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(another beautiful shot by Footloose Fotos taken with the gals from MVP's

Look for more from this shoot in the CAROLINA BEAUTIES GALLERY online now!)




In This Issue:







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


Lil' Weather


Free Thinking with FancyFree


Big Mike Buildz Bikes: Feelin' the Love - A Breathtaking Build!


Destinations: Places to Ride to


GatorBites with The Litigator, Jason E. Taylor


A Woman Rider's Perspective with Sandy: The Outer Banks


Loose Talk with Jon



Look for much more at












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


Nancy, the event coordinator for the following new event sent in the following today to go with the flyer below we've been running and we're happy to help be a marketing sponsor....

This Memorial Day Weekend, mark your calendar for Saturday, May 25, 2013 to come to Cashiers, North Carolina and enjoy two wonderful events. The 1st Annual Cashiers Valley Poker Run and Blues Brew & BBQ.

The day will start with registration and check in at 9:00 am and last bike out at 10:30 am. Riders will begin and end their 130 mile loop at The Village Commons (the first and last pit stop) located at the intersections of Hwy 107 & Hwy 64W in Cashiers. Breakfast will be available by Wendy's during registration. This scenic route will take riders along our spectacular mountain roads making 3 other pit stops in Maggie Valley, Cherokee and Highlands before returning to the Village Green. Riders will pick up their playing cards at each of the 5 stops. Upon arriving back in Cashiers, participants will turn in their cards. There will be an award ceremony to acknowledge the winners for the best hand ($500.00 Cash), second best hand ($200.00 Cash) and worst hand ($50.00). Entry Fee for the Poker Run is $20.00/Rider which includes a box lunch sponsored by Subway.

A portion of the Poker Run will benefit Wounded Warriors Project.

The Awards Ceremony will take place at the First Annual Blues, Brew & BBQ which will begin at 5 pm. This exciting event will feature live entertainment opening with the amazingly talented Lauren Mitchell Band from Sarasota, Florida, followed by our headliner, the legendary Mac Arnold & a Plate Full O' Blues. Come hungry, food and beverages will be served. Admission to the event is free. Bring chairs and/or blankets. This will be a wonderful way to kick off the 2013 summer season. Please join us for this great event and to help support a great cause!

No coolers permitted. This event will occur Rain or Shine. No Refunds.

To register for the Poker Run, please visit:
Late Registration will be available the day of the event.
For more information on this fun filled day or how to be a sponsor, please contact Nancy Albers 704-458-7686, email: or visit and click on events.





The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area

for Week of April 23-30, 2013

Tuesday 71 am-clouds, Wednesday 79 m-sunny, Thursday 69 p-cloudy, Friday 73 m-sunny, Saturday 62 showers, Sunday 67 showers, Monday 74 scattered t-storms, Tuesday 74 showers (as per on Tuesday 04/23/13)



The FancyFree Challenge

You're a rider, right? Tell us what you and your bike/s are up to!

Got a bike? Got more than one bike? Tell the readers of The Carolina Rider about them and show us their pics!

Planning a journey? Give us a report and show us what you see along the way!

Have favorite destinations for food, drink, a night's stay, scenery, socializing? Tell us all about 'em!

New to riding? Been riding all your life? Share your learning and experience with us!

YOU have something to share. Take "The FancyFree Challenge" and write about it! After taking The FF Challenge himself, Mike wrote: "Wow, I haven't written something creative like this since, um, college. Everything was always corporate memos, reports, etc. This was fun." Who know, you might be just like Mike on a Bike and find you actually enjoy providing content to your favorite motorcycle publication, The Carolina Rider!


Keepin' it short and sweet today. No need for me to fill up the pages or your time with more words. It's all been covered in this very full, diverse, and most informative edition of The Carolina Rider Scene. I'm sure I'll have a whole lot more to say next week! Until then, ride on, ride Light!


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

Feelin' the Love - a Breathtaking Build!

This month's build was for a customer from GA named Scott who came in and saw a Custom Road Glide we had available for sale. He definitely liked it but didn't LOVE it. But that's when the versatility of what we do here at The Bike Exchange kicks in!

Since Scott wasn't completely "in-love," and we wanted him to be COMPLETELY IN LOVE, we got to work finding out all of Scott's "must haves" and some performace parts that would increase his desire to ride the beast we were about to create for him.

We started out with a stock 2012 Road Glide Ultra and Scott picked a paint job that he couldn't live without. From there, Scott picked out some parts he liked and at the same time we also suggested a list of parts for Scott to consider. That way he could pick the BEST possible fit! The final outcome was to say the least BREATHTAKING and Scott was totally overwhelmed and couldn't believe the turnout. We were DEFINITELY pumped to see how happy Scott was!

This Bike had it all: Custom Paint, Custom Wheels, Custom Bars, Custom Quick Release Tour Pack, Custom Sound System and TONS more!

We have a lot of custom bikes available for sale at, but if like Scott, you don't LOVE what you see, we can build it for you .... or you can bring YOUR BIKE in for a DREAM make-over and feel the LOVE!





Finz Raw Bar and Grill in Matthews, NC

by PoniPrincess

I am always thrilled by simple events that can be so RICH! I tried out a new-to-me restaurant today that is worth shouting from the mountain tops about. Do you remember the group that served the lunch at the end of The Blue Line Ride last weekend? They were a huge sponsor of the ride. It was FinZ Raw Bar out of Matthews. I recently spoke with Jim Johnson, General Manager there. He said they were amazed by the show of bikers at the ride and felt the cause was incredible. He encouraged Frog and me to check out the rest of the cuisine at the restaurant. Jim frequently has bikers at his place and will now be hosting a Bike Night starting Thursday, May 2. Oooohh ... a little pre-bike night run just might be in order.

We hooked up with a biker buddy of ours and set out from Rock Hill intent on enjoying a beautiful Sunday afternoon ride and working up a good appetite. There is nothing I love more than to ride towards FOOD. I got a little pouty when Frog told me that unless we wanted to wait and get to FinZ on Monday we could not take back roads.  This journey would have to involve the expressways. So we headed north to exit 52 off 485. This place was so easy to get to it didn't bother me one bit that we were on the highway. The restaurant is an easy one mile off 485. You can't miss it and when you eat the food you won't want to pass it ever again!

(Me and my new friend Jim the GM of FinZ!)

Sunday's in the Spring to me means a good ride with friends and eating wings.  I was not disappointed at all.

On my scale of "Best Biker Restaurants" you can rack up some good points with easy biker parking, FinZ has it; friendly wait staff, Finz has it, excellent food; FinZ has it; and good value, FinZ Raw Bar has it! Carrie was our server and she was fun and super polite (there's one gold star!).  Frog and his buddy wanted a whole flock of hot wings and they meant HOT. I settled on the spinach artichoke dip and some medium wings; and I meant medium. Carrie delivered!  My macho buddies were sweating and pushing the plates back real soon. I was growling at anyone that tried to take some of the dip from me. Yes, it was that good (there's another gold star!).

FinZ has specials constantly; Sunday's is $.45 wings.  There is a very diverse menu; vegetarians you are most welcomed here. Jim told me his daughter is vegetarian and she insisted there be things for her to eat on the menu. The prices were VERY reasonable; portions are generous (woops, there's another gold star!)

Sal mostly stays in the back and is in charge of the food and I hear his specialty is pizza so I am definitely going back to experience it.  Large crowds are easily seated out on the patio deck or in the open style main room so if you are part of a big biker group and want a fantastic meal spot please head over to FinZ Raw Bar in Matthews.


We are all together - We are not alone

The other morning I was taking a shower and I was thinking about the Boston Marathon bombing as the terrorists were still on the loose. It made me think of some of the images we have seen on television and one of them was the MIT Police Officer who was shot and killed. I thought about his Charlotte connection, as I heard he has family in the area, I think a brother in Charlotte. This brought me back around to the Thin Blue Line Ride we had just participated in that is put on by the Forever Blue Foundation.

The Forever Blue Foundation is a non-profit organization created by John Rainier, a Rock Hill Police Officer, and his wife Melanie. The Rainiers formed this organization after the deaths of their friends, Charlotte Police Officers Jeff Shelton and Sean Clark. This organization raises money to provide financial assistance to families of slain officers. My wife Andie and I had talked during the motorcycle ride about its significance and that it was important to remember that while it is a fun ride it is in memory of and in support of slain officers. I told her during the ride that I was going to tell John Rainier that we did not forget what this ride stood for; the memory of his slain friends and the assistance to families who experienced similar tragedy. I did share this with John after the ride and I think he appreciated it.

So why I am telling you this story and why does it start with the shower? Well, for one thing it is where this free flow of thoughts occurred so I wanted to be accurate. More importantly, it is very American. We worry about others all the time, not just when discussing events with others or watching tragedy on the news. We have concern when we are alone and have no one watching us. We also rise to the occasion, like all of those who ran towards the explosions to help the injured or like John and Melanie Rainier who never forget and make sure others do the same.

We can listen to our political Leaders, both parties, and get very frustrated and down on America. However, if we watch our neighbors, brothers, sisters and compatriots across this country, you can only feel good about this great country and the people who make it America. So the next time you are alone and thinking about others, remember you're really not alone, and be proud.

Stay Vertical,




Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

by Sandy Reece

It was time for a girl's weekend away and a long-planned trip to the Outer Banks was finally going to happen! My friend Debbie and I had planned a motorcycle ride to the Outer Banks over the years. One year it was work interference (gotta work to play!) and the next year a hurricane cancelled the trip (Mother Nature in full force has a way of keeping us inland!)

We finally made the trip happen this past week. Leaving home on Wednesday afternoon, we made our way towards the North Carolina coast by mostly secondary roads. We utilized I-40 to I-73/Hwy 421 Bypass to Hwy 421 to Hwy 64E to Hwy 55 to Hwy 42 back to Hwy 64. We were basically bypassing Raleigh. We stopped in Williamston, NC for an overnight stay. For dinner we dined at a local restaurant called Shamrock Restaurant just up the road from the hotel. Next morning after a light breakfast, we travelled Hwy 64E to continue towards Manteo, NC. This little trek would begin many bridge crossings! .... (story continues ONLINE NOW! ... don't stop reading) ...




Look for us at a Bike Nite coming soon!

As PoniPrincess mentions in her review of the Matthews restaurant and bar, The Thin Blue Line ride was lucky enough to have Finz provide the food for a great ride. Finz is a quaint little Raw Bar & Grill just off of Main street in Matthews, NC. I've had the benefit of enjoying their food and scene and I highly recommend it too .. but that's not why I'm mentioning it here....

As Bike Nites are heating up along with the slowly-warming weather, The BIG RIDE Bus is currently setting up its calendar of appearances at Bike Nites in the Greater Charlotte area. We've targeted FinZ newly-planned Bike Nite for a bus stop in May. We'll be at MVP's on July 25 (and probably some time before too!) The Bus will definitely park at Boneyard Tavern one Friday in coming weeks, and you can find us at Quaker Steak in Concord somewhere down the road as well.

As for FinZ, we'll be there on May 2nd. Mary, who's said to be the "Boss of All" of the Raw Bar and Grill, will make sure it's a great event so mark your calendar and plan on joining The Carolina Rider crew at Finz on May 2 for their first ever Bike Nite! (And hey, that night is Jan's and my 15th wedding anniversary so please give a buddy a hand and help me not forget......!)


By the way, this weekend: Keith's Ride is happening. We highly recommend this charity ride for kids with special medical conditions put on by the radio personality of WBT Talk Radio, Keith Larsen. Starts at Matthews Fun Machines. Head out and support!


















































































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