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(photo from 2014 Biketoberfest by Lester)

October 27th Edition

In This Issue:

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

Lil' Weather

Free Thinking with FancyFree

The Tarheel Tornado: Ride Memories

Your Myrtle Beach Discount Card

Shag's Rant: Where's Weirdo?

Ride Safe: Readers Respond

The Calendar Girl: toy runs, anyone?

Loose Talk with Jon

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The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area

for Week of October 27-November 3, 2015

Wednesday 73h & 80% rain, Thursday 75h & p-cloudy, Friday 67h & clear, Saturday 67h & clear, Sunday 68h & 60% rain, Monday 71h & 60% rain, Tuesday 74h & 30% rain (as per www.intellicast.com on 10/27/15)

We all have 'em. Tight shoulders, what an aunt of mine used to call a "crick" in the neck, a stiff lower back, knots in our stomach. We can't breathe, we don't get good sleep, we let worries tie up our energies. Maybe not all the time but every once and awhile it's the stuff of life.

And then we take a ride...

Ahhhhh, the first layer drops away just as soon as we hit the first open road. We crank the throttle and roll. Tires hit that even rhythm and we exhale. We let go a little more and a little more as the miles pass and the scenery entices. The motor rumbles and we sigh out the tension; maybe even growl a little ourselves.

It's the Therapy of The Ride!

And I was so grateful for it last week. Footloose and I took off a day during the week determined to LET GO a little. It was much-needed time in the wind. And I felt it. The release. The layers of everyday stuff dropping away as I let all of my to-do's go and immersed myself in the ride experience. We took the backroads; the ones that give you ease and great Autumn scenes. We stopped for lunch at a small town diner. We looked around at things we don't always take time for. We were quiet, we sang, we pointed out colorful leaves, a funky old bus, and a cool building to each other. It was a much-needed ride.

Sounds like The Tarheel Tornado and Shaggy both had "therapeutic rides" recently. Their stories are, of course, VERY different just as the two of them are different. But these devoted rider guys share something significant that comes across in their stories: both find a very special relationship with the ride, get re-connected with parts of themselves that get lost in the daily shuffle, feel that something is missing when they don't get their dose of therapeutic riding in.

What about you? ~ Need a prescription for a ride?

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

 

The weekend of the 17th was shaping up to be such a nice weekend to ride that I just couldn’t help but call my sister during the week and ask if she and her boy-friend wanted to take a ride. I really didn’t care where. I just wanted to ride. The plan was set and now it was just a matter of where to go.

For those who don’t know, I used to play guitar for a southern gospel group call the Kinney Family. We traveled a good bit all across the southern states, but one of my favorite places to go was Eastatoe Baptist Church in the Eastatoe Valley in Pickens Co. South Carolina. It was small church, but one of the most beautiful scenes anywhere. The valley opened up into a large meadow, very well-manicured, with a gorgeous stream running through the middle of it. The church was about 50 yards from the stream. I always said this was the land time forgot. Mostly undeveloped just plain pretty. The church was always friendly and we always had a good crowd come to listen. I started reminiscing about that place, and decided I wanted to go back there and check it out. There is only two ways in, one off of highway 11from the west and one off of highway 178 from the east. I had never came in from the east, so I thought that we could go in that way, stop at the church, and then proceed on to Devil’s Fork State park and Lake Jocassee from the west end.

As always, the ride out highway 11 was good. The weather was perfect, sunny, but cool, gorgeous blue skies, and the traffic was light. We stopped to fill up at highway 9 and 11, and then again to grab some lunch at highway 176 and 11 at a place called the Dog House. I had not ate there before, but I heard it was good. When we stopped, you could smell something really good. When we walked in, I ran into a friend from work who was taking his family up to Hendersonville to find that perfect pumpkin for the kids. We chatted a minute then we ordered. I wanted to try several things, but I can’t eat like that anymore. As I have gotten older, I have become more efficient. Now I can get fatter on less! That’s one thing I wish I had not got better at. I settled on a hotdog, and a cheeseburger with tea. The milkshakes look divine, and that wonderful smell was coming from funnel cake fries. Strange, but it sure smelled good. If you decide to stop there, there is one thing you should know: They serve your food in dog bowls, thus the name Dog House. I didn’t see any bow wows around, so I think it’s safe.

We left there full, and headed for Eastatoe. When you turn up 178, the road starts to get a little curvy. Great for biking. When you turn off of 178 to go into the valley, it gets very curvy, narrower, and a pretty good incline down. That’s when I figured out why we never took the band bus in that way, but great for a bike. As we made our way through the valley, I noticed that it was not as open from that end as it was coming from the west end. It was more grown up, thicker with trees, etc. It was not until we got to the church that I realized the whole valley had turned that way. We stopped at the church, and looked around some. The church had not changed, but the surroundings had. The change was not necessarily bad, just different than my memories. It was a little disappointing at first, then I realized it had been 22 years since I had been there. Things change! If I had not taken so long to go back there, it would not have been so strange to me, and I could have appreciated the change a little more. However, the more I walked around, the more memories came back, and I could feel that excitement I used to have about coming there. All the fun I had seeing new places, and playing music along-side my dad. You see, he was the lead guitarist, my uncle was the pianist, and my cousins were the singers. I miss my dad and my mom, but it was times like these that help me remember all those good times we had.

We moved on out through the west end, and proceeded on to Devil’s Fork and Lake Jocassee. Now I am thinking about how long it had been since I had been there, and getting pissed at myself for not going back more often. I used to come up that way to go trout fishing. Notice the part that said “used to”. Where has time gone? Some of the recent events and some of the articles in “The Carolina Rider” have made me wonder that thought lately, and ask myself what are you doing letting time get away and not doing anything about it? There is a time for everything, and work is important, but living is too. You only get one shot, and no one gets out of this life alive, so make the best of it. (Sorry, I was ranting a little.)

We made it to Devil’s Fork, and looked around. While I was there, I did some exploring on the camp sites, and I concluded I cannot get my RV in those sites. They actually have about 4 or 5 sites that are 65 feet long, but I can’t get into the park through the curves and height restrictions with my RV. That only made me start scheming and planning on how I can get my boat and some form of camping down here. That’s all I need is another project that I don’t have time for - Good grief!

The lake was absolutely beautiful, and the mountains were a perfect match. It was just a wonderful ride. One of those that was good for the soul, if you know what I mean? It was getting late and we weren’t sure how cold it would get, so we hustled back, had some dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Chesnee, SC, and went our separate ways home. I didn’t accomplish anything on the honey-do list, but it was a great weekend.

Now I have to figure out how to make more new memories other than work, but this was a good start. However, I will say this: memories are great things to create, but it makes them even greater when you can share the making of them. Enjoy doing things with your family and friends. They will not always be here with you, and the memories will be all you have to hold on to.

Miss you, dad!

I know I haven’t been as present lately as I have been in the past. I have my reasons but the kicker is that those reasons are my own, the people that need to know do know and the rest of you can just fill in the rest to the extent of your imagination. I will say that my lacking isn’t excluded to this magazine, its also cut into my regularly-misspent-train-wreck-of-a-life, ... and by that I mean my riding, partying, and &%#*!-mongering.

I was always raised to take care of what ever needed to be taken care of and until my back or mind finally give out (they're pretty neck and neck now,) that’s exactly what the *&!# im going to do. But sadly, this has taken some of the weirdness out of my life that I love so dear and that all three of you love reading about. I'm not bitching about taking care of business but damnit to hell, I miss the weird. I can't remember the last time I've blacked out somewhere and came to two states over wondering what the *&!# happened and why in the &^#? am I bare footed?!

It's all I can do to keep from diving into old vices and disappearing for a little while. I miss sleeping behind gas stations and taking strippers out to breakfast, I miss wondering how I got this shiner and taking a &%#*!s bath in a truck stop crapper.

Last week, or however long it's been now by the time this goes to print, ...

(EDITOR'S NOTE: So your email programs, especially the corporate ones, don't block the Magazine from getting to you, we are removing certain words that set off filters. The full, unaltered story can be found at the link above so click it and keep reading!)

A New Rider shares about his Class experience:

Jon Ghent shared this with Footloose: "If I had to describe my feelings prior to taking the riding academy class at HD of Charlotte, the words that come to mind would be; apprehensive, excited, nervous, but optimistic.  The excitement and optimism never left me the entire weekend, but the apprehension and nervousness were gone night one. Well maybe a little nervy at exam time, but who the hell isn’t while taking a test?!  I knew our safety was their first priority and that the teachers were the perfect people for the job. They both quickly made all of us feel at home and at ease and at the same time keeping our minds focused on the fact that these machines are to be respected and bad things can happen if you let your mind lose focus.  I took their advice and laid off the partying the whole weekend, which was easier said than done, but glad I did. The amount of knowledge they give you in the course is what some people might consider a complete overload physically and mentally.  All I can say is, like anything in life, you will get out of it what you put in it. I absolutely loved the class and would consider taking it again. I passed but it was seriously that much fun, and everyone has room for improvement regardless your skill level. I enjoyed meeting the people in the class and look forward to riding with any one of them, anytime. I passed the class Sunday, got my endorsement, Monday, and fingers crossed and God willing I’ll have my bike before months' end. The teachers asked what you expected to get out of the class on the first night. I wrote, 'leave with 100% confidence,' … I have it!"

QUICK LINKS to Class Options:

Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF)

Harley-Davidson’s Riding Academy

NC Motorcycle Safety

SC Rider Education

Harley-Davidson of Charlotte in Matthews

Cox’s Harley-Davidson in Rock Hill, SC

Central Piedmont Community College in the Greater Charlotte Area

A Safety Question from Orangeburg Ron:

What to do about SUN in your Eyes?

I remembered an incident this morning on the way in that happened in Michigan. On our way over to the fair early Wed. morning the sun was right in our eyes.  When I say right in our eyes, I could not get any relief and could not see.  If I put my hand up, it blocked my view of the road.  If I lowered my head to try to get some shadow from my helmet I also could barely see the road and had a very short vision.  As we were going and struggling at one point Marcia said I think I see a car coming.  I put my hand up and got a brief view ahead and in wasn’t a car, but a tractor moving along a tractor speed, much slower than my 45-50 which was as fast as I was willing to go since I couldn’t see.  We had about 20 feet or so before running into the back of the tractor, and fortunately there was not a car coming and I could pass him quickly instead of testing the new ABS system on the Road Glide.  But it was a close call.

A READER RESPONDS

Randall Stotts wrote to say: "I wear a helmet with a face shield and found a product that helps with the sun in your eyes.  It is called "The Original Helmet Sunblocker"  (www.helmetsunblocker.com).  It was developed for the face shields of pilots to reduce glare, eye fatigue, UV rays, etc.  It adheres to the inside of your face shield with soapy water like a decal.  It is also transferable, simply peel it off and apply to a different face shield.  I got mine through Competition Accessories for $15.99"

Which is Safer: Highways or Back Roads?

Now the question Highways or back roads?  I have friends that say they won’t ride on the highway –interstate- because it is too dangerous and too fast.  Then I have friends that say the back roads present much more danger between tractors, slow moving other vehicles, people turning in front of you or pulling out of side streets or driveways.  I think the deer/animal danger is there on both situations - there are deer on the side of the interstate as well as running out on backroads.

Where are the Toy Runs this Year??

The stores mix all the end-of-year holidays together these days. There's no separation between Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. It all gets put out at the same time just as soon as September gets here. All flavors mushed together ... kinda like a Christmas fruitcake in the shape of a jack-o-lantern and filled with candy corn and sitting in a bed of canned cranberry jell.

So this weekend's Halloween fun will mean sales on costumes and some of the candies will move into the Christmas displays .. and a shift into a new month. Yep, November arrives next week. And with a quick browse of The Carolina Rider online Events Calendar, I see that the new month brings in a few toy runs.

Nov 7 - 3rd Annual Jinglebell Toy Run in Statesville, NC

Nov 10 - HOG Toy Run in Goldsboro, NC

Nov 14 - Toys for Tots Poker Run in Fuquay-Varina, NC

and the 9th Annual Jones County Toy Run in Jacksonville, NC

Notice what's missing? ... SOUTH CAROINA!

What's up, SC?

Get your Toy Runs on our Calendar and get the word out to our subscribers (somewhere around 76,000 folks receive The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine each and every week!)

Get Merry!

Have you started planning the design of your toy run bike? While some folks roll with a teddy bear or a dolly strapped to their sissy bar, others REALLY get into the spirit ...

Bikers for Harvest Hope Effort in SC

Down in Columbia, SC this weekend is a "help the flood victims" drive. The wonderful people from Carolina Honda Powerhouse acted quickly to put together a collection effort to help the people of SC effected by recent flooding. Please be sure and help if you can because after all, we bikers help a lot of people!

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