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December 6th Edition
The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area
for Week of December 7-13, 2016
Wednesday 59h & m-sunny, Thursday 54h & m-cloudy, Friday 43h & sunny, Saturday 45h & sunny, Sunday 47h & p-cloudy, Monday 59h & 70% showers, Tuesday 54h & m-sunny (as per weather.com on 12/06/16)
The first weekend in December has become a most special time for me. It's Toy Run Weekend!, with a toy run on Saturday and one on Sunday. This past weekend's weather meant that they each had their own flavors...
Saturday was a huge gigantic full-out toy run in Gaston County. They said there were at least 2500+ bikes when the counting stopped. Bikes were wrapped around and around the parking lot. I guess we should have expected it when we were bombarded as soon as Footloose put The BIG RIDE Bus in park. Folks were READY for some hot chocolate, that's for sure! It was a grand morning and I enjoyed chatting with new and old friends as usual.
Sunday, on the other hand, was made up of a tiny group of absolutely, positively, completely, totally devoted riders who DO THIS RIDE EVERY YEAR and would not miss it for the world! It was rainy and really chilly in the drizzle that kept up from get to go. As The BIG RIDE Bus pulled into the parking lot, a lone bike and rider sat on the asphalt in the mist. (pic above) The toys on the back were covered with a plastic garbage bag but the legs of the stuffed animals were sticking out! It was a special morning, cold and rainy or not. Christmas carols blasted on our sound system outside as well as Footloose's booming voice encouraging everyone to "get dry under our awning and make sure to buy a CBA t-shirt and ride safe!" Thanks to Brittany and her mother, Lisa, to Caroline and David too who helped keep The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine's set-up cheery!
This is Jennifer Carter who won a night for 2 at Skyline Village Inn during the Gaston Co Toy Run. She was a happy lady and we know she'll enjoy this little gem on the Blue Ridge Parkway. As she walked away she was telling her friend to go with her and enjoy the extra discount of 50% off anyone who goes with her as a part of her winnings. Yes!
In the bustle, we failed to get the name of the woman who won this jacket that Footloose is pointing out. She too was happy to win! Ron Sholtz and Roger McQueen won tickets to January's Easyriders Show as well.
Congrats to all winners! We look forward to giving away more at our next stop - Windjammers Toy Run in Shelby on December 17th. Bub says he won't drink all the hot chocolate this time....
Hello all, it has been a while since you have heard from me. That is ok though, as I don’t seem to have a lot of fans out there. I have only heard from two or three of you over the years. As I say, that is ok, I don’t do this as much for you as I do it for me. For me it is very theraputic. It lets me get stuff off of my chest and I get the wonderful opportunity of showing off some of the places I have been.
It has been a slow year for me and I do apoligize for being away for so long. The Tarheel Tornado and I rode down to Daytona in March for the 75th Anniversay of Bike Week. I shared a story and photos for that, and you have not heard from me since.
Here's why ...
The first week of April, I had to have some amputation on my right foot. To me it is not a big deal, but we had to take a toe off. We had been together for a long time, but with an infection in the bone that I could not get rid of, he had to go! My oldest son, said that I should commemerate with a new tattoo. I had to admit that he had my curiosity up so I asked him what he meant. We are both car and motorcycle nuts, so it didn’t surprise me when he came out with the idea for a tattoo stating “4 on the floor!” PERFECT. So now I am looking at something maybe with a chicken in it (cause they have 4 toes) and maybe it will say “Chicken Shift or Shift Happens, and 4 on the Floor.” Who know what the final design may be. I will be certain to send in a photo when that happens. I have attached the first draft (above!)
If you have any ideas, please send them to me!
Anyway, I am back to riding now, and walking too, almost as much as before the surgery. Now I have another issue: I now know first hand that animals and motorcycles do not mix well. My youngest son was riding my wife's Sporty when the neighbor's labrador ran out of the open fence and took my son down. My son tried to avoid the dog but hit it anyway. He then went down on his right side. Fortunately, he was not going very fast as it was only 2 driveways up from my own, but fast enough to do about $2500 in damages to the bike. We have not been able to put a price on the road rash. The neighbor is being a butt head and says that we are on our own, but hopefully I will have the last word in that. The bike went down on its right side, all the chrome on the right is damaged from the front axle to the rear turn signal. Not to mention that my son lost a week of work because of his injuries.
I now ask the question:
If you are put in the same situation, do you drive toward the animal, try to go in front of it or behind it or maintain your direction in hopes of it getting out of your way?
I feel like you should either maintain your direction or try to drive behind it based on the speed of the animal and the speed of the bike. But it is one of those situations that you will not decide until you are put in that situation. I hope that you are never put in one such as this, but if you do, What will you do? Let me know your thoughts.
As always, if you see me out, let me know that you read it here and I will buy you an adult beverage!
Ride Hard, Ride Free !
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!
The BIG RIDE Bus Toy Run Schedule for 2016
21st Annual Gaston Co Toy Run, Ranlo
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!
We were there on Saturday the 5th and the turn-out was EXCEPTIONAL with over 2500 bikes! The weather was picture perfect and hot chocolate at The BIG RIDE Bus was a hit. The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine gave out a new women's Harley-Davidson jacket, a night for 2 at Skyline Village Inn, and 2 sets of Easyriders tickets. While we didn't participate in the ride itself, it was a grand party from 9am-kickstands up. Here are some photos by Paul Pics ...
Charlotte CBA & US Marine Corps Toys for Tots, Charlotte
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.
This year's ride had a big weather obstacle; however. With 100% rain and temps in the 40's forecast for all day, the majority of riders didn't make it out. Last year's ride brought in 2800 riders but this year was more like 75. Gathered under the awning of The BIG RIDE Bus was a tight knot of riders sipping hot chocolate and trying to keep out of the drizzle. Footloose announced at one point that we had a "big staff working today" pointing out the gathering under the awning. Rain or not, we were happy to be there and grabbed a few photos for your viewing pleasure...
* & COMING UP IN 2 WEEKS ... *
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.)
We were graced by celebrity this past weekend as we had a visit from Jay "Hollywood" Greenwood. It was good to see Hollywood on Saturday .. and Sunday!
What do you do about Dogs?
Lester asks us all a question in his column this week and I'd like to hear as many responses as we can get. What DO you do when a dog runs out in front of you when you're riding? I'll share the official MSF teachings about that ... but EXPERIENCE is our best teacher! Let's hear from you - have you had a canine run-in? Let us know!
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Contact us at jon@TheCarolinaRider.com - All Rights Reserved
The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine
2764 Pleasant Rd, PMB 4100
Fort Mill, SC 29708