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This is Miss May in The 2013 Litigator Calendar. See more photos of Miss May in our 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


Destinations, Places to Ride to: Readers Respond + MVP's Raw Bar & Grill


Golden Opportunities: Milkshake Ride


Ponderings with PoniPrincess: Memorial Day Ride in Cashiers, NC


Loose Talk with Jon


Look for much more at










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 May 7-14, 2013

Tuesday 66 iso t-storms, Wednesday 73 scattered t-storms, Thursday 79 p-cloudy, Friday 81 m-cloudy, Saturday 77 iso t-storms, Sunday 73 p-cloudy, Monday 67 m-sunny, Tuesday 70 sunny (as per on Tuesday 05/07/13)


Rambling Thoughts of Happy Riders

I love the photo at the top of this edition of The Carolina Rider Scene. The model's expression beams of JOY and the way I feel when I get to go riding....especially when I am, as my pen name signifies, fancy free! To have a clear sky and a clear calendar to clear my mind and soul, now, that's something too sweet to beat.

I was introduced to motorcycles later in life than many of you; not even climbing into a saddle at all till I was in my thirties - and that was as a passenger. Truth be told, I'd had little experience with two-wheeled anythings, motorized or not; so I was one of those special cases in the beginner MSF class back in 2004. I did it though and am still celebrating my accomplishment and great fortune now almost 10 years later.

Every time I get to ride I re-connect with that happiness that freedom only gives; a sense of giant grinning GLEE! That's what I see in the photo and I'm betting each and every one of you has had some experience with that joy .. the kind that can only be understood by a motorcycle rider. Sure, there are many shades of joy ... but this one's tinted with delight!

I'd like to thank our PoniPrincess for some extra hard work over the past couple of weeks. She's been meeting and greeting new Sponsors and exploring new destinations and possible rides and putting her most-skilled pen and creative brain to wonderful use! You'll find her online and these pages today, last week and in many weeks to come. We appreciate you, Poni!

I see blue sky out there .......


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


Readers Respond:

The Switzerland Inn is a Great Destination

Bill K shares the following Destinations option ... "For those that want a little fun on the way to their destination ... take the short ride to Little Switzerland. Any time really. But on Fridays, the Switzerland Inn continues its long tradition of having a Prime Rib and Seafood Buffet that is just about unbeatable. But if you can't make that, it's a great place for lunch any day especially on the weekends. Great views. Rowdy bar (well sort of.) Just a cool place. The owner is a enthusiastic rider himself so this place is very "Bike Friendly." He even has Bunkhouse on the property for guys that want to get a cheap place to stay with their bike under cover."

Thanks for sharing, Bill!

Myrtle Beach Options?

Another reader, Bill E. asks for your help ... "We are coming from Boston and plan on going along the coast thru Cape may into De and then back to the shore as quick as possible. But when in MB any suggestions to where we might ride to within 50 mile or so from surfiside off the beaten track but with a place or 2 to stop and wet the whistle on the ride??"

Anyone have Destination Suggestions for Bill?



(outdoor and indoors, MVP's has a cool spot for you to hang out!)

MVP's Raw Bar

by PoniPrincess

I found myself on another biker mission. It is my intention to scope out as many biker hangouts as I can so I can provide you some options as you are traveling the Carolinas this summer. If there will be a bike night coming up I will try to get there pre-event and provide some information. Nothing any worse than heading out to a new place and being surprised by a dirt and gravel parking lot after a rain with port-a-potties, sour attitude servers, and warm beer. No wonder bikers can get fighting mad after a long ride!

Today's destination was MVP's Raw Bar up on the northwest side of Charlotte. I have seen a lot of coverage on their Bike Nites and I was in the mood for a ride. I first went to their website to get a feel for the place. Wow! I got excited just looking at all the photos, line up of bands, and the menu! They listed specials for every day of the week, clear directions to get there, and coupons for free food! This ride was looking good.

I arrived at this awesome looking neighborhood pub in a cute development. Parking was a breeze and there is plenty of it. What blew me away even more was the super friendly staff as I walked in the door. Brittany greeted me and showed me to a great table. She quickly got me a glass of cold Chardonnay and we immediately started talking about bikes like we had been gal-pals forever. This chick is very cool! I got bold in our conversation and asked what was so special about MVP's Raw Bar. I knew that this restaurant had recently re-opened under new management and ownership (as of this past October.) I was already hooked on the cool website but why make the journey, I asked? Brittany laughed and smiled as she said "Cuz I'll make it fun for you!" She said if you want to celebrate a birthday she'll hoot and cheer for you, if you want to score the business deal of the year, she'll make sure the food and drink keep coming, if you want to bring the kids, she'll play with them while you enjoy a drink. I believed her. She has that great personality that can make it all happen.

I also had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Josh, one of the managers of MVP's Raw Bar. What a kind and generous soul! I asked him about the origin of the restaurant and how the name came to be. My assumption and yours may have been also, was MVP stood for Most Valuable Player. He said that was an initial idea behind the 17 TV's in the main dining place and four outside, but the MVP acronym had morphed into Most Valuable Person ... and that would be YOU. Yes, at MVP's Raw Bar you quickly are aware that their greatest goal is to make YOU happy and satisfied. From the moment I walked in I felt like I was their only and most important customer. I even overheard a waitress speaking with two guys at a nearby table. The gentlemen were struggling over what to order (which is easy to do considering the very diverse menu!) The waitress quickly said "What are you in the mood for? I'll just have the kitchen make whatever suits you today." Now that kind of service will make me want to go back again and again.

Josh said the entire staff at MVP's Raw Bar had been working together for many years and they want you to have a good time and enjoy good food. A new menu will be coming out in June and I hear there will be BOGO crab legs and maybe a steam pot! I had the crab dip and LOVED it. It was nice and cheesey and smelled like the crabs just came in from the Calibogue Sound off Hilton Head Island. They also have wings (another Poniprincess favorite,) a good vegetarian selection and several signature appetizers.
Stephanie is one of the dedicated bartenders and makes a MEAN Skittles Shot that will have you tasting the rainbow (or dancing on it ... depends on how many you have!) Casey, who oversees most everything AND bartends, can make you a summer drink that will get you refreshed and back on the bike. Wednesday is $1.00 domestics ALL DAY LONG!  They have additional covered outdoor seating and bistro style tables in the open air so they can easily accommodate the bike nights which have started and commonly see 30-40 bikes. You will not be the only biker there! This is a happening place to ride in and have a great time. When you go to MVP Raw Bar's tell Josh or Brittany The Carolina Rider sent you there and they will TREAT YOU RIGHT.

Here's where to find them:

10916 Black Dog Ln.
Charlotte, NC 28214
(704) 394-2129






Milk Shake Run

It's Thursday morning, Mickey and I are meeting Charley at the Forest City Diner for breakfast. Eggs, grits, biscuits and gravy, uuumm uuumm! Charley asks if we have a route in mind and I reply "No, but I thought we'd go north and see if we can find a twisty road or three." So after filling our gullet we drive down Main St to Cherry Mountain Rd. What's this?? a detour sign telling us that a bridge is out north of town.  I start to turn around and Mickey says, let's drive up there and see if maybe we can get through on our bikes. Soon we see a NCDOT sign telling us to stop and turn back so being the good bikers we are, we continue on. Now there is a mound of dirt in the road, but look, there is a path around it. Charley and I stop but Mickey says com'on so we do. Oops there is a worker walking toward us, he holds up his hand to stop. We stop, then he motions for us to come on and we do. The bridge is covered in lots of dirt but there are ruts where the workers' trucks have driven back and forth, and we're across and running up Cherry Mountain.

It's a beautiful morning as we observe the spring flowers and the different shades of green as the trees bud and leaf out. The GPS tells me that Whitesides rd. is coming up and I signal for a left turn West. The North Carolina mountains beckon us on, and up their flanks we find some never before driven-on roads [by us] and some old favorites. One road wound up a mountain for 5 or 6 miles and then ended in a farmer's yard. No dead end sign at its beginning, but it was a good run up and back.

Soon we're closing in on the Lake Lure area and our steeds are getting low on fuel. Get on Bill's Creek rd., which is an excellent road by the way, then on Buffalo Creek rd. and wind down to Lake Lure and gas up at Ingles. Right beside Ingles is Girl Scout Camp rd., another super bike road so we ride on.

We talk about riding up to Saluda NC so I jump on RT 9 and head toward Mill Springs and Silver Creek Rd. Now I know you are thinking what has this to do with a milk shake? Be patient .....

As we turn onto Silver Creek, Charley states that him and his brother-in-law had been on this road last week and after a short section of dirt road it ended at a private development. I'm thinking, I don't think so.  I tell him that Silver Creek does have a short dirt section but then asphalt on up the mountain. He says, "Nope, I know it ends and we'll have to turn around again."  I reply, "Tell you what, how about a milkshake bet on this?" OK he says, I'm really gonna enjo it and of course I reply, "and I'll enjoy you paying for it." We cruise by Lake Adger and slow down as the asphalt ends and dirt begins. After about a mile of hard packed smooth dirt we again are back on the black stuff. We motor on a few hundred yards and Charley exclaims, "where is that gate?" I reply that I'm keeping a look out for one, but it's not gonna be on this road. "Well," Charley says, "guess I get to pay for a milkshake." Thanks, I reply.

We turn around and head back for Monfort Cove rd. that will snake up the mountain to Saluda. Nice road, no traffic other than 3 motorcycles [us], and tops out beside I-26 and Saluda. From there we ride on the 176 south and turn on Fork Creek rd. over to the Greenville water shed rd. This is a special road because it is on land that feeds the Greenville SC water system and no development is allowed and you are not even allowed to stop alongside the road. This road ends at old US 25. From there we rode Bob's Creek rd. to Green River rd. that runs through a nature preserve and ends at US 276 near Caesar's Head park. While on the Green River rd. we saw what looked like a castle turret poking above the trees and a little ways on there was a sign "Castle for sale, 5200 square feet, call for appointment." So being a trio of nosey geezers, we rode up the dirt lane toward it. This lane became little more than a couple of ruts, rocky and loose gravel up a steep hill. So here we are on 3 semi-crotch rockets with street tires squirming up this path. Sure hope there is a place to turn around! Near the top there was a wide space in the path with a sign warning all that further ingress is forbidden. This time we paid heed, turned tail and slid back down the hill.

Anyway after having a good ride down US 276 [no traffic on week days,] we turned east on route 11 and over to Strawberry Hill (a shot of their cafe is below) where I enjoyed my "free" milkshake. uuuummm, uuuummm good!


Memorial Weekend Ride

Now that the weather is beginning to behave itself I have had an itch to get on my HD Deluxe and twist the throttle for a long ride. The Memorial Day weekend coming up soon will give me just that chance so I have been looking for a destination spot. Biker Brethern ... I think I found it! Let's head to Cashiers, NC and participate in the Blues, Brew, and BBQ poker ride which is benefiting one of my favorite organizations, The Wounded Warrior Project. It is being sponsored by the Greater Cashiers Area Merchants Assn and The Village Green. How 'bout it?

The ride is being held on the Saturday of Memorial weekend. So that's May 25 beginning at 10:30 at the beautiful gardens of The Village Commons in the middle of Cashiers right at the corner of Hwy 64 and Hwy 107W. You can pre-register at or register the morning of the event. They will give you a map to begin your journey that will take you along 130 miles in western NC with some of the most beautiful scenery EVER! The card stops are at Cherokee Harley-Davidson, Subway (where they will give you a box lunch) and then off to the Highlands Playhouse and finally returning to the starting point. Best hand wins $500!! Now that's worth going for!

But the fun doesn't stop there. After the ride is a FREE event with two awesome bands, Lauren Mitchell Band from Sarasota, FL and Mac Arnold and a Plate Full o' Blues. BBQ and brews will be available.

I spoke with Nancy Albers who is the event coordinator. She has always wanted to be a part of a poker ride and can not wait to see all the bikes gathered in the park! She is very passionate about recognizing veterans at an event that combines a major veteran holiday with an incredibly awesome organization such as The Wounded Warrior Project. At the event they will be giving a free week's stay at a mountain cabin location for one deserving veteran and his/her family. She stated The WWP helps families in financial and emotional need and says, "We need more of this support like never before."

A beautiful ride through western North Carolina, a fun night of music and BBQ, and the chance to help a veteran. How much better could a Memorial weekend be? Visit the website for more information or call Nancy at 704-458-7686.



Welcome to Riders Insurance Services!



We are proud to welcome Riders Insurance Services, LLC as a new Sponsor with The Carolina Rider. Lee at Rider Insurance has been in the insurance business for over 25 years and we are pleased that he and his company have chosen The Carolina Rider to help support their continued growth in the motorcycle arena. Please see Poni Princess's article ONLINE NOW about Riders Insurance.

Last week we were at Finz first bike night. It was cold and rainy but we still had a great time. Yvette, pictured with me to the right, was the proud winner of a free night's stay at The Maggie Valley Inn courtesy of The Carolina Rider, Maggie Valley Inn and Finz. Matter of fact, I'll be in Maggie Valley later today and tomorrow. Send me an email if you're in that area and come have a drink with me at the Maggie Valley Inn's outdoor bar!

See you out and about somewhere soon!






























































































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