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(photos by Sandy Reece - see more in her photo journal)
November 3rd 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!
This Weekend! ...
The Carolina Rider BIG RIDE 2 Bus will be giving out Hot Chocolate & Cookies at the Following Holiday Charity Rides:
The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area
for Week of November 3-10, 2015
Wednesday 64h & 40% rain, Thursday 72h & 30% rain, Friday 75h & 40% rain, Saturday 70h & 90% rain, Sunday 58h & p-cloudy, Monday 60h & 50% rain, Tuesday 65h & m-cloudy (as per www.intellicast.com on 11/03/15)
I'm telling you what ... if this week's edition doesn't make you wanna get on a bike and go exploring The Carolinas, I don't know what will! Bub's and Sandy's columns will surely inspire some wanderlust. Did for me! Beautiful photos, great descriptions of the places and scenes as well as the types of roads they enjoyed. So much exploring to be done, so little time....
Thanks to all who have replied to Ron's questions about "Sun in your eyes" and "Back roads or Highways" in our RideSafe column. Great input. That's one of the values of this Weekly Magazine for Riders ... the chance to ask what you need to know and get some answers ... the chance to share your ride experience and other riders benefit!
My bike's headed to the shop for some maintenance. Gotta get ready for our Christmas in The Keys this year. My countdown begins ... 7 weeks to go!
I'm on Facebook ... "friend me!"
"Wild and Wonderful" ... Now what does that remind you of? Of course, West Virginia! The CPRs have talked about a multi-day ride up to Kentucky and beyond. I suggested that we go to WV. Several years ago a good friend from the St. Louis area called and said he was going to Dayton Ohio to visit his Mother and on the way back was going to the little town of Matewan WV for a couple of days riding. Wondered if I cared to join him? but of course! So when we started talking about a long ride, Matewan came to mind. And I found out how to pronounce it correctly from a friend in my Y class. It is "Mate," like g'day mate, and wan is pronounced "one," so we have Matewan, an Indian name.
If you also ride an ATV you probably know of it already. Matewan is the central point of the Hatfield/McCoy feud and there is a trail system named after them. Also it played a pivotal role in the unions becoming a major player in the coal mines. Much like the mills in our area the coal companies had their own money, stores and owned the housing. So the miners had to spend the “money” in the company store and pay the company for rent. A coal company that mined in the Matwan area was fighting against the unions and when the miners voted to join the union, they fired them and kicked them out of their homes. The turning point came when the company tried to take over the town, the mayor and sheriff were with the miners, so the company hired some “detectives” to move in and take the town. A gun battle broke out and ten people were killed including 2 miners and the mayor. A trial was held for 19 indicted men----none were convicted!
I was asked to make a route for going up and coming back, so I got to work. After many hours poring over maps and making many discarded routes I came up with what I thought would suit the way we ride. No interstates, no 4 lane roads and no large towns. From Gaffney to Matewan is 300 miles so that would be 600 round trip, the routes I made up came to 750 miles and that was from our ride starting point in Boone NC. A hundred miles north of me.
I wish I could describe the roads we rode on and remember, they were new to me also. I did a lot of squinting at Google maps and I really lucked out. Most were state roads, a lot of county roads and a couple of national roads thrown in. We rode on nice wide 2 lanes, on narrow 1 lane county roads, many had no center or edge stripes and then there were the dirt roads. Not too many, just enough to be interesting.
We planned to leave in mid Sept, but then I had my incident and after I recovered enough to make a long ride-----the RAINS came!! 2 weeks of lousy wet weather! So we kept an eagle eye on the forecasts and picked the week of Oct 4th which was forecast to be lovely. Then the rain moved into Sunday and then into Monday, but Tues was good so away we go. Met up at the Cracker Barrel in Boone for breakfast, fill the tanks and away on US 421. Now 421 is a very good road and we stayed on it until Bristol and then onto some Tenn county roads, the fun had begun!
We arrived in Matewan about 4 pm and stopped at the place I’d stayed in years ago, it was still in business but no one was around. Mickey and Charley went looking for something else and we’re glad we did. That’s how we ended up staying at the bed and breakfast. The owners name is Hatfield! and that’s how we learned the history there. Unpacked and rode around awhile and then looked for a place to eat, and we found a Chinese restaurant. We also found a bbq place but it only opened on Thurs—Sat. Next morning after a breakfast of eggs fried like you want them, biscuits, gravy, fried sliced potatoes---no grits!, pancakes or french toast, we staggered out to our bikes for a day of riding. Rode the King Coal highway, which is super, WV rt 3 and 10. Rt 3 took us into Hamlin which is my Father’s birthplace. He told me he learned the 3 Rs in WV---readin, riting, and Route 33 to Columbus OH. Where 30 miles south of Columbus, Lancaster is my birthplace. If you look closely at the sign for Hamlin you’ll see that Chuck Yeager was born there. The first man to fly faster than the speed of sound.
We’re tired and hungry after a day of riding so back to Matewan, but Chinese doesn’t sound so good. Ask around and a guy told us there is a bar and grill in the old high school!! We go to check it out and sure enough in one of the large rooms is a bar and grill, another room had a gym and fitness center. When was the last time you had a beer in a high school?? [ legal ] But there was a large concert there over the weekend and he hadn’t restocked his food yet. So we asked if there was another place in or near town, yep on the other side of town there was a large gas station that had restaurant. What could we lose, away we go again, found the place and what good food! and service too. And fill up your tank too.
Make our way to the bed and breakfast for some more history, have a snack and off to bed, cause tomorrow we’re heading home. Another great ride to the Carolinas.
Enjoy the videos with sound (engine) and in HD. Speaking of which, Youtube HD is getting pretty poor. Any suggestions on other sites? And I’m also looking for a map site where I can show the routes we take in the articles I write.
Keep the rubber down and don’t forget - ATGATT!
Another 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:
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.
A READER RESPONDS
Bill Hanna of Cana,Virginia wrote to say: "I think interstates are safer than back roads, though I’ll choose a back road any day I can. Back roads have blind curves and hills that, if you hit them fast enough to have a bit of fun, you likely won’t be able to avoid someone backing out of a driveway, or someone cutting into your side of the corner. And avoiding a dear standing in the corner or running across in front of you can be a challenge as well. While there are dear on interstates, my experience is that there are fewer of them there, partly because most interstates have tall fences to keep animals off of them. When dear do get onto an interstate, there are no blind corners or hills to mask them, and there are wide cleared areas on each side of the road so you have more time to spot them and react. In my mind, the biggest danger on an interstate is other drivers changing lanes into yours. This is where loud air horns are often effective (though is it scary when a motorist ignores it and keeps coming over.) So while speeds may be higher on an interstate (depending, of course, on how you ride) there are fewer objects to jump out in front of you to ruin your day."
Yikes! "Don’t travel down that road, we don’t know where it goes!" Golly, that’s what the adventure is all about… riding on unknown roads. You know the ole saying: "as long as you have fuel – you are not lost!"
Recently I rode from home up to the Blue Ridge Parkway for some “orange and red” therapy. I wanted to get those ever-famous photo opportunities of the leaves changing colors. On this particular day, I rode alone as my P.I.C., Debbie, was otherwise detained with puppy agility classes. The ride was going great through Fancy Gap Mountain above Mount Airy, NC. I ventured straight into Hillsville and turned towards Meadows of Dan, VA. I dropped off Highway 58 into the Meadows of Dan area for a lunch stop at the local hot spot for travelers off the Blue Ridge Parkway.
After my break, I jumped on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Meadows of Dan, VA. Unbeknownst to me… I was headed NORTH. I was actually looking for the overlook at Low Gap…but I turned North instead of South. My sign? A van following a bunch of bicyclists on the parkway. Someone had written on the back glass of the van “MAINE OR BUST!” Oh shoot! I am not going in the right direction! But, thinking to myself…its ok. I have fuel and I passed some nice scenic spots for photography. I kept riding North.
After a brief stop, I checked my map and realized that I was getting too far away from home and would not make it by suppertime. Laughing to myself, I decided to turn around and ride South on the BRP to go home. I did make it by suppertime and even better… Mark had supper ready!
On to another adventure ...
Mark and I recently took a short weekend vacation to Virginia. We had no plans other than seeing the Natural Bridge. Everything else we did was based upon the tourist pamphlets gathered at the rest stops. I noticed several historic areas nearby and talked Mark into an exploring adventure. Yes, we were traveling by car this time. But I highly recommend going back on the motorcycle to enjoy the sweeping roads and countrysides in these areas.
One of the sites was waaaaay off road (not) near Natural Bridge area at Interstate 81 called Plank Rd. There were some bridge ruins in the area and I had to photograph these ruins! Mark started heading towards the area via the GPS. He was NOT happy about being so far in the woods and away from signs of life. I just laughed and said “Honey, I ride roads like this all the time.” He’ll probably flatten my tires now. We found the sites we were searching for in no time. It was worth the extra efforts. We also found a covered bridge (Humpback Bridge, Covington, VA and a beautiful waterfall (Falling Springs Falls, Covington, VA)…all on roads that were definitely motorcycle ride worthy!!
Believe me when I say I will ride interstates when time is short. But I definitely love riding backroads. That’s where everything gets interesting! (as long as I have fuel!)
Enjoy my photo journal from our recent adventures! If you want to know exactly where we ventured, please email me!
Happy Autumn Days! ~ Enjoy your orange and red rides!,
One of our motorcycle family members (he's involved with Charlotte CBA,) and a Sponsor of The BIG RIDE 2 Bus, Nobie Thrasher, is running for office in Matthews. Nobie has campaigned hard and worked tirelessly to get elected. Today is voting day and if you live in Matthews, please go give Nobie your vote. (He's not very pretty but he will make a good councilman for Matthews!) We wish you well, Nobie!
Harley Give-away at Easyriders
I have been working on a very special promotion for all of you. It's an extra special addition to the 2016 Easyriders show and made possible by H-D of Charlotte, The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, and The Carolina Rider. We are going to be giving away a Harley at the EasyRiders Show in January. Keep your eyes open for the details as they will be coming soon. And, of course, make sure to have the Easyriders Show in Charlotte on your calendar as we'll have The BIG RIDE 2 Bus parked inside The Charlotte Convention Center and more goodies to give away and win too!
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