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(photo from June's Hog Happenin' in Lincolnton, NC)

July 14 Edition

In This Issue:

Riding BE-cause ~ Charitable & Educational Events in the Carolinas

Lil' Weather

Free Thinking with FancyFree

BIG RIDE 2 Rides Out!

Orangeburg Ron takes a ride to Jacksonville, FL

Win a TCR Tuff!

EVENT REPORT: Hog Happenin'

Loose Talk with Jon

CLICK BELOW to buy your money-saving "Carolina Rider" discount card for Myrtle Beach businesses!

CLICK ABOVE to buy your money-saving "Carolina Rider" discount card for Myrtle Beach businesses!

Coming Up in Maggie Valley:

July 17 - 18, Southeastern Gas & Petroleum Expo and Hillbilly Rods Car Show,

July 24 - 25, Smokin’ in the Valley - WNC BBQ Festival 2015; Open Friday from noon to 9pm & Saturday from 10am to 6 pm. With up to 48 Cookers, this is a Barbecue (BBQ) Cooking Competition & Kansas City BBQ Society Sanctioned event;

July 31 and August 1, Hillbilly Woodstock – This annual all-day music festiva;

August 8, Great Smoky Mountains 3 v 3 Soccer Shootout;

August 14 - 16, Maggie Valley Summer Rally--Rock-A-Billy, Rat Rods, Hot Rods, Hawgs & Custom Cars; Website:

August 29 - 30, 42nd Annual Fall Regional Shelby/Mustang & Ford Meet;

The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area

for Week of July 15-21, 2015

Wednesday 95h & clear, Thursday 92h & p-cloudy, Friday 93h & clear, Saturday 95h & 50% rain, Sunday 96h & 50% rain, Monday 98h & p-cloudy, Tuesday 96h & p-cloudy (as per on 07/14/15)

Ahh, the ride

It blows away the cobwebs and clears away the fog

Refills my soul and empties my mind and I could go on and on

The ride is my healer, my inspiration, my friend

The ride takes me far away riding on the wind

I know you understand me, I know you know it's the way

The ride, the remedy. Hoping you get one in today!

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

I had some training in Jacksonville to attend so of course there is little question on whether or not to go on the bike or take the car. Well for me that isn’t much of a question and Marcia agrees also- it is always the bike first.  And since the training happened to be at Adamec Harley-Davidson (however the training was not related to motorcycles, but my work in crisis management of people behavior,) we took the bike.  We left on Wednesday the 20th for the training on the 21st and 22nd and headed over to our new favorite ethanol-free station to fill up and answer “where you all off to now?”  He always asks, especially when the bike is loaded down like we were.  We packed for rain since the forecast was for late afternoon showers and storms in the Jacksonville area.  Our plan was to be there before they came in.  Eschewing the freeway we decided we enjoyed our last trip on 301 and decided on that route to 295 around Jacksonville to the south side of town where we had to go.

The weather was great.  We started out in a jacket, but I shed that at the Georgia line welcome center and put on the sun screen.  If you ever take 301, stop in at the welcome center and get a free Co Cola.  As long as you sign the register they will give you a free Coke.  301 is a great road, the road is relatively smooth – unlike I-95 especially around the Walterboro area, and very straight for the most part.  We cruised along between 60-65 mph with little traffic and the towns provide a nice break to stop for a quick stretch.  It is wonderful farm countryside.  We stopped for lunch at Jerry’s Country Cooking in Glenville.  I was looking for a bbq place we stopped at a couple of years ago when we came up 301 from Clermont Florida where our daughter lives.  And sure enough, just after we stopped we saw the little place.  While Jerry’s was Ok, it wasn’t worth stopping a second time, and I found myself wishing I would have waited a little longer for the bbq.

The weather was sunny and warm and even with sun screen application every time we stopped, my wrist and arms got sunburned.  Marcia wore her coat the whole way and didn’t get the sun. We both remarked on how straight 301 is in spots. I had read of someone saying they had ridden the Florida Dragon, a road with 11 curves in 389 miles. We may have been on the sister road.  We did count 2 bends in the road in a 25 mile stretch.  The road just went on and on and on.  I missed the turn onto 23 that would have taken us to I-295 and we stayed on 301 all the way to I-10.  A little longer but we got there just the same.  The clouds were rolling in and once we got to 295 we hit a few raindrops, but it was hot and they were few, and kind of welcome.  We took 295 around Jacksonville back to 95 and up to the Meadowbrook exit for our motel.

We did take some time to look over the new Harley’s at the Adamec HD.  Marcia sat on a new Road Glide CVO.  She said she liked the seat and the salesman told her it was an extra for about $1500 because it was heated front and back.  She then made the mistake of asking how much the bike was. When he said around $38,000.00 she came up off the bike like something bit her!  We left and talked about how much we enjoyed our old 06 Dyna with 70,000 miles.  Well maybe a new seat, but not heated.

We were able to go downtown to the square for dinner one night where they have a band.  Last year they had a bike night (we found out it is the 3rd Thursday and we were there on the 4th Thursday).  It is right along the river and at night the blue water bridge lights up.  I don’t know if it is blue water, but the blue lights on the bridge are neat.  We were wondering about parking, but we saw a bike and decided to park next to it, maybe share the space, then saw the sign for ‘motorcycle parking.’  Very nice!  No meter either.  Thank you Jacksonville!  We had a great dinner right next to the river with a nice two-man band playing nice music. We then went outside to listen for a few minutes to the band, kind of a 70’s rock band before heading back to the motel to study for my test the next day.    

In heading back to our hotel, we had to take the detour.  If you’ve been down 95 through Jacksonville lately, (within the past 3 years,) you know they are doing construction. That means that some of the exits/entrances are closed.  We rode around and around following signs that said “to 95” and I didn’t think we would ever get there before we got back to the motel, but finally about 2 exits before ours we got back on 95.

I’m thinking I passed my class (this is my 14th year of annual training) and we got out around 11:30 on Friday.  We did pick up a couple of summer jackets that are a mesh and let in the air, but are supposed to still provide some protection if and when one might ever need it.  I did have a salesman tell us once that he was told that ‘you dress for the crash, not the ride.’  While that may seem unusual, if you’ve known someone that went down (Thanks Bud, I like the ATGATT – All The Gear All The Time recommendation, and actually it did inspire us to purchase the jackets. You never know even just a short ride if you’ll need the protection and isn’t it better to be ATGATT than OUCH, that’s a nasty road rash you have, when you could have let a jacket or pants take the slide.)  I will repeat, I used to ride often with just a t-shirt and jeans ( I did always wear jeans and shoes, never sandals) but after reading Bud’s article in The Carolina Rider, we made a purchase.

And while we didn’t need them, we weren’t home yet and nearly were very glad we had them.  So we got out early and headed home. This time we stayed on 295 around to Hwy 23 and connected with 301.  We still marvel at the old buildings and think of the old days when 301 was the major highway to Florida. We were having a great ride home, the weather had cooled a bit into the upper 70’s and we were very comfortable in our new jackets.  The road was smooth and we were just cruisin’.  We were nearing the South Carolina line and I was looking for the Georgia Welcome station and my free coke, when right in front of me is something in the road.  With no time to take any evasive maneuver I tried to stay the course and hoped it wasn’t something bad.  No luck, it was something hard and metal.  I hit it square with the front tire and it didn’t go down, but WHAM it hit hard on the bottom of the bike and the bike shut off immediately.  I was just coming onto a long bridge over some swampy land and coasted to the other side where we could get off the road.  I was expecting a trail of oil or something like that, but nothing.  On first glance I couldn’t see what had happened.  It would crank, but no fire.  I called my friendly Orangeburg Cycle and they said to check to see if a wire had been cut.  Sure enough right in the narrow channel where the cables run there was a little break. The break was hardly visible, only a little white on the black covering of the wires.  I stuck my finger in to feel cut wires.  Laying on the side of the road I was able to strip back the line and strip the wires.  However, I just couldn’t get them to stay twisted together.  Time and time again I would get them together and when I tried to tape them, they would come apart.  Oh for some butt end connectors and a crimper.

I had my leather man tool and electrical tape, but couldn’t get them to stay together.  I called a friend in Ulmer, about 25 miles away to see if he happened to be home and could bring us some connectors and a crimper.  He was home and said he was on the way – Oh to have great friends!! – Thank you Dean!  We did finally have someone to stop and he was a maintenance man – Wayne from a pecan plantation.  Marcia asked if he happened to have some butt end connectors and a crimper, and of course he did.  He brought me a handful and talked with Marcia about how much he would like to have a bike and be able to take trips like us and ride.  “Even with the breakdowns” she asked and he agreed, “even with the breakdowns.”  Well, with 3 butt end connectors and his crimper and my electrical tape we were running and off. I gave him a The Carolina Rider card and our thanks since he wouldn’t take anything else – there are a few good guys left out there! We met our friend in Barnwell and he followed us home to make sure.  Everything ran fine after that, but you can be sure I’ve already added some butt end connectors, some wire nuts and twist ties to my tool kit I carry on the front of the bike.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Just over a month ago, The BIG RIDE 2 parked in downton Lincolnton for the annual Hog Happenin. Here are Lester and The Tarheel Tornado's takes on their HH experience...

Lester’s Report:

I hope all is well out there in the Carolina’s. If you made it out to The Hog Happenin in Lincolnton NC , then life is good. The Hog Happenin was a great success again. This was my second year riding out to Lincolnton.  It is a great little town, and a great time of fellowship and BBQ.  We, Mrs. Lester and I, enjoy the ride, picking up a few friends on the way. We stopped and picked up Steve & Debbie and they had a couple of new riding friends with them from Gaffney. We then went over the state line and picked up the Tarheel Tornado.  We let him, TT, lead as he knows all the backroads. You can let him lead, just don’t let him get too far out there. If he does, there is no telling where you may end up. That man loves to ride! Anyone that can ride to Sturgis in 2 days and then turn around a couple of days later to ride home, riding straight through, 1700 miles stopping only for fuel. I’m telling you, that man loves to ride!!!

Anyway the ride up was great, not too hot and the traffic was not bad either. HWY 74 through Shelby will always be crowded and this morning was no exception. The countryside was beautiful, and as long as you were in the shade the weather was great. When you got in the direct sun, for any length of time, it got hot quick.

We surprised the gang there at The Big Ride II as they had not been expecting us.  It was great to see everyone again. Jason Taylor was there with his bus and his lovely ladies. Thank you ladies for posing for me on my bike. I really appreciate it.  The visit was short but very entertaining as I was able to help Jon with the drone flying over the downtown area. That’s always lots of fun. I was also able to meet some of the guys from Blue Ridge Harley-Davidson. They were there with the ride demonstrator. Everybody seemed to be having a great time.

I mentioned the BBQ earlier, this was a sanctioned Kansas City BBQ cook-off and there were crews there from all over the Carolinas and out as far as Texas.  I ate enough ribs to cause a normal person to just roll over and cry uncle, and I would have; but I had Daryl on my mind so I had to make him proud. I ate enough for me and him.  He would have been very happy. Sorry you missed it, buddy!  Everybody enjoyed the BBQ. I didn’t hear a negative word about any of it. After the BBQ, we went for ice cream.  This had to be ate fast as the heat was melting it faster than we could eat it. Shortly after that the Tarheel Tornado had to head back home for another obligation, but we hung around for another hour or so.  At about 4:00 we loaded up and headed out ourselves. Using the GPS, it took us home just about the same way we had gotten there, so it was a great ride also.

While we were on HWY74, we started getting hit with a few rain drops, so we ducked into a gas station as most of the group needed fuel anyway. We were finished filling up, the rain had moved on, so we headed out again.  The 2 new guys that were from Gaffney, dropped off there in Shelby. Since they were headed home, it didn’t make sense for them to go to Boiling Springs and then head back to Gaffney. From there back to Boiling Springs it was just the 4 of us. We arrived safely at Steve & Debbie’s just before the bottom fell out. It rained for about 45 minutes and then the sun came back out.  After saying our goodbyes, Mrs. Lester and I headed back to Greer.

Overall, it was beautiful ride with super good food, and great fellowship. What more can a person ask for?


The Tarheel Tornado’s Perspective of his part of the ride to Hog Happenin’:

It’s been a while since I got to ride and to write, but I did manage to get to Lincolnton's “Hog Happenin” the weekend of June 6th. I ran into Lester at lunch on Thursday the 4th, and he suggested we go. He thought he might have a few friends show up, but he wasn’t sure about that. In any case we could go. I have been really covered up with work, projects, and commitments lately, but I did have the morning off on the 6th, so we decided it was a go. I had to be back by 3:30 in time to make one of those commitments I mentioned earlier. I play guitar for my church, and we had an at home mission event planned for the next 6 days, and that is one of them. I won’t bore you with all the details, but I did learn that at a local hotel close by, they have 4 people on Hospice care. The thoughts of being in that situation with no family members to help is very heartbreaking. It certainly puts all my supposed troubles in perspective.

I got up Saturday morning with the worst backache I have had in years. I knew Lester would be there at 10:00 am, and I needed to see if I had to fuel up. It was hard to get on the bike to move it out, and then once I got on, I wasn’t sure I could get off. Not exactly how I wanted to start the day. However, I managed, but I bet if the neighbors were looking, that was a really funny thing to watch me trying to figure out how to get off that bike. The bike didn’t need anything, but I needed to fill up with Ibuprofen before I left. I was hoping the ride would have a massage effect as we rode, and actually it did!  Anyway Lester showed up and he did have Mrs. Lester, Steve, and Debbie, along with a couple of guys I had never met before. Sorry guys, but I can’t remember the names right now. They asked me to lead, and that is really a scary thing. If you let me lead, you may be riding a long time before you get to stop. I guess Lester figured he can’t ride but so far and we will be in Lincolnton in a little over an hour anyway. We took the back roads for the most part. Out hwy 11 to 221A to 120 to 74 bypass then to 150 into Lincolnton. I did the best I could to keep my speed at a modest level, but try not to get blown off the road. Lester has a patch that says, “only a biker knows why a dog sticks his face out the window of the car and into the wind.” I totally agree. We made good time and was there in an hour and 15 minutes. We rode right up to the bus, parked close by, found Jan and Jon, and immediately quenched a thirst we developed along the way. We sat back and talked for a while. It’s always good to see Jan and Jon. I was hoping to see Bub and Shaggy too, but maybe next time. Hey, missed you guys. We discussed some of the upcoming events, and made our way out to the festivities hunting some good BBQ. I had a brisket sandwich, and a smoked hotdog. Man that was good. We got some ice cream, walked around a while, and then headed back to the “The Big Ride 2” the RV. I took a little time to help promote The Carolina Rider and talk with Jan and Jon.

Finally, the time came for me to go, so I could get back in time. So I had to say my goodbyes and take off by myself. Bottom line, it’s always a good time when you get to ride, and especially when you get to share that ride with friends.

Myrtle Beach coupons!

Myrtle Beach Promotions has joined up with The Carolina Rider to provide you with some great deals for a TON of businesses that you will surely utilize in Myrtle Beach. Going to the beach with the family? Headed to a bike week? Taking a riding vacation on the Grand Strand? Passing through on your ride? Hook up with these discounts and save some bucks. Part of their monies go to local Myrtle Beach charities. Win-Win deals it seems.


Bike Nites? - some replies

Last week I asked you all to write in about bike nites in The Carolinas - where are the best ones? Here are a couple replies ...

REPLY 1: There is a really good bike night at Uncle Bucks Pub and Grub on Main street In Salisbury every Tuesday night starting at 6 PM

SEVERAL REPLIES: And a couple other readers reminded us that one of The Carolina Rider long-time Sponsors, Mac's, has extremely popular bikes nites every week with good music, food, and great locations all over. In fact, we hear that Mac's is opening in Greensboro, NC soon. Stay tuned. We'll let you know what else we hear about that.

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