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September 1st Edition
In This Issue:
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!
On September 26th 2015 the TOMORROW Organization will be hosting and Memorial Motorcycle Ride, Concert and Cornhole tournament to honor the life of Lauryn Brooke Matherly. The TOMORROW Organization was created to honor Lauryn’s life by helping other teenagers with depression, bullying, abuse and self-worth.
The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area
for Week of August 25-September 1, 2015
Wednesday 88h & clear, Thursday 88h & clear, Friday 88h & clear, Saturday 88h & clear, Sunday 89h & p-cloudy, Monday 89h & 60% rain, Tuesday 90h & 40% rain (as per www.intellicast.com on 08/25/15)
It was a Calendar Malfunction
It's September! And, from where I sit, that's great for many reasons ...
We want to express our regrets to all of you whose events landed in the month of August on our calendar. Due to an undetected malfunction, many of them were never posted. A few from June and July suffered the same fate but most of the issue was in August.
We work very hard to provide a robust Calendar of motorcycle-related events on our website; to be the go-to place for your ride planning. We put a great deal of effort and heart into supporting not-for-profit charitable and educational motorcycle events and, among other services, make sure that they are listed on our online events Calendar. Sadly, we failed you all last month and what a frustrating thing that is. Once discovered, we remedied the situation but it went undetected for weeks. Please know that the Calendar is up and going and your events WILL be published with great care.
Working with technology, with the internet, with humans, with the fallibility of all, we all malfunction now and then.....
I'm on Facebook ... "friend me!"
Q - What did we do on our 2015 Summer Vacation?
A - One word: STURGIS!
So now you expect me to talk about the topless girls with painted ta ta’s, the live bands, the drinking and partying…and yes it is all there….and I saw it…but instead I had some altogether new experiences at this years 75th Anniversary.
First of all we had the intelligence to go early. We began our trip on July 25th a sunny Saturday morning. 27 hours later and a ton of gas dollars put on the credit card to cover the cost of trailering the bikes, Greg and I arrived at the Days End Campground on Sunday the 26th of July. A successful trip considering we didn’t kill each other from exhaustion! We go to the Camp Store to pay for our spot and find out that this year we can not keep the trailer on the tent camping area because of the crowds they are expecting…..Before it gets out of hand….I suggest we go to the closest Wally World and purchase a tent. What the hell, I will just put everything from the trailer in a tent… we have been saving for over 2 years…get out the credit card and just buy a tent!
We had the “primo” spot at Days End Campground right there in Sturgis off of exit 30. A nice shady tree with a picnic table, not to far from the bathhouse, within earshot of the live bands that played in the campground. We marked our spot with the tent, a tarp and landscape lights. As we quickly unloaded the bikes from the trailer, a horrible discovery! Greg’s brand new 2015 CVO Ultra Classic with every bell and whistle you can imagine won’t start! (Do we push the bike back in the trailer …..Hell no! I am too exhausted to fight with 1000 lbs of dead weight!)
This is when my “preparedness skills” kick in! I can honestly say we have only been HOG members when we purchase new bikes, and tend to let the memberships run out. But under the circumstances of long distance travel and “Sturgis” I decided to update both of our memberships in order to get the 75th Anniversary HOG pin and take advantage of the Roadside Assistance Program. Which I upgraded to the “Ultra” package. It included all of our vehicles, unlimited tows, and NO OUT OF POCKET $ ! We call the tow, and because it is Sunday and Black Hills HD service was closing at 6 p.m., we agreed to have the bike picked up on Monday a.m. and hopefully be one of the first in line at the Black Hills HD Service Dept.
Monday a.m. the Black Hills Service Department already has about 50 bikes on the lot. It turns out that the problem with Greg’s CVO was a common problem last year on over 200 bikes. Owners are shown how to turn on and off the security system….but not told that there is a “Transport Mode” (a special sequence you must go through before trailering your ` bike). Just having the fob with the bike is not enough! Even though the bike doesn’t sound an alarm….it is quietly throwing a fit in the trailer that drains the battery beyond being able to jump start or re-charge it….IT MUST BE REPLACED!
So, while the bike is being serviced an approximate three to four hour wait…..we are shopping! There are vendors crammed in every nook and cranny of all the available lots in and around Black Hills Harley Davidson! I find a sign that reads “Free Your Clutch Hand”. Well I am instantly sold! I don’t know what it is …but I have a small reach along with arthritis in my hand….anything to make clutching easy, I am there! (Especially with the anticipation of stop and go traffic in Sturgis and the surrounding Black Hills rides)
It turns out there is a product by “Rekluse” that replaces/upgrades your clutching system to a “clutch free” system. The demonstration is a guy on his bike dropping from Neutral to 1st and never touching the clutch. The bike doesn’t move until he gives it gas…no clutch and the bike eases forward! A couple just had it put on their bikes explaining that they considered it last year but went home and did a lot of online research and regretted they didn’t get it done! OMG! Greg where is the Credit Card! My bike is up on a lift immediately!
About that time Greg’s bike is ready for pick up. We walk together and pass a vendor that offers super dark transition, Rx lenses included, biker glasses for less than our insurance could offer. The frames are identical to his Harley frames and now he will be able to actually see his GPS as well as hear it! Greg gets out the credit card!
We almost make it to the Service Department when we are stopped by vendors cleaning your glasses and offering for you to allow them to clean your bike windshield.
Now we can read the bill really well from Black Hills Harley Davidson for replacing the battery! Damn! Put it on the card!
Well, while my bike is in HD Service, I convince Greg, with his clutch hand that was pinned back together after his near fatal accident of 2012, that he should get the “Rekluse” clutch free system too! They put his bike on the lift and Greg gets out the Credit Card!
We go into Black Hills Harley Davidson, and the store is packed with “deals”. We buy t-shirts and gifts for our family and friends… A special Thank you HD Sturgis shirt for Mark at Busted Nuckle for letting us borrow his trailer! Get to the check out and hand over the Credit Card.
By now it is late afternoon and we are hungry. Still waiting on our bike we head out to the food vendors. Get out the Credit card.
By the time we finish our meal and about three more hours at Black Hills Harley Davidson….my bike is finished….and I ride it back to the “Rekluse” guys.
They let Greg leave his bike there while mine is being serviced and put together a bag full of goodies for us while Greg gets out the Credit Card for my clutch free system!
As soon as we get my bike….I can’t wait to ride off into the sunset and get back to the campground for some much needed R and R! (not to mention some impending rain clouds heading our way!) I can’t get my bike from first to second once I leave the HD lot! I am panicked and tell Greg we need to turn around….I didn’t even want to chance being out on HWY 90 at 80 mph! There is lightening to our West right over the area of our campground……Greg turns around, the wind is blowing hard….the vendors are packing up and the “Rekluse” guys quickly retrieve my bike, as I jump on “bitch” with Greg! Ugh! Back to the campground right before the sky drops chunks of rain and wind while we rest (hide) in the tent! Day one of Sturgis comes to an end!
Tuesday has to be better! We head back to “Rekluse” who says there is nothing wrong with their work and perhaps I am not riding my bike correctly….but noted a bolt was left out when the Primary gasket was replaced by Black Hills Harley Davidson. Greg lovingly takes my bike back to the Service Dept.
While Greg is dropping my bike back over at the Service Dept. “Klock Werks Kustoms” is next to the “Rekluse” tent. I was asking about their windshields because Greg’s has a crack in it at the part where it is screwed in. He had just bought the taller windshield from Harley to replace the existing one to help with wind and rain. I said “I had to hold his hat on his head when I rode “bitch” because even the taller windshield wasn’t doing the job!” Klock Werks immediately put their shorter curvier windscreen on his bike in place of his taller flat shield….said “no charge for the day: let him try it and I guarantee he will love it!” Okay, first time I don’t need the credit card!
I meet Greg at the entrance to the service department and we admit we can barely walk after all the walking on the first day in our biker boots….our feet are killing us….well, there is a “Step Right Insoles” vendor for that. We try these special insoles with water in them and instantly feel relief. Greg said it felt like walking on bubble wrap ….I just know it worked!….get out the Credit Card!
OMG! And right across from the insole vendor is a Boot Chaps vendor! Tamara created d3Riffs and has designed special Boot Chaps that won’t twist and turn on your calves. They come in different leathers and colors, including an alligator finish! The chaps have special grommets so you can decorate your boots with different chains and bling! Did you say Bling! Hell yeah! Greg knows I complain that my Deuce doesn’t provide the leg protection that his bike does….. Get out the credit card!
The Service Department says they fixed the missing bolt and my bike is ready. Greg goes back to get his bike at the “Rekluse” vendor while I comfortably walk back to the Service Department. The service Staff thanks me for all of our patience and I hear Greg pull up on his bike talking to a Service Staff about purchasing another windshield!
At this point I can hardly breathe I am laughing so hard…as I explain to Greg and the Service Staff that I had the windshield switched with “Klock Werks” so that he could try it out! We all were rolling and laughing….it had been a very stressful Sturgis beginning for us all ! Greg on the other hand didn’t find it quite as humorous as we did, and immediately hated the new windshield!
We rode back to “Rekluse” they made some minor adjustments to the Clutch free system and kindly took me to the parking lot and demonstrated how to shift with my new “Rekluse” as I stood and watched. It looked so easy… I think I got it!
As we prepare to leave the Black Hills Harley Lot….I get a text…”Your credit card appears to be compromised, and a block has been placed on future purchases. Please contact immediately!” Only 4 days into our vacation and only two in Sturgis, and we are freaking the Credit Card Company out! After a brief conversation, and a Thank you for watching our spending, our card was back up and running….and we were on the road….finally!
Sitting in line for Mt. Rushmore, I watched as people struggled with their clutch stopping and going up the mountain. Greg and I sat comfortably with our “Rekluse” and eased up the mountain with no issues. One biker had a very voluptuous biker “chic” on the back as he popped the clutch struggling not to drop his bike….with our system that would never happen. I am feeling really good about our purchase. Greg can ride with his baseball hat facing forward and loves the new windshield. Today is ending on a better note.
Downtown is already rocking…live bands on both sides of the streets, great food, and the crowd is “do able”. We hang out, eat, listen to good music and head back to the campground.
When we get to our campsite, a new friend who helped us load Greg’s bike when the battery died came over and noticed his new windshield. He said that a Vet who had been shot twice while serving in Iraq was staying at the campground too. The Vet had to sell his windshield that day because his disability check was not coming for another week and he couldn’t pay his camping bill. For some reason Greg kept his old windshield with him. Greg found William the Vet, and it turned out that William had an Ultra Classic too! Greg gave a shocked William his original Harley Davidson Windshield. The smile on William’s face was priceless as it fit perfectly in the empty space of his fairing!
The third day, Wednesday, I am still having issues with my “Rekluse” I get the stop and going of it all but I can’t seem to get through the gears quickly when I am shifting and “heading out of the gate!” Sure you can over ride with your regular clutch system but what is the point? We decide to go back to “Rekluse” again….by now I know they love me. We have yet to park in the designated parking lot…instead we have been with the vendors every day. Some of them even hug me…they know me so well…or at least our credit card. Greg pulls in to Klock Werks Kustoms and pays for the “great” Windshield with the credit card and I head to “Rekluse”
Justin gets on my bike, rides off, and comes back….he swears nothing is wrong with the “Rekluse”, he thinks my bike is “bad ass” and it is time I get a really personal lesson! I climb “bitch” onto my own bike (that is a first!). He whips us in a U turn and heads out to the packed parking lot….there is barely enough room for parking but Justin finds a strip and lets loose on my bike. We are transitioning through the gears like butter. The bike effortlessly shifts with barely a nod and is flying faster in less time than ever before! Get out of the gate! Hell, we burnt the Mother down! I am definitely doing it wrong. I had no idea what my bike was capable of!
From that moment forward, I would challenge anyone at a stop light! My 88cc could keep up with a 110 in a heartbeat! Hahahahahaha! It is like flying. Riding through the 10 mph switchbacks was a piece of cake…everything is easier once you realize it is more than “clutch free”. Your bike feels like it has more torque and more precise handling. I obviously learn from “doing” and “Rekluse” had the patience to work with me. I am warning you, this is an awesome upgrade to your bike!
Greg and I go back to the eye glasses vendor and he gives me a free pair of riding glasses with foam because the side winds are burning my eyes (and we spent a substantial amount on Greg’s new riding glasses!) The folks that cleaned our glasses the first time, clean them again as we finally leave the lot to enjoy some great riding. We head to Custer, the Wild Life Loop, Needles Highway, and my personal favorite is Iron Mountain Road. All of it wonderful, scenic, and a bikers dream!
My bike is running, Greg’s bike is running. We are so over the Service Department and spending money with vendors…it is all about the ride! Cheyenne Crossing has a beautiful ride with a hidden waterfall called Roughlock. There is a bar and restaurant at Cheyenne Crossing that serves Indian Tacos to die for. Devils Tower, the Badlands, Greg is tempted to “smack the bull” actually “Buffalo” and scares me to death! The rides are wonderful every day!
We are winding down all of the best places to ride, and head to Custer for the famous Crazy Horse Monument. Roads are getting more and more crowded, the death toll is closing in at 10. We even saw “ape hangers” go off the side of the mountain, slide down the grassy knoll, and do a 180 before stopping….still keeping the shiny side up! We watched his “Friend girl”, on the bike behind him, pulling off to the side of the road, staring in horror!
Sunday, as we pull in to Crazy Horse, Greg suddenly slows to a snails pace as bikes pass….REALLY! His Shift is just like rubber, loose and can’t get it out of first. Holy Crap!
Call the Tow truck….wait 3 hours in the hot sun, get towed back through the ever growing traffic to Black Hills Harley Davidson for the 2nd time! When we get there they immediately know that it is a “Shifter Shaft” and his is about the 60th bike to be there for that same reason! I see a recall in the near future! Even though it is an easy fix…the problem is…they don’t have one! Because of the large numbers needed they are on order and should be in by Tuesday evening…and then we will be in line for the service of it all. By now the service line is well over 100. The Service department did a great job. But people including us were upset that the money they set aside for riding and enjoyment is being spent for long hours waiting for bikes….(keep in mind most Harley Shops would expect you to leave your bike for more than a day…and they were pumping out most repairs within 5 hours.) But without the part there was no guarantee the bike would be ready by Wednesday or Thursday. NOT PLEASED!
I tell Greg Monday morning….”Lets take the truck to Wyoming!” There are several billboards that proclaim Deluxe Harley Davidson of Sundance is home of the $59.95 oil change, we can see what else they have. If all else fails, I think: “at least I can enjoy the famous Devils Tower Gravy Biscuit at Higbees!” It is about 60 miles West of Sturgis and maybe a calming ride?
He still didn’t realize my ulterior motive. Once we got to Deluxe HD of Sundance and I suggested he ask the parts department if they had the “Shifter Shaft” that would fit his bike…It was questionable that they would have it…because this looked like a glorified T-shirt shop with an oil change department! There is a God! They had the part! We were so excited! My Devils Tower Gravy Biscuit from Higbees was the best biscuit ever!I drove the truck with Greg and the Shifter Shaft back to Black Hills Harley Davidson Service Department, dropped them off and headed back to the campground. As soon as Greg text me that his bike would be done today! I started breaking down the camp site. By the time Greg got back to Days End Campground…about 3 hours later…I had everything packed. The trailer hitched to the truck and the Deuce tied down in the trailer ready to go! All he had to do was ride that 2015 CVO into the trailer and my ass was outta there!
Don’t get me wrong, we had some good rides, and enjoyed some great music and food. But I was getting tired of following tow trucks on my Deuce and spending time at a Service Department…no matter how nice the staff was. Both of Greg’s Services were agreed to be “on the house” after we contacted Harley. Warranty and Errors on HD’s part….so that is good. The traffic brought on four more deaths after we left. And we honestly got the best rides in before Sturgis officially started.
I am done with towing and riding in a truck with Greg for more hours than I care to mention. We will definitely look in to other options from here on. But we also will definitely be back to Sturgis again! Check out the Vendors that I mentioned in this article. You will not be disappointed! And any suggestions for “fly and ride” that would be financially do-able for two bikes one household…would be greatly appreciated!
In 1967, the Federal government passed legislation that required all states to enact specific laws in order to qualify for certain federal safety programs and highway construction funds. In part it required the mandatory wearing of approved headgear for motorcyclists. Most of the 50 states were eager to comply in order to be eligible for the dole. Connecticut passed its helmet law in 1967. The federal blackmail worked, and by the 1975, almost all but three states had universal motorcycle helmet laws.
In October 1975, North Carolina’s Senator Jesse Helms introduced Senate Bill 2293 to amend section 402 of Title 23 of Federal Code of Regulations relating to highway safety. The bill, known as the “Helms’ Angels Act,” specifically opposed federal requirements for mandatory helmet laws and other anti-motorcycle legislation. A similar House Bill 3869 was also introduced to prevent the Department of Transportation from blackmailing states into helmet laws by threating to withhold highway funds.
Finally, in 1976, states successfully lobbied Congress to stop the Department of Transportation from assessing financial penalties on states without helmet laws. This did not require states to repeal their existing helmet laws. Having just passed helmet laws many legislatures were reluctant to revisit the issue despite public opinion.
To generate support for repeal in North Carolina, the CBA kicked out with a flurry of legislative visits and helmet protest runs. The CBA also intensified its fund-raising activities to pay for legal fees and lobbyist expenses. One of the most effective fund-raisers was the Bike Shows. Starting in 1974, the CBA held a Spring Bike Show.
(Lining up for 1st Protest Run 1)
The 1st protest run was announced at the CBA’s 3rd Annual Spring Bike Show. At that time the shows were held at the American Legion Post on Donald Ross Road in Charlotte. The protest was billed as the First Bicentennial Protest Run against mandatory helmet laws. Held on April 25, 1976, the run started on Golf Acres Drive in Charlotte and crossed Mecklenburg County under a heavy police escort.
(Rick and Dale at 1st Protest Run 1)
The decision to ride in protest was not an inconsequential decision. Bikers in the South were second-class citizens. Most Harley riders were viewed by the public, and more importantly, by the authorities as dangerous, dirty, drug-dealing hippies. It was not uncommon for bikers to be pulled over and grilled by the police at the drop of a hat.
At the time, I was living off Nations Ford Road in Charlotte. One day after a long week working as a welder, I decided to ride to the mountains for the weekend. So early Saturday morning, I loaded up my motorcycle and got ready to head west. As was normal in those days, I was wearing a black t-shirt, blue jeans, boots, and a vest. I was also wearing a Ruger 22-caliber match pistol for target shooting and varmints.
I made it less than a quarter of a mile before I was pulled over by the police. Within a couple of minutes almost a dozen police cruisers were parked along the road. For the next hour, I and my bike were carefully checked for contraband and drugs. The pistol was taken from me and I was placed in handcuffs for “the protection of the officers.” The officers were trying to be intimidating, until they discovered my military ID and my military security clearance level. At that point, they became quite apologetic. In a refrain that I heard many times over the years, they told me I matched the description of a murderer they were looking for.
(Charlotte Protest Run 1978 1)
That was a common pattern in the early days. For me it culminated one Tuesday afternoon when I came home from work. My landlord told me that some insurance salesmen had been by several time looking for me. I didn’t think anything about it at the time. The next day when I got home, the landlord told me that those salesmen had come back. Then a car pulled into the driveway and the landlord said “there they are now.”
The salesmen turned out to be Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents. They asked to look at my motorcycle; they thought it might be stolen. I was a little upset and let them know it. They just ignored me and checked the serial numbers and tags on the motorcycle and then left. Over the next week, I saw them observing me several times. The kicker came when they went into my work and questioned my boss and the other employees.
I had enough at that point and decided to bring things to a head. I rode downtown to the FBI office and asked to meet the agent in charge. When I identified myself, he opened a drawer in his desk and pulled out a file about 1 ½ inches thick. It seems they were keeping tabs on people and had retrieved my records, including the background check for my security clearance.
Lester shares his Friend Squirrel with us!
Lester's Intro: I've known him for over 21 years. He is just a good ol' country boy from Western NC. He loves his old cars and his Harleys, (He has a few of each). He left at the end of July headed to Sturgis SD for the 75th anniversary of the Black Hills Rally and then on to the west coast. A lot of people call his Squirrel, I call him a friend. Here is his story, Lester
Squirrel's Blog to/from Sturgis
Squirrel's Story: As Lester says, we've been work colleagues and friends for over 21 years and enjoy a lot of the same things in life.
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The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine
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