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(This beautiful photo from a ride by Sandy Reece. Miss you, Sandy!)
September 27th Edition
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The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area
for Week of September 28 - October 4, 2016
Wednesday 83h & 60% scattered t-storms, Thursday 83h & p-cloudy, Friday 77h & sunny, Saturday 79h & m-sunny, Sunday 81h & m-sunny, Monday 80h & m-sunny, Tuesday 79h & p-cloudy (as per weather.com on 9/27/16)
So, as Footloose mentioned in last week's edition of The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine, there's construction going on in the area surrounding our office and home. Last week that meant we lost power and internet. This week we're challenged by a road detour that involves an enemy of most riders ... gravel!
I'm not even trying to get my bike out in these conditions. There is no way around it; just have to wait it out. But Jon took us out on his bike Friday night and parts of this gravel road are like quicksand; deep smooshy gravel that makes balance and uprightness (important for us two-wheelers,) more than a challenge. Of course, Jon took the challenge and came out shining.
What about Riding on Gravel?
What kind of experiences & advice do you riders have about grrr-gravel?
I'm on Facebook ... "friend me!"
It was Tuesday and the morning was great! The temperature was the upper 60’s and Hermine had sucked the humidity out of the air. You know the day: just one of those great riding days – and here I sit at work – inside, at a desk, in an office, looking out the window saying, "there must be somewhere I need to go!" I had a couple of appointments in the morning dealing with families. One had a problem, but the other was wanting to send compliments to our staff in the way they took care of her brother with Down’s Syndrome.
I called my friend Dean down in Walterboro and told him he needed some consultation today and I was on my way. Dean used to ride, but had a close encounter with a deer (didn’t hit it, but scared him enough to sell his bike the next day.) He understood and reminisced on his former riding days. So it didn’t take long to wrap up the day and head out!
I headed down Hwy 21, through Rowesville and on to Branchville (home of the first railroad branch – one to Atlanta and the other to Columbia and points north, also the site of Raylroad Days in September.) Then you come to the little town of Smoaks, just a few houses and like most small towns that have seen better days. Ruffin is the next community, and is even smaller than Smoaks. But I always think of the Temptations and hear in my mind “I wish it would rain” or "My girl” but it is only in my mind. Then at Bells Crossroads take a left where it intersects with Hwy 64 and into Walterboro.
When I got to Walterboro it was a little before noon and Dean said he would be tied up for a while and I should go on to lunch and stop by. I said I would and that ribs at Que on the Bay in Beaufort sounded good and maybe I would see him in a couple of hours if he still needed consultation, but by the time I had some ribs I probably would have the therapy I needed!
I stopped by one of my favorite places, the Old Sheldon Church just outside of Yemasee. This is a really neat place, a kind of peaceful spirit. The Church was burned twice over the last 300 years and originally built in the 1700’s. Burned once in the 1700’s and again in the 1800’s. They still hold church there once a month. There are graves and markers all around the grounds, not in neat rows like a typical cemetery. You can just see the buggies and horses pulling up to the old church, letting the ladies off. Some of the drivers going in and sitting in the balcony and others gathering under the old live oaks for a game of whist or something.
Anyway, on to Beaufort...
I headed on down 17 and into Beaufort. Que on the bay is right on the main street with the back veranda overlooking the park and the bay. A beautiful setting and good food.
On the way home I was reminded a couple of experiences during the past week the led me to go ahead and take a ride, even on a workday. I know we can’t all do that, and I can’t always do that, but when I can these two experiences remind me that sometimes we don’t get a second chance....
Hooky Ride Memory #1
I was in Columbia and met a lady I had known in Asheville. She was older and her family with her said she was starting with some dementia and may not recognize me. However, maybe she did have some dementia, but she remembered me. She gave me a hug and said “Remember what I told you?” I told her of course I did, and have always remembered it. I told her I had my bike outside. She laughed ... and the recognition was gone.
What had she told me? ...
She told me years ago after she retired from driving truck: “You know, if I had it to do over again, I would have bought that Harley Davidson.” Now I’m sure you could fill in any brand name you like, but the message is still the same.
Hooky Ride Memory #2
Then during the week, on a Thursday, I was headed to work and out on 301/601 I have passed a man on a softtail going to work at an auto repair shop on the corner by 70. He was as hardy as I and 40 degrees or 100 degrees we would pass each other going in opposite directions, bundled-up or stripped-down. As I pulled out on 301/601, I could see up ahead on the westbound lane that it was blocked and the emergency lights. I assumed that someone pulled out and caused an accident, not uncommon around here. It happens a LOT. I turned around and took an alternate route and when I got to work my phone had numerous messages and some staff were asking if I was alright. They had heard about a motorcycle accident on the east bound lane of 301/601. And, by now, you are ahead of me: Yes, it was the guy I’ve been waving at for the last 5-6 years nearly every morning. I didn’t even know his name at the time. It appears that someone did pull out in front of him and knocked him into the other lane. He didn’t even have a chance to react.
So enjoy while you can. Be watchful, of course, but RIDE and not be like my elderly lady friend saying "one day ... I wish I would have gone to Beaufort for some ribs."
Friday night was a great night to be out on a bike. After all the heat of this Summer (that doesn't seem to want to end,) FancyFree and I had a refreshing evening ride for dinner and a festival. With jeans and a denim jacket on, she yelled into my ear on our way home that she was glad she'd brought a jacket as we passed through fresh pockets of chilly air mixed in with waves of warmth still hanging about.
Yep, the forecast looks like Autumn might finally be taking hold. Fingers crossed on the handlebars...
From my email ...
A rider friend who is also a musician sent me the following flyers ... upcoming events where his band will be playing in The Carolinas ...
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The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine
2764 Pleasant Rd, PMB 4100
Fort Mill, SC 29708