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December 10th Edition

In This Issue:


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

Windjammers Toy Run

Quece's HOWL-iday Report: Charlotte & Gaston CBA Rides

Lil' Weather

Free Thinking with FancyFree

Golden Opportunities: A Cool & BERRY Good Day

Mike on a Bike: Star Riders 352 Fundraising

Poni Princess: My First Carolina Christmas

Loose Talk with Jon


Look for much more at





EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a two-pack from Quece - two toy run reports by our special chihuahua reporter and her ever-present mom who we thank for helping Quece compile her adventures!


Charlotte CBA Toys for Tots Ride

So Mom with her Frankenstein boots, and me in my Christmas hoodie headed to Charlotte today.  We just couldn’t miss the Charlotte CBA Toys for Tots, and a chance to see Santa! Flying above the coliseum we saw two planes pulling advertising flags…one for that “lizard” insurance and one for beer…hahahahahaha!  Like these are the only two things bikers care about.  Thank goodness The Carolina Rider knows better than that!

When we pulled in to the Bojangles Coliseum just a few minutes after 11 a.m. there were already over 100 bikes.   A good friend of mine, Donald, was guiding traffic and he signaled Mom to a good spot near the “Toy” truck so she wouldn’t have to hobble far.  (how embarrassing!)

By the time we set up a chair there were over 200 bikes in the parking lot.  Men with beards, chaps, chains, wearing club “colors” and riding boots were walking to the Uniformed Marines.


Gaston County "Ranlo" Toy Ride

Toy runs are a lot like ice cream…they are all sweet and delicious and are made up of the basic components…but each one has its own distinct flavor.  The Gaston County Toy Run for Kids is flavored with being able to see the children actually receive the gifts you bring!  Priceless!

Mom has really slowed me down with her “Frankenstein” boots….I can ride in my car seat…but this morning was warm , slightly overcast and still great for a “paws to the wind” ride!  But we “caged” it.

By the time we could even get close to the Ranlo Church of God, the parking lot was full of bikes, and cars filled a second lot across the street.  We had to park along the road with other “overflow cagers”. As soon as I got the chance I darted across the street for Santa Claus...



The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area

for Week of December 10-17, 2013

Tuesday 50 am rain, Wednesday 50 sunny, Thursday 45 sunny, Friday 50 p-cloudy, Saturday 48 rain, Sunday 56 p-cloudy, Monday 47 sunny, Tuesday 48 sunny (as per on 12/10/13)


Does your porch have a pumpkin, a skeleton, and a Christmas wreath?

I love riding in residential areas - whether it's in a bustling modern city or a sleepy old town, down lazy country roads or around peppy neighborhoods. It's peering into others' lives, checking out different lifestyle flavors, seeing what folks are up to, and watching them watch us ride by! Nighttime rides can be magical seeing the glow of lights tucked behind windows and doors, the shadowy movements of folks gathering for dinner or settling in for rest. Morning rides can be sweetly quiet before many beings are moving about, a delicious stillness like after a snow.

This time of year, there's something that never fails to make me laugh - the mixture of holiday decorations as Halloween morphs into Thanksgiving then Christmas and occasional home displays get added to rather than changed-out. Sometimes you can even see a couple of Easter eggs still tucked in the pine needles under the trees where the snowflakes hang!


It's been a couple days not fit for man nor beast ... or bike. Hoping for brighter days....


I'm on Facebook ... "friend me!"

A Cool & Berry Good Day

It was 23 cool, maybe even cold degrees when Mickey pulled into my driveway on Monday the 25th of November.  We generally ride on Wednesday or Thursday but Thanksgiving was Thursday and Mickey and Jeannie were going to spend that day in Athens GA at their daughter’s home. And Tuesday’s forecast called for rain so Monday it was.

We rode up the Forest City and enjoyed the hot coffee and breakfast at the Forest City Diner. Good chow and good people. Now -- where to ride?  I have a route on my GPS named the low mountain ride which stays on the southern side of the mountains and doesn’t peak out where it is bound to be colder. It roams around starting at Caesar NC on the Golden Valley Rd and if I had ever wanted a road named after me, this would be the one. About 15 miles from Caesar to Rt 226 and “Golden” it is.



It never ceases to amaze me what a small group of people can accomplish when they are of like minds and hearts and have something positive they want achieve.  There’s a palpable energy that hovers in the air as these people of single purpose gather and plan, get creative, overcome obstacles, and greet problems as challenges to succeed.

            We, the community of motorcyclists, bikers if you will, tend to be a pretty giving group of folks.  We do probably tens of thousands of Toy Runs throughout the country this time of the year to ensure that kids have something on Christmas.  We do rides to benefit veterans, many of whom are without family or simply forgotten.  We do rides to benefit kids stricken with cancer, leukemia, diabetes, and a long list of other childhood diseases that too many of us have had personal experiences with in our families, friends and communities.  And of course if a fellow biker, who because of an accident and a lack of affordable health insurance, can’t make medical payments, we’re there to support his or her family and help pay some of the bills....


First Carolina Christmas

It is just a few weeks shy of a year since I have been writing for The Carolina Rider. I can think of no better time than right here between Thanksgiving and Christmas to express my deep gratitude for this opportunity to serve the motorcycling community. The biker scene in the Carolinas is gaining such momentum with benefit events, celebration parties, and all out biker rallies. Just look on our calendar and you will find a great place to go every weekend of the year. My friends, we got it going on and there is no stopping us!

The toy runs are about to wrap up for the year. The Carolina Rider has made appearances at several very well attended ones; like 1000+ biker rides with our final big one coming up on Saturday, December 21st in Shelby, NC: Windjammers. Come join us! Or, I hope you have been or will be able to participate in some holiday ride from your neck of the woods to kick this season into full swing. I’ll probably stable my ride for a while since the cold rainy stuff has rolled around. Princess don’t do cold and wet, just sayin’.....

Winding Down the Year

We'll be taking off a couple weeks soon. Next week will be our last full ezine but do look for our holiday cards that'll come out Christmas week and New Year's week. What are you doing for the holidays? I hope getting some rest like I plan to altho I'm sure there will be some honey-do chores on a list somewhere for me to find!

Buy a Hoodie!

This past Saturday was what I call the Ranlo toy run that's actually the Gaston County Toy Run and we had a good time despite the grey and chilly weather. Not as many bikes as we're used to in that ride but still the spirit of the people there and the commitment by all involved is catching. I was bundled up in my TCR hoodie - pretty much my "uniform" on cold days lately - and I highly recommend one not just for warmth but for a pretty cool look. And, hey, they can make a good gift too!


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