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The Thin Blue Line Ride 4/13/13
By: PoniPrincess of The Carolina Rider
An unbelieveably sunny and warm day set a perfect beginning for a much needed ride. Well, I didn't as much NEED the ride as I WANTED the ride. I wanted to feel my back heating up in the sun and my hands wrapped around the bars. I wanted to hear six gears effortlessly click into operation. I wanted to see road rolling by and smell spring in full bloom. And as long as I'm wanting stuff I might as well want to ride with 300 buddies and blow through every stop sign and red light I come across, because I was being police escorted. Not bad for dreaming, huh? But this dream came true as I attended The Forever Blue Foundation's annual Ride the Line from Cox's Harley in Rock Hill, SC to Harley-Davidson of Charlotte in Matthews, NC.
This was the largest group ride I have ever been a part of. I heard there were easily 300 riders, all out to support the Forever Blue. Frog and I met up with several of his riding buddies from different groups and they all commented on the wonderful work John Ranier and his wife do to assist families of fallen officers. It's one of those "who da thunk" cases where John's loss of a friend and fellow officer has blossomed into a national organization that brings together hundreds of bikers each spring to raise money and awareness.
I arrived at Cox's Harley-Davidson over an hour ahead of ride time just to look around at the bikes gathering and eat the good breakfast from Bob Evans and sponsored by Eric Burns of Jet Metals. It seemed like the bikes had lined up for miles behind the dealership all waiting to process to Charlotte Harley. I was totally impressed with the motorcycle officers that led the precession. There were representatives from Charlotte-Mecklenburg and York County Sheriffs Offices. Both groups displayed riding skills that I humbly bow before and envy! They showed some amazing precision. If you were a bad guy out on the streets there is no way you could escape them. It's like they had wings!
The ride was amazing. I would have never guessed we could go from Rock Hill to Charlotte without EVER getting on the expressway. Well, it did take us 1½ hours, but that was the best 1½ hour ride I've had so far this year! We went through small towns and farm towns and down country roads with the most amazing views. I was close to the beginning of the ride and every now and then I would look in my rear view mirror and see a HUGE line of bikes stretched out forever behind me. Most cars stopped in the opposite lane and gave the due respect our group deserved. There were a few people in a pick up truck at the end of their driveway waving to us and videoing it. In one little town, there were groups of people sitting in lawn chairs in the middle of downtown just waiting for our parade to come by.
As I do at any biker gathering I hovered at the beloved BIG RIDE Bus with all my buddies at The Carolina Rider. Living in Rock Hill I don't get near enough time to spend with the group. It felt good to get back with my peeps and make plans for more ventures. Next time you are somewhere and see the BIG RIDE Bus, don't hesitate to come say hello and chat for a while. I had to scoot off earlier than I wanted at this ride but I'll be looking for you next time!
This Memorial Day Weekend, mark your calendar for Saturday, May 25, 2013 to come to Cashiers, North Carolina and enjoy two wonderful events.
The "Poker Run" will begin at 10:30am. Riders will begin and end their 130 mile loop at The Village Green (the first and last pit stop) located at the intersections of Hwy 107 & Hwy 64W in Cashiers. This scenic route will take riders along our spectacular mountain roads making 3 other pit stops in Maggie Valley, Cherokee and Highlands before returning to the Village Green. Entry fee for the Poker Run is $20/rider which includes a box lunch. A portion of the Poker Run will benefit Wounded Warriors Project.
Blues, Brews & BBQ begins at 5pm and will feature live entertainment from the Lauren Mitchell Band and Mac Arnold & A Plate Full O'Blues. Admission to this event is free.
No coolers permitted. Rain or Shine. No refunds. To register for the Poker Run visit bbbpokerrun.eventbrite.com
For more info or how to be a sponsor, please contact Nancy Albers at 704-458-7686 or e-mail.