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(photo by Paul Noble from Smoke Out 16)
July 7 Edition
In This Issue:
The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area
for Week of July 7-14, 2015
Wednesday 95h & partly cloudy, Thursday 98h & clear, Friday 96h & 40% rain, Saturday 96h & 60% rain, Sunday 97h & clear, Monday 96h & clear, Tuesday 96h & 40% rain (as per www.intellicast.com on 07/07/15)
R U LOST IN cyber-SPACE?
Remember Doctor Smith and the gang on that cheesy sci-fi sitcom of the 60's? The set wasn't too far behind the original Star Trek series' decor and costume ... but the acting and storylines were far from something the crew of the Enterprise would be proud of.
Lost in Space was kinda like Lassie ... the sweet little family who kept running into adventures was just about the same ... but in Lost in Space, Lassie as a robot!
Anywhooo, some of you are lost in space we have heard ..... or your copy of The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine gets lost in space on occasion. This cyber-publishing is a tricky business. With the 75,000 +/- subscribers who we send to every week, there are over 75,000 variables that can muck up the process. There's you and your own button-pushing that can accidentally unsubscribe you, there's your home and business spam filters that can throw an edition or two out or mean that you never ever get your mag. There's hotmail settings and yahoo setups. There's dot-com protocol-this and dot-org thingamagig-that. Honestly, the variables are way more endless than you can imagine or than we can begin to address. But we've addressed many of them and what we know is this: some things we have control over and most things we don't when it comes to emails. What we do have control over is that there is a web address for each and every Weekly Magazine and that's where it gets published. We know it's there and we forward a copy of it to your email address ... but that's where the fog creeps in and the big monsters grab hold of some vulnerable emails and you end up not getting yours.
We do publish every week except for very few holidays. We did publish last week. If you didn't get it, CLICK HERE to view Last week's Edition at its online home .. if your copy got LOST IN cyber-SPACE.
ENTER NOW: 6 Quests & 6 Winners of Prizes!
We've got some TCR Tuffs we'd like to give away this week. Take on the following quests by diving into this week's (07072015) and last week's (06302015) editions of The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine and send us an email with your results along with your mailing address no later than Sunday 7/26/15 (yep, we're giving you extra time!)
First 6 correct replies WIN!
1. Who's Buladeen?
2. What advice does The Tarheel Tornado offer to those who tackle burn outs?
3. What was the weather like for this year's Smoke Out in Rockingham?
4. Where might computer microchips get their quartz in The Carolinas?
5. What was the weather like for Sandhills Mike's BikeSafe experience in May?
6. What kind of motorcycle did Harley-Davidson of Charlotte recently customize for a H-D dealership competition?
I'm on Facebook ... "friend me!"
Many of us believe ourselves to be safe and proficient motorcyclists; skilled in parking lot maneuvers as we were taught at any Motorcycle Safety Course (MSF) and tested by the DMV prior to issuance of a motorcyclists endorsement. Parking lot maneuvers are good practice and are really helpful in preventing embarrassing occurrences in the parking lot like dropping your bike because you forgot to put the kickstand down or stopping in the middle of a slow turn and toppling over the handle bars more embarrassed than hurt. But how does this training help you out on the road where mistakes can be fatal?
That's were the NC BIKE SAFE program comes in. One of the guys I ride with invited me to join him in a one day motorcycle rider skills day. Gill assured me there would not be any traffic cones involved and I could put my feet down at slow speeds if I felt safer. It was January when we made our reservation at the facility in Raleigh for May 1 2015. I didn't think much about it, I read the return e-mail describing what to bring, what to wear and have with you. Most of us who adhere to the "ALL THE GEAR THE TIME" philosophy won't have any problem with their requirements and, yes, they will check to make sure you have your drivers license and proof of insurance before you leave the facility.
May 1 2015 comes around and it's lightly raining at my house. I'm thinking it is going to let up and the sun will be out later, so I put on my rain suit and proceed to Raleigh from Fayetteville. The closer I get to Raleigh the harder it "Rains." I pull over to let the worst pass, only to get back out there with more of the same just a few miles down the road. I can't go back because I will never hear the end of it from Gill; How I let a little rain spoil a good day to ride.
I arrive at the N.C. State Trooper training facility on Tyron Rd ahead of Gill and a few others in the class, and it is steadily "Raining." I wonder if I have driven all this way just to be told the class is cancelled for the rain? Gill arrives soaked to the bone. When I ask him about his rain suit that we were supposed to bring he says, "What's a little rain? ... It's in the top case!"
There are six students for eleven instructors. I cannot speak for Gill or the others, but that many "Law Enforcement officials" going over my bike, ... they are bound to find something wrong or even make something up! I was good to go after my bike and I were toughly inspected.
The BIKE SAFE program consisted of some classroom instruction, a short observed ride, lunch, more classroom instructionfollowed by a long ride then a final evaluation and Q+A at the end of the day. The morning session covered the history of the program and how it came from England and developed here. Accident statistics, good and bad driving behaviorswere discussed along with the importance of mirrors, protective gear, and intersection awareness all before the first observed ride.
Now I get nervous when any Law Enforcement is nearby and I'm riding, but to have two motorized officers following me on purpose looking for things I may be doing poorly or wrong made it that much worse. Oh, and by the way "we'll tell you which way to turn using our signal lights and be careful it is still RAINING!"
That's pretty much how it went the whole day. You got a good evaluation of your riding technique by someone who rides daily in the same conditions as you on the same route. Little tips about what you did right and what you can do better, even tips on equipment that would make you more visible to other traffic.
This a great FREE program that enforces learned behaviors of experienced riders, points out where improvements can be made, and reinforces the good behaviors already demonstrated. If you have a free day to put your riding skills to the test check them out: BikeSafeNC.
Couple of weeks ago I planned a long ride up to Roan Mtn,Tennessee. That area is a favorite of the CPRs. Gosh!, we have lots of “favorite” places! John asked if he could bring a friend along. Why sure, glad to show off some of our good riding areas. His buddy from Winston Salem is a German who came over here as an apprentice for a German company that had a factory in Winston Salem. After working there for several years, he branched out into his own business. His name is Sven and you won’t believe what he sells! Table legs, yep, table legs. And not your ordinary table legs either. He said the cheapest leg he sells is about $100, yes that’s $100 per leg. Most of his business is commercial and to high-end builders.
Anyway, we start by going to Saluda NC, not straight there but by one of our “shortcuts,” via Silver Springs Rd and Holbert Cove Rd. From there we go down the mountain to Pearson Falls Rd and then around the mtn to connect with the Greenville Watershed Rd. After numerous other roads we get to the Pinnacle Mtn area, through the DuPont State Forest and onto US 276 up to Canton. Sven is having a great time and we have to stop in the forest so he can mount his GoPro camera to record our journey. He said his brother in Germany will want to see this. We find NC 209, which is a great road through the mtns, and enjoy the ride to Hot Springs NC.
This little town of about 600 population has an interesting history. The Indians of course knew about the springs and used them for their therapeutic value. Then when the white settlers moved in they also used the springs. Several large hotels and spas were built in the early 1800s and the area boomed from the people coming in to soak their bodies in the hot water and soothe away their pains. Most of those burned down and now there is one large spa that owns the hot springs. The Appalachian Trail passes through the town and the shops in town reflect this---hiking and camping gear and guides for hire. We found it kind of interesting while riding through here that where the Trail crosses NC209 there are pull off spots where traveling food wagons - you know, "roach coach," have set up business. UUmmm, wonder if the hikers plan their hikes between roach coach stops??!!
From Hot Springs we jumped on US 70 over to NC 212, which becomes TN 352 at the border. 352 goes into Irwin TN where one of our favorite restaurants is located, which we didn’t stop at, another restaurant is on our mind. We then picked up TN 395 that becomes NC 197 which is one of those roads that will make you whoop and holler or cry out in fear! And the beautiful mountain scenery when you ride slow enough to take your eyes off the road. We keep on 197 until it joins NC 226 at Bakersville. And 226 heads on through the mountains to Spruce Pine which is famous not for it’s pines, but the the mineral mines in the area. Very high grade quartz is mined here which is used in making computer chips. If you have a computer or other electronic device, the chip contains quartz from Spruce Pine.
We stopped for gas and Mickey noticed that John’s rear tire looked low, checked the pressure and it only had about 15 psi! And did any of us think to bring a plug kit along?? I guess you know the answer to that. John put some air in and it seemed to be holding; so instead of Christa’s restaurant, it was a bee line for home for John and Sven. We continued on 226 down through Marion and they turned off on Golden Valley Rd while Mickey and I turned on Bostic Sunshine Rd.
Oh, and Buladeen?? It’s a little spot on NC 226 north of Red Hill. There is an elementary school there and a gas station. Slow down when you go through or you’ll miss it. LOL And where was Charley on this ride?? He was still recovering from his lay-down near Sugar Grove, twisted his left ankle and it was still sore. He’ll have to buy a new riding jacket and pants as that good NC asphalt chewed up his old set.
Remember to keep the rubber down and be safe,
Contact us at jon@TheCarolinaRider.com - All Rights Reserved
The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine
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