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(photo from Gift and Gobble Ride, song lyrics by Curtis Mayfield. Click to hear a great version!)
November 8th Edition
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A Little Listing from our Readers ...
The Toy Runs below have been shared by YOU, our readers. Tell us about other holiday rides in your areas and we'll publish them here!
Grumpy Old Men M/C is having a toy run November 13, 2016 in Hartsville SC
Haywood County Toy Run is November 12th
The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area
for Week of November 9-15, 2016
Wednesday 68h & 40% am showers, Thursday 68h & sunny, Friday 71h & sunny, Saturday 59h & sunny, Sunday 64h & sunny, Monday 66h & p-cloudy, Tuesday 68h & p-cloudy (as per weather.com on 11/8/16)
Rebel uses that word over and over in today's edition. Her two-wheeled open-hearted journey seems to be clearing some space for her to feel and settle within herself. Amazing how something as simple as taking off on a motorcycle with little in your saddlebags and lots on your mind can bring some clarity to the scatteredness of life.
Another kind of Peace
I'm hoping today's elections will bring us all some kind of peace. At least we won't be hearing the SAME stuff that we've been unable to get away from for the last year. There will be more "stuff" and the TV/Radio chatterboxes will keep chattering on about the results and the potential effect of the results and so on and so on .... but at least there is some peace once the polls close. Won't there be??!! We can only hope....
And what about the season ahead?
Will the holidays be peaceful? Will we give in to the chaos of the material world? Will we run and hide or will we jump in head first? The Toy Run season kick-started this past weekend with the Gift and Gobble Ride in Charlotte and I have to say, the comfort and joy seemed to be plentiful among the throngs of riders during registration. Good signs of good things to come! Let's hear it for a Peace-filled Holiday Season....
This is the 6th year that The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine has rolled out The BIG RIDE Bus to serve hot beverages and holiday cheer to riders in area Toy Runs! It's such a fun time to enjoy with riders whatever the weather. Sure, there have been some drippy cold ones as well as some way too hot ones that have been challenges ... but nothing takes the glow off our sugar plums this time of year!
Gift and Gobble - "The Return"
This year we got a little head start on the holiday rides by joining in on the Gift and Gobble that departed the country meca, Coyote Joe's, on Saturday morning (11/5/16) in a police escorted ride to Harley-Davidson of Charlotte in Matthews. According to the Charlotte HOG Chapter who directed the bikes in parking at the dealership, there were around 600 riders. Wow! What a grand participation in this ride that has been on a 10-year hiatus!! It was a beautiful day to be out on bikes and everyone appeared in sparkling moods to kick off the holiday season and bring back a ride that used to draw big crowds and great gifts. The toys and canned foods collected are distributed by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's Freedom Division to the area needy.
Like all great group rides, the Gift and Gobble Ride inspires community ... community among ...
And, after a challenging year around Charlotte-Meck communities, we sure can all use some positive community connections.
They were calling this ride "The Return" and we're betting it will harvest many happy returns!
The BIG RIDE Bus Toy Run Schedule for 2016
Our next BIG RIDE appearance will be on Sunday November 20th in Chesnee, SC. While we've been part of Antique Bikes on Main for several years, this will be the first time we've had the honor of being present for the Chesnee Toy Run. Shaggy has been nudging us toward it for years and we've finally created the space needed in our schedule for it. It's another huge ride with bikes and all manner of vehicles set in the little town of Chesnee, SC.
Probably the first toy run we ever served was the Gaston County ride in Ranlo, NC and it's always heart-warming to be there! The bus doesn't leave with the ride but we'd sure like to some day since the ride makes many stops to give out toys to kids on site. Yes! It's not just a drop-it-off kind of toy ride. If you participate in this one, you'll be helping to hand out toys to the children who need and ultimately receive them!
Set on the same weekend as the Gaston Co. ride is the Charlotte CBA ride. We love getting to see folks on both Saturday and Sunday who make it an annual tradition to ride in both rides. This ride gathers at what us old Charlotteans call "The Old Coliseum" and which the rest of you might call Bojangles Coliseum. Just it's location draws a lot of us natives since we know where it is and have tons of memories there including concerts we went to in the 70's! Put on by the Charlotte CBA and the US Marine Corps, it leaves the coliseum and heads to Harley-Davidson of Charlotte for a party.
Our final ride of the year is in Shelby, NC. We've been happy to serve riders at this ride for a handful of years, except for that year it rained so hard and we didn't make it out. The Windjammers Motorcycle Club makes this one happen for the children of Cleveland County children's homes. They're a dedicated group and there's a large turn-out from the community to ride for the kids. The ride gathers at the Cleveland Mall and in addition to toys, riders are welcome to make monetary donations that go to the children of the Cleveland County foster care system.
What's Goes on at The BIG RIDE Bus?
We started a tradition the first year that we had the original BIG RIDE (which, as many of you will recall, burned a few years back.) We boil gallons and gallons of water and have urns of it for you to make yourself a steaming cup of hot chocolate to warm your hands and belly after your ride to the start of each ride. After years of requests, we added coffee last year. It's FREE to you! No charge!
There's usually some holiday cookies to dunk in your beverage, Christmas music playing over our sound system, and cheerful elves to serve you too!
You know, toy runs can be chilly, drippy, snowy, or steamy here in The Carolinas. As you are surely aware, Fall and Winter temps are up and down and in between. If the heat's up, we may forego the hot beverages for bottled water and a fan!
After the Toy Runs
As our toy runnin' draws to a close, shortly after so will the publishing year for 2016. The magazine (and us!) will be on holiday for a couple weeks preparing for a bang-up 2017. What's the New Year got in store? Well, the annual Easyriders Show is in Charlotte on January 21st. That's our own personal annual party and we hope you'll join us. Keep your eyes open in the next couple weeks' editions of The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine for more info ... and perhaps even something to WIN!
(p.s. There will also be a publishing holiday the week of Thanksgiving which means we have 5 more editions left for 2016.)
Remember: SWAP MEET moved to Salisbury
& It's THIS WEEKEND
One of the sure signs of Fall is the Charlotte CBA's annual Swap Meet & Bike Show. It's usually at the Metrolina Fairgrounds but has now moved to Salisbury's Rowan County Fairgrounds. FancyFree and I plan to ride up Saturday to take in the sights and smells of original biker fun. We'll take some pictures to show you later but I'd like to encourage you to get on your bike and take a ride to Salisbury. The new location might suit some of you better and might be less convenient for others of you but the thing is, it supports a group whose aim is to support us all. Lots has been done by the Concerned Bikers Association and their goodwill keeps giving as you'll see at the toy run coming up in December. Plus, the weather is fine for a nice daytime ride and a swap meet is something not to be forgotten. Bike parts, rider support groups, funnel cakes, and beer plus women in wet t-shirts (and less!)
If you see me out this weekend, come say howdy!
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The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine
2764 Pleasant Rd, PMB 4100
Fort Mill, SC 29708