed him.

Hope you enjoy the pictures and video, I sure enjoyed the ride making them. 

Ride those scooters and remember - BE HAPPY!!

Follow-up:  What is a Biker?

Carlo’s Ride Helped Me Find My Answer

I asked a few weeks ago what made someone a biker after my encounter with that group who decided I wasn’t one due to my bike being a clutchless semi-automatic.  I got a lot of responses from people, but very few actually answered the question.  Most really expressed anger and outrage at the fact I had suffered the verbal barrage that I did.  Others told me similar stories of things that had happened to them.  Still a few let me know they thought it was a dumb question to ask to begin with.  I can live with all of those things, and I had my own beliefs on what the term biker meant.  A lot of that changed this past weekend with Carlo’s Benefit Ride, but I will discuss more of that in a bit...

So, the overwhelming consensus seemed to be that nothing made someone a Biker.  It was merely a state of mind.  It didn’t matter what you wore or what you rode.  Mainly it was simply a mindset and passion for the Ride itself.  Personally, I agreed with that because I think bikers are people who ride anytime it is enjoyable for them to do so.  I know some don’t ride in certain temperatures, and I honestly never ride if the weather report calls for rain.  I also think it doesn’t take a motorcycle to be a biker.  I came to that belief at Carlo’s ride.

Saturday, March 21st, we did the culminating “This One’s for Carlo” benefit ride for my good friend, Carlo Gagliardo, the Indian Trail mechanic who spent a total between two visits of 45 days in the hospital, over 30 of which were in ICU.  I can’t even begin to fathom his pile of doctor’s bills, but with the GoFundMe Campaign and the Ride, we helped make a dent.

So, how did Carlo’s Ride change my idea of a biker?  It was an 87 year old man named Bob who pulled in at 9am precisely to Iron Horse Motorcycles driving his red Chevrolet Cruze.  He was all dressed in his khakis, Velcro shoes, navy blue VFW polo and a VFW hat.  He had read about Carlo’s Ride after it got picked up by the VFW Riders and was e-Blasted out.  Bob saw the message and despite the fact he had not ridden a motorcycle in 45 years (since he had an accident on one that actually ended his military career,) this WWII and Korean War Veteran drove down that day to ride in his car in the Benefit Ride for Carlo.  He said, “I rode once and since this is so important for the VFW Riders to promote, I want to do it, if you’ll let me.”  How was I going to tell him No?

So, here was a guy that hadn’t lost the spirit to ride in 45 years wanting to do what the VFW Riders called on members to do.  To me, the idea of a biker was solidified at that moment.  It doesn’t matter if you wear leather (or that windsuit I saw that guy in on Sunday the 22nd that did make me cringe,) ride a Harley, Goldwing, crotch rocket, V-Twin, parallel-twin, or No Twin. It doesn’t matter if your bike is made in the good ol’ USA, Japan, England, Germany, Italy or China.  What matters is what’s in your heart.  What matters is you don’t judge people and you do what you do because you love to do it.  You respect the ride and others who are out there like you.  Oh, and in my opinion, you can be in a cage too.  I know one day, my time will come when honestly, this body can't take the beatings of riding.  My osteoarthritis already doesn’t like it.  To anyone who tells me when that day comes and I can only drive a cage that I’m no longer a biker, I have one thing for you…the ONE FINGER salute!

More about Carlo’s Ride next week…

spring is here ...

... and I can tell Spring is here because we just had the Charlotte CBA Spring Swap Meet at the Charlotte fairgrounds. The Spring CBA swap meet always indicates that spring is around the corner and good riding weather is upon us.

As usual, there were vendors, people, motorcycles, beer, and of course lovely ladies.

If you happen to miss this one, go ahead and mark your calendars for the Fall edition and don't miss that one.

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