April 26th Edition
In This Issue:
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The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area
for Week of April 27 - May 3, 2016
Wednesday 88h & iso t-storms, Thursday 86h & 50% t-storms, Friday 91h & sunny, Saturday 84h & am clouds/pm sun, Sunday 80h & 80% t-storms, Monday 82h & p-cloudy, Tuesday 79h & sunny (as per weather.com on 4/26/16)
Why do the Bikers Point at the Road?
Last week we published the first responses to our inquiry about "The Rider Wave." This week, we've added a new response that came in the email along with Talk's column.
Talk who? Talk from Montana! He's contributed some writings and photos from his rides over the past couple years and it's always great to hear from him, our long-distance friend. Many of the photos along with his stories are always breath-taking as the land out his way is truly pristine. (... as are our own vistas in The Carolinas!) Thanks, Talk, for staying in touch.
This edition of The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine is filled with glimpses of what's outside of The Carolinas for riders. In addition to Talk's Black Hills and more, Gary B begins the tale of his long ride to/thru the Trans Labrador Highway in Part 1 of a series about the trip. Looking forward to more juicy details!
As for "The Rider Wave," Jerry raised a question last week and no one has ventured an answer. Anyone wanna jump in and answer "Why do some riders point at the road as a wave?"
Write me with your thoughts and answers
I'm on Facebook ... "friend me!"
I'm havin' a decent start to riding season again this year as I already have over 1200 miles on since 115 mile first ride Feb 9th. Weather's still up and down doin' it's spring thing. I got in another 8K last season, 2015 - to the Black Hills 3 different times via 3 different routes. Trip 2 took me to Medicine Rocks State Park, MT.
Trip 3, story below, in September, headed back west on the Hot Bike Tour. First Black Hills/Sturgis ride found me, in addition to Sturgis, at Split Rock, west of Casper and Muddy Gap, Wyoming and Soda Springs and Salmon, Idaho. And on another day on trip 2 left Rapid after breakfast at the Eagles, FOE 3555, down to/thru Custer State Park, bison in the road and all, and Iron Mtn Rd and the Needles Hwy and back to Rapid. Those stories are, hopefully, yet to come...
Third trip to the Black Hills while on 2015 Hot Bike Tour
.....via the third different route......I needed to see something different........been US212 lots of times across the reservations..needed different scenery...;-) I had decided that I'd go thru North Dakota....a western state I have not been to before. The 'Scenic Route' markings on the ND map went along the Missouri River, part of which flows thru the Bakken, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bakken_Formation if you want the full story, but essentially an ancient sea bed/large oil producing rock formation in western ND, eastern Montana and into Canada.....the oil patch.
The oil field work there has slowed some from what it had been the last few years but still hopping and many reports are of poor road conditions/drivers and lots of huge trucks and machinery navigating the pavement. Sooo, I don't really need to go right to the middle of that in Williston, ND...and I have a friend in Dickinson I hadn't seen for a long time so it was I-94 to Miles City, Glendive and Wibaux(wee-boh) in Montana. Then in western ND, Medora is a popular place in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the Little Misouri National Grasslands....I waved as I cruised thru. My next stop was Dickinson. A good 325 mile day from Billings. Was good to see Mary Ann and family and had one of the more comfy night's sleep in my travels and even made a few new fine feathered friends!
Left Dickinson next morning, still going east on 94, until Mandan/Bismark where I turned south on ND 1806 along the Missouri. I became aquianted with Cannon Ball and Fort Yates, burial place of Sitting Bull, in ND, and further south in SD, Mobridge also claims burial site of Sitting Bull... not sure how that plays out.....
This area along the Missouri, the time zone changes from Mountain to Central Zone. It was a 540-mile day thru state capitol, Pierre, SD and on to Sioux Falls finishing up on I-90. Had a day to rest, see the family and do a little scooter maintenence. The reason for the trip, the Geico Hot Bike Tour was kicking off the following day in Spirit Lake, Iowa, about a hundred miles east of Sioux Falls and just south of the Minnesota state line. That's where Victorys, and I suppose Indians too(?) are manufactured. Victory was a big sponsor of the Tour as was Geico MC Insurance. Also in the area is Okoboji Lakes, a big tourist area that I'd never heard of....learn something new every day!
Brother, Mike, my comrade in delinquency for a couple days, had to work part of the day. I met him when he was finished and we were soon headed east on I-90 and then south into Iowa. Lots going on in Spirit Lake. I found the sign-up tent, and got in a not-too-long line to sign-in and get my Longrider Pass and entrant packet. My bed that night was in Sioux Falls so we had a good steak dinner and headed towards home and oncoming ominous storm clouds. Took on a little rain on the way but nothing too serious.
The tour actually started the next day and I knew they were headed to Mitchell, SD for the next night stop so I figured I'd have a leasurely day and run into them along the way. Didn't see many riders til I got to Mitchell. The streets around the world-famous Corn Palace were blocked off for scooters. Klock Werks (photo below,) is in Mitchell also and had lots going on for the Tour.
My bed that night was north at a farm near Forestburg, SD and they had just had a new road cut in that no one had driven on yet so before dark I headed to the farm so I didn't have to navigate an unknown dirt road in the dark. I'm glad it hadn't rained much there cauz it could have been a mess but, as it turned out, wasn't bad.
I got things situated and rode the 25 miles back to Mitchell, found a Chinese buffet for dinner and checked out the goings-on downtown. The guys from Unknown Industries doing tricks on full sized hogs got my attention....and respect !..WOW And, of course, more cool bikes than you could shake a stick at....big time builders displaying their creations that they had ridden during the day's ride.
At the end of day sign in each day, they would give us the following day's routes: 2 diffrent routes - a more direct (big hiway/Istate) route and a 'scenic' route. I was there to ride so no short cuts for me...scenic all the way. I had trouble catching particular turns, etc, on the route guides but knew where the next night's stop was going to be so it wasn't a problem getting to where I needed to be; I just missed out on a lot of the Longrider swag stops.
The next day's scenic ride went south from Mitchell and then west on SD 44 to Winner and thru the Badlands to Rapid City. In my mind, the biggest venue was the night in Rapid at the Convention Center. The rest of the night stops were in downtowns with streets blocked off. Got to see the full Unknown Industries show in Rapid. The 2 guys that perform together are on FXRs. Talk about some serious tire smokin'! And the other bike performing was a Road Glide minus the fairing and bags with extra frame tubes around the engine cases...that dude could sit on the handlebars, get it up on the back wheel and ride the handlebars in front of the crowd!
Of course, each night they had vendors and a band/dance, voting on the builder's bikes, and a ton of people checking out and talking scooters! I thought there were good crowds every stop and one rider mentioned how many of the local/farm kids had come out in the small towns to check out the scooters. "They're the future of our sport." - Amen
The next morning I rode with a group and was able to make the Longrider breakfast at Legends, in Sturgis. During breakfast a guy was entertaining us by riding standing up back and forth on the frontage road in front of Legends. Then we skirted the Hills and up to Devil's Tower, Wyoming and lunch at Deluxe HD in Gillette. It was a hot day of riding and not so much scenic routes available so it was jammin' down I-90 to the next night's stop in Sheridan. Once again they had several blocks downtown blocked-off for scooters, band, vendors, voting and bragging .....;-)
Next morning started the last day of the Tour, ending in downtown Billings, Montana on Sunday afternoon. And for my money this was the highlight riding day of the Tour - If you took the scenic route. From all the pix I saw in the mags it looked like the majority of riders took I-90 to Billings, about 2 hours.....but...I left Sheridan at 7:30 AM ...a short distance on I-90 then west thru Dayton on US14/14A up over the pass at Burgess Jct and US14 to Lovell, Powell and Cody. This is my back yard! (A couple years ago for my birthdy ride I did Red Lodge, the Beartooth and Chief Joseph to Cody then followed the 14/14A loop counter clockwise back to Cody and home via Belfry, MT.)
Lunch stop the final day of the Tour I had a burger at the Silver Dollar in Cody then north on Wyoming 120 to Chief Joseph Scenic Byway/Wyoming 296 to US212 and the Beartooth Hwy down to Red Lodge, MT and on to Billings, 370 miles, by mid afternoon to a good croud for the closing concert and awards. YOWZAA....that's a good ride!
Here's what some of you readers have said:
Talk said: "on the wave ?....I generally do.....to any riders...my wave is more of a point at you....'I see you, fellow rider'.....I'm watching out for you, if only in passing each other on the road. Hopefully we're all watching out for each other."
Dale shared, "There is (& has been) an unwritten code of conduct for many years pertaining to bikers from bikers for bikers. As I taught it to my son back in the early 2000s when he began riding, it's what I came to know as the Biker's Code of Conduct. I won't go into lengthy detail here on the entire checklist but it does include ALWAYS waving to any biker who you meet on the road, providing it is safe to do so AND ALWAYS stopping to help or offer assistance for any biker, regardless of what they ride when you run upon either a wreck in which they are involved or a mechanical breakdown. Such help can include medical assistance to the extent you are qualified.
The Biker's Code of Conduct is meant to be for ALL RIDERS of ALL MAKES & MODELS regardless of their country or origin."
In his recent column, our Bub said, "Fancy Free asked us if we “WAVE’' and I do. Get a response probably 95% of the time. I wave to all riders, why I once waved to Shaggy-----made his day. Wave at bicycle riders, most moped riders [ they seldom wave back---they’re in shock that a real cycle rider would wave at them ]. Most of my non-responders are those that only wave at riders on their brand of bike or chopper riders. Their loss, I’ve helped several of those types when their bike broke or dumped them."
Ok, the rest of us are too chicken to ask ....
but I'll bet you've wondered too - so Jerry asked!
Jerry asked the question that perhaps many of us have wondered ... "So, what does the point at the road one mean ???"
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first of a series on Gary's ride to and along the Trans Labrador Highway last year. Ride along as Gary meets all sorts of characters, tours more factories, and checks out the scene from Charlotte to a "close-to-home" France and back!
Vive la France on a Gold Wing!
... Crossing the Trans Labrador Highway
... Bring Your Own Toilet Paper
... “You think I'd lay down and die, Oh no, not I, I will survive"
Join me as I travel from my home in Charlotte, NC to St. Pierre, France an Island off the South Coast of Newfoundland then cross Labrador on the 892 mile Trans Labrador ‘High Grade Gravel” Highway.
Day 1 - Thursday - August 27, 2015
"On the Road Again, I can’t wait to be on the Road Again..."
1.1 Classic Americana - Breakfast I 85 Exit 111 / Archdale, NC
I have enjoyed seeing seniors meet for coffee at Hardee’s in Archdale over the last 15 years while working in the Raleigh-Durham area. This is a half way point to stretch, go pee, get a sausage biscuit and coffee so you are awake when you hit the client’s office. Getting up early for coffee with friends that many have known for 60+ years is special and something I sometimes see during my travels across small town America / Canada.
1.2 Lunch on a Bridge - One of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge – Tunnel is 17.6 miles shore to shore. Two one-mile long tunnels take you 40’ and 75’ below the water surface. I designed Newport News Shipbuilding’s Nuclear Grade Water System and led the design of a Cathodic Protection System used in refurbishing CVN’s or Carrier Vehicle Nuclear. During my engineering visits, I had a chance to see nuclear submarines constructed and a CVN in the Bay.
A Charlotte rider, Barbara Zimmerman, saw a nuclear submarine breach the surface while having at lunch at the Virginian Originals & Chesapeake Grill. The Chesapeake Grill / Restaurant is located at the entrance of the south tunnel.
While eating a Greek Salad there, I saw the Navy hovercraft LCAC – 37 or Landing Craft Air Cushioned. This Bad Boy can carry a 60 ton Abrams M1 Tank from ship to shore and back.
LCAC-37 is assigned to the USS San Antonio (LPD-17) Landing Platform Dock and the lead ship of her class of amphibious transport dock. These ships are designed to deliver up to 800 Marines ashore by landing craft and helicopters.
1.3 Iowa Pork
My destination that night was dinner with longtime Millsboro, DE friend Glenn Busker. I had hoped to take him out for a Delaware Shore Seafood Dinner, instead we each had a huge, I mean huge, pork chop. His daughters from Iowa had sent him a cooler full of meat for his Birthday. I finished mine, Glenn who is my size, could only finish half of his. The combination of friendship and his sharing part of his daughters’ gift made it the best pork chop ever.
Day 2 Friday - August 28th
Delaware - The First State – Beaver Pond, NY
2.1 Ninety One / 91 Years Old and Still Farming
The day began with a visit to Jim and Ruth Baxter. Our friendship (along with Glenn’s) developed when I did some work for Merck (Intervet) in Lower Slower Delaware. The Baxter’s have cut back from 15 to 9 Chicken Houses or about 450,000 chickens. Jim had the best showing running against Joe Biden for the Senate and remains a Leader in his community. My wife and I celebrated a Christmas with Jim and Ruth - something we will always remember because of it being much like a Norman Rockwell painting.
2.2 Delaware Capitol or Legislative Hall
Delaware’s Legislative Hall, just like Canada we do not universally use the term Capitol. I had toured the ‘Old State House’ or original capitol on an earlier trip but the ‘Capitol’ was closed because of other activities. Other activities kept me from seeing the Capitol in Bismarck, ND. Hey guys, a few of us travel thousands of miles to see these buildings!
2.3 Revzilla – Who will stop the Rain?
You have hours or days (in my case weeks) to make decisions while riding. Buying an Olympia Moto Sports - Horizon Rain Jacket would complete my having both Horizon and X-Moto pants and jackets. That is my X-Moto Jacket with Superfabric® added over the Olympia Moto Sports Cordura®. A Hi-Vis yellow rain jacket would make me better seen as you need every edge you can get in heavy rain.
I also was betting on that a new jacket would result in a rain free trip and it worked. The only rain I saw was shortly after landing on Labrador, my second day there and the morning of my third day, albeit, it rained all night long in St. John’s, Red Bay and Port Hope-Simpson, NFLD / Labrador.
2.4 Trenton, NJ / Capitol Number 2
Trenton seemed like a nice small town surrounded by farm land approaching it from the West. It was a pleasant surprise especially since Trenton was once the Capital of the United States. Leaving from the East was the 8 plus lane New Jersey Turnpike.
Thirty four of our Capitals are not in the most populous town of that state. Detroit is not the capital of my home state, nor is Philadelphia or New York City despite their being the original state capitals.
I made it just before closing. Depending on your definition there are 36 to 54 cities that are former state capitals with most moving because of the Revolutionary, Civil or Indian Wars and because of expansion or change. “True Capital Collectors” need to visit not just 50 but 105+/- capitals / capitols if they are to see them all. Phoenix, AZ is the only capital city with over a million people.
2.5 Harriman / Beaver Pond State Park – New York’s Party Park
In meeting work and needs around the house I failed to check if my tent poles were with my tent. This gave me a new experience as I enjoyed magnificent stars that night as I lay in my “flat tent” and sleeping bag.
Unfortunately Harriman serves as a place where New York City ethnic groups come and were allowed to party until 1:30 AM. Campgrounds often charge by the site making it a great deal for multiple parties. Most campgrounds have lights out at 9 PM (11 at the latest) – not Harriman.
Day 3 – Saturday - August 29th
Hartford / Capitol Number 3 – Busted in Hingham, MA
The Capitol in Hartford was pretty but unfortunately closed because of a depressed economy. They should have a good tax base having the 4th most population density.
I sought out Wompatuck State Park Campground. I drove around in circles as no one could provide me with accurate directions.
I asked a policeman that had stopped a car along the highway to escort me to the campground assuming it was a routine traffic violation.
It turned out to be a drug bust as I watch the cop methodically ask questions and search the vehicle of a guy and girl in their 20’s. When the cop had his back turned I saw the female stuff drugs up her butt. When I called the cop over I told him what I saw and asked directions now being fairly familiar with the area. He called for backup and the two were arrested.
Another night in a flat tent and no supper because of all the time wasted trying to find the campground. Missing supper along with the frustration of dealing with locals that really did not know how to get to ‘their’ campground is now funny. I had couples argue to the point they got in a fight as to which way to go. I also got a history of the area.
Day 4 – Sunday - August 30
Capitol Number 4 - Boston Baked Beans & State House – Winthrop, ME
4.1 - A breakfast in “Martha’s Vineyards” included delicious Boston Baked beans.
Capital No. 4 - Boston and the State House was my third gold dome capitol. Dover’s is painted white and Augusta’s is covered in copper, currently the color of an old penny. In time it will be green as it was during my first visit there.
4.2 State House / Faneuil Hall
Traffic on I 95 was more than I expected for a Sunday Morning, even downtown was somewhat heavy. I did drive by the State House / Capitol, Old South Meeting House and Faneuil Hall. Faneuil Hall according to Forbes is the fourth most visited attraction in America ahead of the Magic Kingdom and behind our National Mall.
Heavy traffic and warm temperatures kept me away of staying another day to tour Snyder’s-Lance’s Cape Cod Potato Chips and Samuel Adams Boston Beer.
4.2 - Maine, Paper Shell Lobster, New Tent, Winthrop, ME
Hungry I had a “Paper Shell” lobster lunch at the first Maine exit after the Welcome Center in Wells at Mike’s Clam Shack. They look like a regular lobster, but since they have just molted, you can easily tear through the shell with your hands.
(Augusta, ME – New Copper Dome)
New Tent - I had shopped at Walmart in the morning for a tent and confirmed that Augusta had a Walmart. Much to my surprise the camping gear was almost completely gone including the tent I wanted. The shelves were literally empty except for this one larger more expensive tent that I can almost stand up in. With rain possible, that would be my tent. I think it was worth the extra money except for the high rain lip that you have to step over. This can be a problem with old age when you have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and your body does not want to move or flex.
Day 5 – Monday - August 31st
Capitol of Maine No. 5 – Bar Harbor, ME
5.1 – Personal Tour
I mailed my old tent home and then had a personalized tour of the Capitol. A couple from Germany now living in Utah with five homes joined me. A couple of their homes were in Europe, another in California and the other maybe New York.
We then had lunch together at a Thai Restaurant in Hallowell overlooking the Kennebec River. Hallowell is nicknamed "The Little Easy," or "New Orleans on the Kennebec." The city is also known as "Maine's Antique River Port." It is a quaint place where in which to take your ‘Girl’.
5.2 – Bar Harbor Campground
By luck I stayed at the Best Public Campground in the Bar Harbor / Acadia National area. It was large but spacious and on a peninsula. There are camp sites in which you overlook the ocean. Behind these sites is a pool that I enjoyed swimming in and watching a beautiful sunset.
I woke at 5:00 AM to the start of a beautiful sunrise that I enjoyed with a Canadian woman that had vacationed the last 26 summers there. She apparently camped there as a child. As an adult she camped at a few other places finding that this was far the best. Bar Harbor is our most Easterly National Park and prides itself as the first to see the sunrise.
Acadia National is considered one of Our Prettiest National Parks and one of the most visited. USA Today rates it the 7th Most Scenic and the 9th most visited.
Independent Biker Run
Hollywood (of Hollywood Cycles and Pineville Tavern) and Ben Edwards (of Bens V-Twin) are a couple of the guys responsible for putting on a benefit ride every year. This year the weather was great and they had a large turn out. While the day started out overcast and cool, when the sun came out it was a good ride through the countryside. The FFFH group, Shriners on Bikes, and the Knights of Solomen were just some of the groups representated.
They had 250 riders and raised funds for their charitable recipient. A Mr. Lorusso from Lake Wylie won $500 for the best hand and promptly gave $250 back to the charity!
(Steve Lorusso and Ben Edwards)
Don't forget: Keith's Ride is coming up this weekend!
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