July 19th Edition
In This Issue:
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The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area
for Week of July 20-26, 2016
Wednesday 93h & m-sunny, Thursday 92h & m-sunny, Friday 97h & p-cloudy, Saturday 100h & m-sunny, Sunday 98h & p-cloudy, Monday 99h & p-cloudy, Tuesday 95h & 50% scattered t-storms (as per weather.com on 7/19/16)
So many reasons to ride
The last few editions of The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine have included such rider-centered content as coverage of last month's Smoke Out, a more artsy-folksy-freakshow version of a bike rally; a poetic story of an impromtu ride to the beach by our ride-passionate couple, Ron and Marcia; a long-distant rider's continuing journey to the outer reaches of northern North America's French connection; event coverage of a family-oriented hometown-vibe kind of motorcycle and barbeque rally; and a Sunday ride by a group of prolific riding upper-aged but not-detered-by-speed-or-rough-roads riders. If I looked back further, there'd, of course, be even more diversity in the kinds of rides and styles of riders we have the great fortune to share with our subscribers.
There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all definition of a Rider!
There's also no one and only answer to the question "Why do you Ride?"
But still, somehow or other, the world in general (and probably even us riders ourselves,) locks riders into a box. It is, of course, human nature to box and label and define. Somehow it makes us more comfortable to do that. Helps us get a hold of the jumble of people and things around us.
The Carolina Rider is you - and you are different from all other riders. Ride your own Ride! Ain't that what it's about anyway?
I'm on Facebook ... "friend me!"
I thought about writing this a couple-three weeks ago but I procrastinated. Glad now that I did and you will see why later on. Several months ago Ron or Sandhills Mike, or maybe someone else in The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine wrote about people and events they had come across riding on their bikes. Here are some that the CPRs have met lately....
Back in May as the CPRs rode into Christa’s for lunch, another couple were just getting off their machine. We all nodded and smiled at each other. As we started in, I told Mickey and Charley that I was going to introduce myself and give them The Carolina Rider card. Walked over, held out my hand and asked where they were riding from. Blank looks and then the lady said something and I caught French. She said Nathlie and pointed at her husband and said Bruno. Oh boy! I’m racking my brain trying to think of French words ... nada [is nada French?!!] I could tell they were doing the same. They finally got across that they were touring and pronounced Memphis, Chicago, and several other eastern US cities. I gave them the TCR card and pantomimed that I wrote some for it. Pointed to the email address and again pantomimed for them to write me and they nodded yes. We walked inside and I told Christa they were French and spoke no English. She said that was fine cause she spoke no French---always a kidder. Walked over to my table and told my friends about them and said that they had to be very adventurous to come to a foreign country and travel alone. I remember going to Germany in the AF and being lost in that culture, but at least I had my fellow GI’s there too. Actually I was very surprised they didn’t know any English, most Europeans do unless they are quite old.
(Pictured above, Nathalie and Bruno on their big US ride adventure)
Later I found they live in an “off the beaten path” part of France. Here’s a copy of the email I received ...
Venons de rentrer en France après avoir passé 21 jours aux USA, Chicago, grands lacs, Niagara, montagnes Appalaches,
Nashville, Memphis, St Louis et Chicago. Vues superbes et accueil sympathique.
Nous adorons votre pays !
Nathalie / Bruno
Oh, ... you don’t read French??!
OK, here’s the translation, courtesy of Google:
Just returned to France after having spent 21 days in the USA, Chicago, Great Lakes, Niagara, Appalachian Mountains, Nashville, Memphis, St. Louis, and Chicago. Great views and friendly welcome.
We love your country!
Nathalie / Bruno
I’m sure glad I gave them that TCR card, now I have friends in France!!
(Cliff's bike, "Lucy")
Then I met “Cliff!!”
Mickey’s boyhood friend, Gene Fulton, owns Fulton Competition in Spartanburg, SC. They build engines for dragsters - car type. His best engine puts out 2500 hp! Gene drove dragsters and is in the Dragster Hall of Fame along with many other awards .... and .... he likes bikes too, which brings up Cliff. Gene met him at a bike rally in Florida and invited him to his home. Gene has a Wed. nite cook-out and invited me over to met and interview Cliff.
Cliff’s hometown is Boring OR (and maybe that explains some of his behavior ... LOL.) Started riding scooters at 8 and started serious bike riding at 11. He worked in LA as a photographer for awhile but got the wanderlust to travel. For some reason he always wanted to see Cambodia and through contacts and so on he went to Vietnam to buy a cycle to ride. He found out that the general populace is only allowed up to 150cc engines while police have 250cc engines. He found and purchased a Minsk [named after the Russian city where it’s made ] of 125cc. These are very basic machines with simple 2 stroke motors and drum brakes. They are quite common in Asia but unheard of here. He decided to tour Vietnam before going to Cambodia. I asked if he worried about his safety and he replied that he passed himself off as a Brit. He said there was one village that figured out his nationally and refused to have anything to do with him. It had been bombed during the Vietnam conflict and overran with soldiers. Restaurants would not serve him and the one hotel would not give him a room. He ended up staying at the hospital where a staff member gave him a gurney to sleep on and some food. At the Cambodia border they would let him in but not Lucy. Lucy is what he named his 125cc hot rod cycle. Lucy, after the character in the comic strip Peanuts. To get Lucy in he went to another border crossing in a remote site and they let him in. Rode across Cambodia, through Thailand where he boarded a ship for the US.
The US gave him fits about Lucy. They wanted a letter from the original owner! Now this is a bike from Vietnam and it’s a 1975 model! After a lot of wrangling, he finally got her registered and plated. Now he’s touring the US but plans to ride Lucy from Siberia to London. He has a Facebook account. (Cliff Danger - the one with the cartoon head.)
And now it’s time for EL and Rene Beach. Couple of weeks ago I rode to Neva TN. Why? I dunno, seen the name on a map and made a route up to go there. Neva is not easy to get to, I found out. A couple of rough dirt roads and the gps putting you on roads that stop or just loop around. But I made it ... I thought. The gps said I’d arrived at Neva at the T-intersection of Big Dry Run Rd and Roan Creek Rd. All I seen was mountains and pasture fields. A girl stopped and asked if I was broke down, no just looking for Neva. She said turn right and it’s just up the road. OK, I go right and run along for awhile and I still see nothing like a town. She had pulled off ahead of me and flagged me down. I asked where is it, she replied that I was right in the middle of it!!
So don’t expect to see much when you go there ... OH you’re not going? - good choice.
Now it gets interesting, I’m on my way to home and only a mountain or 2 from Neva when I see a green, trimmed-in-red wagon with car tires pulled by 2 mules. I have to check this out, turn around and stop where they are parked under some shade trees along the road. Ask if I can take some pictures? Sure. And I met EL and Rene, can’t remember the names of the mules or their dog. Such a nice couple, they live close and the wagon is their way of touring around the area. This wagon was their day wagon where they stopped at friend’s homes along the way and if it was too late in the day stay the nite. Rene said they had a larger wagon that was enclosed they used if they traveled any distance. This wagon had lights, galley and a shower!! EL said they also had another day wagon they could use. All wagons had hydraulic brakes as EL said some of the hills they came down were too steep for the mules to hold back. We talked about some of the roads around there and how beautiful the area is and I forgot to ask where they lived as I would like to see them again. Nice, nice people. if you’re rambling around the hills north of Watauga Lake and come across them, please stop and get their address for me.
This video is a dirt road section of the road section to Neva.
Some serious notes here....
I had an interesting experience Friday morning. Thought I’d take a little ride and as I approached highway 150 I stopped right of the center of the traffic lane and back of the white line even though I was turning left. A car turned off 150 onto Robbs School and cut the corner clearing my front wheel by a foot or so. As the car went by the women driver looked at me with surprise on her face—like where did you come from? She never saw me until she was directly in front of me. If I’d stopped on the white line or had stopped of the left side of the traffic lane, I have no doubt she would have hit me.
Then today [ Sunday ] Mickey and I headed up into the mountains around Lake Lure to cool down a little. We were riding on Coxe Road and ahead of us was a parking area on our right, as we approached a car started moving at an angle to our lane, keep on coming and pulled into our lane right in front of us, lucky for us we seen the car and had slowed way down but even so ran up to almost the rear of the car. Again they never saw us, even 2 bikes with lights on.
Be ever so careful.
And I have to tell on myself, we were on a small farm road and ahead of us I seen a road intersecting ours at an angle with a stop sign, I thought. I was so wrong, the stop sign was on our road and I was too close !! I grabbed the brakes and slid across the road ! Whew, no oncoming traffic.
Again, be careful and ATGATT
CPRs are on the move!,
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first of a series by Rebel Randi. We introduced her in the July 12th edition of The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine. Just as her journey is uncharted and filled with unknowns, what will come in this column is yet to be seen by her or the rest of us. She is setting out with intention - to reconnect with her deeper self, to let go of the roles she has played so far, and to recreate who and where she will be. What better way to do that than to shed possessions and responsibilities and give in to a two-wheeled ride of transformation?
I am actually hitting the road later this week! ....
So many things to take care of before I hit the road and completely ride away. Handling bills and responsibility-adult things before I can leave, silly little time-consuming detail things like going through all my jewelry that got scattered and clumped when I moved from the house, vital ride prep like buying a tent for when I want to just drop somewhere along the road and getting a new luggage rack for the back of my 2012 CVO Softail, getting my cat's ashes back from the vet because I plan to take some with me so that Peanut, (who I had for 12.5 years like my house,) will share the journey with me.
I'm very emotional to be leaving the area that I grew up in, have many friends, and am well respected in the biker community, which took years to build those relationships. I am sure I will build new ones and have that again where I end up, but nonetheless it's emotional as I say my good-byes.
(Above is a photo of me leaving the house. Click on it for a video of me riding my bike away for the last time.)
Let the bad memories fall behind me
and the good ones stay in the wind that embraces me!
(This is a very symbolic photo taken on a road near my house that I have just sold in preparation for this transformative journey.)
This is my freedom: my walking forward
... away from past ... and on my own Path.
I'll be sharing more along the way and welcome emails from you ....
"Walking" on Water Biker-style ....
Walking on water ... or so the parable goes. But this is a whole different story. Have you seen this video of a guy "surfing" on a motorcycle??
I saw it on a TV video show then looked it up online for the full length version. Really cool. Beautiful videography and scenery too. You can catch glimpses of the paddle-style wheels and the flat "surfboard" backend.
Anyone think they might try it themselves? How 'bout you and the CPR's, Bub?
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