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(photo from Lester's Biketoberfest 2015 Fun)
November 10th 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!
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 10-17, 2015
Wednesday 66h & clear, Thursday 70h & p-cloudy, Friday 62h & clear, Saturday 55h & clear, Sunday 59h & clear, Monday 59h & p-cloudy, Tuesday 60h & 40% rain (as per www.intellicast.com on 11/10/15)
Lester went to Biketoberfest in Daytona and partied with his family. Ron and friends rode to a Revolutionary War battle reenactment riding from Cope, SC to Rock Hill, SC area along some challenging road conditions and navigational goofs. Bub and the CPR's rode to West Virginia for a longer version of their regular explorations and friendships. Sandy took a solo ride to see the orange and red leaves along the Blue Ridge Parkway in upstate NC and lower Virginia. The Tarheel Tornado rode down from Rutherfordton into the countryside of Pickens Co, SC to reminisce about fond memories that might rekindle some personal flames. Shaggy rode like a re-possessed crazy man for a couple hundred miles into Georgia in the dead-of-night on a quest for getting his groove back.
Why and where do you ride?
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Hello all, it is the last week of October and the leaves are changing. It’s beautiful out there, and I hope you are out riding in all of God’s glory.
I had the pleasure (again) to go to Biketoberfest in Daytona this year. It was an abbreviated stay because of some family business, so to speak. I had a family wedding to go to in Ft. Lauderdale on Thursday and Friday, with a niece getting married there. It was a beautiful wedding, and I am happy for her and her husband. They seem to be a great couple, and I wish them the best. We left Ft. Lauderdale Friday night after the reception dinner and drove to Daytona. Yes, I drove. Being it was a family affair, and there was four of us, I couldn’t very well take the Geezer Glide. I missed it, but it did open up some new opportunities for a couple of us. I’ll explain later in the story.
Like I said earlier, it was four of us: Mrs. Lester, Lester Junior (LJ,) his wife, and myself. It would be the first trip to Florida for LJ’s wife and the first time to Daytona for LJ. It proved to be fun for all. We didn’t leave Ft. Lauderdale until almost 10PM and I drove like I had stolen it! I set the cruise on 85mph and in less than 3 hours we were in Daytona.
Rather than going straight to the hotel, to check in, I decided to make a pass up Main street to see what was going on, if anything. I was not disappointed. I thought that if something was going on, it would set the stage for the following 24 hours for my family. When we crossed the bridge going toward A1A, we could see the bikes and people everywhere. It was 2am but it looked like 4pm in the afternoon. lol
As much as I would have loved to stop and partake of the festivities, I decided to press on towards the hotel. I was comfortable and after driving 1000 miles in the last 2 days, I was ready to sleep. Sleep we did, but we set an early alarm (8:00) so that we could enjoy the free breakfast. It was great! After breakfast the women wanted to lay out on the beach, with it being 83 degrees, I couldn’t blame them. I would have done the same thing had it not been Biketoberfest.
LJ and I decided to see what we could get into. We found the local Boss Hoss dealer! The factory demo truck was there giving free test rides. I have often wondered about the Boss Hoss bikes and how they felt overall. All I can say is HOLY CRAP ! I have ridden in all kinds of drag cars, and even a drag boat , but I have never felt this type of power before. These beasts were 445 HP, 6.2 liters, LS3 V-8 Corvette engines, capable of 0 to 60 mph times near 2 seconds. We had looked over the showroom at all the units they had on the shop floor while other potential customers rode the demonstrator models. When they returned to the dealership, it was our turn. We went through a brief 5-minute safety discussion and the in’s and out’s and the how to’s of the bikes themselves. They had 1 bike and 3 trikes. I let Lester Junior ride the bike while I chose a trike. As I said before, I have been in and drive vehicles with far more horsepower but nothing with the acceleration these bikes had. Just a simple twist of the throttle and the back tires lit up in smoke. I should also mention that all the bikes had automatic transmissions.
The bike had a special built 2-speed tranny with the belt drive and the trikes had 4-speed autos with a drive shaft and rear differential. One could easily pull away from a dead stop like a normal person or you could pull away like a top fuel dragster in the burnout boxes. The choice was up to the driver. We never chose the latter, but we did in many cases get on it with enough enthusiasm to light the tires up at 45mph. Even then you had to make certain that there was plenty of room between you and the bike in front of you or you would be up their rear end in a heartbeat! All in all, we rode, escorted, for about 8 miles. The escort was leading the way so he could do little about the spirited riding we were doing. The worst that could happen was when we got back to the dealership they would ban us for life, lol. Instead, the escort asked if we had a good ride, all while winking an eye! That was awesome! If you ever get the chance to test ride one of these beasts, take it, but remember it is not for the faint at heart!
After our amazing test rides, we decided to go pick up the ladies and go to an early supper at Aunt Catfish’s. It is one of our favorites there in Daytona. After a wonderful supper, we were off to Main street again to try to hook up with friends. We found them at The Boot Hill Saloon. It was our only night out for the weekend, but I had to be careful to keep everyone in check. We had fun and behaved ourselves, sort of. Mrs. Lester took most of the photos so I didn’t do anything behind her back or without her blessing. Thank you, honey! I love you and you know it! We were with Mike and Sandy most of the night just talking about old times. It is always a treat to be around these two great people. Thank you both for a wonderful, great time. It was also great to see LJ and his bride have a great time with us as well. That is important to me, being family and all.
We slept well again Saturday night and headed over to The largest Harley Dealership in the world: Bruce Rossmeyers HD. We spent a couple of hours there and way too much money, but that was a planned part of the trip as well. We left out of Daytona at 2pm headed home. Seven hours later I was at home, it had been a great trip for us all. A fantastic wedding, great fellowship, and a memorable weekend overall. What more could you ask for?
A Rough Start
Ever have one of those days where you think maybe I’ll just start over and it will get better? Well, last Saturday started out that way. It did get better – we just kept going.
We had seen of the Brattonsville (near McConnell’s, south of Rock Hill, SC) reenactment and since last weekend was such a beautiful weekend to ride and I spent most of it painting our deck for winter, we had to get out. One of the guys we sometimes ride with is a history buff and I mentioned to him that we were thinking of going up for the reenactment. He said he would like to go and we called a couple others that can sometimes break away. Brattonsville, (some of you may recognize some of the buildings used in the movie The Patriot,) is about 125 miles from Cope and we planned to take 321 nearly all the way. I checked the road closures (due to the flooding) and didn’t find anything on 321 that said any places were closed. (Oops, that turned out to be inaccurate.)
The Revolutionary House, built in 1776 by Colonel William Bratton (who fought in the Revolutionary War), was originally a one-room log house with a small porch. Later additions were added to the original structure, and clapboard siding was placed over the original logs.
The Homestead, Brattonsville's second house built about 1830 as the home of Dr. John S. Bratton, was significant as the center of an 8500-acre agricultural complex. This 12-room, 2⅛-story antebellum mansion is an example of Greek Revival residential architecture. The interior features Adam mantels, exquisite dadoes, and a carved staircase.
We had planned on meeting at Larry’s place (over near St. Mathews) at 9:00 in the morning. Then I got that call at work that I needed to go in to meet someone to pick up some things for the weekend. So we left at 8:00 figuring on plenty of time – I hate to be the late one. But since I was riding the bike and didn’t need my house or car keys or work keys, I didn’t bring them. I did call around and verify the alarm code since I don’t usually go in the building I needed to go in. And sure enough, as I am getting off the bike I remember that I’ve left the building keys on the table. So another call to get one of my staff out of bed and come in to let us in. That done and only about 20 minutes behind, so we call Larry and say we are done and where to meet. Since we were getting a late start we decided to forgo the 321 route and just jump on I-26 and run up to exit 119 then back on I-26 to I-20 and over to 321 and up to Winnsboro, where we were to meet Terrell and Eileen.
A Few Challenges
So this section of I-26 is undergoing some reconstruction and is a TERRIBLE road. We got some gas at the exit and back on 26. Well we only thought the first part of 26 was bad, it got WORSE! Ever want to take your local road commissioner on the back of your bike and take them for a ride and see how they like it, or just send them the bill for your chiropractor?! (Note: I would refer you to Shaggy. I feel like "a Ron Rant" here is why I mention Shaggy. He is much more expressive than I and I would defer to him for my feelings about many of the roads, even our wonderful expressways that are supposed to be the better roads are ... did I say TERRIBLE?!)
As I look in my mirror at Larry I see something coming up from his bike and at first thought it was just road dust, but he was kicking up a lot for a bike. As we went on I realized it is smoke and does he really have a bad cylinder? As we got nearly to Columbia and through the worst of the construction, I motion him up beside me and see oil all over the side and on the exhaust. So I motion him over and we stop to find that his dipstick has broken and the top is off and spewing oil all over. Marcia is convinced it was the rough road – I wouldn’t doubt it. Can you tell we didn’t like the road.? Especially on the back of the bike!
Anyway Harley Haven was just a few miles up the road so we headed that way. They had one and could fix him up shortly. Marcia and I were relieved that for a change it wasn’t us. We just turned 3000 miles on the new Road Glide and have had it 6 weeks. A quick call to Terrell to say we are further delayed. He said he was going on then – and we thought that meant he was going on to Brattonsville. They live up near Newberry and much shorter to head over that way than come down to Columbia and meet us.
As we finish up at Harley Haven the sun is out brightly and warming up nicely and looks like a great day. The closer we got to Columbia the darker it became and we started wondering if the weather person was really off and it was going to rain. It was a heavy fog and cloud cover so off with the sun glasses and glad we didn’t really take any of the leather off as the temperature dropped back into the 50’s. We only had a few miles on I-20 and were off on 321 which was a better road than I-26. However, so much for the DOT road closure site because we barely went 2 miles and the road was closed. Larry said he knew how to get over to Hwy 21 and we could take that. Ok, so off we go again and turn on 21 and go about 4 miles and road closed. We took the detour and ended up at I-77 at Blythewood. A quick stop and call to Terrell to let him know that we have hit another snag and would be even later, but he said he was going on, so we dropped the plans to meet him in Winnsboro and go on to Chester Route 9 exit which would be quicker. Another oops for the day, ... but that wasn’t what he meant. We learned later that he waited in Winnsboro for 2 hours for us.
So on to I-77, which was somewhat better than 26 but still not a fun ride. Marcia was clear that we were NOT taking that route home. We get into Chester and stop in a parking lot to look over the map or put it in my new GPS and a guy in a car asked what we were looking for. We told him and he started to explain and then said just follow him and he would take us there. So we followed the guy in the white car hoping he really did know what he was doing. Sure enough he made a couple of turns then pulled over and said, "just stay on this road, no turns and it will take you right to it." So we did. We first went by the visitor’s center and didn’t see anything like the tents and things of a reenactment and stopped on the side of the road and Marcia noticed some people turning in front of us a short distance and went up there to find another part of the Brattonsville historic site.
The battle of Williamson’s Plantation, also called Huck’s Defeat, took place within this small community. Captain Christian Huck, a Philadelphia Loyalist, came south as a part of Tarleton’s legion. He commanded a cavalry unit of about 100 Loyalists1 and was given marching orders to “push the rebels as far as you deem convenient.” On his list of “rebels” to “push,” was Colonel William Bratton. Huck and his cavalry arrived at Bratton’s home on July 11, 1780. After attempting to gain the captain’s whereabouts from his wife Martha, Huck set-up camp just west of Bratton’s home at Williamson’s Plantation. Martha sent word to her husband’s camp and at dawn on July 12th, Colonels William Bratton, Andrew Neel, William Hill and Edward Lacey and a force of about 100 men surrounded Huck’s camp and ambushed the waking Loyalists early in the morning at reveille. Huck attempted to rally his men but was killed almost immediately with a wound to the head. After the smoke cleared, only about two dozen of the Loyalists managed to escape the ambush. On the American side, there was only one Patriot death.
The parking was free and, being seniors, we got the reduced admission. Now to be clear, there was never a civil war battle in Brattonsville, but there was a Revolutionary war skirmish that was significant called Huck’s Defeat.
Historians credit the victory at the battle of Huck’s Defeat as the first link in the chain of events in the South that ultimately led to victory at Yorktown, Virginia. The Battle of Huck’s Defeat, along with several other small battles in the area were important morale boosters for the patriots culminating in other American victories, such as the Battle of Kings Mountain.
But the buildings were really neat. It was neat to imagine the conversations that must have taken place in the Assembly Hall of the main house during the 1770’s and 1780’s with the defeat of the British. And the information said they had around 139 slaves at one time, which seems a bit small for 8000 acres.
Also as the day wore on the sun came back out and when it was time to head out we were able to leave off some of the clothes and put on the sunglasses. We went down 321 which was a great road, smooth and nice, unlike the expressway. Terrell and Eileen broke off at Winnsboro and Larry broke off at Cayce. We stopped at Cayce at the Carolina Wings and Ribs for a burger and then on down 321 to home around 7:15.
Still, Another Great Ride!
So even though the day started out frustrating, and we were sorry for Larry’s trouble with his bike, (but glad it wasn’t us for a change,) and the roads were not great on the way up, the ride home was great, Brattonsville was very interesting, and the company was as usual great for another great ride!
CBA Swap Meet & Bike Show in Charlotte
"It's as old as the hills," they say. No, I didn't say anything about the ages of the organizers! (From my own vantagepoint, how can I say anything about age?!) But I am talking about the CBA Swapmeet in Charlotte. It's a twice-a-year event that's being put on for the 42nd time. You've certainly heard about it, been to it, or perhaps read about it in Boda's History of the CBA.
Honestly, the CBA history and work is interesting and the members have been working hard and long to support bikers' rights. If you haven't read what Boda's put together for us, check it out. There are some great photos from "way back when" too!
The Swap Meet is a way to make money so they can put on the Toys for Tots Ride that's coming up in December, rider and community-supportive efforts, and to keep up the legislative prompting they do.
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