Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Myrtle Beach Rally 2009

As a 17 year resident of Monroe, NC and being only 2 1/2 hrs from MB, I spent a lot of time at the beach. I was pretty ticked when I heard of the city's plans to put a damper on the rally because it really is a great place to vacation. You simply cant beat the hotel rates right on the beach because it is considered their "off" season for both the spring & fall rallies.

So anyway, I decided to send an email to the city manager and do a little complaining. You know, sometimes it just plain feels good to gripe a little, and sometimes things actually change for the better when you do!

The following is my original email and his response. I think it would be a great idea to make our voices heard on this issue, especially about the helmet law within city limits. How stupid is that?~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 3:15 PM
To: Tom Leath Myrtle Beach, SC City Manager
Subject: Motorcycle Rally letdown

Dear Mr. Leath,

I'm writing today to express my deep regret in regard to your fine city deciding to harass the motorcycling community by instituting new laws pertaining to the spring and fall motorcycle rallies..

I think I ( as well as most who have been attending the rallies over the years) know exactly what group of revelers is responsible for this drastic measure, and I can sympathize with your dilemma.

However, it would seem a much better course of action would have been to simply enforce the laws already on the books, not create new ones that make no sense (i.e.; helmet laws within city limits in a State that does not require helmets). Seriously, do you think this will really keep the problem segment away? I don’t. These people will come and probably be an even bigger pain than they were before! Its like outlawing firearms, ya know?....only outlaws will then have guns.......

My wife and I intend to come to MB during the spring Rally in celebration of our 25th wedding anniversary in spite of what appears to be your city's efforts to harass people like us. Please know this, we are not the hell raising, excessive drinking, fighting, trouble makers you are trying to "punish", but normal, decent hard working middle class Americans who's chosen form of recreation is the all American Motorcycle. I think your making a huge mistake by lumping all motorcycle enthusiasts’ into one misconceived clan!

Apparently we will now be made to feel uncomfortable while riding in your city because of the actions of the stereotypical, troublemakers.

This is truly sad

Mark & Lori
Catawissa, Pa
Mark and Lori, thank you for your email.

If this is any consolation, no one here is very happy about where we are, including the governing officials. We have three motorcycle rallies that last for three weeks during the month of May. Two Harley rallies and a sport bike rally. It is not true that all of our problems are during the sports bike rally. We have problems during all three rallies. What started out as a weekend rally 68 years ago, now is three rallies with hundreds of thousands of bikes. That concentration and duration is more than we should have to deal with.

We are anti-rally and not anti-motorcycle. I am glad that you are planning to come in the Spring because I think you will enjoy the area regardless of whether all of the elements of the various rallies are still in place. 13 million visit during times when we do have rallies and enjoy all that we have to offer.

As for the helmet law. We wish that the State of South Carolina would pass a helmet law. Council, based on history, knows that several will die during these rallies and feel that a helmet would have prevented most if not all of those deaths. Having an event and knowing that people who attend will die is a pretty daunting feeling. If a helmet saves even one person from death or serious injury, then Council will feel that did the right thing.

Tom Leath
City Manager

Friday, January 16, 2009

My rides (or adopted children)......


Since this is predominately a biker related blog, I decided to post a couple pics of my previous steed, an 02 FXSTD and my current ride, an 09 FLHX. Click the pics to supersize. I waited 6 long months to have the Deuce built and the day it came in it was 24 degrees and I wasn't waiting another minute to get my hands on it. I took it for a test ride (about a mile - I froze my backside off that quick) and loaded it on the trailer for the 4 hour journey home

About half way home (no - I dont ride in 24 degrees) the snow started to fall. Now I'm no happy camper because there was no mention of snow in the forecast (imagine that!) and all I could think of was getting er home in the warm garage!

I pull in the driveway (dreading to look at the mess behind me) and sure enough, the whole bike is covered with dirty road ice! Thank goodness in NC they don't use salt or this nasty chloride crap they use here in Pa! So because the whole trailer is covered in ice, I almost drop the thing just getting it off! Needless to say it had its first bath before I ever even really rode it. I kept it six years, did all the mods myself and logged 30K trouble free miles before trading er in on the glide.

Now for all you open face, "a bike's not a bike unless there's no windshield on it" types.....I was predisposed to that line of thinking too....all my life! Then my one brother (who happens to own one of the sickest nite trains around) goes and buys a 98 Electra Glide.

Well I resisted his begging me to take it for a spin (for at least 2 minutes) and decided....what the heck.....always wanted to see what one of these things rode like anyway, so off I go. Let me tell you......10 minutes into the ride with the radio blasting out my favorite Lynard Skynard tune and I was HOOKED!!

It took some convincing to get the wife aboard an old "pop-pop bike", but once aboard for a couple miles, she had to admit it was pretty cool having tunes. That moment I decided I had to have a bagger and I wish I would have done it sooner. I just got the Glide in Sept and by the time I put it away I already logged more miles than I did all last year on the ole Deuce! Yeah, I'd have loved to keep the ole steed (my wife almost divorced me over my trading it in) but alas....I'm not nearly financially able to own 2 HD's.

So, here's my awesome new ride with just a few mods, like the must have sissy bar for the wife, a Mustang solo / pillion, a taller windsheild and freedom wings for cold weather riding (which of course will come off when it warms up around here). Not shown but added since these were taken are a set of Rush 2" slipons and highway pegs.

This is one sweet ride and the mods the mo-co did on the 09's are tremendous.

Oh, and the bags?........cant beat them for having everything you need for an all day ride. Nice place to store the wine when out on a winery tour too!...lol

Now I've been a fan of black all my life and every bike I've owned has been black, but when I saw this color in the sun, I was sold. It has a metalflake that really pops in the sun. Still looking for ideas on what to do with custom paint. I'm thinking along the lines of something like this....

So there ya have it. Enough about me and mine - how bout the low-down on yours?