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Steve's Bar & Grille
in Fort Mill / Tega Cay, SC
is back open
you and your ride!
After a brief closure do to smoke damage, Steve's is back in biz
Roll on down for a good meal and a good time!
2150 Gold Hill Rd. Fort Mill, SC 803-548-1799
The Little Weather Quickie for the Week of June 13-20, 2011
Monday 89 sunny, Tuesday 87 sunny, Wednesday 83 iso-t-storms, Thursday 86 scattered t-storms, Friday 91 iso t-storms, Saturday 91 iso-t-storms, Sunday 93 iso t-storms, Monday 92 scattered t-storms (as per www.intellicast.com on Monday 6/13/11)
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!
At fifteen-and-a-half, I, like all my friends, was an impatient teen itching to drive quickly out of childhood and into adulthood. Unlike what seemed like "everyone" ... ("Mom, everyone else's parents let them back out of the driveway! Dad, everyone else has been allowed to drive the family car in the neighborhood!") .... I had absolutely no time behind the wheel when it came time to take the license pre-requisite Drivers' Ed. They showed us those horrible movies of car wrecks and deaths by motor vehicle and told us stories to impress us with why we shouldn't take our new responsibility lightly. The one image that is forever stuck in my brain was imbedded in one of their instructional stories about taking care to secure objects in our cars. We were told of death by Kleenex box explaining that the harmless tissue recepticle took flight in a quick stop; the corner of it striking the tender center of the driver's neck. I was young, impressionable, and totally freaked out about what they showed and told us but I was rea-deeee to drive!
But who wasn't? Oh sure, I do remember there was this one girl in my grade who didn't want her license but the rest of us were chomping at the bit! I guess that's why they assigned the football coaches to teach Drivers' Ed... the strong men with attitudes to push us and reign us in too. They taught the classroom time and after what seemed years but was most likely just a few weeks, took us out on "THE RANGE." And that was where my newbie-ness really came out. THE RANGE was so cool really. I'm not sure that they even have them around anywhere these days. This was the late 70's and West Charlotte High School had their own as I guess did every other Char-Meck high school. Not sure when those closed down and I imagine it had to do with liability or cost of maintaining properties but they were the place to be when I was 15 going on 16...
THE RANGE gave you a chance to try out driving before going out on public streets, to learn basics at slow speeds before endangering the world in those cars with Student Driver signs on them. While others rolled through the course with ease and showed they were ready to move on, I probably had some extra remedial time on THE RANGE. Nevertheless, at some point I ended up in that stinky Student Driver car on the street with Coach in the passenger seat with foot controls and another Drivers' Ed student chewing Hubba-Bubba in the back seat waiting for their turn at the wheel. Since we were bussed way across town from where we lived and with WC being near I-77, we even had to hit the highway as part of our training. In the long run, I did pretty good and got my much-awaited NCDL on my 16th birthday after a few months of parentally-supervised learner's permit time. My first solo drive is pretty much as I remember my first moments on a bicycle without training wheels......ahh, FREEDOM!
Today I think back to having to tell my feet to move from accelerator to brake.....when things weren't so automatic. And I didn't find it automatic when, in 2003, I decided to learn how to operate another vehicle with which I had absolutely no experience. I rode through the same kind of newbie learning curve when I took and completed my MSF course, having no previous time on any form of 2-wheeled motorized rides. Many tears were shed and many cuss words uttered as I struggled to find my place of ease in riding a two-wheeler. I was green, I was scared, I wasn't secure in my ability to control my ride. Rider Coaches pushed me and guided me. I listened to the classroom lessons and worked hard to "get it" on the back of a little Honda Rebel. My confidence and my skills went up and down and back up again and by the end of a fierce weekend under fire, I graduated and was able to go on to my rider's permit. The rider class followed by many miles of remedial practice and advice from my instructor/husband Jon once I hit the legal streets, brought me to the day much like the day I turned 16, when I set off on my first solo bike ride. And oh yes, sweet memories and that same rush of freedom thru my veins!
PHOTO OF JON "FOOTLOOSE" ON THE COURSE OF AN MSF CLASS
Take the Class!
My reminiscing today is brought to mind by the motorcycle accidents that have been in recent news and by a story on Fox Charlotte
I've said it before and I'll say it once more...... take the class! Tell everyone to take the class. Take the time to root your skills in good practice then renew your skills again in experienced rider classes. Even if you have been on bikes before but it's been awhile, take the class. And if you are considering whether you might like to transfer from the back seat to THE seat, take the class. I even tell folks who may never want to ride their own but will be around or on the back of bikes to take the class. Why not? It's just a weekend of your life (plus a couple nights!) Heck, I wish all kids in drivers' ed had to learn motorcycle skills so that all car drivers would have a better awareness of bikes on the road.
While we're all a bit like impatient teenagers when it comes to putting in the effort and time to get it right, rider skills classes are worthwhile..... crucial..... important ....
Our Readers Share....
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 TheCarolinaRider.com! 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:
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.
May you have a safe and fun week....they can go hand-in-hand I understand!
"Go on now, squeeze out every drop of sweetness on your ride today!"
I'm on Facebook ... "friend me!"
Question: What is this House bill 542?
The LitiGator Answers:
HB 542 is a complicated, far-reaching bill that dramatically tilts the law to benefit insurance companies at the expense of people injured who did nothing wrong.
HB 542 gives multinational pharmaceutical companies special protections that will prevent some North Carolina consumers from recovering when they are harmed by dangerous or deadly drugs. NC consumers will have less protection than almost every other state.
The North Carolina Attorney General's Office says the current language "would make it harder for North Carolina to take action against drug companies that hurt patients or deceive the government, especially when other states don't have those obstacles."
HB 542 is a boon to insurance companies in cases where injured people have either purchased medical insurance or received it through employment. In those cases the injured person's health insurance works to help the person who hit them. The drunk driver who hits you in a car wreck will get the benefit of the insurance you paid or worked for.
HB 542 reverses longstanding NC law to allow the jury to hear about the injured person's insurance, but not anything about the wrongdoer's insurance. It gives the jury some, not all, of the facts.
So, call or email your Senator now.
Going too far?
Back in the days without safety helmets and safety gear, I was a kid out on 5hp mini-bikes ... then an 80cc Yamaha ... and then a 100cc Honda. We rode country roads, hills, and pastures around our house in Harrisburg... and even parts of I-85 as they were bulding it. If there was relatively clear land, my buddies and I were making tracks.
The American Motorcycle Association is trying to get all riders to urge their reps in Congress to support Act H.R. 412 called the Kids Just Want to Ride Act. It seems that there is a movement toward banning youth-model motorcycles and ATV's and this Act is to crush it.
You know, I am a father of 3 kids now in their 20's. They were hard-playing adventurous kids and I supported that. While there's definitely a good dose of caution and care that's gotta be taken with young folks, there's an equal balance of daring and toughening-up that must be had in growing up. It feels like our world is trying to put cages around kids these days. Too many safety cautions. My wife and I often remark with a smirk that it's amazing that either one of us survived childhood since the playgrounds, toys, and schools of the past were not up to today's crazy safety standards! How did we make it riding our little (un-motorized) tricycles down the block without wearing helmets or kneepads?!
Come on world, let's allow kids and their parents a whole lot more individual choice in how we live our lives. And certainly help out future riders by giving them some childhood experience on motorcycles if they can and want!
Happy Father's Day
This Sunday is Father's Day. My own father passed on in '04. I had just returned from my first trip to Sturgis and had a chance to share my photos and stories about it with him as he was in the end month of his life. He was so happy and encouraging about my riding life. I think of him most every day as I create The Carolina Rider knowing that he'd be into what we're doing - big time. Thanks to him for providing me with my first bikes and for supporting my many youthful adventures in the dirt before I graduated to the streets. And thanks to all fathers who help to build strong kids into strong adults.
Ride Safe and Keep The Shiney Side Up,
Contact us at jon@TheCarolinaRider.com - All Rights Reserved
The Carolina Rider Online Magazine
2879 Hwy 160 West, PMB 4100
Fort Mill, SC 29708
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