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July 12th Edition
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The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area
for Week of July 13-19, 2016
Wednesday 95h & sunny, Thursday 97h & m-sunny, Friday 96h & 50% pm t-storms, Saturday 92h & 60% pm t-storms, Sunday 93h & 60% scattered t-storms, Monday 94h & 50% scattered t-storms, Tuesday 94h & 60% scattered t-storms (as per weather.com on 7/12/16)
Oft' times when we sling our leg over and settle down for a ride, we're on a mission to get away from humans; to get some distance from the people of our lives and spend time with our metal friend who doesn't impose opinions on how we're living out our lives ... and, in fact, helps us clear out the people-clutter from our brains for awhile so we can return to our worlds more able to handle people-stuff!
Other times, we set our course for deep into the churning throngs to be immersed in the crazyness of humanity. We have options. It's one of the most prescious gifts of The Ride.
This edition of The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine welcomes back our writer who contributes the most "bleeped" words that end up in symbols such as #!*$ and &@%+ too! Welcome home, Shaggy. You know that you and your sometimes-controversial mode of speech can get us into trouble 'round here! (We've bleeped out words because many of you won't get the magazine if we leave the words intact. There are cyber-editors on some of your servers that will spam-out such. We've finally learned from years of publishing challenges.)
Anyway, Shaggy's reporting on his experience of Smoke Out 2016 and it's got some deep human touchy-feely richness to it if you're looking. Also this week we're added another photo collage from this year's Smoke Out, this time focusing in on We the People of Smoke Out. You might find yourself or someone you know tucked in there somewhere.....
Introducing Rebel Randi
I received an interesting email a few weeks back. The subject line was "My Journey" and it started out, "I wanted to introduce myself to you and tell you my plans, which are still a secret to most."
Well, yep, that's a starter that gets my attention .. but I was still pretty sure it was spam from Russia till I got further along in the email that is actually from from a reader named Randi in the Hudson Valley area of New York who's at a personal crossroads and riding into a new future that she's intentionally designing for herself.
She explained that over the last couple years she's had a number of losses and changes in her life and has decided it's time to take a big leap and leave all that she has known and head out on her own.
Randi says, "I have realized that commuting to Manhattan 5 days a week, 4.5 hours per day is not good for me.
"One of my dreams and bucket list items is to ride cross-country on my bike.
I always thought it wouldn't happen until I was older, and maybe unable to actually ride a bike all that way.
I am so happy to say that things have lined up for me, and once I sell my house, I am going to take a huge risk! I am going to quit my job and take this trip!
Another small, but important factor, is that I am looking into relocating to the Carolinas.
Who knows what the future holds.
I hope to accomplish an 'iron butt' during this journey. I plan to give myself 2-3 months off so that I can enjoy my top 3 favorite Things: Riding, Photography, Eating
I want to blog about riding and eating all kinds of food, all over the USA.
I wanted to share my excitement with you.
This is going to be big!"
Well, Rebel Randi, we're excited for you! Thanks for taking a risk and writing us strangers down here in The Carolinas. Maybe you've heard about Southern Hospitality? We've got our arms open with it right now as you head this way!
Stay tuned, folks. Rebel Randi's first column will appear in next week's edition of The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine.
I'm on Facebook ... "friend me!"
I leave you alone for five minutes ... five brief minutes; and all of a sudden everyone is spending money hand-over-fist to make Dyna Glides look like 80’s model Hondas and we are running a story about a Goldwing trip through France, ... FRANCE!!! The Goldwing part I could forgive but France?! Al Bundy is spinning in his made-for-TV grave!
But fret not lovers-of-obscenity,
I’ll right this s%#! one way or another....
You see, much like "The Philosopher Bundy," there are certain things you should all know about me by now. For example: I do not floss, I do not eat vegetables, I do not like French pastries, I do not like the French, but above all, I DO NOT MISS SMOKE OUT!!!! Yes, boys and girls. For in this, the cursed-year-of-our-Lord two thousand and sixteen, the year that saw fit to take away from us Lemmy Kilmister, Otis Clay, David Bowie, Prince, Dan Haggerty, China (the wrestler,) Merle Haggard, and Muhammad Ali, (can someone check on Bub and Ozzy for me? I don’t trust this year anymore;) there is yet hope, and that hope rises and sets on the Rockingham Dragstrip.
On an unrelated note, am I the only one that hears of another celebrity death and pictures Keith Richards reading a newspaper and yelling “hey Mick, guess who else I outlived?” (Wayne’s World 2 did warn us that Keith Richards cannot be killed by conventional weapons.)
As I was saying, all hope rises & sets at Smoke Out!
I got off work at two in the morning, the half gallon of Red Bull kicked in around 3:30 and I was out of Chesnee and on 85 by four. Kingshit was very haphazardly packed with nothing but a backpack and some camping gear, all held down with little more than zip ties and pre-chewed bubble gum. With a full tank of gas, a pocketful of change, a bald front tire, and an expired tag I was north bound and chomping-at-the-bit to see those gates. It’s been a s#$%-ty year man, I can't begin to tell you how much I needed this trip. It's odd that I've never really felt the need to be anywhere, usually that need is quenched with the next tank of gas and a high middle finger to wherever I was currently positioned; but this time was different. This time I needed to be gone for a few days, I needed to smell that spent high test at the dragstrip, I needed to crack a bad joke at Jon and laugh with our waterwhore about when I tried to trade her off to that swinger couple last year. (Seriously Jessika, I only needed like twelve minutes and I wanted that redhead so you could’ve been a sport.) I don’t know man, it takes a lot for me to admit this but: some of the s#*! I’ve had to deal with recently just had me feeling weak.
I made it to the gates not long after daybreak, the line was short and when I got to the front I was greeted by Edge’s wife who just smiled at me and said, “Shaggy right?” I said, “yes ma’am,” and handed her my money. She told me to keep it and that I could collect my bands and passes at The Horse booth during the press meeting. Rolling through I stopped at the mouth of the strip and just walked around for a minute, smoked probably seven cigarettes one after the other, ran my hand over the spent rubber.
That’s when I felt it.
This place is about taking nothing and turning it into something. Half the ridicoulusly built choppers, bobbers, and café bikes started their rebirth from either a delapadated barn or the bottom of a scrap heap. That’s the energy this show carries and that’s what I was looking for. Take off your shoes, you're standing on holy ground ....
I made it to the bus and caught up with Jon and Fancy. These two for whatever reason still decide to put up with me and I love ‘em for it. We went on to the press meeting, awaited the arrival of our waterwhore, then just settled in for the day. I sat and talked to so many people from years past, people that always treat me like family that I wouldn’t know if not for this show. (On that topic, if any of you are reading this, why the h#ll do people keep trying to feed me? It's like I'm a f*$!-ing pigeon in town square. Every other person, “Shaggy, how are ya man? How ya been? Have ya eaten yet? We just made breakfast, come on why don’t you set down and make you a plate?” Every year! But I’m grateful to you guys I really am, I hope I can return the favor one day.)
Friday went on as Fridays often do, I rode one of the Painted Ladies around for a bit, Rebel Son played, the titty contest ensued, Rebel Son was getting ready to play again before I noticed a sign that said, “P.B.R. tall boys $2 each.” Well, I'm going home poor. I'm not gonna sit here and tell you everything that happened Friday night ... because frankly, I don’t know what happened Friday night. Someone said they saw me walking around with two girls and I vaugley remember buying P.B.R. to toast to my new father-in-law. (oh s%#*, not again!) All I know is I woke up to Paul stepping on me a few times and Jon and Fancy making fun of me for being really dirty. Like, dirtier than usual for me. The pictures on my camera would suggest that I spent some time in the burnout pit but at this time that’s all I have to go on. I need to make a poster for next year with a picture of me on it and a line saying, “ Have you seen me?”
Saturday went as Saturdays do. More music, more sideshows, more strippers, more beer; so im just gonna touch on a few key points. First off, I'm noticing a lot of rednecks walking around sporting the ol’ stars-and-bars on just about everything. Naturally I begin to wonder how to piss these people off ... why, hello ladies, would you be interested in taking a ride? Yes, both of you.
Secondly, I wanna give a big thanks to the guys from Bull City Tobacco. I went to buy a few cigars from them and dropped my wallet somewhere between their booth and the bus. They found it and took it to a lost and found. I appreciate those guys so here's some free advertising: Shaggy endorses Bull City tobacco products and tells all non-smokers to go to h#!!.
After that things started to unwind enough to where Jessika decided she wanted to take a lap on the bike. Riding around we passed the Richie Pan booth and I noticed a handwritten sign that said, “George the Painter shirts.” I thought, “well my americanmother*!#$-er.com shirt is getting some miles on it,” so I tell Jessika we’re stopping and I notice George is sitting right there under the tent. I’ve heard the "don’t meet your heroes" speech my entire life, and it is true that if you build a person up in your mind they can appear bigger than they really are. This is my third time meeting George so I can confirm this, that motherf*!#-er has got to be eight foot tall. I’m 6’2 and he looks waaaayyy down on me. So I ask George something I’ve always wanted to: I asked him that if I could find a silver magic marker or something of the like if he would sign Kingshit, and he agreed.
I can't promise I didn’t carry Jessika back to that bike tucked under one arm (She’s a boney little thing so I probably could’ve.) I flew back to the bus to drop her off, 'n when we got there she asked, kinda puzzled, “are we done riding?” to which I replied “move B*#ch, I’m on a mission!” Not one person, in one booth, in that ENTIRE show had a silver Sharpie. Finally, I saw a pinstriping booth and went to it. I felt horrible for ruining this poor woman’s dinner but damnit I didn’t care. I handed her a twenty and said, “ma’am I just want to borrow a brush and a drop or two of paint, George The Painter just agreed to sign my bike.” Her eyes lit up, she said, “ keep your money, here's a brush and a clipboard. I’ll mix your paint and walk over there.”
What happened next, a lot of people won’t understand, and if you are one of those people,... I really don’t care! He asked where I wanted it, I said the side of the tank under the road rash. He says, “Ok, I’ll do it right here.” then he leans down and right in the center mass of the tank just slaps on a big, lime green “G.T.P.” I’m standing there with my camera and ask him to hold for a picture. He looks at me, smiles, then stabs the brush right into the middle of the paint. I couldn’t wait to show this off, I went back to the bus and Fancy was the first person I saw. Then I got the classic Fancy response, “Who?” Jessika is already looking at it and exclaimed “that’s what you ran me off for?” Fancy’s response was “that’s what you were so proud of?” Say what you want, my trip was made. I literally had the thought that I may as well go ahead and go to bed because my day wasn’t gonna get any better.
Jon and Fancy pulled out in The BIG RIDE early that evening (giggity,) Jessika left, the band was playing, I was sitting on the bike waiting for the titty contest to start when I noticed these two guys kept looking at me. Finally one spoke up and said something about a Shadow, said he has one or had one or something to that effect. While we’re talking I noticed the other guy being kinda quite and glancing at my camera. Finally he asked if I was the guy from the magazine taking pictures last year and I said I was.
Buckle down because this is going to be a long one.
I recognized the guy, I had photographed him and his wife together here last year. He informed me that since then he had lost his wife in a car accident. We talked for more than a little while about that, I remembered them then, she was a beautiful woman and a total sweetheart. I remember thinking back when I met them the first time what a lucky S.O.B. this guy really was. I saw it in his eyes man, standing right in the middle of everything that used to be “theirs” he was standing there alone and it was killing him. I'm not gonna publish the guy’s name, or the name of his wife, or a picture or any of that s*#!$ just out of respect. I felt for the guy and I told him that I had my computer with me and I asked if he wanted to see last year's pictures and see if there were any that he wanted. I opened the file and out of about a thousand pictures we found eight. I took out a pen and a piece of paper and I told him that if he would give me his address that I’d be sure he got them as soon as I possibly could.
Now let me pause the story here to say that a lot of people have asked me to do this in years' past, and I have lied to every single one of you. Not that I planned to, it's just that nine times out of ten I took a picture that you were in the background of and you decided you just couldn’t live without it hanging in the den to just bring the whole room together. So you wrote your email down on a receipt or a business card, I stuck it in my pocket, ran it through the washer a time or two then a few weeks later I was digging for change and started to wonder what lint was made of.
This guy wanted these pictures, and I wanted more than anything for him to have them. He went back to the stage area and I stayed in my tent the rest of the night to make sure there were none that we missed. Yes, let the record show, mark this day and remember it, that on June 18th 2016 Jonathon Shagwell Peeler was not a d*#k for fifteen whole minutes. When I got home Sunday my first order of business was printing those pictures so I could have them in the mail Monday before I left for work. He should have them by now and I hope he enjoys them.
I didn't write this to try to make any of you think I am a decent human being. I'm not.
I know what a lot of people are going to say about this, and I didn’t write this to brag, I didn’t write this to try to make any of you think I was even a decent human being, I’m not! There are over six billion members of the human fan club and I don’t remember inviting a single one of you to my party upon this big blue rock. I wrote this for you, not for me. Everyone reading this, from the “Bub” and “Tarheel” type to the “me” type. You have a skill, you have a trait, you have a kind word to say, you have a catpiss-stained couch in the garage that someone would give anything to make a bed out of. Take and give that opportunity, if you claim to be part of a culture then give to that culture instead of taking away from it, that’s all I did for years.
Give instead of taking away
As far as my culture is concerned, I get three days out of the year to be around other people like me, two of which are spent coming and leaving; so while I was in the thick of it I just stuffed my pockets and tried to hoard enough to carry me through to the next year, well Slappy, s*$!# don’t work that way. This man lost one of the most important parts of himself, yet he came back but for how long? What if the memories had gotten the better of him and he decided to skip it? Then bit by bit others start to fall off, ... “well, so and so isn’t going this year so I believe I'll just stay home too.” Then this cultural phenomenon that we had, this three days that got me and others through the year, through all the hard nights on the job, through all the family struggles; slowly it’ll all just turn into another nine dollar corn dog stand.
If YOU want this, Then WE have to build this.
p.s. Want more pics?
The rest of my sorted photos are in our GALLERY now!
See more Smoke Out pics in our GALLERY now!
My Mail Bag...
Some items that have come to me recently....
The first came from Facebook but I can't remember the source so I apologize and welcome the photographer to give me a holer and I'll give you a shout out next week! This was from Smoke Out...
The second item is from our friends who put on the annual Veteran's Ride and so much more. It's another benefit - this time a bike nite in the SC capital....
Finally, Bill Kniegge sent in this photo saying, "Here's a picture of me going to the 'other side' taken last week in the mountains with some of my riding friends that were already there!"
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The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine
2764 Pleasant Rd, PMB 4100
Fort Mill, SC 29708