As much as I love the cooler weather, I was bummed to realize that the motorcycle riding season is winding down. One of my sons caught a rotten break recently when the engine in his car blew. I have been riding my motorcycle a lot more than I normally would the last several weeks so he could use my truck to get around until he gets another vehicle.
I have always admired the people I have met who did not own cars, but rode their motorcycles as their only means of transportation. I thought they were a little crazy, but I admired their commitment to the lifestyle. I’ve gotten a taste of that and have actually enjoyed it. I missed having a radio to listen while I drive enough to have started looking at options to add one to my motorcycle, but not enough to actually make the investment. My wife Sissy and I found a nice detachable fairing (shell) made by Kuryakyn with a sweet Pioneer sound system all built at the Ocean City, Md. rally we went to a few weeks ago, but it cost more than $2,000. There are some options to add speakers that will play music from your iPhone or MP3 player, but I don’t have either one so motorcycle sound is on hold for now.
The few times I have been rained on have not been a big deal because I carry a good rain suit, normally wear a helmet, and wear waterproof boots to my day job anyway. I am not so sure what it is going to be like once the temperatures start to really drop, but I have the right gear for riding in cold weather, too. I guess I will just have to allow a little time to get in and out of my leathers.
I mentioned the riding season winding down because I try to include at least one or two upcoming events for you in this column. I noticed while doing my research that all of the national rallies have come and gone. There are a couple of events coming up this month in Wilmington, N.C. that are in range that I thought I’d mention. On Saturday (Nov. 3), the Carolina Coast Harley-Davidson is hosting a Bike Show and Open House to celebrate its 21st anniversary. In addition to the bike show there will be demo bikes; a tent sale; refreshments; pin-striping, powder coating, and patch-sewing vendors; face painting for the kids; and, a putt-for-cash contest. Carolina Coast Harley-Davidson is at 6620 Market Street in Wilmington. To enter your bike in the show or to get more information, contact Renee King at (910) 791-9997 or visit www.carolinacoasthd.com.
The Coastal Carolina H-D Web site is also promoting a Turkey Run at 10:15 a.m. on Nov. 17. Participants on the Turkey Run are asked to bring a non-perishable food item.
On Nov.1011 there is the Cars vs. Cancer Car and Bike Show being held at the site of the U.S.S. North Carolina battleship, located, appropriately, at 1 Battleship Road NE also in Wilmington. There will also be live music at the event. For more details, contact Angelo Lambiase at (910) 722-3404.
Locally, the Myrtle Beach Harley-Davidson dealership, which is recovering from the Fall Rally here, is promoting its Rider’s Edge motorcycle riding course on Nov. 25-28. The course includes classroom and hands-on instruction for new riders.
Meanwhile, I spoke to Phil Schoonover, owner of the Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, and Charleston Harley-Davidson dealerships, as well as the retail outlet at Broadway at the Beach about the recent Hurricane Alley Fall Rally held Oct. 1-7. Schoonover told me, “Nationally, [Harley-Davidson] cruiser sales are up, but the numbers we saw at this year’s fall rally were about what we saw last year so people are obviously going someplace else”
Leslye Beaver, who owns both Beaver Bar locations in Murrells Inlet reported good sales and traffic at this year’s fall rally. Her biker-friendly bars, both located south of Myrtle Beach’s city limits, seem to have actually benefitted some from Myrtle Beach city officials rejecting bike rally business. “We had a great rally.” Beaver said when asked how things went. Everyone agrees though, that the overall numbers are nowhere near years passed.
Beaver also owns the recently-renovated and re-opened Wild Horse Saloon. The biker-friendly bar and grill is located where Beach Monkeys used to be, at 10758 S.C. 707. Sissy and I stopped in on a recent Sunday during a ride to check it. Our bartender took good care of us. The renovations were nice and the handful of locals there were friendly. Other than some broken glass in the parking lot, the place was clean and the beer was cold, so I’d recommend giving it a try if you are out that way. Maybe you’ll catch us there.