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August 9th Edition
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The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area
for Week of August 10-16, 2016
Wednesday 86h & 80% t-storms, Thursday 89h & 50% scattered t-storms, Friday 89h & p-cloudy, Saturday 89h & p-cloudy, Sunday 90h & p-cloudy, Monday 89h & p-cloudy, Tuesday 88h & p-cloudy (as per weather.com on 8/09/16)
What kind of Ride Story do You Have?
& What's Going on Where you are?
While in Chesnee for Antique Bikes on Main last month, a rider told me he enjoys The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine ... BUT "I want more info about things around my area!" "Ok," I challenged him, "I look forward to reading the story you send in about YOUR ride and what's going on in YOUR area!"
I didn't mean to be flip, honest. It's something I've used as encouragement for potential contributors many times over the years and it's because that's what we're here for: YOUR STORY! Remember, (and I know you've read this from me before and I don't apologize because I say it with passion) ... YOU are The Carolina Rider. This publication is about THE RIDER; thus, The Carolina Rider. And remember also, you don't have to live in The Carolinas to be The Carolina Rider. Nope. Talk is from Montana! Rebel Randi (column below) is from New York! And there are stories about rides all over ... as clearly Gary B's story series (column below) about riding the Trans Labrador Highway tells us.
Our Sandhills Mike lives in Fayetteville. I met him a few years back at either the Easy Riders or the International Bike Show at the Charlotte Convention Center. While I can't remember which show, I clearly remember him coming up to me and telling me about some biker discrimination issue happening in his area at the time. He asked if we might address it in a future publication and I gave him the challenge to provide the info and we'd run it. He did and we did and he's been writing for us ever since. He goes to rider-oriented events in his area and takes pictures and writes a little something and lately he's been sharing the saga of a bike rebuild he's in the midst of. Had he written for a magazine before? Nope. Did he consider himself a writer or photographer or even a computer-sophisticate? Nope, Nope, Nope. (The computer stuff can still be a challenge for him who is more a get-your-hands-dirty kind of mechanical guy rather than a techie but we make it all work at a distance nevertheless.) Now I'm not picking on Mike here. Not at all! In fact, I am so very very happy and proud of his contributions to our publications. Can't imagine not having his stories. My point is, he wanted more "stuff from his area" in The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine and he made it happen.
So, what's going on in your area? What kind of riding are you doing?
I'm on Facebook ... "friend me!"
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the fourth and final part of a series on Gary's ride to and along the Trans Labrador Highway last year. Ride along as Gary meets all sorts of characters, tours more factories, and checks out the scene from Charlotte to a "close-to-home" France and back! (If you've missed the other three parts, they can be found HERE in our Articles section online!)
Vive la France on a Gold Wing!
... Crossing the Trans Labrador Highway
... Bring Your Own Toilet Paper
... “You think I'd lay down and die, Oh no, not I, I will survive"
Join me as I travel from my home in Charlotte, NC to St. Pierre, France an Island off the South Coast of Newfoundland then cross Labrador on the 892 mile Trans Labrador ‘High Grade Gravel” Highway.
Day 21 - Wednesday, September 16th, 2015
LaChute, QC Hotel A Lorraine & Bowling Alley
Now it was a matter of putting the Wing into the Wind and getting home to Bay City and family with the ultimate goal to get back to Charlotte and my wife. I would bypass Quebec City and Montreal traffic. I was also paralleling the North Side of the St. Lawrence River. If you have the chance, the Highway on the South side of the river I think is much prettier being a highway close to the river. There are nice sections of highway you can travel on the North Side if you get off Autoroute Félix-Leclerc / 40 or their Interstate.
Soon after leaving Montreal I ran into fog making travel tiring. I came upon a $59 Canadian Hotel which seemed quite nice. Parts of it were, unfortunately the $59 rooms were in back next to the bowling alley. Again the Canadians trying to be many things. Fortunately being late no one was making strikes as the bowlers had long left and apparently Wednesday is not a bowling night.
No. 10 and the Capitol of a Nation
Ottawa has the highest standard of living in the nation. It ranks 2nd out of 150 worldwide in the Numbeo quality of life index. Ottawa was nice when I spent some time there when I toured the capitol shortly before the 2014 shooting there.
Day 22 - Thursday, September 17th, 2015
Don’t Drink the Water & Alta-Vista Motel
I would go a few blocks out of my way to see the Capitol of Canada in Ottawa for a few photo opts. This was not much of a detour as I was very familiar with the area having visited only a year ago.
I did try to find, just as it was turning dusk, parts of Sudbury that I had read about. Sudbury had one of the world’s tallest smoke stacks and the Nickel mine / smelters had laid waste to Sudbury. During the Apollo lunar exploration program, NASA astronauts trained in Sudbury to become familiar with impact breccia and shatter cones, rare rock formations produced by large meteorite impacts. I could find neither with a limited search that was complicated with night rapidly falling.
"I was Essentially Lost"
I would head on expecting gas on the other side of Sudbury. Much to my surprise I could not find gas and was concerned nor could I find a suitable motel or campground. I was essentially lost. I finally found a gas station far off the Trans Canadian Highway. The road was torn up with multiple short sections of gravel. Getting directions resulted in back tracking and covering some of the same portion of the Trans Canadian Highway - TCH that I already covered. Needless to say, time was lost along with my hopes to make it close to Michigan.
It was very dark, cold and; except for a bear claw, I had not eaten with no real hope of a motel and one that would be open for me. I stopped at the first motel: Alta-Vista Motel in Mckerrow, ON.
The Indian proprietor was insistent on giving me a room next to the office despite numerous other rooms being available. I think he saw me as a ‘Motorcyclist’ and not a handsome engineer adventure rider. I was being discriminated against for my life style! Had I known there was another motel nearby I would have left especially after I learned after the fact that they may have had a bacterial problem with their water and thought the ‘hot’ water at 125 F +/- would correct the problem.
(Morning brought some road art along ‘TCH’ 17)
Day 23 - Friday, September 18th, 2015
Bay City, MI
‘Soo’ Locks / Mighty Mac
. When I reached Sault Ste. Marie, ON, I was stopped by a funeral procession. I asked the funeral director standing in the road where to eat. He could not think of anything until I asked where you would eat. He then told me of Ernie’s which I highly recommend for a chance to go back in time. The décor has not changed in 50 years with great food and large portions.
Day 24 - Saturday, September 19th, 2015
I would spend time visiting family and friends while staying with my sister, Sandy, and brother–in–law, Michael Buda.
The trip would not be complete without a visit to the USS Edson and the upgrades that have been made since my visits in 2013 & 2014. The Edson arrived in Bay City on August 3, 2012. The ship was towed from Philadelphia up the St. Lawrence River to less than a mile from the home I grew up in and where I would often ride my bicycle (I was an Adventure Rider back then!)
(The picture includes Mike Buda wearing his Labrador Hat with Air Force Pin with his pride and joy in the background.)
Day 25 - Sunday, September 20th, 2015
Hats, T-shirts, Apple Crown Royal, Nieces, Nephews and Friends
I bought a dozen-plus Newfoundland hats and should have bought all that they had (I bought all but two as I wanted to leave something for other travelers like me!) I also bought one of two +/- Labrador Hats they had which was especially for Mike Buda. Mike was stationed in Labrador during the Cold War when Labrador was separate from Newfoundland. Everyone looked good in their hats but not everyone fit in their T-shirts.
I was hoping to bring home a bottle of duty free Apple Crown Royal but made the mistake of opening it so Mike and I could taste it. Carrying an open container is not something you want to test Law Enforcement in Ohio or Virginia with.
Memorial / Last Visit to James Belanger, 92
(January 26, 1923 - February 4, 2016)
Below is Jim’s first bike, an Indian 4-cylinder 1265cc in-line engine that I am guessing is a 1939 model. He would describe how great the bike was except the back cylinders would overheat. I could see Jim relive his glory days when he stood next to my six cylinder / shaft drive / XM radio Honda. Jim, like me, was safety conscious with the latest in safety - jacket, leather riding boots, leather helmet and googles.
Day 26 - September 21st, 2015
Cross Lanes, WV
Motel 6 - “I’m Tom Bodett for Motel 6, and we’ll leave the light on for you.”
I did make a Whistle Stop in Columbus, OH for my 683rd factory tour. I failed to make planned tours in Boston of Boston Beer and Cape Cod Potato Chips which is owned by Charlotte’s Synder’s - Lance. I did see these 4 unique factories;
I had hoped to camp at Gallia County Jr. Fair Campground in Gallipolis, Ohio. The caretaker was not there so I ate supper. When I came back I was told there was no primitive camping. There were only 2 RV’s on the open 200 camping sites.
I was given directions to a campground in WV which I could not find. I went on to Charleston expecting to camp in Coonskin Park in Charleston just below the airport. It was closing as I got there so I drove in, much to my surprise they had no camping. I found this out when the ranger said I was trespassing when I told him I wanted to camp. I then doubled back 15 miles and stayed at Motel 6 in Cross Lanes as they ‘left the light on.’
Day 27 - September 22nd
Home and Success
The morning started with a Bob Evan’s breakfast with longtime friend Ken Tyree. Bob Evans is in the parking lot of Motel 6. (Bob Evans lived on his Farm in southeastern Ohio for nearly 20 years. He and his wife, Jewell, raised their six children in the large brick farmhouse known as the Homestead and famous for his sausage. The farm is not too far away in Ohio.) Ken and I, both Tech Center ‘Carbiders,’ rode to Daytona and Bay City together or our nation’s two (2) peninsula states. He was on his ’75 and I was on my ’77 Wing.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is an on-the-road 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?
Lane Splitting and Filtering
Here's what I shared a couple weeks ago:
Apparently the National Highway Safety Committee is considering endorsing lane splitting and filtering for motorcycles. Lane splitting is passing between two cars on the highway at a speed no greater than 15mph greater than the cars are going. Filtering is when a motorcycle is allowed to go between rows of stopped cars and filter to the head of the line, be it a stop sign or traffic light.
I asked for feedback & I've heard from 2 readers with varied viewpoints ....
Bill K said: "As a CA transplant after 32 years there, I can vote for endorsing lane splitting. it seems that it looks to be much worse than it really is. For that reason the CA CHP supports it 100% Every motorcyclist that land splits must be careful for sure... but they must be careful anyway. Being able to focus on what is in front of you and NOT what is potential hazards behind you is a real bonus, especially on the freeways. On city streets, being able to roll up to the front of the cars stopped at a stop light is much safer as well.... The bikes are better ot in front of the street traffic then buried in the middle. having just recently done a tour in Italy, one find out that if you don't roll to the front at a stoplight you are likely to get a little horn tap to get out of the line! Sitting in freeway or street traffic on a hot day is also uncomfortable as we all know and can be very hard on today's lean running engines as they heat up. Just my 2 cents... after riding for 32 years in SoCal."
David P wrote: "Jon, Maybe someone has to explain it to me better but I just don't understand why the NHSC would think this is a good idea and endorse it. It's just not a safe practice in my mind. I see it happen and typically cringe each time just hoping the rider makes it through and doesn't get squashed, his bike dinged up or worse. For me I would never try it because my bike is too big and I care about it, me and my passenger too much to risk it. You just can't control what the cage drivers are going to do and because of that, split or filter at your own risk."
So, before we garage this issue for now, we'd still like to hear, What do you think?
Should these changes be made? Why or why not?
Contact us at jon@TheCarolinaRider.com - All Rights Reserved
The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine
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