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(photo by Mike Lopeman from his event report on the Carolina Classic)
May 24th Edition
THIS SATURDAY! ...
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The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area
for Week of May 25-31, 2016
Wednesday 88h & sunny, Thursday 88h & p-cloudy, Friday 87h & sunny, Saturday 85h & sunny, Sunday 85h & p-cloudy, Monday 86h & 40 showers, Tuesday 86h & scattered showers (as per weather.com on 5/24/16)
Memorial Day comes this weekend. A good long one to catch up on your chores and sleep, playtime, and RIDES! Of course, it's a day of remembrance, a holiday to commemorate and honor strong leaders and warriors who have helped make it possible for us to have the freedoms we can relax into as we take this holiday time. May your long weekend give you all the refreshment you need and remind you; even if just for a moment, how rockin' good we have it.
Our Sandhills Mike shared some great photos and a report from the Carolina Classic Motorcycle Show just held in Spencer, NC. Backdropped by trains, these old timey rides inspire tales surely. Tall tales and true tales, the pavement and dirt roads are filled with such rich history of riders and their rides and it's time for a few more to be told here.
(Ok, yes, do please excuse the totally corny replay of the old soap opera intro and title.)
We invite you to let the photo below and the additional ones shared by Mike in his column below to give you a nudge to send in a story or two about the bikes of your past. Perhaps, (like the long-running soap opera,) we'll call it, "The Bikes of our Lives." And don't forget, a picture (or twelve) are worth many thousands of words!
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The 10th annual Carolina classic motorcycle show was held on the 7 of may in Spencer N.C., at the N.C. Transportation Museum. The weather was perfect and the turnout better then expected. People from all over the state gathered to look over each others prized possessions.
If you are into old bikes, this the place to be. 1967 Ducati 250, 1962 Cushman, 1966 Sears (made by Puch,) a British Panther, and a early 50's Vincent just to name a few. There were trailer-loads of older bikes that you may what to start a project with, and parts for the project you have in the garage.
What I found most interesting was what was in the parking lot: old VW trikes, BMW's sport bikes, and Harleys all ridden by people with the common love of older motorcycles!
Dave Mims of Fayetteville N.C. won the American and British category's with a 1929 Indian and a 1954 Triumph both of which he rode around the grounds (showing off. ) I didn't catch the other winners over noise of roaring engines.
Everyone seemed to have a story about a bike from their past that they wished they still had; myself included. Well if you are into old bikes the weekend of 20-21 May the AMCA Southern National meet will be in Denton N.C. I plan on being there & I hope to see other like-minded people.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second in 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 6 - Tuesday, September 1st, 2015
Calais, ME - Heslin's
6.1 Acadia National Park
I was eager to retrace my steps from my earlier visit to Acadia National. It was a beautiful place on my last trip, three plus decades earlier, despite overcast skies / rain. At that time I had the place almost to myself and there was little development outside the park. This is not the case now – I am glad I was not there midsummer.
Hopefully you can see the Superfabric® on my left shoulder. This is the best abrasion resistant fabric. So combined with the original Cordura® for strength and abrasion along with viscoelastic armor in Dyneema® sleeves I should be safe in a 200 to 300 mph slide. You can see my medical card on my sleeve and my extra set of keys on my lanyard. You do not want to lose your keys when the nearest Honda Dealer maybe 500 + miles away. (For more info from me about materials, products, and motorcycles,, check out my other articles on The Carolina Rider on Bike Gear and My Safe Motorcycle of Choice.)
6.2 Heslin’s, Calais, ME
Calais was celebrating the weekend with a concert in the park. The first motel had two smoking rooms left and being an older motel, they were ‘smoking rooms’. The other motel seemed nice but all rooms were inside (which is a pain to unpack a motorcycle). The town was largely full of party goers and not trustworthy ‘vacationers’.
They did not take charge and I did not want to spend cash – I negotiated trading a $50 Exxon Gas Card for the room as I had decided to take my chance back in town and it was getting to look like the Bates Motel. The room was twice the size of a normal motel complete with pink tile and fixtures which were fashionable 50 plus years ago.
Day 7 – Wednesday, September 2nd
St. John, NB – Capitol No. 6
Have a Ferry Reservation Border Crossing
The border crossing guard was a cutie but did not like the fact that I did not have a reservation for the ferry to Newfoundland along with my response there is already room for a motorcycle. This was the case on my first trip when the boat was small and there were multiple corners for me to park in that cars could not. Despite being good looking she had the ‘bitch’ to her and my next stop was another not as cute woman without the ‘bitch’ and my unpacking my bike on a table for her inspection.
7.2 Bay of Fundy where more water moves each day than in all the World’s Rivers
The St. John Information Center told me of a Chinese Buffet downtown. This was not the case but I found a place for a nice steak to kill a little bit of time to catch the Reversing Falls. Reversing Falls is a shipping channel at ebb tide and a waterfall falling upstream at High Tide and falling downstream at Low Tide.
7.3 New Brunswick Legislative Building – Second Empire Architecture No. 6
Fredericton was my next capital and of course was given wrong directions when I got there.
The guards were nice and I left my gear with them. A college kid gave me a personal tour of the New Brunswick Legislative Building. I met Mr. Chris Collins or Speaker of the Legislative Assembly / The "Top Dog" with his dog.
7.4 Bridges of New Brunswick County
I took in several covered bridges that brought back life at the turn of the 20th century. I had hoped to see the ‘Longest Covered Bridge’ in Hartland, NB at 0.24 miles.
Arriving back at St. John, I had remembered a cute motel along with a string of motels and searched it out. Again I got one of the last rooms and was again off to see Reversing Falls both that night and the next morning unfortunately I saw it each time at low tide.
Day 8 – Thursday, September 3rd
Time and Tide Waits for No Man
8.1 – Rocks at Hope Well
I hit the 50’ +/- tides at the Bay of Fundy at the perfect time. Water had come up 20’ to the edge of the beach where I would briefly walk before it raised another 15’ in the 50 minutes forcing me to the stair well that I am standing. The water was expected to rise another 10’ to the steps I am standing on or 47’ at this point and time in the Bay.
8.2 Bridge over not so Troubled Waters
Prince Edward Island only had ferry service on my first time there. Now you have the choice of a Bridge on the West End of the Island from New Brunswick and / or a ferry on the East End from Nova Scotia. You cross free and pay to leave. The 8 mile Confederation Bridge is C$18.25 or US$13.50.
I failed to stop at one of the first motels after crossing the bridge as the sky was pretty and I spent my time chasing photo opportunities. Mid Island is beautiful farms forcing me to continue on to Cavendish only to arrive cold, tired and hungry searching a motel along with some place to eat that was still open.
Day 9 – Friday, September 4th
Anne of Greene Gables – Charlottetown No. 7 – Ferry Ride
9.1 Green Gables
The next day I visited a ‘World Stop’ for readers of Anne of Greene Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. It is a famous destination of both Chinese and Japanese that read this 1908 novel as part of their learning English.
Since I travel after school has started, I do not have the crowds. Unfortunately some areas are in the extreme North are closed and / or closing. I did see a few Asians along with Tour Buses with syllabic or moraic script on them confirming what I watched on PBS or the Travel Channel.
I look forward to returning and playing golf and enjoying more of PEI and the beautiful country side. I can envision some farmer friends being in ‘Hog Heaven’ seeing Prince Edwards’ beautiful & well-kept farms. There are plenty of things to see and do without a lot of tourists.
9.2 Charlottetown -No. 7 / Cape Breton Island
Charlottetown is where the capitol or ‘Province House’ is and where the Charlottetown Conference was held in 1864 to discuss creating Canada. This is known as the Canadian Confederation.
Canada celebrates 150 years as a Nation in 2017 so like Toronto their Capitol Building was undergoing renovation. Fortunately their Parliament is small and was set up in the adjacent Public Archives & Records Office Building. The guard gave a very nice tour.
July 1st 2017 will be the time to visit Canada especially if you are into Celebrations & Fire Works. During our 1976 / 200 year anniversary I was recovering from cancer surgery.
The 15 +/- mile ferry costs C$40 or US$30. I reached Wood Islands and the ferry literally at the perfect time. I did not even have chance to stop when they asked me to roll onboard. Had I been there a few minutes later – I would be waiting 2+/- hours for the next ferry.
9.3 Halifax, NS - Last Room / ‘Ramen’ Vegetable Soup and a Soda
Back to Nova Scotia with the hopes of visiting Halifax and No. 8 the Unicameral House of the General Assembly of Nova Scotia Capitol, Canada’s oldest provincial Government having first met in 1758.
September 5th is their Labor Day ours was September 7th. Digby, NS was holding Canada’s largest multi-day motorcycle rally with their 12th “Wharf Rat Rally” and Halifax had a numerous activities including a labor rally and major concert. I was fortunate to get the last room at The Fountains B&B. A couple came after me having difficulty finding a place to stay & were turned way.
Day 10 - Saturday, September 5th
Cheticamp Island & Place St-Pierre Beach & Campground
Morning brought a quick tour of the Citadel, downtown Halifax and their capitol which was closed. It is only open July and August but one brochure indicated that it could be open the first part of September with Labor Day, etc. The guards were upset ... or I should say one old guard only wanted me off the property. I told him I wanted to tour their capitol which wasn’t going to happen. I wanted to take a picture with my bike.
Not seeing a good place for Breakfast, a biker led me to The Greek Village Restaurant where I had the Owner’s ‘Stephano’s Breakfast’ of 3 eggs, 2 pieces of bacon, 2 sausages, ham, fish cake, home fries, toast and coffee for a little over $US10. A fish cake is mashed potatoes and fish mixed together and lightly cooked on the grill. (It must be an acquired taste; much like how I loved my Mother’s Ox Tail Soup.)
I took in Canada’s East Coast Navy (all three ships), more of downtown and both Halifax’s and Dartmouth’s Harbor. The cities are joined by the oldest continuously operating salt water ferry service in North America.
I would leave Halifax for the World Famous Coastal Drive of Cape Breton Island. The Western shore provided a wonderful sunset but just before doing so I would stop at North America’s only Whisky / Single Malt Factory No. 680, 681 & 682 as part of the Trifecta of a factory in each of the three Maritime Provinces of New Brunswick - Waterside (Blueberry) Winery, Nova Scotia - Glenora Distillery and Prince Edwards Island - P.E. I. Dirt Shirt Factory. Whiskey with an ‘e’ is made in Kentucky.
Cape Breton’s motels were slammed with the last “warm” weekend and a few festivals. All motels were booked. Night fall brought high 30 / Low 40 degree temperatures. I was lucky to snag the only ‘camping’ cabin at Place St-Pierre Beach & Campground. With a little space heater I had a warm night in a ‘camping’ cabin or a small rustic wooden shelter with a raised platform with a mattress that you sleep on in your sleeping bags. Being warm was critical as it was near freezing. They had one camping cabin and one was the magic number for not freezing that night.
Day 11 - Sunday, September 6th
Atlantic Vision Ferry & a 17 hour Atlantic Ocean Crossing
The morning soon brought a tour around the northern tip of Cape Breton Island and Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Western Canada has the Icefield Parkway and Eastern Canada has the Cabot Trail as some of the most Beautiful Roads in the World. Ocean views, mountains, forests, the potential of wild animals along with sunrises and sunsets make this one of the greatest places to ride.
Leaving Cape Breton Island requried an unexpected ferry at Englishtown something that I did not remember but would help to bring the total ferries to six.
Not knowing that the ferry to Newfoundland would be so huge compared to my first trip – I bought my ticket, put my bike in line then walked downtown to the nearest restaurant just missing their Sunday Buffet. Much to my chagrin the ferry would have a nice ‘reasonably priced’ buffet. Having just ate I had to wait to near closing, before I enjoyed the buffet. I ate with a guy who owned a company that cleaned bunker gear i.e. fireman’s suits. We of course could talk about Nomex® versus PBI Max®- Rock Hills’ PBI Fibers Americas fire proof fabric along with Kevlar®, Cordura®, Dyneema®, etc. Cleaning bunker gear is very competitive but there is money to be made in the repair and testing of the gear.
I did not get a berth as all the berths were priced for 4 people or more. It was a great deal if you had four but not if you were a single. They did have various lounges where you could try to sleep, watch movies, drink, etc. I essentially missed both movies but finally found the bar as the best place to sleep as I could completely lay down.
Have a Relaxing & Safe Holiday
We'll be enjoying it too. No Weekly Magazine to be published next week in honor of the Memorial Day holiday. Remembering our fathers and mothers, grandparents and other kin who helped to bring up this nation, this world. Might not be all that we'd like things to be around us, but there's a lot to be happy about and a ton to celebrate.
Blue Ridge Harley-Davidson's Anniversary Party
FancyFree and I will be with The BIG RIDE 2 up at Blue Ridge Harley-Davidson this Saturday helping to celebrate their anniversary. If you're in the area, or need somewhere to ride to, please do come see us!
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