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This weekend ...
June 16th Edition
In This Issue:
The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area
for Week of June 16-23, 2015
Wednesday 98h & clear, Thursday 100h & clear, Friday 98h & 60% rain, Saturday 96h & 60% rain, Sunday 96h & clear, Monday 96h & p-cloudy, Tuesday 96h & clear (as per www.intellicast.com on 06/16/15)
smoke out ...
SmokeOutRally.com says ... "The event is two days to look at fine chops, watch drift trike racing, listen to great music, relax, watch Roller Derby, catch up with old friends or make new friends, watch mini-bike racing, eat good food, drag race, take a nice put in a pretty countryside, drink some beer, shop the venders wares… and on and on…"
Shaggy says ... "Smoke Out. Shit to tell the truth it's a hard thing to try to sit and describe honestly. The phrase “last of its kind” comes to mind because it is. I’m not trying to say that there aren’t some great shows out there ... but I am saying there are none better than this one, man."
Smoke Out Organizer, Edge, says ... "For years I have noticed a type of bike I really enjoy seeing at the Smoke Out but there has not been a way to recognize these bikes at the event. This bike is just a reliable daily rider that keeps you moving while you build your dream-bike-rigid chopper. Stuff gradually wears out as time, and clicks on the odometer, go by. The bike keeps getting upgrades when stuff wears out. You find some good used parts that are not exactly for the year and model you have but with some fabrication you make it work. The bike goes down once and gets different tins. After ten, fifteen or more years you look at the bike and realize a lot of the bike has been upgraded. It is far from stock. This bike has stories to tell. It eventually gets some new paint or maybe a few engraved pieces. It is a bike that has been customized through need. Customized as a result of hard knocks. We plan to recognize some Hard Knocks customs at the event this year."
I say ... "While I enjoy them all in their own unique flavors and twists, folks and locations; Smoke Out happens to be my favorite motorcycle event of the year. Perhaps it's because it occurs at, on, or around my favorite date of the year - Summer Solstice when the heat cranks up and the flower children romp and play like a return to Woodstock. Perhaps it's because it's got bikes you see nowhere else and people expressing themselves in ways they won't anywhere else. Perhaps it's because of the creativity, artistry, passion, and playfuness that abound around Rockingham Dragway. I don't know. I just like it!"
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A few weeks ago, I was looking for a place to ride to for a nice little day trip. Usually I’ll just open up my map, choose a town or a location and figure out a route. It had been a few years since I’d ridden up to Wilkesboro, NC, so I decided to head up to Crossroads Harley-Davidson.
It was a sunny, Sunday afternoon and I was in no hurry. So instead of taking the four lane all the way, I cruised down to Lexington, via Business 85, and jumped onto U.S. Highway 64. In my humble opinion, U.S. 64 is one of the best motorcycle roads in North Carolina. I’ve had the pleasure to ride 64 from the Tennessee border east to where the road terminates at the Carolina coast near Manteo. If you want to see how vast and beautiful our state is, ride Highway 64 from the hills to the Atlantic Ocean. The road carves its way out of the mountains, slips through the foothills and into the central Piedmont area. It continues to weave its way east through the sand hills, going smack dab through Raleigh, then stretches its way arrow-straight through the coastal plains to the coast. I know the Blue Ridge Parkway gets all the attention and the accolades, but I prefer riding U.S. Highway 64.
Riding 64 West out of Lexington for a few miles, I decided to turn northwest onto route 901. This rural road winds its way through quiet farmland and tiny communities with names like Harmony and Union Grove. On this particular Sunday, the smell of fertilizer wafting up from the fields stung the nostrils a bit. Most folks would find this smell offensive, but it reminded me of my days growing up on my grandparent’s farm. When I got to highway 115, I steered north toward Wilkesboro. Crossing from Iredell county into Wilkes county, route 115 provides spectacular views of the Brushy Mountains. The valleys narrow as the mountains get taller, and the asphalt gets delightfully twistier. Not knowing the road very well, I figured it would be a good idea to take it easy through the curves. After all, I was in no hurry and I was enjoying the sun, the wind and the soothing sound of a V-twin exhaust.
Route 115 soon put me onto U.S. 421. A few miles west on the super slab and I reached my destination, Crossroads Harley-Davidson. The first thing you’ll notice as you pull into the parking lot is the porch that stretches across the front of the building. It’s very inviting, with plenty of rocking chairs that encourage you to sit for a spell—the perfect place to people watch. Inside, I perused the new bikes and spent a few minutes drooling all over a gorgeous 2015 CVO Road Glide. I’ve never seen better looking paint on a stock motorcycle. I don’t know how the folks at the factory do it, but the paint on Harley’s CVO bikes is nothing short of stunning. After checking my bank account, and quickly concluding that the Road Glide was a bit more than I had in savings, I decided to opt for a Crossroads t-shirt. I am a sucker for dealer t-shirts and the folks at Crossroads had some really cool designs. If you’re ever in Wilkesboro, be sure to check out Crossroads Harley-Davidson. It’s one of the nicest dealerships I’ve ever been to (and they have free coffee, something else I’m a sucker for).
With my new t-shirt in my saddlebag, I decided it was time to head back to Archdale. Usually I’ll take a different route home, but the roads up to Wilkesboro were so good that I decided to back track. As I caught a faint glimpse of the mountains slipping out of sight in my rearview mirror, I made a mental note to do this ride again soon. Very soon.
Happy Father’s Day!
Many of you have read previous articles from me about riding motorcycles with my dad. I must say I am a very lucky girl to have those timeless moments to spend with my dad. Life is too short not to cherish times spent with family and friends. My dad Mike and I have spent many hours and miles on our motorcycles. We’ve traveled together from North Carolina as far as Maine. It helps traveling with a dad who retired as a truck driver. His knowledge of the roads was always my ace-in-the-pocket! He still rides with other friends to Daytona Bikefest on occasion…not bad for a 75 year old man. To me, he’ll always be Superman.
(Me and my dad, Mike!)
A couple of weekends ago, we took a ride on Sunday around his hometown area. He told me of some roads that led into the area of Rockford, NC from a different direction. (you know… one of my previous articles on Rockford General Store) So, I call him up on Sunday morning and said “What are you doing today?” His reply…“Just watching television.” I said “Well, on your feet and in your seat! Let’s go for a ride!” I tell him to take me down those roads he found in the Rockford area. (route: see map) This route was beautiful for leisure riding. Plenty of old barn quilts to see from the roadside! Of course, there’s always the ever popular Rockford General store for a rest stop. We had a wonderful day ride together. Another dad-daughter moment for the books!
Another note: I also spent a little time at the USO event held at Indian Motorcycles of Greensboro on Saturday. It was a great day to support a worthy cause for our troops. I wore my Flag t-shirt (Flag Day was also this weekend) and one of the USO representatives walked up to me and said “I am so glad to see you wearing that shirt!” “I wish more folks would show their support in the flag.” Gosh…there’s a challenge…come ‘on people let’s show the world our flag!!
Happy Father’s Day to all the men in our lives!
Have a safe and cool summer!
It's HOT ...
... but the COOLEST thing going on this week is Smoke Out 16. Come join the COOLEST friends and COOL staff & even COOLER writers of The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine for another wonderful time at Rockingham Dragway. Wear your Carolina Rider shirt and get a FREE BEER.
And remember, Smoke Out is WILD .. kinda like me. Come say HELLO!
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