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December 13th Edition

In This Issue:

Lil' Weather

Free Thinking with FancyFree

The Tarheel Tornado gets back in the saddle

Advertise in The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine

Photos from this month's toy runs so far

Rebel Randi - I'm sharing some emails this week!

Readers Respond: "What do you do about Dogs in the Road?"

Loose Talk with Jon

The Little Weather Quickie for the Greater Charlotte Area

for Week of December 14-20, 2016

Wednesday 53h & m-cloudy, Thursday 41h & p-cloudy, Friday 37h & p-cloudy, Saturday 50h & 60% am rain/ice, Sunday 63h & 80% rain, Monday 44h & 70% rain, Tuesday 42h & 60% pm showers (as per weather.com on 12/13/16)

A few more Stories before we close out 2016 ...

This week, Rebel Randi shares a few emails. She promises to resume her journal next week and says there's only a bit more of her cross-country ride to share. And as those emails (and the many she has received,) reveal, folks surely do dig hearing other riders' stories. Ride stories inspire us to plan our own 2-wheel adventures and help nudge us off the couch to get on our bikes and ride.

As we get close to the end of this year, some of the TCR Storytellers are scurrying to get one last story in. Last week we heard from Lester who shares why he's been absent and who asks a question that inspired this week's Readers Respond column below. Read what folks are saying about what to do when a dog runs in front of you.

We're happy to see The Tarheel Tornado back in the pages of The Carolina Rider Weekly Magazine this week! As he shares, sometimes you just can't get the ride in that you really want ... and REALLY need. Glad he was able to find some road time and wants to share it with us.

Next week is the last full edition for 2016 and we're happy to give Bub, Rebel, and Ron the last words. You'll be getting a double shot of Bub as he shares a couple CPR ride stories, Rebel continues her journey, and "the Storyteller formerly known as Orangeburg Ron" and now to be known as "Michigan Ron" since his move, returns with a photo journal of Amish Country riding.

Happy to hear from all our Storytellers! ... and hey, some of them will be in Shelby this Saturday with us at The BIG RIDE Bus for Windjammers toy run. Ya'll Come!

This year’s bike riding has not gone at all like I wanted.

It has been a very eventful year with a new grandchild and that has been great beyond explanation, ... but riding has been sparse to say the least. Management at work has been in transition, new rolls, new assignments, and a host of other things like picking back up on school work trying to complete that challenge. In addition, chores seem to be getting harder to do. I wonder if that has anything to do with getting old??? The chores multiply like rabbits, and I’m getting slower than a 3 legged turtle!

Anyway, when you get an offbeat chance, you have to take advantage of it, and that happened last weekend ...

Mrs. Tornado had to work Friday night, and it is always a good idea to get out of the house, so as not to disturb her while she gets some sleep Saturday morning. I needed to run down to our company’s on-site pharmacy, so I thought I would just hop on the bike and take a about a 2-hour ride there and back, and maybe stop for a late breakfast somewhere. The fastest and shortest route is Parris Bridge Road to I-85. It’s not a bad route, but Interstate is not where it’s at when it comes to riding a bike. None the less, off I go.

As I approached Highway 11, that inner biker took over, ...

... and I could not help myself but to turn right onto 11 and take the scenic route. "What the heck?!," I thought to myself, I was not in any big hurry right? You know that old saying about “when life gives you a lemon, make lemonade,” so off I go. I took all the backroads to get to the south side of Greer. When I got there, I ran into one of my co-workers, and it was nice to see him and speak for few minutes, then off I go again. I thought, "oh well I‘ve had some fun and now it’s time to go home." This time I went back up the interstate. As I was riding, that inner biker spoke up again, and I thought, "let’s get that late breakfast, head to the Harley shop in Spartanburg and see what is going on that Veterans Day Saturday!" I stopped and ate, then went on to the shop. Not much was happening at the shop. There were a few people gathering to take a ride to a Veterans Day parade, but otherwise it was quiet.  I did a little shopping and checked out the bikes. Mrs. Tornado doesn’t know yet, but I am looking to buy a new one in the near future, that is as long as this new engine performs like they say it will! Keep hope alive!!

I’m not sneaky. I'm just not very informative sometimes!!

... I like to do a lot of research first, which is fine. However, when I make the decision, and all systems are a go, I don’t play around. I get the best deal I can, and if it’s acceptable, I run with it. That’s when Mrs. Tornado turns into a Cat 5!!! You would think after 38 years she would be used to it by now, but she’s still pretty feisty for an ole woman, (Uhh, I mean, a beautiful mature sophisticated lady!!)

When I was about to leave, I got into a good conversation with a rider as he was getting off his bike. We talked for about 30 minutes over politics and the direction we thought things were heading. I really enjoyed the conversation. He was a truck driver retired, and apparently rides a lot. He also was about to head off to South Africa for a nice trip with a new lady friend. Have a great trip my friend! I had picked up a couple of things then took off for home.

It wasn’t the most eventful ride, nor the most scenic ride, but it was still good for the soul ...

... to get on 2 wheels and let it rip for a while. For all those that don’t ride, it is not something that is easy to explain, and I have always heard “if I have to explain it, you would not understand it anyway,” and that is true. There is just something about being on a bike with your face in the wind, soaking in all the sights, sounds, and even the smells sometimes, and just relaxing letting everything else go for a while. Even though it may not have been a premium ride, the worst I ever had was wonderful, so take it when you can get it!

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 THIS SATURDAY ... *

Windjammers 28th Annual Toy Run, Shelby

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!

 So, I asked the question ...

If a dog runs out in front of you while you're riding your motorcycle, 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?

Here are some responses from you readers:

Diana P. wrote: "Friend hit a dog, and put a claim against the dog owner homeowner insurance policy. A rep settled the case within 2 weeks giving him total bike & riding gear replacement plus extra. They really didn't want a lawsuit. Might try it."

Mark H wrote: "When the dog ran out in front of me I grabbed some brakes. The dog stopped in the worst place, for him. I let go of the brake and ran over the dog. When I regained complete control I turned around and went back to apologize. The dog did not survive but the owners were very understanding. My advice is do not swerve to miss anything smaller than your bike unless it is a child"

Doug C wrote: "Had an Irish Setter puppy that was about three-fourths grown run at me from the side. Instead of turning at the last moment he continued directly in front of my bike. I thumped right over him. The bike stayed upright and the dog jumped up shocked but unharmed. A very fortunate experience. Slow down if possible, but stay on your intended path of travel. There's no way to predict what the animal will do. I had essentially the same thing happen with a large deer. It didn't turn out well either. Glad your son will be OK. Ride Safe."

William P wrote: "That's a tuff call man, a lab is a pretty good size animal. Up here in Jersey we have the same scenario but only with deer. I lost my riding partner to a deer bike collision. I also have another friend that survived 3 deer bike collisions and he told me he steered right into the deer, but things happen so fast, it's a toss up. Be aware, pay attention, scan the sides of the road, keep the speed down, and ask the Lord to be with you. It goes with the territory."

My fellow TCR Storyteller, Bub, wrote: "Like many of you, we have two dogs we couldn’t live without, but out on the road they can be a hazard.  The CPRs have many encounters with our furry friends, have to admit we’ve put lots of squirrels out of this world. I hit a ground hog once, don’t know if he survived.  And, of course, we’ve had to “dance” with man’s best friend.  So far (knock on wood,) we haven’t hit any.  Hopefully we scare them so they won’t chase other bikes or cars.  Dogs hear us coming and will jump out to chase the lead rider, they usually misjudge our speed and fall in behind.  Now comes the fun part: they concentrate so much on the first bike they don’t know who’s behind them.  The second rider will come up and blow their horn, the dog glances back and sees a large something on his tail and he will do anything to get out of the way.  We’ve seen them tumble into ditches, trip over their feet and roll off the side of the road, crash into fences, etc. Rarely will they actually chase the second bike.  Of course we try to stay vigilant and warn each other about up coming hazards. In my video, “Cows and Helicopters” you’ll see my encounter with a bull ... that was scary.

I have actually hit 2 dogs, once while stationed at Tampa FL and the other when stationed at Ft Walton Bch FL.  First dog was small and jumped out of a ditch right into my path.  I hung on and ran over him, knocked him for a loop, but he jumped up and ran off.  Second was just after I turned left and started up a hill near Crestview FL.   Medium size, I seen him run out of a yard right at me, I hit the brakes and keep the bike upright, hit him in the middle, bike jumped up and over and I hung on. Stopped but the dog was dead.  Couple of guys riding with me said I couldn’t have done anything else. It happened so fast.

I have thought about hitting dogs and small animals and believe that keeping the bike up and hitting the animal if you can’t brake in time is the safest.  If you try to swerve and brake you’re going down and if there’s traffic around, you could be hit.  You may be in for a bumpy ride, but generally the bike will stay up. Just my 2 cents and want to know what others have done."

Footloose adds what the Motorcycle Safety Foundation teachings are about this issue in his column below. Whatever you choose, be safe out there!

Ride Hard, Ride Free !

Lester

 

Hello riders, Christmas is close and the weather is crisp. I hope you're enjoying some end-of-year slow-down-time. We're just a little over a month away from the Easyriders show which in my mind as the unofficial kick off to a new year of riding ahead.

Dogs

Lester asked us all a question in his column last week and he shares some responses above. As a rider coach, we are taught to train people that if you see a dog or other animal to slow down as you approach the dog and once you are close enough that the dog can't catch you to then roll on the throttle. I guess the main thing you need to know about dogsĀ  is that they are very unpredictable so, at all cost, slow down because if they roll up under your tire they'll put you on the ground.

CMOU Ride supporting Abused Women & Children

Our friends with CMOU sent me this flyer a few days back and I do want to encourage all who can to join this ride!

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