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(Sandy's photo from Marla's Ride - see her story and more pics below!)

June 17th Edition

In This Issue:

Lil' Weather

Free Thinking with FancyFree

Special Focus: Riding BE-cause ... a collection of recent Event Reports

  1. Sandy Reece reports on Marla K. Bennett Memorial Ride 2014

  2. Brother Bear reports on Relay for Life - Abbeville, SC

  3. Alex Clark reports on Rex's Motorcycle Ride - Rock Hill, SC

  4. Eric Newton reports on Casar Masonic Ride - Casar, NC

  5. Tammy Potts reports on Berkeley Citizens Ride - Moncks Corner, SC

Loose Talk with Jon

Join us at The BIG RIDE Bus!

Look for much more at






The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area

for Week of June 17-24, 2014

Tuesday 93 p-cloudy, Wednesday 95 m-sunny, Thursday 96 p-cloudy, Friday 96 is t-storms, Saturday 95 iso t-storms, Sunday 96 iso t-storms, Monday 94 iso t-storms, Tuesday 91 iso t-storms (as per on 6/17/14)

BE the Change

Since we're celebrating the 5th anniversary of The Carolina Rider all year long, it didn't really surprise me when the number 5 popped up again as I counted up the submitted Event Reports in preparation for today's special focus. Today's edition of The Carolina Rider Scene spotlights what's usually included in our Riding BE-cause section - usually flyers, sometimes stories and pictures of those charitable and educational not-for-profit motorcycle events that come to life in our biker communities.

What's the name Riding BE-cause about? It's taken abstractly from the oft-used quote credited to Mahatma Gandhi, "BE the change you wish to see in the world." In other words perhaps, rather than bitching and moaning about the state of things, do something about it by simply going ahead yourself and BEING what you wish to see.... for GOODNESS sake!

The motorcycle riding community acts out the change it wishes to see in the world through rides and events aimed to bring awareness and support for this cause and that. Sometimes it's more DOING than BEING but still, the focus is on creating some change, making a difference, shining a Light.

The Carolina Rider is pleased to provide some support for the varied not-for-profit events in The Carolinas. We can't be there for every poker run and fundraiser, class or ride, but we sure can help out by running your stories and photos! And, as this informational flyer tells you, we are also happy to run your flyers here in our weekly magazine. (All we ask for that is to have the honor of joining your cause as marketing sponsor and show that with our logo on all of your public materials!)

Enjoy getting to be a part of 5 different rides from around SC and NC as you read their reports below. And much appreciation to all who Ride BE-cause. And, you know, in a way, that's all of us really ... we all ride simply to BE ourselves and that's the best way to change the world.

Blessing of the Bikes in Charlotte

I learned this week of a new event going on this weekend in the Charlotte area. It's a blessing of the bikes with a wholistic attitude. It's aiming to reach ALL bikers - no matter what style bike or beliefs you're into. Vincent Esposito of St. Matthew Catholic Church says, "We truly want the entire motorcycling community to join us, regardless of race, nationality, religion, gender, bike, sexual orientation or anything at all."

As some dust settles and more flys over this year's Myrtle Beach drama and the questions over the future of biker gatherings, it sounds pretty great to draw a circle of inclusivity and protection around all riders. Can't hurt, that's for sure.

In an email to me, Vincent quoted an article he wrote for a Catholic publication about bike blessings: "The Sunday after Father’s Day (this year June 22nd) has for over 30 years been the day recognized in the United States with Blessing of the Bikes ceremonies across the country.  St. Columbanus is the Patron Saint of Motorcyclists and each year as bikers are blessed by priests across the country, Saint Columbanus is asked to intercede and assist in a safe riding season.  Last year, Pope Francis even got in on the action:"

Mr. Esposito has been trying to get the word out about this Charlotte-area Blessing of the Bikes ... and hopes to have tons of bikes while at the same time recognizing that it takes time to grow an event.

Anyone going? If you're in another are of The Carolinas and attend a blessing of the bikes, let us know about that too! And please, as always, take some photos and share with the readers of The Carolina Rider...


I ride to BE free

May you too be free ...

I'm on Facebook ... "friend me!"

A Special Focus on Riding BE-cause!

> Some Event Reports from around The Carolinas! <

EDITOR'S NOTE: It's been a long Spring here in The Carolinas and riding has been at its peak! While weather is always part of the plans whether we want it to be or not, every weekend throughout the Carolinas there are tons of events to choose from for riders. Some rides have been curtailed by Mother Nature's tears,(i.e., rain!,) and some have exploded due to her (sun) shine! All in all, this May and June have indeed been busy months for charity rides around our Carolinas. Here are 5 Event Reports courtesy of some event organizers as well as some of the regular contributors to The Carolina Rider!

5th Annual Marla K. Bennett Memorial Ride - Lexington, NC

June 2014

by Sandy Reece


The 5th Annual Marla K. Bennett Memorial Ride held in Lexington, North Carolina was another success!  We had over 70 motorcycles participate in the event this year.  The Davidson County Motor Patrol led us through a different route this year.  The route was awesome as usual thanks to the planning of Leslie and Daniel Norris.

This year's ride was held in honor of a former Davidson County Motor Patrolman Ronnie Foster.  He is waging war on his own account with cancer.  He felt well enough to actually ride his own motorcycle and participate in the ride with us.

  Garwood Cycles and many other sponsors came through with prize donations and food for our participants.   The Pink Heals Fire Truck and patrol car paid a visit to our event.....


The 3rd Annual Relay for Life Poker Run - Abbeville, South Carolina

May 2014

by Tommy "Brother Bear" Pittard


For some reason it is my destiny to be in Abbeville, South Carolina this month. This is the second poker run that I have covered at Saxon’s Bypass Grocery at the junction of Highway 72 and 28 in the last two or three weeks. This charity run was held on May tenth by the friends of the Relay for Life of Abbeville to help raise money to fight cancer.

In the beginning I knew very little about the Relay for Life. I knew about the running part of this event but that was all. In the last few weeks I have learned a little history about how The Relay For Life came into existence. In May of 1985, Dr. Gordy Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Washington, ultimately raising $27,000 to help the American Cancer Society fight the nation’s biggest health concern – cancer. A year later, 340 supporters joined the overnight event. Since those first steps, the Relay For Life movement has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, raising nearly $5 billion to fight cancer. I was surprised to find out that they held other events such as this Relay for Life Poker Run.

The South Carolina Poker Run is a little different from any other I had been on before. You come to the starting point and register and leave. You may leave by yourself or wait for a group of riders to come and leave with that group. It doesn’t matter which way you ride as long you leave out by the starting time and arrive by the finish time of three pm. You also have to arrive at all the stops to draw your card for your poker hand to win either the Best hand or the Worst hand.

I heard some talking about a bunch of riders from Greenwood that would come in at noon ...


2nd Annual Rex’s Motorcycle Ride - Rock Hill, SC

June 2014

by Alex Clark

Editor's Note: Here's a little background information about this cause as it came to me in an email earlier this year as Alex was planning this year's ride ... "My name is Alex Clark. I am the father of Rex Clark who was born in June 2012 and passed away in December 2012. He was the victim of a genetic disorder called SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy). This disease is a severe form of musclar dystrophy. It is also known as "Baby Lou Gehrigs's Disease," and "floppy baby syndrome." This is the #1 genetic killer of children under 2 years of age. During this traumatic experience, we were contacted by a group called Families of SMA (FSMA). This organization helped us more than we could ever explain. They provided information about the disease, medical resources, home care tips, counselling for our older boys, toys specifically for Rex, and so much more. In Rex's memory, we decided to put together a motorcycle ride to support FSMA. We rode last year in June close to Rex's first birthday. This year, we are hoping to increase participation and raise more money for FSMA on his second birthday, June 7."


The 2nd Annual Rex’s Motorcycle Ride was held on June 7, 2014. The ride benefitted Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (FSMA), in loving memory of Baby Rex Clark, who died of SMA at six months old in December 2012. This organization was a huge part of the Clark’s life while their son battled this disease.

During this year’s event, they were able to meet their goal of raising $1,000 to donate to FSMA. The riders started off a little wet with some rough weather early in the morning, but managed to stay mostly dry the rest of the afternoon.

At least they were dry until the Cold Water Challenge contestants took center stage at the ride. Fourteen people volunteered to get doused with cold water while being videoed, all for the purpose of raising a little extra money for Rex’s Ride!...


5th Annual Casar Lodge Charity Ride - Casar, NC

May 2014

by Eric Newton


The 5th annual Casar Lodge Charity Ride was a success!  We had 28 riders this year! A special thanks to Ronnie Walker Backhoe Service Grading & Septic Tanks Wright Contracting, Elect Randy Walker Cleveland County Coroner, Re-Elect Alan Norman Sheriff, Out Back Automotive, Windjammers MC of Shelby NC, Green's Cycles Parts & Service, Double A Mobile Home Repair & Rentals LLC, Hull's Automotive Repair & Towing, Lail Electrical Service Inc., Shell Pearce Attorney at Law, Greasy's Automotive Repair, Don's Homemade Ice Cream, Epic Iron Works, The Tractor Doctor, Kenny's Repair, The Carolina Rider, and DJ Screen Printing of NC for their shirt sponsorships!

Congratulations to the raffle ticket winners $250 gift card Dean Dalton, $150 gift card Paul Aulbach, and $50 gift card Phillip Speneer!  This year we raised a total of $2267.06 for the Masonic Children’s Home Oxford and WhiteStone in Greensboro NC.

We are already planning next year's ride on May 30, 2015!


Berkeley Citizens’ 2nd Annual Benefit Ride - Moncks Corner, SC

May 2014

by Tammy Potts


The weather was iffy on the day of our event. We thought about cancelling until the following weekend but it seemed to clear up so we decided to proceed as planned. And so our ride, held on 5/31/14, wasn’t as successful as last year (75 bikes last year, 16 this year.) The ride started off pretty good until the sky opened up and let the rain pour down for quite awhile in certain areas. What few people we had to ride were die hard bikers because they stuck it out and got soaked.

In spite of the rain we still had a good time supporting a good cause which is raising money to help provide services & support to developmentally disabled children & adults throughout Berkeley County, SC


On the Road Again

I'm on the road this week. Not on my bike, unfortunately, but happy to be part of another great motorcycle education experience. Gonna keep my words short ...

Please do take time to read about the great charity rides in today's edition and thank you to all who wrote and photographed!

Please do come find us this Friday night at Out-Skirts Cabaret bike nite!

Please support our advertising Sponsors! Click on their links, use their services!

Please make sure to have Smoke Out on your calendar for next weekend!




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