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November 12th Edition
In This Issue:
Look for much more at www.thecarolinarider.com
A good ways down the road ...
The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area
for Week of November 12-19, 2013
Tuesday 62 showers/wind, Wednesday 49 sunny, Thursday 56 sunny, Friday 57 cloudy, Saturday 63 cloudy, Sunday 67 cloudy, Monday 66 t-showers, Tuesday 62 showers (as per www.intellicast.com on 11/12/13)
We got our confirmation for the 2014 Easyriders Show and we're working on plans. Seems a bit too early? Nope...it's not that far off really. Just 10 weeks in the near distance! This year as last, they're offering a one-day show in Charlotte and we're looking forward to a slam-down party. "Bobby" of Sons of Anarchy is the SOA autograph celeb this year and there'll be the usual other players makin' the scene so be sure you've got this year's Winter event on your calendar. Watch The Carolina Rider for more info to come including an exciting list of TCR celebs of our own who'll be on site at The BIG RIDE!
The International Motorcycle Show (IMS) is NOT; however, coming to The Queen City. In fact, the closest they get to The Carolinas is Atlanta, folks.
Closer up ahead are, of course, the grand variety of toy runs we've already been touting. Still not sure what's happening in the far reaches of The Carolinas and welcome stories from you, our readers always. Quece wrote about toy runs in a more lyrical fashion for her column today. (Well, that and her other Christmas wish other than the joy of holiday rides!)
The diversity of The Carolina Rider Scene continues to make me smile! From a doggone great dog writer to a broadly creative published biker writer to a prolifically-talented all-round journalist gal, today's publication shows an artsy blend of good stuff, in my own humbly editorial opinion. And we've even got a newbie writer showing his hand today but I'll let Footloose make mention of him. I will say, on another matter, that it's wonderful to hear our Uncle Roy's "real" voice in his writing today. While his characters are a hoot and his poetry moving, this is actually the first words we've heard from the-man-behind-the-writings and I warmly welcome his editorial blast today!
There're leaves on the roads! Have fun and, as always, stay safe.....
I'm on Facebook ... "friend me!"
Gary Burgess Completes His Summer Journey
... to The Arctic & Back!
Several months ago The Carolina Rider introduced you to Gary Burgess. If you will recollect, Gary posted his desire to find a riding buddy to join him on a once in a life time journey from Charlotte to the Arctic Circle and home again. His dream has been to complete the Trans Canadian Highway while riding a Gold Wing in all 49 states & 10 Canadian Provinces. At the time we first met him he was bike-less and you could kind of say almost unemployed nearing the completion of an engineering contract for one of his clients.
He spent about a year researching the bike he wanted for this special trip. It couldn't be just any street bike; it needed to be very sturdy, radiator cooler, and capable of carrying all the gear he would need to complete the dream. After several weeks of many phone calls and lots of emails, he found that bike in Hickory ...
EDITOR'S NOTE: In her recent column, Quece revealed what she's asking Santa for this year. Do you remember what it is? No judgement from you health foodies out there! A biker bitch is absolutely entitled to her guilty pleasures.
... Plus, she's a charitable chihuahua with a leaning toward the leather-clad clan. And so today she's offering her poetic gifts to inspire us all to get out and ride some toy runs this year!
For this week's humble scribble I decided to go "out of character" so to speak, with what we shall call an "editorial;" mainly to do something different. Departing from my usual genre - that I fervently hope the readers find at least somewhat entertaining - I chose to express my feelings on a relatively vanilla issue, but one that may make for entertaining, and hopefully instructive reading. When one has a "forum," never mind its dimensions, the temptation, and tendency, to pontificate must be vigorously guarded against. Face it; no one wants to be labeled a "know-it-all." Yet, from time to time I feel moved to opine on subjects relating to the motorsickle culture.
Given the current explosion in the ranks of motorsickle riders, that shows no inclination to decline in the foreseeable future, and all the positive changes in society’s attitude vis-à-vis the American Biker, I find myself somewhat perplexed, and surprised at the continuing rift between people who ride Harley-Davidson motorsickles, and people who ride whatever other brand you care to name. Honestly ya’ll I ran RIDERS’ ROOST MOTORCYCLE REORT for TWENTY years, and this attitude was virtually non-existent at the Roost. I thought we were past this shit! Naturally, as a biker, I make a concerted effort to not judge anyone, nor do I attempt to tell people what or how they should be; but it occurs to me that this schism is completely ‘played’ and that it’s time for us all to move on. Again, I sincerely thought we had moved on. Turns out I was wrong. Because I’ve been burning oxygen—that I never paid for—for an impressive spate of years, let me offer not an elitist judgment, but certainly some informed history to this subject....
My MSF Experience
by Reid LeDonne
From a very young age I remember my father telling me to always read the instructions before tinkering with something. Being the responsible twenty year old that I am now, I did not heed his warning when I bought my first motorcycle.
I got my first bike back in January of 2013. It was a 650cc bike, an entry level cruiser. I had never been on a motorcycle before and knew nothing about them. After going to the Myrtle Beach Bike Week a few years in a row, I figured it couldn't be that hard after seeing some of the "characters" riding there. If these guys can do this, I told myself that I could too. I had no idea what I was doing on the bike and my lack of knowledge caused me to do a "low side" crash going 55 mph. Someone was looking out for me, because the odds that I walked away from the accident were heavily against me. The crash freaked me out and ruined my spring semester of college, but this summer I decided to get back on the horse and do the whole motorcycle thing the right way, by starting with a MSF safety course.
I had no idea what to expect when I walked in the first day. It turned out I was the youngest guy there, and actually had the most riding experience (with 300 miles under my belt). The class was mainly comprised of older couples, who were interested in purchasing a motorcycle and had never ridden before. The three instructors were extremely friendly and very knowledgeable. The class atmosphere was great: we learned a lot, we laughed a lot, and I made new riding friends.
On the second day of class we learned how to stop properly in a turn, the one thing that almost took my life away seven months ago. I know for a fact if I had taken the class before I got my bike, I would not have crashed and caused my family and myself so much strife. This course covers the basic elements of riding a motorcycle, and what it means to be a motorcyclist. I learned so many things in this I would have never have even thought of as a new motorcyclist.
Whether you have never ridden a bike before, or you have been riding for years, this class gives you professional knowledge of how to operate a motorcycle safely on the road. It's always better to read the instructions and know what you're dealing with, especially when it is something as dangerous as a motorcycle. I am a much more confidant rider now, and the lessons I learned at the MFS riders safety course echo through my mind the minute I sit down on my bike.
It's such a short statement but it means a whole lot. "Riding safely" means the difference between having a good day and having a really bad day. Just above there is an article from Reid, a student in my last class at Harley-Davidson of Charlotte. As I read his article I was impressed that he was taking responsibility to be safe while riding.
While we hear that with age comes wisdom, this 20-year-old is pretty wise. Wise in ways us in the "older crowd" ought to pay attention to because the stats tell us that accidents for the older crowd are on the rise.
Reid's words are worthy of repeating more than once. He says, "After going to the Myrtle Beach Bike Week a few years in a row, I figured it couldn't be that hard after seeing some of the 'characters' riding there. If these guys can do this, I told myself that I could too. I had no idea what I was doing on the bike and my lack of knowledge caused me to do a 'low side' crash going 55 mph. Someone was looking out for me, because the odds that I walked away from the accident were heavily against me. The crash freaked me out and ruined my spring semester of college, but this summer I decided to get back on the horse and do the whole motorcycle thing the right way, by starting with a MSF safety course."
I'm guessing the "characters" he mentions were of all ages. Sure, we're all "young and stupid" in our early days and do things because we think we're bullet-proof. We riders who are older than Reid often think we know how to ride because we've been doing it for so long or, if we're riding for the first time, we think that because we've driven a car forever, we can get on a bike and ride without training. Ok, I'm as hard-headed as the next guy, but I will guarantee that if you ride, no matter what your age or experience, you will benefit from a motorcycle skills course - beginner or experienced.
I promise ...
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