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by PoniPrincess of TheCarolinaRider.com | Photos: PoniPrincess
I know I told you about the event a couple of weeks ago and I hope you heard me loud and clear and made the effort to show up. Antique Bikes on Main in Chesnee, SC was AWESOME!! I mean really cool (even though true to its heritage it was boldly hot!)….undeniably. Did you go? Did you see all the bikes that are 35 years old and OLDER riding in? Was that not the BEST? Did you stop off at Chesnee Classic Cycle and talk with Dennis Harris, one of the founding partners? Having been a professional motorcycle racer for years and now owning his repair shop that guy knows everything about bikes and throwing a party for bikers!
Frog and I woke up early to a very moderate temperature and were thrilled that even though the sky was gray and very overcast there was nothing showing on radar and the chance of rain had even been REDUCED a little. How many times has a biker checked that website on the weekends this year?! Woo hoo! We would be able to take the gentle but very long-way journey from Rock Hill, past McConnells, through Adamsburg and into Union, down some other country roads and right onto the Main Street of Chesnee, SC. Any other day that would have been a fun but non-eventful ride. Today was different in so many ways.
Before we got to Chesnee we found ourselves devouring SC 49 with no one else on the road and a light misty fog filtering in and out of the little valleys. This section of road is pleasantly wooded with not many access roads. I found myself in that seductive place of mind that only my bike can provide. Coming over a slight rise we saw a dark figure on the left side of the road. My first impression was that it was a buzzard gnawing on a carcass from the previous night’s leftovers. Then it tentatively started across the road. Nope, it wasn’t a buzzard, it was a turkey. We throttled down and he started trotting (as only a turkey can do) right into our path. Frog said later that his biggest fear was not for the turkey we could see but the other feathered friends lurking in the woods. Now there was plenty of maneuvering room but that tom had to stop…and look…and think about the potential doom coming upon him fast. Needless to say turkeys don’t think real fast. He hunkered down in panic mode about the time Frog had to make a decision. Then he trotted a few more steps, spread his pterodactyl wings and barely cleared the pavement before we would have to explain a turkey dent in the Street Glide to the insurance agency. Frog went one way, I went the other way and the turkey lived to tell the rest of the flock his side of the story. There have been times when I wanted to tar and feather that man but this was not the way I had envisioned!
We joined another small group of bikers as we approached our destination of downtown Chesnee. Although it was early (by most bikers stand point!) there were motorcycles coming in from every road artery. The older ones, as in over 35 years old, were being parked together on the street. There were close to 100 when we pulled in; there were hunDREDS when we left in the afternoon. Antique bikes from all genres kept motoring in all day long and lining up like good little soldiers. All day long motorcycles and some really nice classic cars cruised the one main street. The parade of easily thousands was never ending and that suited me just fine. I was in my blissful element!
The city of Chesnee has a wonderful event in this display of Antique Bikes on Main now in its ninth year. Although in its infancy back in the early 2000’s the event was put on by best friends Dennis and Clint it has grown so that it is now sponsored by the City of Chesnee and the Northeast Area Council of the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce. I had a chance to speak with Clint Button, the other founding member in this grass roots partnership. He reminded me that the whole thing began with Dennis just inviting a few buddies over to his motorcycle repair shop to look at his old Italian racing bikes and cook some barbeque on a Sunday several years ago. They tried again the next year and the next and pretty soon it was becoming the sought after summer event that it has become today. I spoke with people from deep in the hills of North Carolina to the beaches of South Carolina and I’m sure there were other states represented as well.
The very best parts of this event are exactly what Dennis Harris, Clint Button and the City of Chesnee want to remain true to…no charge for attending, ride in and park on the streets for free, marvel at all the bikes both new and old, dance in the street to the rockin’ band and maybe spend a little money on a meal or a beer. Just old school having fun.
And we had fun at TheCarolinaRider.com BIG RIDE Bus as well!! Lots of old friends stopped by to chat and catch up on biker gossip. Lots of new friends stopped by to sign up for our FREE online magazine and for a chance to win a one night’s stay at the Skyline Village on the Blue Ridge parkway. We sold bunches of our t-shirts and Footloose offered that anytime The Carolina Rider is out at one of our official events he would buy anyone wearing our t-shirt a beverage. What an offer from the publisher of the Carolina’s number one online biker magazine! Thanks Footloose! We’re gonna hold you to that one!
Friends, stay in touch with The Carolina Rider, pay attention to all the wonderful biker events listed on our huge CALENDAR. There are still tons of things going on this year. If the heavens will just let up a little on the rain and let us bikers get out there in the wind where we belong! ... And don’t forget your t-shirt!