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(Photo by Danny Dalton. See The Tarheel Tornado's story below!)

April 12th Edition

In This Issue:

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

Lil' Weather

Free Thinking with FancyFree

Ron Lofts - A Rider's Confession

Your Myrtle Beach Discount Card

The Tarheel Tornado - The Original HOG Path

Loose Talk with Jon

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The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area

for Week of April 13-19, 2016

Wednesday 67h & m-sunny, Thursday 66h & sunny, Friday 66h & p-cloudy, Saturday 70h & p-cloudy, Sunday 76h & sunny, Monday 82h & sunny, Tuesday 83h & p-cloudy (as per on 4/12/16)

Ridin' Around The Carolinas

Lookin' for Food & Drink

Some happenings that have come across my desk ...

South Carolina "Satisfy Your Thirst Tour"

BBQ & Shag Festival, Hemingway (Apr 14-16)

Hub City Hogfest, Spartanburg (Apr 15-16)

Soft Shell Crab Festival, Port Royal (Apr 16)

Taste of Darlington, Hartsville (Apr 21)

Spring Wine Tasting, Myrtle Beach (Apr 23)

Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival, Mt Pleasant (Apr 24)

Roots- Low Country Cuisine, Ridgeland (Apr 30)

North Carolina Distilleries Tastings and Tours

Johnston Co, NC Beer, Wine, & Shine Trail

Savor Wine & Food Festival, Blowing Rock (Apr 14-17)

A Taste of Calabash, Calabash (Apr 16)

Food Truck Competition, Hendersonville (Apr 16)

Taste of the Carolinas, Charlotte (Apr 16-17, 20-24, 30-May 1)

Pickle Festival, Mt Olive (Apr 22-23)

Cleveland Strawberry Festival, Clayton (Apr 23)


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

It’s embarrassing ... Please don’t tell

Ever have one of those times when something isn’t working right and you just know it is something simple?  Something simple that if you did it correct would fix the situation and then just move on.  Well, I figure that if I don’t tell the story Bill or Roger or someone else would make sure to ... so at least I can give my defense in the story.

It started with my daughter meeting my wife in Kingsland Ga. to bring the grandkids up for some of spring break to do some college tours in NC.  On the way home my daughter (lives in Winter Garden FL) lost the transmission in her car – later learned that "looks like a hand grenade went off in there." On her way home and spent 5 ½ hours waiting for AAA to pick her up. But, that that’s another story.

So Thursday morning I’m off to Florida on the bike to help with the car situation. Weather is cool, but nice. The sun is shining and getting warmer as the day progresses and I move south.  The bike is running great and I’m liking the cruise control.  I decided to just run down I-95 because given a Thursday the traffic shouldn’t be that bad, and it wasn’t at least southbound. 
It all started when I stopped at the rest area just across the Florida line.

I stopped to stretch and take a bathroom break and get out some water.  When I came back to the bike I noticed that the 4-way flashers were going. That’s odd, and last time that happened was when the alarm system had been activated.  So my first task is to try to shut them off.  I’m pushing both turn signals at the same time (that was how to do it on the last few bikes I had,) and they just keep flashing. I turn the ignition switch on and hit the start button and nothing happens – dead.  I have power but nothing happens with the engine.

I notice the triangle above the start button and yes, that is the flashers.  Oh, these fancy new bikes.  So I get the flashers off, but still nothing will start. So I call my friend Roger at Orangeburg Cycle:

“Roger I think my alarm system has been activated and do you remember what my code is?”
 “No, you were supposed to write it on that card and put it in your wallet.” 
“Yes, I was, but apparently I didn’t because I can’t find it.”
“You wrote it in your book, look it up.”
“I apparently grabbed the wrong book, because I have the book on the Infotainment system instead of the bike.  I think it is ----- but how do I get to the point to put it in?”
“It should just come up.”

.... and of course this is over the phone at the rest area with cars and trucks going by ...

After a few minutes of this I enter a code and the siren goes off – wrong code.  I redo the code and get it correct.  At this point a man comes over to see if I’m having trouble (wonder what gave him a clue?)  He said that while I was gone some kid was messing with the bike and that siren went off and the kid ran off into a car – it sounds like someone tried to steal the bike, glad I carry the key fob with me instead of leaving it on the bike like I’m aware some do.

So the bike still isn’t starting.  Roger instructs me on taking the saddle bag off and the cover and checking the relay box to see if one of the relays is blown.  Of course I’m lying on the pavement with the sun in my eyes and can’t get the cover off.  Roger says it pulls up from the bottom (I later learn that it pinches in from the sides.)

So after about 30-40 minutes on the phone we come up empty on getting the bike started.  Only thing left is to call a Harley dealer in Jacksonville.  I get out my HOG book and find ADAMEC and they are very prompt and say they’ll have someone out there in 30-45 minutes.  (I’m glad it wasn’t AAA which took the 5 ½ hours for my daughter the day before and thank them.)
I sit under a tree and have a soda and some snacks I brought thinking, "There is something simple that I’m not doing correctly that if I do right this thing will start." I can’t believe the first real trip with this thing I’m back to a tow truck.  So I decide to go back and go through my starting ritual.

Sit on the bike, check the gear shift – OH CRAP, it is halfway in gear!  These fancy new bikes will not start with it in gear like the old ones that just used to jerk you and remind you.  The ‘N’ light was not on.  Pull it up to ‘N” hit the start button and off it goes.  "OH CRAP the tow truck is on the way.  Quick look in your phone and see if you can catch him."  Great, got his number and give him a call.

“Yes, I’m on my way and almost to the rest area on the northbound side.” 
“Well, I got it running and you come on and I’ll pay you for your trouble."

(I’m thinking I won’t be telling him what was wrong, but would pay him to keep quiet!)

And being the nice man he is with the nice dealership, he demurs and says, “no that’s ok.”  I tried again to pay him but he said no, and he would watch for me on the way back to Jacksonville in case it quits again.  I assure him that I don’t think it will, but thanks anyway.

The rest of the trip was uneventful ... well there still was the transmission and car to deal with but in the end all worked out.
The ride home Sunday was with rain almost all the way.  Everything did work out.

Thanks ADAMEC Harley Davidson for your help and keeping quiet about this!  I just told my daughter that it was "operator error" as why it wouldn’t run.

So that’s my story – it was the kid that tried to steal my bike that must have hit the gear because I always put it in N when I get off.  All his fault.

Have fun and ride, but make sure it is in neutral when you try to start it.

I had a long weekend coming up, and I have been itching to ride the Moonshiner out of Walhalla, SC to Deals Gap NC. I have ridden the most northern part, but not anything below highway 19/74 on the NC side. I had planned to ride Friday the 25th, and do a little work around the house on Saturday. The key was to leave early enough to get back at a reasonable time, because it would take about 6 hours to do the ride and get back.

On Thursday, rain was coming that evening, but should be gone by early Friday morning, so if it hung around the NC mountains, then I would head out highway 11 toward Walhalla and head north. If it hung around the upstate, then I would head up I-26 and come in from the northern side near Lauada NC and head south to Walhalla. Either way, it was going to slow me down trying to wait out what change I may have to make at the last minute. Well we got no rain at my house, but I wasn’t sure what it was doing elsewhere. Once I found out and was ready to ride, the local farm supply decided it was time to bring my fertilizer and lime I had ordered for the pasture, and I had to stay to take care of the dogs and direct the spreading. By the time all that was done, it was pushing 10:30, and it would be tough to get the ride in and get back at a reasonable time. I decided the season was young, and I could ride the Moonshiner another day, so I quickly tried to come up with an alternative that would make a good ride.

I decided I would ride out highway 11 and take 276 over to Waynesville, NC. I took a nice leisurely ride out 11, which is always a pretty ride, and headed up toward Caesars’s Head State Park. As I was making the climb up to Caesar’s Head I remembered something I had learned a long time ago when I was working for the SC DOT. I love history, and the SC DOT had published a book outlining the history of the DOT, and some of the unusual things that had happened over time. I bet you didn’t know that if you lived in SC at the turn of the 20th century, you could be scripted into the SC DOT. You would be required to serve 2 years, and you had to bring your own shovel. Now if you were a man of means, you could pay someone else to take your place. Typical! Anyway, I guess these books didn’t make the NY times best seller list, so they offered them to us for 50 cents each, so I broke the bank and bought 2. I thought the whole thing was interesting, but I am a history nut as I said.

In that book was the story about highway 276 and how it was conceived and built. Many years ago, the only route to and from the Asheville area to the upstate, was to come east around by Tryon, turn south, and then head west. That added a lot of time to the trip when your basic transportation was horse and buggy. A local land owner decided he would build a road across the mountains, cutting the time by more than half, and it would be a toll road. To me, what was interesting was how it was decided where to lay out the road...

Apparently a hog has a natural sense of direction and ability to find the easiest path. The farmer literally took a hog, turned him lose, and followed him down the mountain marking the path as they went down. Thus making 276 to Caesar’s Head the original hog path. Over time the state took over the road, it no longer is a toll road, and it went on to what we have today from there.

So, if you want to take your Hog and head down 276, you can ride a hog down the mountain almost like the old days!

The rest of the ride went well. However, I will say the road was in rough shape on 276 near the Blueridge Parkway, so be careful in that area. Also, I would be remiss if I did not mention the new NC Governor’s Safety Council crackdown on speed. Keep it down until this blows over. I am sure there will be political pressure over this, and I hope good sense wins out. The government's answer to everything is to punish everyone for the sins of a few.

A couple of Charlotte Area Rides in April

A couple weeks ago I mentioned Keith Larson's ride coming up April 30th. Keith's excited about the ride to Lake Tillery this year and eager to get the word out and we're happy to be part of promotion for this wonderful annual ride for kids who are challenged by dire health issues. Thanks, Keith, for continuing to make this happen!

My buddies of the Independent Biker Run have an annual ride too that's been going on for, what, over two decades?! Anyway, Hollywood and Ben of the IBR both sent us info to make sure the date for this year's ride got out to all Charlotte area riders. These guys of the IBR are some you surely have seen out and about. They've got their hands deep in the roots of riding in this area. Their annual ride always focuses on some need and that varies each year. This year it's for a young girl, Kai Gonzalez and, as usual, Ben's V-Twins is a prominent point, this year, the start. Hollywood's place, Pineville Tavern is the end. It's April 23.

Do what you can. Join a ride somewhere near you. Give to a cause. Get out in the community. It's a good thing.


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