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(This inviting scene is at Skyline Village Inn on Blueridge Parkway. Read more about it below!)
May 10th Edition
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The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area
for Week of May 11-17, 2016
Wednesday 87h & m-sunny, Thursday 87h & p-cloudy, Friday 82h & 80% t-storms, Saturday 82h & m-sunny, Sunday 81h & m-sunny, Monday 86h & p-cloudy, Tuesday 81h & 40% pm showers (as per weather.com on 5/10/16)
In the mail...
I've heard from some folks who are working on some new and renewed events they want you to know about. More to come, but here's some info so you plan now ...
Blessing of Bikes in Bryson City, NC - May 28th - If you're in that area or have a hankering for a mountain area ride and some fellowship, check it out.
Moonshiner's Run that began April 1st and ends July 26 (so it's going on NOW!) and merges into a 4-day Party July 27-30- This unique idea is like an extended poker run stretched out over several weeks and many miles and ending with a 4-day party. You buy a ticket book and the proceeds go to Bikers Against Child Abuse. You ride to stops as many times as you want and enter as many times as you can. That's a quickie explanation. Look to next week's edition of The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine for a full story and photos!
Gift and Gobble Ride - November 6th - I received an email from Officer Chris Humphrey with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Dept telling us that a very popular area ride is returning after a 10-year absence. It's a police-escorted ride that raises toys and food for the needy in Charlotte and it used to be HUGE. Hopefully, it can be again! Look for much more info as we'll be marketing partners along with H-D of Charlotte .. and mark your November calendars for this fun and caring ride.
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We heard from Mike Thrift, owner of Skyline Village Inn, recently who shared exciting news: the renovations are complete and they're excited to welcome riders back to their pristine views and incredible riding opportunities.
Skyline Village Inn sits right at the Blueridge Parkway between Little Switzerland and Spruce Pine, NC. Aware they're perched in prime riding country, owners Mike and Lynn Thrift open their arms with a gentle welcome to riders all year long. It's a place to stay the night (or several,) and relax after long days riding. There's food and drink for you if you're staying there and they'll make sure your motorcycle's safely protected in covered parking. It's a wonderful place for groups to call "ride central" for the weekend. In fact, with the right size group and plenty of forward-thinking and commitment, the Thrifts will pull in entertaining musicians for a night or coordinate one of their famous "murder mystery parties."
For riders without a bike, those who'd just as soon not ride to get there, and folks who wanna try their more adventurous (off-road, dirt-road) skills, they've got adventure bikes for rent! Mike told us, "we have added to our fleet of rentals again. We now have five bikes: 2 BMW 650 GS twins, 1 Yamaha XT 250, 1 Yamaha TW 200 and 1 Honda Shadow 750."
We're especially grateful to have Skyline Village Inn as a long-time Sponsor of The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine with their regular advertising support! If you've been by The BIG RIDE Bus at an event, perhaps you have entered a drawing for a night at the Inn. Over and over we're asked, "where exactly is this place?" So hopefully the above map will help you get an idea!
We'll be giving away more nights this year so, for a chance to win, come see us at the following upcoming events: HOG Happening in Lincolnton, Smoke Out in Rockingham, Antique Bikes on Main in Chesnee.
The Thrifts are dear people and they've been working hard for years to create and provide a restful place for travelers with a special nod to those on motorcycles. Surrounded by beauty and supported by their heartfelt-caring, you'll be glad you made reservations for one of your upcoming weekend rides!
Last summer on one of our “wanderings”, the CPRs came across Minneapolis. ... Not that Minneapolis! This one is in North Carolina on 19E north of Spruce Pine. I’ve been working on a route that would kinda combine our favorite resturant, ie: Christa’s at Pineola and one of our favorite distinations, Roan Mtn TN, along with some of those good mountain roads in between.
John and I rode it first as the other 2 couldn’t get loose to join us. It went pretty good, but once again the software of Tyre and the software of Garmin GPS butted heads and got us way off of where we should have been. Not that it wasn’t fun, we rode some wild roads in the Tennessee mountains that at times we thought were goat paths - paved goat paths! We did get to ride a great “dirt” road that is the longest we’ve ridden, maybe! I was going to say about 20 miles but just checked it on a map and it’s 7 miles! It sure sounded good at 20 miles though.
It is a good road, very hard packed that it seems like a paved road “most “ of the time. There are some soft spots and rocky areas, just enough to let you know it’s dirt and keep the speed down. It is the road in this: "Way, way north of Minnealopis" part 1 video and with my camera logging the speed you can see we didn’t burn up any rubber (... I saved that for part 3!) John and I sure enjoyed the ride though. We met at the Carolina Café in Spindale NC for breakfast, left there at 10am and I arrived home at 6:30pm dog tired! We did find a new eating spot in Buladean NC. Little shack with picnic tables on the porch and hamburgers to dream of.
Couple of weeks later 3 of us made another attempt. Mickey, Charley, and myself and again we didn’t complete the route as we ran out of time. So on the latest try there were 5 of us. The CPRs and an "intern." Sven meets the CPR requirements except he’s only 45, not retired, but does ride a lot. He has his own business and can usually take off a day or 2 or week when he wants. The plan was to meet at the Waffle House at the intersection of NC 226 and I-40. Mickey and I got there early and no cars in the parking lot! Couple of guys moving asphalt around only. One walked over and told us the shop was closed for repaving the store entrance. Mickey asked him if there was another restaurant around, no fast food. "Go down 2 lights, turn right, and look for Country Side Resturant." By that time Charley and John had pulled in from Lincolnton and we informed them of the situation. Now Sven had left his home in Winston Salem yesterday and was staying in a motel somewhere in Marion, [where we were.] John was the only one of us with his phone number so he called him and let him know where we were headed. So 2 lights, turn right, and soon Country Side was there .... closed!! We are on the main street of Marion and just knew there was a café or something in town ... ha, nothing! We couldn’t believe it, never been in a small town that didn’t have at least one place to eat. Mickey said he knew there was a café on the other side of town that he had ate in before, so we rode through “historic’ downtown Marion. [Have you ever seen a town sign that did not say “historic”?] Oh look, a restaurant sign. Oh look, it’s closed! Good grief, Charlie Brown. A work truck was parked in the parking lot, and again Mickey asked if they knew of a place where some hungry dudes could get some eggs and grits. Yep, on down the road a little piece is a good place. We went ...it was OPEN!! Whew, about to fall off this horse from hunger. Sven soon pulled up after John told him where we were and we chowed down.
We are ready for adventure, and away we go, up US 221 toward Boone. Made a run on my 221 bypass known as the old Linville Rd, nice narrow, winding road that comes back on to 221 just below the village of Linville Falls. Ride 221 up to almost the NC-TN border onto Buck Mtn Rd, ride it up to our uuuummm “20 miles” dirt road, Walnut Mtn Rd, enjoy the scenery and the banter we throw back and forth over our Scala Rider intercoms. As mentioned, this section is part 1 of the videos, and on to part 2 which is a very narrow paved road that runs down the mountain and intersects US 321 at Watauga Lake. Very pretty ride and now we get to ride around part of the lake. This is part 3 and I really enjoy the road as it turns and twists its way around the lake. If you listen real close, you’ll hear my bike scrap the road in one of the tight left hand turns. Good handling cycle and good tires.
Although the route goes all the way to Unicoi TN, we opt out and turn down TN 107 which becomes NC 226 and again stop at the tiny diner in Buladean for one of her super hamburgers. We all got the single patty and fries. You can get 2 patties but we were stuffed on 1.
Come See us May 28th!
The BIG RIDE Bus will be pulled up at Blue Ridge Harley-Davidson in Hickory, NC to help celebrate the dealership's 4th anniversary. Come see us and enter the drawing to win a night for 2 at Skyline Village Inn. As our article above says, the Inn's been "sprucing" the place up and want to show it off and welcome you!
Blue Ridge H-D is a long-time Sponsor of The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine and we're thrilled to be part of the celebration with vendors, live music and a hog roast!
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The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine
2764 Pleasant Rd, PMB 4100
Fort Mill, SC 29708