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(photo by Paul Noble from Smoke Out 16)
June 30th "Smoke Out" Edition
In This Issue:
The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area
for Week of June 30 - July 7, 2015
Wednesday 90h & partly cloudy, Thursday 89h & 40% rain, Friday 86h & 50% rain, Saturday 87h & 60% rain, Sunday 91h & 30% rain, Monday 93h & 50% rain, Tuesday 93h & 40% rain (as per www.intellicast.com on 06/30/15)
This edition of The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine focuses on the recent Smoke Out. 3 of our columnists plus our photographer Paul provide their own perspectives of the event in words and photos. I'm not apologizing but I do want to warn you that there is some "language" and "nudity" in some of the contents this week. Enter at your own risk.
From my own perspective, I'm here to tell you, sisters and brothers, that this was the hottest event I have ever enjoyed. The heat was truly a challenge ... and I'm afraid that not all who made their ways to the scalding sands of the Rock enjoyed themselves because it was so intensely sizzling. I'm also sad to say that we, the TCR folks who've manned and womanned our BIG RIDE booth at Smoke Out over the past 4 years, noticed that a great big ton of regulars (well, when it comes to Smoke Out, it's best to call 'em irregulars!,) didn't show up at all. Attendance was down and it wasn't because Edge and his crew didn't have another great event to offer. Nope. It was the heat, pure and simple. It was the heat. The heat got to us all. I watched Lester and The Tarheel Tornado melt into puddles-of-their-former-selves and my own Footloose's shiny noggin run rivers into his bespeckled eyes.
Nevertheless, I, myself had a great time and missed those of you who didn't join us this go-round!
Smoke Out isn't for everybody. We at The Carolina Rider get that. It's an acquired taste, kind of the culinary stinky cheese of bikerdom. Some folks get into a big bite of stinky cheese, many don't. Smoke Out isn't stinky, if you please. It's just a dirty rotten fermented demented playful free-for-all of freespirited spirits who dig motorcycles! And, if you don't "get it," it's truly ok. What's the helmet sticker say? "If I need to explain it, you wouldn't understand." And in addition to that.... it's just can't be explained anyway!
This Saturday we celebrate the freedoms we have in our country; our INDEPENDENCE! We riders know of freedom, treasure our independence, revel in the rambling liberties we are blessed with. And so it is with freedom of expression, freedom to Smoke Out, freedom to Myrtle Beach rally, freedom to ride to Alaska, freedom to putt around the neighborhood, freedom to wear colors or vests or shorts or helmets or nothing at all, freedom to stand for something, freedom to speak freely, freedom to be your quiet self, freedom to make choices and celebrate the opportunity for everyone else to make their own choices too.
Happy 4th of July
Happy Independence Day!
May all your rides be cranked to the highest ends of freedom
May the wind in your hair & the rumble underneath you be reminders of your born-to-live independence
May you ride free and easy all your days .... and smile with a shared knowing and a grin of kinship when you see another rider doing the same in their own independent way.
I'm on Facebook ... "friend me!"
The Tarheel Tornado's Report:
I hope you made to Smoke Out 2015; and I hope you came by “The Carolina Rider” booth at the BIG RIDE while you were there. If you did, thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoyed the rally. This was my first time at Smoke Out, and I guess it is fair to say I came with a certain expectation, but I left with a different perspective. I’ll try to explain!
My Smokeout experience had a rough start. I would like to be able to say it was somebody else’s fault, but to be honest, it really was my fault. I was very busy for several weeks leading up to the rally, but the biggest problem is my old CPU just cannot keep up with all the data like it used to, and my RAM memory is overloaded. I keep getting these "Fatal Error" messages, and I get corrupted and quit working. You can’t reimage my brain, nor download new software. I’m just stuck with what I got. Getting old sucks, but the alternative is even worse. About the only thing I can tell you is, that getting old isn’t for p@3*&!ies. You better be a tough old bastard.
To start with, I forgot so many things that I have forgotten what I forgot. In addition, my RV sprang a water leak 3 days before we were to leave, and I had no time to get it fixed. That meant no running showers! At least I remembered to bring Lester. Wait, for all I know maybe I didn’t, and he just showed up anyway??! Every time I would stop to rethink what I needed to do, my wife would ask me if I was forgetting anything, and that would make me forget what I was working on. That occurred about 10 times just on Thursday the day we were to leave. Too much stress on that old CPU. We were about an hour later leaving than I was hoping for, and that got Lester and me to Rockingham right at dark. That was right after the day shift crew at the gate had left for the day. The night shift crew was not as prepared with answers, so we made our way around to the back camping area, paid our way in, and went hunting for a good spot to set up. Since it was dark, we could not say for sure what the layout was and where would be the best spot to set up. We settled on a spot near the entry gate that would give us a good route to be able to get out Saturday late afternoon. As it turned out we were very close to the burnout pit. I’ll get to that later.
Lester and I were not planning on staying late on Saturday. We both had other commitments for Sunday, and we did not want to get boxed in. Thursday night was relatively uneventful, so we were ready to go early Friday morning. We found out the gate to the vendors would not open until 10:00 am so we decided to go for a ride. We rode to Hardees’s in Hamlet, and had some breakfast. From there we decided to ride to the Harley-Davidson shop in Pinehurst, and then back to the rally. It was a nice ride, and it was still cool. Back at the rally, it started heating up in more ways than one, and I didn’t have my camera. Yea that’s right, I forgot it. If anybody asks, my story and I’m sticking with it, is two words: “plausible deniability!” What happens at Smoke Out, stays at Smoke Out! I know that’s probably a quote, but not sure who to credit it to. However, I found it to be a blessing anyway. Rather than worrying about taking pictures, I got to sit and talk to Shaggy, and a new associate named Jessica. Jessica has just graduated college and looking to start her life with a fresh new start in Corporate America. I wish her well. She did a good job helping us promote The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine! I’ll leave it at that.
Jon is always the rock, steady as she goes. Always in charge, but in a laid-back way. Jan is soft spoken, calm, easy-going, and happy. (However, don’t bet your last dollar she doesn’t have a launch button that can make orbit in a skinny minute. You have to watch those quite kinds.) Lester is always Lester - large and in charge. He is a good friend and more compassionate than he lets on. If you need him, he will do anything he can for you. What I found really interesting was the time with Shaggy. While he's earned a bad-boy image, he is really not a bad dude. If you give him a chance, he’ll show you a fun-loving, easy-going, and loving-life attitude. I know he is a little rough around the edges. I know some of his article have created a stir, but I have always found them to be interesting and well written if you don’t focus on the language. I know he could have cleaned them up a little, but then it wouldn’t be Shaggy then. Kind of like Smoke Out.
I watched how people interacted with each other there - all us squeaky clean guys with the rough and tumble guys. The wild and crazy with the tame and timid. If you try to make Smoke Out fit in a bottle, you’re missing the point. Just like Shaggy. If you can’t get by the language, then don’t read Shaggy, but don’t put him down. You will miss some very interesting points of view, but it’s your choice. And if you can’t get by all the activity at Smoke Out, then don’t come, but don’t try to change it. It was amazing to me to see how the love of biking transcends all the barriers we all have to keep some people in and some people out.
People you have a preconceived notions of how they really are and how you would expect certain behavior from them. Don’t get me wrong, I know a lot of people come to Smoke Out for the T & A, but how they treated each other while they were there was very interesting to me. I saw how southern charm made an impact on northern attitudes. How people you thought would not be approachable were very easy to talk to. That's what I meant about my different perspective. I don’t participate in a lot of what makes Smoke Out popular, but that didn’t mean I didn’t get something from it, and it wasn’t the pictures.
Smoke Out, keep on keeping on! Shaggy you do the same, and I look forward to riding with you one day!
Back to the burnout pit. The band, the smoke, the noise, and all the people did not bother me one bit, but I have one thing to say:. If you don’t have the guts to stay on the throttle to keep the revs up, then don’t get in the pit. To pop a tire takes a little guts. You may damage your bike when it pops, you may damage the engine if the right circumstances come up, so make peace with that before you pull in. When you pull in the pit, then go for it. Don’t create a lot of smoke then chicken out. Pop that sucker!
.... One bit of advice, DON'T LET GO OF THE HANDLEBARS! Not good!!
The ride home went very well. Most people don’t know that I must have very special vehicles. All of my vehicles cannot pass the I85 exit # 23 at McAdenville without automatically pulling into “Hillbilly’s BBQ.” It’s an amazing thing. Now pulling that big RV, my truck had to stop on the off ramp because of a lack of a large parking space at Hillbilly’s, but it was within easy walking distance. When Lester and I went in, we were greeted with a big smile from a beautiful young blonde that I knew from previous visits. I was her first. Now I know I have to explain that, but maybe in another story. For now I will just say try the BBQ, all you can eat ribs and chicken, and if you see a young beautiful blonde, be good to her, or I’ll come looking for you.
I’ll leave the pictures to others.
Remember: “Plausible Deniability!”,
The Tarheel Tornado
Check out Paul's PHOTO GALLERY!
It’s always a mind numbing exercise, the night before. Something like a pesky crank addiction. Holding the mattress down, watching the ceiling stay perfectly still, listening to time drag its slow-ass feet. Count them: Tick ..................................... Tock, one. Taking mental stock of everything I packed again I can’t help but wonder what I left out and what I didn’t really need to begin with. Camera, lap top, a can of anti-stink, and a change of clothes I didn’t really need. Laugh all ya - want but I’ve been doing trips like this for a lot of years now and learned a lot of ways to make-do on next to nothing. Like making one pair of boxers last four days. Regular, backwards, inside out, and inside out backwards ... it works, man!
Finally the clock hit two am and with my old traveling jonesing kicking in, I yelled to an empty room, “Fuck this, I’m going NOW!” Quick shower, throwing shit on the bike, holding it all down with zip ties and pre-chewed gum. A quick stop at the Kangaroo and my last twenty scored me a few packs of camels and, a god-awful cup of coffee and a tank of go-go juice and I was on my merry little fuckin way. No I’m not heading into work or other parts unknown. It’s time for the FUCKING SMOKEOUT, ladies and gentlemen!!!!!!!
For months now, I’ve been watching the countdown on this show’s website. It goes by the second until the time the gates open and if I was awake I saw every single hour slip away. So, with no coin, my paycheck hadn’t hit the bank yet, I’m on 85 heading north and hanging a right on 485 east. This is the kind of riding I like; the roads are completely deserted except for me, Lzzy screaming in my ears and the lightning in the distance. And then I hit my arch nemeses, Hwy 74. Hwy 74, fuck you and the blithering shit cakes that decided it would be a good idea to put up a red light every eighth of a mile for the next twenty miles on this sorry-assed slab. Mother fucker, you know I’m too lazy to give kingshit that long overdue brake job to handle this shit. This was also the only place all weekend that I caught rain; which I responded to by pulling into a McDonald’s and ponying up my last scrap of pocket change for a plain biscuit and eating slow as not to be ran off.
The rain passed quick. I tried to leave but couldn’t for a few of the, I refer to these people as “normies,” that wanted to stop and ask where I was headed. Seriously? It's four in the fucking morning. I’m not being an ass but who the hell is chatty at four in the fucking morning? I work third shift and my “politeness” ends at midnight! One guy in particular kind of set me off. He was an older guy who was telling me of how he just bought his first bike, some damn Harley road couch of a thing, and he loved taking it up and down the road. Well, well, well, ... instead of taking my usual “going batshit” route, I just told him the story of Bub and put his “up and down the street” to shame. You’re famous now, Bub!!
The rest of the ride went fairly hitchless; stopping here and there for a smoke and a leg-stretcher before finally pulling into the dragway around 7:30ish. Waiting outside the gate I felt the same angst that was plaguing me hours earlier. It's right there, it's right there, IT'S RIGHT, FUCKING THERE!!!! With about three inches of solid steel and a really heavy padlock between me and it. I can in no way, shape or form describe how I felt when that gate opened, I waited all year for this. A solid weekend of kick-assed home built bikes, good music, drag racing, and of course, Uncle Shaggy’s all-time favorite: STRIPPERS!!!!!! Dingdingdingdingding we have a winner!!!
Why am I here way before gate opening? Long story but if you’re reading anything I’ve written then you obviously have the time. Last year at this very show I was given a shot at something I have dreamed of for years, a few months before the show I was contacted by event organizer, Edge, and asked if I would be willing to cover one of the bikes of the Pros&Joes build-off for The Horse. To say I was floored would’ve been an understatement. I have dreamed of seeing my name in that magazine since I was fifteen years old. The Horse is what got me not only into writing but and is pretty much what I based the bulk of my education around. Apparently I did a good enough job and Edge invited me back to do the same this year, also took it a step further by inviting me to a staff meeting of the event and told me that if I wanted it there were two articles I could have if I wanted them. Naturally I snatched them both up like a fat bitch eyeing the last mozzarella stick in the basket. I made my way to The BIG RIDE homestead after that were I found the lovely Ms. Fancy making coffee and breakfast while Jon was doing .... yeah, I never really saw Jon do a whole lot. I set there for a bit catching up with them and waiting for the crowd to get underway.
Normally I can’t fucking stand the human race. Everywhere you go all you see is a giant mass of anonymity. There’s no distinguishment anymore. The entire world, or the bike shows which are the only part of it that I care to partake in, have become filled with nothing but anonymous gray figures following the path of least resistance like ants. Not here though, baby. Walking these grounds you will see two of absolutely fucking NOTHING!!!
When the crowd piles in and the fun shit starts happening, the best seat in the house is on the move. Get off your ass, onto your feet or your bike because if not you’re going to miss out. While you’re doing that though, I’m gonna be hanging out at the Bus. Don’t get me wrong, I took my laps. I saw everything I care to see during the day. The racing, the bikes, the drift trikes, roller derby it was all worth seeing. But the Bus had shade, food, and two pretty decent looking booth girls (or as Jon referred to one, “our water whore”) all weekend. That’s when a wonderful idea crept into my twisted little gord: BEADS FOR BOOBIES. I’m sure I left the TCR staff thinking I’m the biggest pervert in the world and on average they would be right. Say what you want but that landed us a shit-ton of new subscribers. Never underestimate the power of perverts in large groups. That’s pretty much how direct male marketing got started. While this is going on, I made an observation. I could be wrong but here it is: The older women get, 9 times out of ten they get a little less modest. It was hell getting the younger women to whip ‘em out but anyone 35+ was just like, "shit here ya’ go!" God bless you ladies! You definitely got better with age. One in particular kind of stuck with me. You signed up with the magazine ma’am you know who you are. She was a redhead with this massive set of ka-nockers and a husband who was a good sport. Every time I passed them while walking or riding around we had the same conversation: “I love your wife’s tits,”... “Thanks man.” Dude, if you’re reading this, swing by the Bus next year - I owe you alcohol .... bring your wife.
Night fall and the bands hit the stage, Coffin Cats and all the others were great, don’t get me wrong, but come on, you came here to hear Rebel Son. I’m so glad they let these guys play twice because they burn that fucking stage down, man. I don’t care how saintly you try to act in front of your significant other, every man reading this has a story or memory that goes along perfectly with the song “Road Whores.” You know it, you’ve all been there. “Sugar that sure was sweet, but I don’t think you ever even told us your name.” Then everything gets quiet, you start hearing a rhythmic thunder-like sound. You watch the drink in your hand start to shiver like a scene from Jurassic Park. Then on the stage, from seemingly nowhere, appears a big, fat, ugly, foul-mouthed, shrimp-dicked, chicken fucker named Roadside Marty!!!! A lot of people don’t like him, I know, but I love this gelatinous shit sack! He brings the girls out for the wet t-shirt contest and guess who pops up? The double-barreled redhead! Who informed the audience that it was her husband’s birthday? Happy birthday, you lucky rat bastard!!!
And that was just the first day....!
Saturday I spent the bulk of the day on the clock with The Horse. I ended up splitting not long after that so instead of dragging this out any further. I’m going to change the subject for a second. A conversation I had with Jon and Fancy revealed something I never would’ve guessed and that is that there have been several of our readers to unsubscribe from The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine due to nothing more than my language and general offensiveness. Fancy assured me that my style was something they approved of and not something they planned to stifle, but to say I felt lower than snake shit would be a gross understatement. I’ve been with this magazine for over three years now and in that time I’ve come to love the staff here. You guys have honestly become family to me and I’m proud to be associated with all of you. I’ve learned so much about bikes and pretty much everything else from talking with Bub and will go plug-ugly Irish style with anyone who ever tried to convince me that Fancy was anything but a saint. Seriously, try me. I got one strike, I've got two to burn. But here I am fucking with Jon and Fancy’s livelihood. That left me with what to do about it. Now, I was born, raised, lived, and will someday lay down and die as a hateful, low-life foul-mouthed sumbitch and really don’t believe I'd have it any other way. Only hitch is that up until this point I was only hurting myself. So I had decided to hang it up. When I left I was gonna leave my press pass hanging somewhere on the Bus and let it go from there. Coward’s way out but it seemed to fit. But later that day I heard Jon giving the sales pitch that The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine goes out to over seventy-five thousand subscribers weekly. And that only left me with this conclusion: Ninety-nine percent of those people that read our magazine are probably doing it because they have tagged on to a writer they prefer, and if one half of a percent of that is because of me, then God almighty bless you beautiful mother fuckers!!!! I love all of you and if you enjoy what I do, then damnit to hell I’m not stopping until the last one of you sends me an email telling me to hang it up. Everyone else, hold on to something and bite your lip because I’m coming for you assholes with everything I’ve got!!!
Check out Shaggy's PHOTO GALLERY!
(the gals in many of his pics are a little more "exposed!")
Holy Smokes!! …. or should I say Holy Smoke Out?!!
This was my first Smoke Out … and I have to admit it is everything everybody says it is. When you ask somebody to describe Smoke Out, they always hesitate … always ! That had me wondering, I don’t have to wonder why anymore. I too, will hesitate when someone asks me to describe it. Words cannot do it justice. Smoke Out is one of those events that you have to experience for yourself. I can honestly say that I have never been to another rally like it. It is truly one of a kind.
I started out at home, with my big touring bike pulling my trailer with all of my gear in it. I rode from my house to The Tar Heel Tornado’s house. There we loaded up all of my gear into his “toy box” (a very long and well-equipped toy hauler.) From there we head out, Rockingham bound! I have never been to Rockingham; much less Smoke Out, so as the Tar Heel Tornado (THT for short,) was driving, I was taking in all of the scenery. Well somehow we wound up on HWY 74 business, so that made the trip a little longer than it should have. We were so busy talking about our expectations, we didn’t pay attention to the business signs. Somewhere in the ride it started raining, so between the rain and our talking, I guess we are lucky we got there at all.
The bikes started rolling in bright and early Friday morning. We tried to get in to get to The Big Ride II and they tell us that the gates don’t open until noon. If we had known that we could have waited until Friday morning to drive up. Oh well, we can’t get in until noon, so we decided to ride to see what we could find. Nothing, this place is out in the middle of nowhere. Looking at GPS, it was 8 miles to the closest Hardee’s, McDonald’s or anything else for that matter. So we head out to Hardee’s to get breakfast. I’m not sure what little town we were in but at least it had a Hardee’s. From there we ride about 25 miles to a Harley Dealership. I don’t have a clue where it was either, and it was a small dealership, so we weren’t there but a few minutes. Back to Rockingham dragway we ride, and even though it was a little before noon, they let us in anyway. We are prepared mentally for a busy day.
It was HOT!
Busy was not the proper word to use. Brutal is a better word. Man it was hot! 97 degrees with a heat index of 105+. The Big Ride II has an awning to block the sun out if you can get under it. The tables were set up early that morning and when the day progressed the shade moved. Without moving the tables it made it hard to stay in the shade. There was a lot going on all over the place, and when our spokesmodel arrived we were all introduced to Jessica. She was to run the tables and sign people up. She had a bubbly personality, so it came naturally for her. She was a whiz talker. She then traded her clothes for a couple of TCR Tuffs. She wore them like a bikini. She was a tiny thing, so it worked out well. A little later she decided to enter the body painting contest so Jan and Caroline decided they needed to practice a day early. Boy, that really brought in the people. People wanted to watch her get painted. It was so crowded, I decided to walk the vendor area. When I got back they were done painting her.
The crowd gets bigger all day with more bikes rolling in so at about 6pm we head back out to the campground to look around. Holy Cow, the campground is huge. There are tents everywhere. We are still in a good spot, so we settle in to cook supper. Steaks and baked potatoes. Only problem, we had been out in the heat so long, we had pretty much lost our appetite. So the steaks all but went to waste. I ate very little. I start getting cooled off and start relaxing a little and guess what……the burnout wall starts up. It starts up with a vengeance. Literally hundreds of people gathered round, and one bike after another butt up to the wall. One guy was burning his pretty good when he decided to wave to the crowd. BIG MISTAKE! The handlebars turn, and the bike heads for the crowd. Luckily it goes down before it gets to anyone. The crowd quickly scatters before the bike dies. The crowd went wild. They loved it. I have a photo of the bike as it went down in my Photo Gallery. Check it out. That just seemed to fuel the crowd. The crowd now was huge! We soon found out that a band was tuning up to play there near the burnout wall, so we thought we would turn in. Ha, that’s what we thought. Things didn’t quiet down until after 3am. So, no sleep until after 3:00am. Bikes rolling in at 7:00am. We just thought we would sleep good! What the heck, you only live once. I can sleep when I get home.
Did I tell you it was HOT?!!
Ok, it is Saturday morning and we figure the gates will open up early. They did but not as early as we would have liked them to. So we went for another ride, this time into the city of Rockingham. Again it was 8 miles away. We find a place to eat, and we sit and wait until the gates open up. They opened at 10:00 on Saturday. We knew that it would be another scorcher heat-wise, at least as hot Saturday as it was Friday, if not hotter. It was or at least is seemed to be hotter. The crowd was bigger also. This time I decided to try to stay hydrated. It got hot early in the day and stayed that way. At least The Big Ride II has A/C. (NOTE: As you may have heard in other writers’ stories, it has A/C as long as it has propane to run the generator! We had no idea how long that would last, but it lasted long enough for us anyway.) I took lots of photos of every cool bike I could find, and some as they rolled through. There were lots of interesting people there and I tried to photo as many of them that was possible. I had a great time meeting people from all over. Several from Ohio, Michigan, Texas, and one from Nebraska. I would have thought that would have gotten the long distance award, but no, I met several from Canada. The furthest was from Austria. That is better than 5000 miles away. No bike with him, I guess because they don’t float, but he made it anyway. We talked for a few minutes about the different areas of Austria that I had been to several years ago, so we had a lot to talk about. He was a super nice guy. Come to think about it, everybody was nice. Everybody was there to have a good time, and I’m sure they did. I know we did.
Soon enough we were back at the THT’s house, unloaded my bike and I hooked up the trailer again and loaded my stuff into it. I was home at 9:45pm. It had been another brutal day. This time I was at home, with my sweetie to sleep with and in my own bed. That was some of the best sleep I had in a long time. Smoke Out for us, was over. I was actually glad it was over. I guess I’m too old for that type of rally, or maybe it was just the heat. If they move it to March or April, I’ll go back. I don’t know, I guess we will have to wait until next year, lol.
Another rally, another story, and as always, tell me that you read it here and I buy you a cold beverage.
Ride safe, ride hard,
Contact us at jon@TheCarolinaRider.com - All Rights Reserved
The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine
2879 Hwy 160 West, PMB 4100
Fort Mill, SC 29708