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In This Week's Issue:

Words from our Sponsors

Lil' Weather

GatorBites with Jason E. Taylor

Bike Wash Girlzz at QS&L

Free Thinking with Fancy

Jane LaVoy's "Day at the Track"

Loose Talk with Jon



Look for much more at






The Little Weather Quickie for the Week of May 9-16, 2011

Monday 80 p-cloudy, Tuesday 80 pm t-storms, Wednesday 79 iso t-storms, Thursday 78 am clouds, Friday 82 scattered t-storms, Saturday 79 scattered t-storms, Sunday 77 scattered t-storms, Monday 77 scattered t-storms (as per on Monday 5/09/11)

Question for The Litigator:

Jason, I have heard you yelling about the tort reform issues our legislature is considering, but what about that McDonalds coffee case - you got to admit that was bad?

A. No. I have had a House of Representatives member say the same thing to me this year. I will tell you the same thing I told him, get educated before you start to talk about things you only got a 30 second sound bite about.

That incident occurred 19 years ago (1992) in New Mexico. The case was tried in 1994, 17years ago. A 79 year old lady, Ms. Liebeck, was a passenger in the vehicle. She had gotten coffee in the McDonalds drive through and the driver stopped so she could take off the lid and add cream and sugar. In the process she spilled the coffee in her lap and she suffered third degree burns. She spent eight days in the hospital, lost 20 pounds (she only weighted 103lbs to begin with) and had two years for follow up medical care. She asked to settle for $20,000 (covering her medicals, lost wages etc.). McDonalds offered $800. She hired a lawyer who demanded $90,000 and then $300,000 at mediation which was refused. Evidence came in at trial that the coffee temperature was much hotter than other restaurants, that the reasoning for this was inconsistent. They had received over 700 reports in the 10 years preceding
of customers being burned and testimony was given that the number of injuries was insufficient to change the temperature.  New Mexico was (and may still be) a comparative negligence state unlike North Carolina (she would have gotten zero from the same jury applying North Carolina Law to their conclusions). The jury determined McDonalds was 80% at fault and Ms. Liebeck was 20% at fault. They awarded $200,000 in compensatory damages and then reduced it to $160,000 for her 20% responsibility. They also awarded punitive damages to punish McDonalds for the willfull, gross misconduct and awarded 2 days of coffee profit sales which were $1.35 million a day (total $2.7million).  The judge reduced the punitive damages to $480,000 for a total award of $640,000. Both sides appealed and later settled confidentially.

This is not a crazy case but a very good case if you understand the law and facts, like the jury did.

If you rely on media sound bites, you not only get the wrong information but you misapply it and many suffer because of it.

This case had a negative impact on injured people in North Carolina and all over the Country because jurors misunderstood and retaliated. If you learn anything from this Q & A, learn not to judge without all of the facts.


Bike Wash Girlzzz

Every Wednesday at The Lube!

This year with a new twist: every month they'll have a bikini contest and this year they will have 2 beautiful bike washers at The Lube.

Come meet the QS&L Bike Wash Gals and get your bike cleaned up at the same time!



Learning to Fly

(click on link for the music video)

by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

Well I started out down a dirty road
Started out all alone
And the sun went down as I crossed the hill
And the town lit up, the world got still

I'm learning to fly, but I ain't got wings
Coming down is the hardest thing

Well the good ol' days may not return
And the rocks might melt and the sea may burn


Well some say life will beat you down
Break your heart, steal your crown
So I've started out for God knows where
I guess I'll know when I get there

I'm learning to fly, around the clouds
But what goes up must come down

Flying. Does riding feel like that to you? Sometimes it does for me and this song came to mind as I was pulling together today's column. Just to make sure all the words are as I remember them to be, I looked up the song lyrics....'cause you know you can't always tell what a singer is saying in most rock 'n roll! And, yes, the words fit .. and the line "started out all alone" definately is true - Riding was (and still is!) something I had to figure out alone - other folks helped me out but I had to work out my confidence - my relationship with riding all on my own.

And then I got caught up in it! Inspired. On fire. Wanting to communicate how awesome it was for me. Seeing other people in my life who I wanted to feel the rush I was enjoying.

And I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who gets so excited about riding a motorcycle that they want to get others involved. Motorcycles aren't for everyone, sure, I get that. But as I talk with friends and even just-met acquaintances, I can't help but want to share my enthusiasm for the many positives that motorcycles have brought to my life: freedom, life transformation, independence, friends, fun, the smell of every living thing around me, feeling alive as I travel, confidence, pride in my accomplishments, assertiveness, awareness of others on the road,...... Yes, my bike has given me so much. I want others to share the ride!

Transformation from a Dreamer to a Rider!

So when I received this cool flyer today, I got excited about a real possibility of getting some of my more timid and unsure friends to TRY OUT a motorcycle! Harley-Davidson of Charlotte is having a unique event this weekend that I'm guessing you will want to haul some of your friends to as well....or take yourself if you're still on the fence about being in the saddle.

Do you or a friend of yours fall into one of these categories? ...

  • Motorcycles scare me but I am slightly interested.

  • I have no idea how to move toward riding a motorcycle but I'd sure like to find out.

  • It's been years since I have been on a bike and I'd like to try it again but I need a little guidance.

  • I ride on the back with my husband & everyone says I should take the class & try my own but I'm not sure.

  • Bikes are cool but I really need to make sure I'm cautiously making the right decision because it's a big commitment.

Harley-Davidson of Charlotte has a way for you and your friends to get past some (or all) of your questions. They're setting up 3 stations for you to wander through on Saturday:


In Station 1 they have this bike that's locked down on a mount. It won't fall over, can't fall over, isn't gonna fall over. You can get on the bike, start up the motor and shift gears! The back wheel spins, the motor growls, and you can feel what you're missing!


In Station 2 you can explore Harley-Davidson's Rider's Edge Course. Staff will talk to you about how the class gives you a solid foundation to get your motorcycle endorsement, learn to ride safely, and begin to develop the skills and confidence you need as a rider.


In Station 3 the dealership's sales staff will show you bikes from each Harley-Davidson family - motorcycles of varied prices, colors, styles, and feels. You and check out different customizations and make plans for your future ride.

Ken Lipack, owner of Harley-Davidson of Charlotte on Independence Blvd says they're calling it "Dreamers to Riders" - a day where folks who have just been dreaming about it can actually realize that dream and become riders. "It's similar to our garage parties but this is for EVERYbody and it's during the day, all day," says Lipack." We're making sure everything can happen as planned and the whole event will be under cover so it's rain or shine. We'll have hotdogs and hamburgers as well as music and riders who bring their friends to this get a 20% off coupon for a jacket or shirt!"

I love this concept. It should be a comfortable approach for most anybody. There was a day when I wasn't bold enough to sit on a bike in a showroom...even if some strong body was steadying it for me. Wish this had been around then!


From the Mail Bag......




I'm getting a number of requests for GROUP SUBMISSION FORMS! So, of course, I am re-running this again as promised since it's an effort to help you all. Thanks to everyone who sent in requests.

Yes, we have had a delay in getting forms out to you but they WILL get to you ... I promise! Everyone who has written in is on a list to receive as soon as that delay is cleared from "the road!"

Attention Riding Groups/Organizations!

Today I send a shout out to all of you who are part of riding groups, organizations, and clubs. It's time for you to show your stuff in THE CLUB ROOM which will be found under GROUP PAGES at! We want to help you get the word out about who and what you are and all that you're doing in our Carolina communities.

Some of you are charitable organizations. Some social riding groups. Some of you band together for a cause. Some of you ride together for fun. Some groups are focused on specific towns, some on specific types of motorcycles. Some are loosely laid-back and some are very defined and formal. It's all cool........

The Carolina Rider CLUB ROOM

The Club Room offers space for motorcycle-related community groups to:

  1. List General information about their organization
  2. Provide membership and contact information for riders to explore involvement
  3. Share periodic reports, articles, stories, photos, and announcements for The Carolina Rider community to enjoy and connect

If you would like your organization represented in The Carolina Rider CLUB ROOM, email me for a GROUP SUBMISSION FORM today!

We are here for you. Help us help you.


Readers Respond

Steve D. has been keeping us posted on the rescheduling of this benefit...originally scheduled before Ricky's passing. A lot of care and dedication has been focused on supporting Ricky's and family by SC Cpt 1 Rolling Thunder....



The following was sent in by the Charlotte CBA. It's a benefit for critically-needed home repairs for Cindy Holler, a longtime Charlotte CBA member and widow of Gary Holler. Please mark your calendars and look for additional information on our CALENDAR.





I was just reading over the GatorBites question and answer column for today and I'd like to express my appreciation for Jason's bold and passionate approach to his work. If you haven't met Jason, make sure you do someday when you get a chance. He is one of the most real and compassionate folks I know and his dedication to his work inspires me. Today's column by The Litigator is another reminder of his great value to our community...he makes a sincere effort to clarify the glaring and the subtle issues that we all should know about. We should not live our lives blindly. It is up to us each and every one to have the right and true information. Thanks Jason!

A couple months ago we shared information about the Bikers for Bikers Foundation and their first rally in Pittsboro, NC. The weekend is here for them and The Carolina Rider wishes them a most WONDERFUL rally as they raise funds to support bikers and biker families when hardship strikes.

May you enjoy your week - wherever you go,wherever you are.......

"Go on now, squeeze out every drop of sweetness on your ride today!"
Fancy Free, Site Editor

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



Quite an Event & Some Excitement too!

When the weather and Greg's job cooperate ... you can count on us riding. Saturday May 7th, we have been planning for over a month. Lee's Performance Spring Fling Bike Bash. It is an all day event that happens at the Mooresville Dragway.

We arrived at the Dragway in the afternoon, pulling in with a line of traffic that included a Honda Goldwing, a Dodge Pickup, a Hayabusa, and our two Harleys. The reason I am sharing this, is because that is how this event rolls ... variety, variety, variety. It's as much fun behind the bleachers looking at all the bikes in the parking lot as it is sitting on the bleachers and watching the bikes on the strip!

We purposely parked next to Neville (the event organizer's) truck. He had his Harley on the trailer, and we couldn't wait to see all the "extras" he had recently gotten. Tons of Chrome and a 120 cubic inch Screamin Eagle Motor, a hard to get "accessory!" After photographing and talking about it for about 10 minutes, Neville comes rolling up on a golf cart and says "make sure to get some pics!" Already been there, done that. Please note: the pics of his bike on the trailer ... because his flowing, blue and white paint with Gold Trim, was done by one of our advertisers, Marty of Hot Rods and Harleys out of Concord.

Love the Vendors!

I love to walk through the vendor isles. First thing you see are sexy bikini girls offering to wash your bike. Everything from Tennis shoes, sunglasses, pocketbooks, to Motorcycle Wear, Bike Hardware, and my favorite new thing Bruce from Motorcycle skull caps showed me, was a piece that slides over your shifting shoe to protect it from the wear and tear. (I see a lot of sexier boot possibilities for me with this boot/shoe protector.) And there is always tons of food! Big Grills and Fryers right on location with fresh wings, and bbq ribs, homemade pound cake, hot pretzels and funnel cakes, and more! Good people cooking it too! On the opposite side of the strip are the tents and trailers of people who had been there since Friday Testing!

On Track

(Lee on The Dragway)

Now on to the heart of the show, the Dragway. We chose to sit about 2/3 down the dragway at the top of the bleachers. The strip is 1/8 of a mile long and bikes will hit speeds up to 160 mph. We find they are almost at peek speed at that point on the Strip. It was Lee of Lee's Performance, back in 2005, who broke the speed record at 260! This event  is a way for bikes, both metric and v-twin, and even some  atv’s to test their speed skills. Watched a few simply fly down the dragway doing a wheelie as fast and as far as they could. It took me almost an hour to adjust the camera so that I got more than a blur for a photo! I can't help but cringe a little every time these bikes go flying by so daggone fast. Greg was explaining to me how he had read that these events have been going on for over 15 years, accident free (.....until today?!.....)



including "Drama on the Track!" ...










I'm heading to the hills this weekend...

Thought I'd go check out Thunder in the Smokies and also run by Asheville's Bikefest for a bit. The weather looks warm and ride-able and I'm looking forward to hitting the road. Anyone else heading that direction?

This will be my 2nd time in a month in the mountains; one of my favorite parts of our Carolinas. FancyFree and I went up to Maggie Valley for an overnight a few weeks back. I have to admit, we were in the truck on business and not on our two-wheels but it was a nice trip nevertheless. I look forward to re-connecting this weekend with some of the Maggie Valley folks I met then, checking up on the latest town gossip, and seeing what's up at the Fairgrounds. Thanks, Teresa at Maggie Valley Inn for your always-warm hospitality!

A quick look at our CALENDAR and I see there are several other options around our states for the weekend. See what kind of riding you want to get into and have a great time! Other than where I'm headed, here's just a few of the other happenings this weekend...

AMCA Southern National Meet In Denton, NC

Ride for the Warriors in Clayton, NC

Charleston Bikefest in Charleston, SC

Spring Rally in Myrtle Beach, SC

Bikers for Bikers Foundation Rally in Pittsboro, NC


Ride Safe and Keep The Shiney Side Up,

Jon "Footloose" Pendleton


Harley-Davdison of Charlotte











SkyLine Inn






Motorcycle Maps




Mad Dog Custom Cycles


Ride Like A Pro



Cox H-D





Harley-Davdison of Charlotte









SkyLine Inn






Motorcycle Maps




Mad Dog Custom Cycles


Ride Like A Pro



Cox H-D





Harley-Davdison of Charlotte










SkyLine Inn






Motorcycle Maps




Mad Dog Custom Cycles


Ride Like A Pro



Cox H-D










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