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(Photo by The Carolina Rider's Regional Rep, Mike Lopeman of Riding the Sandhills)
In This Issue:
This coming weekend: Poker Run for Alzheimer's Association
And read about a Calendar that's Raising funds for Two Wheels for Warriors
Look for much more at www.thecarolinarider.com
Help Raise Funds for Two Wheels for Warriors!
"Rescued Heroes - Veterans Edition" by Paul Sansale
Starring our own Justin Madore and Cody
Justin Madore, who frequently honors our pages with his column Fighting for Veterans on the Homefront, is working to raise funds for two causes close to his own heart ... and which are both critically-valuable to his own battle of living with post-war PTSD and other injuries: K9's for Warriors and Two Wheels for Warriors. You've read about these two charitable programs in his articles. Here's a new twist on the story. There's a couple, Lynn and Paul Sansale in Minnesota, who have their own project to create and print a calendar celebrating Veterans and their service dogs and raising awareness of PTSD. Paul, an artist, has created beautiful prints of these pairs for each month of 2014. The calendar is for sale through Kickstarter.com. But here's another cool twist.... Lynn and Paul have committed to Justin that once the printing costs get paid for the calendar, he can sell some to raise funds for Two Wheels for Warriors, a program that builds custom bikes for wounded warriors, including Justin himself.
And so we at The Carolina Rider encourage you to read on, link to Kickstarter.com and buy a calendar or two and/or some prints. Kickstarter gives artists a defined length of time to raise funds and it turns out that the deadline for the Sansales to raise the printing cost funds is only a few days away: June 16th, so you'll have to act quick. Check it out and do what you can....
Lynn Sansale shares what this project is all about - and about meeting Justin and Cody
"We were referred to The Carolina Rider's contributing writer, Justin Madore, and his service dog Cody by K9sForWarriors, an organization that trains service dogs for Veterans with PTSD. We were meeting Veterans that were going to be part of our calendar "Rescued Heroes- Veterans Edition" featuring Paul's paintings of their service dogs along with their stories. We spent over two hours with Justin when we visited Charlotte and took 500 pictures of Cody for Paul to use in painting Cody's portrait. To say we really "liked" this young man puts it mildly. He is dealing with so many difficult conditions- PTSD, thyroid cancer, pain from injuries all stemming from his duty in Afghanistan and yet he wouldn't change a thing and would serve all over again. What an incredible patriot this young man is.
That day and many times on the phone after returning to MN, I had the opportunity to get to know Justin better. I learned about his love for motorcycles. Justin explained why a bike feels "safer" for a Veteran with PTSD. In Iraq a soldier is constantly scanning his surroundings for anything that may warn of a roadside bomb - a wire, a mound of dirt, a box on the side of the road - all in an attempt to keep his unit safe. This continues minute to minute, hour after hour, 24/7 and this hypervigilance doesn't "go away" once the soldier returns home but may remain as one symptom of PTSD. Justin explained to me that when he is on his bike he can see everything around him - unlike when he is sitting in the cab of his truck. That is something that makes him feel better and safer when he leaves his home.
And then there is the love of riding that all bikers understand. That love of riding was something that his injuries and PTSD was going to take away. Many surgeries on his knee had taken away the strength it took to start his bike. And then there was Cody- his "Battle Buddy" and service dog that needs to go everywhere that he goes. Justin thought his biking days were over until some wonderful people came up with an organization called "Two Wheels for Warriors". This group of bike mechanics and enthusiasts put their efforts together and are finding ways to adapt bikes for Veterans to accommodate their needs so they can keep on riding. In Justin's case, they are building a bike that doesn't require the strength in his leg to start his bike. And for Cody- well, they are building this incredible side car just for him. Cody is even loving his new goggles and wears them when he is outside.
We hope our calendar can be sold to help raise funds for this organization and others. Our goal when putting "Rescued Heroes" together was that it would do good things for Veterans with PTSD. But first we need to get it printed and not in Korea! This calendar will be printed in the U.S.A - in fact in St. Paul, MN by Impressive Prints owned by Dave Haugland and his brother. They support what we are doing and are printing it at "cost." A four-color quality job is expensive, so we are to using Kickstarter.com to raise the funds for this printing. With Kickstarter, people pre-order our calendars or perhaps prints of the dogs and become our backer. Kickstarter gives us 30 days to reach our dollar goal amount - if we do, we go directly to the printer and send out orders to our backers. But if we don't reach our goal all is voided out.
Anyone can become a backer by going to Kickstarter.com and put "Rescued Heroes-Veteran Edition" in the search box, (or simply go to THIS LINK and watch our video and read all about us. Choose any reward and hopefully this calendar can not only raise awareness for PTSD and the value of service dogs, but help get Veterans back on their bikes."
THIS WEEKEND! ...
The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area
for Week of June 11-18, 2013
Tuesday 88 am clouds, Wednesday 93 p-cloudy, Thursday 94 p-cloudy, Friday 83 m-sunny, Saturday 84 p-cloudy, Sunday 84 iso t-storms, Monday 86 scattered t-storms, Tuesday 87 scattered t-storms (as per www.intellicast.com on Tuesday 06/11/13)
I was looking for something in our leathers bag and came across them: moldy riding gloves, white powdery mildew and diseased-looking crud in every wrinkle of the black leather fingers. The jackets and chaps were fine but this pair of hand protectors was sticking out of an outer pocket of the bag and they were certainly nasty-fied from the relentless rains that are flooding our Carolinas. The bag had been leaning into the wall of the bike trailer and I guess snuggling up to the constant wetness was just too much for this particular pair of cheap leather gloves.
I can kinda relate. I need some sun to dry out my molding mood! I can feel mildewy fingers choking off my own spirit, mold spores clouding my thinking! Sure, my plants are happy - well, mostly. There's some green lushness taking over my gardens but some plants are refusing to bloom absent sun's warmth. If the old saying "All sun and no rain makes a desert," then what does all rain and no sun make? Moldy Leathers!
This edition of The Carolina Rider Scene is like everyone's gutters - overflowing again! I don't know about you but I'm thrilled by the gush of writers and other creative contributors who are joining The Carolina Rider team. Mike Lopeman joins us today as a new regular columnist. He'll be reporting on what's happening in "the Sandhills region" and areas around the Sandhills of North Carolina. He'll be out and about in his hometown of Fayetteville and wants to connect with you riders and motorcycle businesses there and beyond. If you don't see him out there, you can find him via email at SandhillsMike@TheCarolinaRider.com! Thanks for seeking us out, Mike. We're surely happy to have you aboard.
Be a Regional Representative!
Why not become an Regional Representative for The Carolina Rider yourself? It could be tons of fun!
We'd love to have reps in The NC Mountains (Asheville area) and the NC Coast, Central SC (Columbia) and the SC Coast, Greenville/Spartanburg, SC and Raleigh/Durham, NC......
Email me and let's get you started.....
As I said, there's a LOT in this week's e-Mag! Jane shares about her birthday riding in the Cashiers area in the hills of NC. (Happy late birthday, lady!) I couldn't resist publishing that great shot of Quece, Jane and Greg's Harley-riding dog, posing in that gorgeous Carolina Mountains view!
Mike on a Bike
As I told ya last week, Mike on a Bike returned home from his cross country adventure. Today you get his final Ride Journal Entry ... but we're hoping this isn't the last we hear from Mike and his trusty red bike!
Rescue Dogs Calendar
Please DO take some time to read the article about the calendar project that Justin Madore and Cody are in. There's a clock ticking on getting the right amount of funds in to print the calendar and Justin then hopes to sell additional calendars to support Two Wheels for Warriors. Please go check it out and do what you can!
Finally, a comment about Footloose's "Sad Day" story below ... the title might be correct on one level, but I have to say, it was really a Happy Day because he was completely safe ..... right?
May all our leathers stay dry and our rider spirits undaunted.
The sun is out at the moment!
I'm on Facebook ... "friend me!"
Cape Fear Harley-Davidson 20th Anniversary
by Mike Lopeman
(Mike is a new columnist with The Carolina Rider offering content from the Fayetteville/Sandhills area of North Carolina. A Fayetteville resident himself, he's motivated to connect riders in his area through our publications so if you're in his area, give him a shout! We're excited to have someone covering this active are of The Carolinas and look forward to regular reports of the happenings out East.)
WOW!! Can Cape Fear Harley-Davidson and the local Harley Owners Group (HOG) throw a party or what?! If you did not make it to the this annual event you missed a really good time for one and all. Yes it was cloudy and really windy, but, overall the weather was cooperating. The live music was provided by FAHRENHEIT, a southern rock band. There was funnel cakes available from PAPA'S, free food and drinks provided by the local HOG chapter, lots of entertaining vendors and events for the young and old. The North Carolina Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association provided two (display only) helicopters for anyone to check out and they were very popular with the children. There was a bouncy house for the children to work off a little energy so Mom and Dad could check out all the bikes and vendors.
(Bubba Blackwell entertains at the 20th Anniversary of Cape Fear Harley-Davidson)
The vendors ran a wide range this year. We had two custom painters, Eric Motz out of Wilmington and Roger Blanchard from Spring Lake. Big Dogs Custom Lighting seemed quite busy with LED installations. Heritage Jewelers was on hand,along with Independent Designer Morgan Turriff. Dairy Queen was represented, a trailer manufacturer, and Gabrielle Bennett a "Scentsy" independent consultant.
(The Borinqueneers is a historically-based M/C)
The Clubs were out recruiting and representing. Bikers for Bikers Foundation was accepting donations and informing the public about their organization. The Beard and Mustache club was recruiting (and really interested in the Bike show overall winner, David Mims!)
(Dave Mims winner of Cape Fear H-D bike show 2013)
An interesting club that was historically-based "Borinqueneers" tied membership with heritage to the 65 infantry regiment and /or Puerto Rico. BUBBA BLACKWELL put on two shows filled with burnouts and proving that all Harleys can be put on the rear wheel one way or the other. David Mims won the antique division and overall in the Ride-in Bike Show. Congratulations to Dave but did you check out the parking lot?!! Two cash 50/50 drawings were held and, at the end of a very busy day, a 2013 Street BOB was given away. A big thanks to Jeffrey Harbot of the local HOGS group and Nancy McColl of Cape Fear Harley and all their staff for a really good time.
There are lots more photos from this event in our ONLINE GALLERY for you to enjoy....
So May is like my favorite Month EVER! It is Motorcycle Awareness Month, Mental Health Month, it includes Mothers Day, Memorial Day, and My Birthday! Greg had a great weekend planned for the Grand Finale of my Birthday Month Celebration! He booked us a quaint little place in Franklin, NC right in the center of "everything." We were registered for the 1st Annual Cashiers Valley Poker Run honoring our Vets. Our friend Dwayne (a native of Hayesville) was going to be our "ride guide" through some un-chartered back roads, and of course we would have to hit the Great Smokey Mountains and Deals Gap too!
Greg's bike was having some service work done and we realized it was not going to be ready in time for my Birthday Vacation. The weather was just starting to look promising and I don't ride bitch (the dog does!) Dang it. Not to worry! Blue Ridge Harley-Davidson hooks Greg up with a 2012 Ultra Classic. I am instantly in love with this bike just for the fact of packing. I usually have to figure out how to downsize, fold and smush, to get our necessities into a leather pack. This time, I just grabbed full-size bath goodies, threw enough clothes together for 5 days of riding, and still had room for a doggie bag. (No really, the dog has her own: medicine, t-shirts, jackets, rain gear, and bath supplies.)
Our first day was the Cashiers Poker Run. When we got to the registration, we were greeted by Nancy and her volunteers. Part of the proceeds benefitted the Wounded Warriors Project, and that was a great way to say thank you to our military past, present and future. Over 100 bikes had already gotten their poker hands and hit the road. We were among another group of about 30 bikes, having a breakfast biscuit and looking over the "map."
This poker run was 130 miles long through wonderful, winding scenic roads of Cherokee, Maggie Valley and the Highlands. One of our stops included a Subway lunch and a chance to visit with other riders. Most of the riders were like us; not only were they enjoying the 130 miles mapped for us, but we were adding additional "off the beaten path" miles too. By the end of our poker hand we had 170 miles total. Greg with all of his rods and metal in his leg and pelvis said that the seat on that Ultra Classic was the best riding seat he has ever been on, and if it is possible, that will be the seat he puts on his CVO Road King!
When we got back to Cashiers, there was private parking set up for the participants, and we were first in line for the Barbecue and Beer. We were offered seating at the front of the Gazebo and Stage to listen to the great Blues of the talented Lauren Mitchell Band and the legendary Mac Arnold & a Plate Full O' Blues. It was how a Memorial Day should be: Prayers for those who had served to give us Freedom. Praises for those protecting our Freedom today! There were children running across a grassy field waving American Flags while adults laughed and shared stories. The smell of pit-cooked ribs, chicken, and barbecue mingled with the aroma of honeysuckle bushes that edged the field. Proud bikers with military appliques on their leathers were standing next to women with helmet hair. All wrapped in a summer day with smooth beats of the blues swirling through the air.
(see more photos of Jane's Cashier's ride in our ONLINE GALLERY!)
It was hard to say goodnight to all of this "wonderment." Once we were back on the bikes and Greg cranked up the stereo on the Ultra Classic, we were looking forward to what the rest of the weekend had to offer.
Hope your summer is off to a great kickstart too!
Ok, I'm home, in one piece. I'm physically tired; beat up from the 500-plus mile daily rides but very glad that I did this trip. I brought my normally pristine bike to my Yamaha dealer unwashed and covered in a collection of dead bugs from across the nation, Texas dust and even some road tar from some road construction projects to prove to the guys that, yes, I had ridden my Raider S to California and back, some 5,800 or so miles. With an oil change completed, I rode my bike home and put it in the garage where it has sat for about a week, unwashed. I don't want to wash off my insect trophies just yet and my butt's just not ready to meet the seat again. But let me tell you about my time in San Francisco and my ride home....
After my ride up the Pacific Coast Highway and my stay in Monterey, I headed to Oakland. My original plan was to ride to San Francisco, cross the Golden Gate Bridge and get a bike/bridge photograph. But the bridge and harbor, as it often is, was shrouded in fog so I changed my plans and headed directly to Oakland to spend a few days with family. I did get to San Francisco, sans bike, via a high-speed commuter boat across the bay and spent a leisurely afternoon hanging out with my sister-in-law and her partner and ate dinner at a great Thai place. Monday, of week three, of my planned three-week round trip coast-to-coast and back adventure had arrived and it was time to head home.
Since I rode I-20 to I-10 heading west to California, I planned to take I-40 home across the Texas Pan Handle, through Oklahoma City and eventually through Tennessee, the mountains, and finally to Seneca, SC. So day one was a long 540 mile-plus ride south to Needles, CA a place that I think exists to be a waypoint to Las Vegas. It's in the desert and right on the California/ Arizona border and yes, even in the evening, it was hot.
I pulled into a Subway to get something to bring back to my motel room and when I came out a County Deputy Sheriff and his partner were looking at my bike and wanted to know its displacement, mods I had made, how it performed, where I had been and where I was headed, all very smooth and conversational. Being very proud of my bike, I offered up that it was 113 cu. in. and bigger than anything H-D made at which point they offered up that they both owned Harleys. Oy!
The one cop looked at me and said, "You might want to think about 'gettin out of town' early in the morning." I must have had a look of concern and confusion on my face, which he and his partner caught, because they broke into big smiles and he said, "Before the heat sets in! Get up to Kingman and it will cool down and you'll be fine, and ride safe." I wonder if this is a comedy routine they do with all bikers?
I followed the deputies' advice and was on the road by nine the next morning with the intent of making my way well into Arizona. As I rode north to Kingman, the desert landscape gave way to greener hills as I continued a long, slow climb in elevation. Heading east from Kingman, I-40 continued its climb and the scenery took on more green and now beautiful red rock formations. I was traveling just north of Sedona and south of the Grand Canyon. It's pretty desolate but very beautiful country, very different from the southern portion of the state I crossed two weeks earlier. I continued east climbing up to 7,000 feet in elevation before starting a decent into Albuquerque and calling it quits for the night in Moriarty, New Mexico: 570 miles! I wanted to get home.
Throughout my return ride I was watching the weather closely. The folks on the Weather Channel continued to report the potential for severe weather in the Oklahoma City area. My plan had been to continue east on I-40 but as I approached Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle I made the decision (with some Divine intervention, I think) to get off I-40 and head south to Dallas and continue my journey home from there. I had been riding in some pretty stiff winds and dust and called it an early day in Amarillo.
The night before, a devastating tornado hit the Oklahoma City area followed by an even more devastating tornado the following night. Had I continued east, I would have been in the thick of it.
The rest of my ride was largely uneventful. All I wanted to do was get home. I traveled south to Dallas and on to my next stop in Tyler, Texas before crossing into Louisiana and making my way to Bessemer, Alabama the following day. I briefly thought of skipping Bessemer and riding on into the night to get home but riding thirteen hours, some 800 miles, could be dangerous and would definitely qualify as dumb!
Unlike the horrendous weather to the north, I was blessed with five minutes of "sprinkles" on my revised route.
I never thought I'd be so happy to see a "Welcome to South Carolina" sign. As I crossed into my home State, with a mere 30 minutes to go, I felt a flood of emotions that ranged from pride to relief to thanks that I was about to arrive home. As I got off my bike, I felt an overwhelming need to get down on my knees, right there next to my bike, and give thanks for an amazing and safe journey, which I did.
It was a Sad Day
It started out as a great day. My freshly-painted motorcycle that looked absolutely wonderful because of its new Hot Rods and Harleys paint job, was ready. The weather was incredible. My office work was complete and I had several sales calls to make. From Charlotte to Mooresville to Maiden to Hickory and I was ready to take my bike and get into the wind. Life was good.
About 10 miles from the house, I was following a car at a reasonable speed and distance when that car passed over what I thought looked like a small piece of tire tread. Being too close to avoid it without some abrupt changes in direction and being as it looked like as small piece of tire tread in that split second and did not appear to pose any threat, I ran over it.
That was a mistake. It flew up off of my front tire and slammed into the underside of my motor with a very hard and loud "metal on metal" sound. My first thought was that it might have put a hole in one of my tires. So gingerly I moved the bike around. The tires did not feel flat or even low but something did not feel right. So I pushed a little harder on the handle bars. At 65 MPH it still felt a little weird. So I pushed on the right handle bar to change lanes and WOW, the ass-end of the bike felt like it was on glass. The rear end started coming around and for a split second I felt like I was on a 100 cc dirt bike, power sliding through a turn, but wait, I was on a 900 pound Harley cruiser running 65 down the interstate. This was not good!
Slightly easing off of the throttle and the pressure on the handle bars, I gained control of the bike and pointed it to the side of the road. Finally stopped and in one piece, I took off my helmet and looked under the bike. Oil was pouring out of the bottom side of my motor. Holy shit, Batman, I was running 65 on the intestate with hot oil pouring on the back tire. No wonder it felt like I was riding on slick glass.
I called my local dealership, Harley-Davidson of Charlotte, and asked if they could send their truck to pick up my bike; and being very accommodating group of people, they sent Joe out ASAP and he picked up the bike lickety-split.
The moral to this story? There is not one. I was doing most everything right, speed, distance, defensive driving, scanning for potential dangers. Sometimes shit just happens.
Ride safe and remember to .....
Contact us at jon@TheCarolinaRider.com - All Rights Reserved
The Carolina Rider Online Magazine
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