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(photo by Paul Noble)

Many more photos from the Greenville Toys for Tots Ride in our GALLERY!

November 26th Edition

In This Issue:


Riding BE-cause - a Focus on Not-for-Profit Events & Efforts

TOY RUNS! - event reports, photos, & flyers of this season's rides

> Lester reports on Greenville Toys for Tots Run from 11/23/13

> Shaggy reports on Chesnee Toy Run from 11/24/13

Lil' Weather

Free Thinking with FancyFree

Golden: Cows & Copters

Sandy: Between a Rock and Another Rock!

Mike on a Bike: A Kid's Kid - Mason's Story

Loose Talk with Jon


Look for much more at







Check out the story about this charitable event!


Toy run on Main in Chesnee

"Here Comes Shag-A-Claus ...
... Here Comes Shag-A-Claus
... Right Down Chesnee Main!

Man, I love the fall and winter seasons. Sure the ride gets a little colder but doesn’t the good outweigh the bad when you think about it? First off, you get to break out the leathers, the ol’ lady skips a few more rides so you get to pack in some solo miles, and the best roads are clear while everyone is out shopping. And the events this time of year also provide some of the best you could ask for. No it's not the ass packing yuppie festivals of the summer, it’s a more low key affair. Instead of the rows of overpriced vendors, you see old friends and make a few new ones. That’s why I always make it a point, come hell or high water, to make the Toy Run on Main in Chesnee SC.

This marks the 11th year since Dennis Harris and Clint Button (of Antique Bikes on Main fame) started this run to support the Kops Kids charity. I first started making this run over four years ago and try my best to make it every year. Like every other show Dennis Harris touches it just keeps getting bigger and bigger ...


Greenville Harley-Davidson Quaker Steak & Lube

Marine Corps. Toys for Tots Run 2013

The day started out looking great. The wife and I met up with Chester and Daryl for breakfast before riding down to Heritage Park in Simpsonville, South Carolina. As we are eating we see bikes headed east on Hwy 14. No doubt, they were headed to the toy run, as we soon shall be.  The sun had been shining and every now and then it would pop back through the clouds but for the most part the clouds were somewhat dark.  As my youngest son used to say, the clouds are dirty. Dirty they were, but we hoped that the rain would hold off till after lunch. This toy run is the largest run of the year for Greenville Harley Davidson.  Everybody realizes this year the Clemson Tigers and the South Carolina Gamecocks are both playing early, early enough to hurt the toy run, that is.

We finish our breakfast, and suit back up. The weather is not too cold but just cold enough to start a chill at higher speeds. I check the bungee cords holding the toys to my bike, and all is tight. Chester wants me to lead, Mrs. Lester second, Chester and then Daryl bringing up the rear.  We start down Hwy. 14, headed to Simpsonville....

The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area

for Week of November 26 - December 3, 2013

Tuesday 45 heavy rain, Wednesday 44 showers/wind, Thursday 42 sunny, Friday 47 m-sunny, Saturday 48 p-cloudy, Sunday 49 cloudy, Monday 51 few showers, Tuesday 59 sunny (as per on 11/26/13)


Liquid Snow

I heard a week ago that we might have snow this week here in The Queen City. Well, perhaps this is liquid snow, then? It's a rainy Tuesday with temps in the 40's and for once, I'm glad to be indoors. I'm an outdoors kinda gal. Gotta be connected with the Earth and her creatures to feel like I'm alive. That's one of the major reasons I adore riding! Just not today....

Nevertheless, I get to drop into the tales by our amazing contributors today ... tales of days that call you to the road and send you exploring the wilds of our beautiful Carolinas. As usual, both Golden and Sandy nudge us out of our indoor armchairs and desks, giving us a hankering for getting back to The Ride. You can taste the day in both of their adventures and I, for one, am inspired and ready .. Just not today!

As for inspiration, you can't help but be inspired by Mike on a Bike's story and his own caring enthusiasm for his STAR Riders Chapter charitable effort. I got to chat with some others of his crew and found that Mike's not the only one who's in love with this little boy and devoted to his needs. Their compassion is clear, their mission certain. Read about Mason and the life-saving dog these riders helped to hook him up with and the December 7th event coming up!


Toy Runs!

Lester and Shaggy report on two of last weekend's Carolina toy runs. Of course there's lots more going on all over our states - but we're happy to share stories from a couple we haven't covered in the past. Enjoy Lester's warmly-enthusiastic perspective on Saturday's Toys for Tots Ride in Greenville, SC and watch how the Grinchy edge that Shaggy usually expresses just melts away during the "season of giving!"

We had a ball in Greenville on Saturday. The BIG RIDE was honored to have Paul (of Paul Pics,) Lester and (as he says) Mrs. Lester, and Poni Princess and her Frog. Tremendous turnout on a rain-threatening and chill-ya-to-the-bone day! Hell, damn good turnout on any kind of day! I so enjoyed meeting some new friends in the G-S area and look forward to hearing from you more. Write us and we'll share your ride!

This Sunday The BIG RIDE Bus will be serving hot chocolate, cookies, and good cheer at the Charlotte CBA Toy Run that leaves from Bojangles Coliseum. Come on out and get your toy run on!


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Cows & Copters

What beautiful motorcycle weather Mother Nature has given us in Sept, Oct and now Nov.  Sure it’s getting cooler but serious riders will be prepared for it. The tourists have gone back home as I write this in early Nov.  The Blue Ridge Mountains are there for us “locals” to enjoy with very little traffic on the roads and all we have to do is watch out for the wild and domestic life that likes to jump out in front of us and increase our heart rate several hundred percent.

Recently we had an encounter with some cows, but personally I seem to have a bird attraction.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to duck or swerve to avoid buzzards, turkeys, small birds and a couple of times, hawks. I don’t know if you know bird habits but they will “relieve” themselves as they take off to lose some weight.  And it’s not real sweet smelling, especially buzzard’s "relief." ...

In mid Oct the 3 codgers were riding down the Greenville SC water shed road from Saluda NC.  A beautiful area and good riding roads---well, mostly. There are a couple that look like the Army used them for mortar practice. Anyway we’re cruising down hill and 2 guinea fowl run out of the weeds right in front of me.  I knew I could miss the first one but thought the second one was gonna be road kill.  I actually raised my feet as ...

Between a Rock & Another Rock

I finally did it! I found the rocks! (Laughing) I’m sure by now you are thinking… "What in the heck is she talking about?"

A couple of Sunday’s ago, I was DETERMINED to find the Rockford General Store near Boonville, NC.  I messaged out to my riding buddies to join me.  I also invited my dad along for the journey. One friend responded and my dad happily accepted the invite to ride.  I told them both…I am going to find this place near Boonville called the Rockford General Store today.  Just be patient with me as we might have to turn around A LOT!

Motorcycles fueled and off we go!  Nice chilly day – so we bundled up (no heated gear yet) and headed towards the mountains by way of Hwy 601.  I made my turns from map study and memory and “thought” I should be getting close…but saw no sign of the little community.  Turn around #1.  So we go back the other direction (keeping in mind – we are on Rockford Rd.) thinking the little community is on the other end.  Nope! ...

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following story is a pre-story for a charitable event on December 7th sponsored by the Greenville STAR Riders Chapter 352 with marketing assistance by The Carolina Rider. Please check out the event flyer found above. And we have no doubt you will be inspired by this story by Mike on a Bike! ...

A Kid's Kid - Mason's Story

He’s a two, soon to be three year old with a smile as big as the sky; one of those kids that just grabs your heart from the moment you meet him.  Yet, watching Mason run around, laughing and giggling, being a precocious two year old, you wouldn’t know that he’s a kid with a serious illness, a boy who has gone through a lot in his short two years on earth, and that he faces many more challenges in the years ahead.

But, thanks to two incredible, loving and giving parents, a circle of friends that just gets bigger every day, and a similarly young and precocious five month old pup named Toby, things will be better for Mason and his family....

The BIG RIDE was in Greenville, SC last weekend

... now on to a NC Toy Run this Sunday

We had a great Saturday in Greenville at HD of Greenville's Toys For Tots toy run. It was an amazing turnout, (see the pictures) and the all-round hospitality was truly wonderful. We had a great time for a great cause.

Speaking of great causes, this Sunday The Carolina Rider's "The BIG RIDE" Bus will be giving out hot chocolate and cookies at the Charlotte CBA's Toys for Tots toy Run. Leaving this year from Bojangles arena and heading to HD of Charlotte for the party. The ride pulls out at 1pm sharp so don't be late. (Plus, you'll want to come a little early to hang out with me!)

If you happen to miss that one, we will also be at the Gaston County "Ranlo" toy run the following Saturday.

So, come see us...

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