Wednesday, May 16, 2012

May 16 - Lafayette, LA to Kerrville, TX

It's late, so there won't be an pictures with this blog post, but we'll put a link to the photos on my Facebook page.

We saw the weather radar when we left Lafayette, LA and it showed rain coming into Lake Charles. By the time we rode into Lake Charles, the pavement was wet, but no rain.  Prayer answered.

We saw a sign for the Battleship USS Texas and decided to take a detour.  It was worth it, but the mosquitoes are terrible there.

We stopped at a rest area near Seguin, TX and met Kim Kincade (I think that is his last name).  We stayed there for about 30 minutes for water and to sit in the shade.  Kim rides a Triumph Bonneville.  Nice bike!

Kim leaving the rest area on his Triumph
We were making good time and we estimated arriving in Kerrville around 1745 (5:45 pm), but we ran into a looooong backup on I-10.  The short version is that we ended up arriving in Kerrville at about 1930 (7:30pm).

While driving through San Antonio, we barked over the idea of going to the Alamo, but we were tired and wanted to get to the hotel.

Tomorrow we're shooting for Deming, NM.  We played rock, paw, scissors and I won.  I preferred a 580 mile day rather than a 650 mile day.

We've ridden 1747 miles so far.  I think we estimated this mission at 6,000 miles.  We're on track to arrive in Irvine, CA on Saturday, then we'll spend a day with my great aunt Connie and great uncle Wendell.

Keep your tongue in the wind!  Please pray for the safety our troops, and for us on our mission.

Chewy

Link to my photo album that includes photos from this day

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May 15: Columbus, GA to Lafayette, LA via Tuskegee and Mobile

We left Columbus, GA at 0700.  While riding towards Montgomery, AL, we saw the sign for the Tuskegee Airmen, and decided to check it out.  We forgot that Alabama is in central time zone.  When we arrived, it was a little after 0800 on our bike clock, but it was actually a little after 0700.  We rode to Hangar 1 and there were people waiting to get into one of the Hangars so they can work on it.  The hangar is under reconstruction. One of the guys told us that an original P-51 Mustang "Red Tail" was in the hangar and suspended.  He said it was covered in plastic.  When the doors were unlocked, he let us in to see it.  It was soooo cooool!  He said he had the honor of meeting the pilot of that specific P-51:  Mr. Williams.
One of the original "Red Tails".  We were so exctied to be able to see this P-51

It's covered in plastic and the lighting isn't finished, but you can see the marking.



South of Montgomery, we saw a truck from Four Oaks, NC.  My driver talked with him on the CB for a while and it turns out we all know the same people.  He knows people who attend Freedom Biker Church, and so do we.  He called one of his friends he knew us and told him where we were.  This is a very small world!

We're practically neighbors.  He's from Four Oaks, NC and we live about 45 minutes from there.
We stopped at Battleship Park in Mobile, AL and visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  There is a tribute to working dogs there.  While there, there were kids from a school in Hattiesburg, MS there for a field trip.  I had the pleasure of meeting many of them.  I think there were more on the bus, but I'm not sure.


My driver's face is already wind burned.  When we were in Louisiana, the temps go to about 90 and it was humid.  We drank lots of water.

Tomorrow, our destination is Kerrville, TX.  Overall, we had a very blessed day.

Keep your tongue in the wind!

Chewy

Link to my album for this day on Facebook

Monday, May 14, 2012

May 12-13 - Ride for the Warrior, then to Columbus, GA

On May 12, it was a perfect day to ride in Operation Helping Hands for Heroes' Ride for the Warrior.  The ride started and ended at HotRodz in Fayetteville, NC.  The ride went to the Harnett County Veterans Memorial in Lillington.  A JROTC group met us there to honor our Fallen Heroes and those who served in all branches of the military.

Sheriff (l) and Big E (r)
We started the day by stopping at the Kipling Cross in Kipling, NC, which is about a mile from our house.  While there "Sheriff" rode by, turned around, and stopped to make sure we were OK.  We rode with him to Lillington, where we linked up with "Big E".  I know Sheriff and Big E through Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association NC 15-1.

Craig Hardy of Operation HHH.  Check it out - He's wearin' one of my shirt designs!



Keith (arms-a-waving) gave the road guard briefing.  Keith led the ride.
My driver and I helped as road guards for the ride.  This ride was very well coordinated with multiple law enforcement organizations.  Normally, if the ride is planned and led by members of Rolling Thunder NC4, we'll put on a road guard vest, but we stop with a road guard to video the ride.  On this ride, we did a little of that, but we also served as road guards to help keep the group safe.

I met another biker dog on Ride for the Warrior.  I think his name is Wolf, but I'm not sure.  He rides in a trailered crate.  We were behind him for part the ride and watching him was like watching a dog riding a surf board.  It was sooooo cool.


While we all ate hot dogs at HotRodz, Donna Horton gave us a green bandana.  On one half was Psalm 91 written in Hebrew, and the other half was the English translation.  If we recall correctly, Donna went to Israel with a group, and the group linked up with a ministry and gave them several bandanas.  I think those bandanas were intended for some troops.  Two of those bandanas were destined for us.

We ended the day by refueling, and while refueling we saw Billy and Sandy Marshall roll by and heard them blast their horns at us and wave.

After we returned home, my driver went to church to meet and listen to Peter Loth, one of the youngest survivors of the WWII Holocaust.  If you ever have a chance to listen to Peter give his testimony, you should.  The topic is Forgiveness.  My driver brought the bandana that Donna give him.  He said that Barry Battlestein introduced Peter, and part of his introduction was reading Psalm 91.  After the presentation, Barry gave my driver a book to read while we are on our cross-country ministry and mission:  "Psalm 91: God's Shield of Protection" by Peggy Joyce Ruth and Angelia Ruth Schun.  The version Barry gave to my driver is the Military Edition and has a picture of two dog tags in the upper right of the cover.  Hmmmmm.  Psalm 91 on the bandana given to us by Donna.  Barry reads Psalm 91 before introducing Peter, and gives my driver a military edition of a book about Psalm 91.  That was a very humbling evening for my driver.  My driver was thinking about cancelling this mission and returning the donations.  We're not doing this mission for us -- it's in memory of those who gave their lives and to support bringing SGT Bergdahl home safely.  We're representing all Americans who want to keep our Heroes' memories alive. Anyway, back to church ... it became clear to my driver that we may be honoring our Fallen Heroes and raising awareness of SGT Bowe Bergdahl, but we have a greater purpose and calling through the ministry we became.  We didn't plan it that way, but it's apparent to us that He did.

We rode past my parents' church (Macedonia Baptist Churgh on Hwy 42 west of Duncan, NC)
http://www.macedonia-nc.com/
We had a late start on May 13.  We needed to reposition some of the weight, and try to reduce the weight in the T-Bag so that we weren't as top heavy.  We took NC24/27 to Charlotte.  Enroute, we stopped to see if there was a path to a sight we see each to time to go to Charlotte.  It's a cross in a field with a mannequin in BDU uniform on his knees holding a US flag on a pole.  There wasn't a way to get to the memorial/tribute, and my driver didn't want me galloping in a tall grassy field at the beginning of flea and tick season, so we took some photos from a distance and rolled on.

We stopped at Morrow Mountain State Park near Albemarle, NC.  We stopped in memory in Lyle Davenport.  It's our understanding that Lyle liked to ride to Morrow Mountain.  In February, we were there with Charlotte HOG and the PGR to release balloons in memory of Lyle.  Lyle was killed last year when returning home from a miltary funeral.  Ms Jane was riding alongside Lyle when it happened, I think their grandson was riding with Ms Jane.  Recently, Ms Jane began taking Chevy (their border collie) for rides. 

When we reached Charlotte, we stopped under an overpass so that my driver could put on rain gear.  I don't need to wear rain gear because the fairing and my driver block the rain.  When we merged onto I-85, we fell in behind a black Harley with PGR flag.  We also noticed a PGR decal on the back of the biker's helmet.  It turns out the biker is Tony Peoria.  After riding behind him for a while, Tony moved in the right lane and we passed him.  My driver set the cruise so he could give Tony a salute and thumbs up.  We then did some leap frogging with fast moving cages -- until we hit a down pour of rain.  I stayed dry until we came up to a 4-mile back-up east of Atlanta.  It was pouring rain and since we weren't moving, my sweatshirt got soaked.  The helmet stickers also got soaked, and we're hoping they don't peel off before the end of the mission.  If they do, there's nothing we can do and we're glad we took photos of my helmet before we started this journey.

You can barely see Tony Peoria ahead of us.
We stopped near Newnan, GA for a snack.  I had a Arby's roast beef classic and my driver had the same.  We then rode our last stretch of the day to Columbus, GA, where we're staying with my driver's mother, brother, niece and my biker dog cousin Bella.

We'll be laying over in Columbus on Monday (May 14), which is OK because the rain is supposed to hang for a while.  Hopefully, the weather will clear for our next leg to Lafayette, LA.

As long as we have cell phone connectivity, we will try to post picture updates on my Facebook page along the way.  We will try to remember to provide a location and also the date time.  For example, if you see a mobile upload that ends with 5-13 1720, that means May 13 at 1720 (5:20PM).  We will be using local time to where we are at.

My driver misses his wife already.  Me?  I'm cool as long as I'm with my driver.

Our posts over the next few days will likely be much shorter, and probably won't have photos.  The photos can be viewed on my Facebook page (see link below my paw-off (sign-off).)  I don't think you need a Facebook account to view the photo albums.

Please pray for the safety of our men and women in uniform (military, as well as law enforcement and fire fighters who put themselves in harm's to protect us).  Also, please pray for my driver.  He had a third interview with an organization having an operation in Chapel Hill. He reeeeeally likes this organization and is praying that God wants him there, too.  The organization teaches people for a career field and they also give back to the community.

God Bless our Fallen Heroes, their Gold Star Families, those serving now, those who served, their Blue Star Families, and our allies.

Keep your tongue in the wind!

Chewy

Mission Pages on my Website

Link to Photos for this Blog Post



Sunday, May 6, 2012

D-7 to the Start of my 2nd Ride Across the USA

We're preparing for my Ride Across the USA.  We start the trip by attending Operation Helping Hands for Heroes "Ride for the Warrior" on May 12 at HotRodz in Fayetteville, NC.  We hope to be home in time for my driver to go to church and listen to Peter Loth, one of the youngest survivors of the Holocaust.  On May 13, we start our westward trek and we will stop at my grandma's (my driver's mother) and brother's house.  You can check out my Ride Across the USA on my website.


As of this blog entry, we are at D-7, and it's been a busy week.  Last year, I think we had the section of my website for my Ride Across the USA up about 6-8 weeks before rolled.  This year, it was up only 3 weeks prior because of several reasons.  Prayers are much appreciated to spread the word about this mission to honor those who gave their lives while in service to our country.  We are also riding to spread the word about Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, US Army.  SGT Bergdahl has been in captivity since June 2009, and we wonder how many people know this.  Simply stated, we want him to return home safely.


We added stickers to my Memorial/Tribute Helmet.  I have more pictures on my Facebook page.


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My current helmet is on the left, and my new Memorial/Tribute Helmet is on the right.  I'm almost out of space on my new helmet




We printed the Gold Star Roster, which contains 7,149 Heroes.  By comparison, our Fallen Heroes Roster in 2011 had 4,998 Heroes.  For this ride, we decided to call it an American Gold Star Roster (not to be confused with American Gold Star Mothers).  This roster includes those who died while in service to our country, regardless of whether the death was hostile, non-hostile, traffic accident, etc. We also expanded the Roster to include those who gave their lives before the current War Against Terrorism.  For example, we included those who gave their lives in Desert Storm/Desert Shield, Just Cause, Urgent Fury, Restore Hope, and the bombing in Beirut.  The challenge is finding the Heroes who died while serving our country, but not during an operation.  For that, we rely on family members to provide us with information to add their Hero to the Roster.  You can find the Gold Star Roster at this link:  Gold Star Pages.


This mission is affiliated with Operation Helping Hands for Heroes (Operation HHH) as a project.  Operation HHH is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and the affiliation allows sponsors of this mission to be eligible for tax deductions, based on IRS regulations.  We are bringing mission dog tags with us to Iraq/Afghanistan Memorial in Irvine, CA.  We have enough for each Gold Star Mother in the Dogwood and Magnolia Chapters, a dozen for Operation HHH, and we set aside 50 for the first 50 sponsors.  There is no minimum or maximum amount, but we request that the minimum be $10 to cover the cost of the tag, postage, and card to mail the tag.  There are more ways to help us than money.  For example, my family believes in the power of prayer, and prayers are always appreciated.  You can also help spread the word to family, friends, co-workers, and perhaps ask your employer to be a corporate sponsor.
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My T-Shirt Design for this Ride


We designed a t-shirt and put it in my online store.  That design will be available through May, then we'll take it down and put in the dog biscuit box.  You can visit my store at Riding for Fallen Heroes


On Thursday, my parents took my Harley to HotRodz in Fayetteville and left me at home!  HotRodz will have her for a few days for routine maintenance and new tires.  I think my driver will pick her up on Tuesday or Wednesday, then start doing some roll-up-the-sleeves load planning/testing.  One of our concerns is the amount of space needed for the Gold Star Rosters.  They are in three binders: one each for the Dogwood and Magnolia Chapters of the American Gold Star Mothers, and one is an alphabetical sort. In total, the binders are 4 inches thick. We're concerned about space, so we may reduce the print size to fit into three binders that are 1/2-inch each, but we'll make that decision when we test pack the saddlebags. 


Today, our flags arrived:  a US Ceremonial Flag, and a Christian flag and POW/MIA flag for my Harley.  The Christian flag will have "In Memory of Ed Williams" on it and we will fly it across the USA.  Ed is one of the co-founders of Operation HHH.  I first met him through Raleigh HOG after I started riding.  I'm an honorary member of Operation HHH and this Ride Across the USA is affiliated with them as a project.  The POW/MIA flag will have "Bowe Bergdahl, SGT, USA".


Given my age, I'm not sure if I will have it in me for another cross-country ride at the pace we will be travelling, but we'll see.  We typically try to cover 500 miles/day, which is a lot on a motorcycle.  My driver says that he will let me decide when I can't ride anymore.  Even if I don't attend missions, events and organized rides, he said we will still take short rides so I can put my tongue in the wind. 


Have you watched my video from my 2011 Ride Across the USA with my driver and my navigator (Thomas Sanders)?  Check this out... Don't the lyrics sound like they were written for me?  The song is "High on the Hog" by my friends, the MeanStreet Riders.  We've ridden with them and last year on our Ride Across the USA we stopped to visit them during a photo shoot.  They sometimes call me their honorary mascot -- that's soooo pawsome!  In fact, they are on a road trip in the west as I prepare to ride to the west.

If there is no video below this sentence or the video does not work, please try this link:  2011 Ride Across America Video


Keep your tongue in the wind!


Chewy
My Website

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Archive - "Been There, Sniffed That" published in Behind Barz Magazine, January 2012. (added to my blog April 26, 2012)

I rode Charlotte Motor Speedway!  My driver commented after our laps that the track looks much larger from the stands than it does when we’re driving on the track.  Our top speed?  We reached 100mph with the throttle full open coming out of turn 2 onto the back stretch during our second lap.  There were GoldWings rolling around 120mph.  There were 217 bikes at this event on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.  This event benefits Speedway Children’s Charities.  Most of the bikes seemed to be GoldWings since this event is sponsored by a GWRRA chapter – I think GWRRA Chapter L2 in Mooresville, but I’m not 100% sure.  It wasn’t all GoldWings at the event.  There was a sprinkling of Harleys here and there.  Those GoldWings moved faster on the track, but in my opinion, the Harleys SOUNDED totally pawsome with their throttles wide open!  Regardless, I’m now a member of the “100 MPH Club”.  My driver used his “JD” helmet cam (a gift from Jeff Davis), and my Chewy Cam worked at this event!  We posted a 35-minute video on my web page so people can see portions of this event from my perspective.


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Photo by Gary Henry
Evan Parton invited me to join the “100 MPH Club” a couple of months before the event.  I think I first met Evan at a Patriot Guard Rider mission in which ol’ Bill “Jammer” led the PGR and others in escorting the Travelling Vietnam Wall from the Virginia / North Carolina border to Concord, NC in late March 2011.  I remember leaving at o’dark thirty in the morning with Thomas “G.E.” Sanders to link up with ol’ Bill near Mebane, and it was coooooold.  Anyway … when Evan first invited us to Charlotte Motor Speedway, we weren’t sure if we would be going because Black Friday is the day my driver and my mom celebrate their anniversary.  They were married on Black Friday (loooong story), but it’s easier for my driver to remember and it’s always on a Friday!


My laps on Charlotte Motor Speedway were dedicated to our Fallen Heroes and their Gold Star Families. The flags on my Harley are the same flags that accompanied me on my ride across the USA in May 2011 in honor and remembrance of our Fallen Heroes.  My driver and I had a moment of silence before rolling to the infield. A few names that came to mind include Michael Rodriguez, Adam Ginett, Mark Adams, Scott Brunkhorst, Willie McLawhorn, Michael Spivey, Mikey Swink, James McClamrock, Amy Sinkler, Jeff Sherer, Mark Bradley, Aaron Blasjo, Lucas Elliott, Ross Carver and many many more. We also said a prayer for Cory Remsburg, an Army Ranger I met last year who was wounded in action and overcoming a traumatic brain injury.


While on Charlotte Motor Speedway, we didn’t see the affects of the “Slobber Factor.”  The temperatures were very comfortable, so I wasn’t panting and drooling.  Don’t know what the Slobber Factor is?  If you know us dogs, then you know we pant and slobber when it’s hot.  Put a dog on a bike, and that slobber flies in the wind.  However, riding on a bike with a fairing and windshield changes the air flow.  I can only bark for my Harley Ultra Classic.  At about 45mph and less, my slobber drips onto the top of the saddlebag cover and the top of the tour pack.  My driver has to put a coat of wax on those areas often because my slobber leaves spots on the paint that are hard to buff out.  At about 55mph to about 65mph, the air flow will float my slobber forward and it lands on the back of the windshield and slowly drips down the windshield before drying.  Most of the slobber lands on my driver’s shoulder or the back of his neck and helmet, but some of the slobber reaches the windshield.  At interstate speeds, particularly with a head wind, my slobber drifts forward, the air flow coming from under the fairing is diverted upward by the gas tank, which pushes my slobber upward to the air flow coming over the top of the fairing.  Guess where my slobber lands?  My slobber splatters my driver’s glasses.  If the air flow is just right, it’ll land on his face and sometimes on his lips, especially if I let go of a big, juicy, heavy slobber.  On those hot summer days on the interstate when we exit to refuel, my driver fuels the bike, then you’ll see him clean the dried slobber spots from his glasses and my doggles.  Well, I wasn’t slobbering at Charlotte Motor Speedway to see the air flow does.  I’m guessing the air flow might push it a little above my driver and maybe it would hang long enough for the rider behind us to get slobbered on.




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Ms Angie and others meeting a few of the Patriot Rovers


We haven’t ridden much in the past two months, but when we ride, it’s almost always for a purpose.  We attended “The Gathering V” at Abundant Life Worship Center, which raised money for Carolina Patriot Rovers.  I sniffed out HotRodz in Fayetteville, NC, met Debbi Britt, and hounded “One More” for treats while the service team changed my rear tire and brake pads.  I like HotRodz – comfortable sofa chairs for my driver to lean against while he sits on the floor to pet me and watch TV, eatin’ potato chips with “G.E”, and chompin’ on treats from “One More!”


We attended what we understood to be Raleigh-Durham airport’s last Flight of Honor.  The Flights of Honor fly our veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials.  The focus of the Flights of Honor have been our WWII veterans, but I think they also fly veterans who may be terminally ill.   


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Ol' Bill "Jammer" giving the mission and safety briefing for the
Triangle Flight of Honor

I rode with Raleigh H.O.G. and I dressed as Santa Paws in the annual Christmas Parade in Raleigh.  My driver rode as Arrrroooodolph with antlers on his helmet and his nose painted red.  We saw a few friends along the route and my driver took pictures.  My driver takes lots of pictures and he posts them on my Facebook page for anyone to view and tag. 


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Here comes Santa Paws

Please join my driver and my mom in praying for Ed, as well as all who are battling cancer.  I joined about 70 of Ed’s friends on a ride to support Ed and Cindy in Ed’s battle against pancreatic cancer.  I know many more who could not be there are supporting Ed through prayers.  My mom won battles against cancer TWICE, so we understand what Ed, Cindy and all patients and family members are going through.  And, yes, even pets sense something different about their families.  We may not understand the details of what’s going on, but we know our human family members need our love and comfort.


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I gave my custom bandana to Ed
Although celebrating the birth of our Savior occurs once a year and has passed in 2011, the spirit of Christmas can be in your heart everyday and forever!  Do you want to know how?  The next time you see a member of Christian Motorcyclists Association, Bikers for Christ, or any Christian organization, ask them.  Or, you can contact the church that my driver and my mom attend and ask to speak to one of the pastors, ministry leaders or deacons (www.macedonia-nc.com).  I know they will help you.  I don’t know if dogs and cats go to Heaven, but I’m hoping that if lions and lambs will be with Jesus, then maybe there’s a chance that God allows other animals into the Kingdom of Heaven.  If not, that’s OK because God knows what’s best.  I have a great life with my driver, my mom, and my friends – sort of like “heaven on earth.”  It’s much better than the alternative if my driver had not found me and adopted me:  euthanization!  Yes, I was scheduled to be put to sleep if no one adopted me on the day my driver and I met.

Have a pawrific 2012 and I hope to be able to sniff (meet) you somewhere on the road!

Keep your tongue in the wind!

Chewy
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"G.E." and "One More" during the Ride for Ed


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I saw friends along the Raleigh Christmas Parade!


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The Gathering V for Patriot Rovers
(l to r) Pat Chsenhall (Pastor of Life Abundant Christian Center, Angier, NC),
David Cantara (Patriot Rovers), and Tom Meese (PGR)


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Ol' Bill "Jammer" and Patty at the Ride for Ed


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Raleigh Christmas Parade -- looking forward from about the middle of the pack


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I trust my Harley with HotRodz in Fayetteville, NC
(l to r:  "One More", Ty Adelman, Susan Zappe, Debbi Britt - owner)

Archive - "Been There, Sniffed That" published in Behind Barz Magazine, November 2011. (added to my blog April 26, 2012)

Sometimes I’m asked to tell a funny thing that I’ve done.  About two years ago, I was at a 3K dog walk to benefit the SPCA.  My driver and I were the only ones to arrive on a bike, and there were hundreds of dogs there.  We went to the registration table and my driver was given a clip board and pen.  He stepped out of the line, and dropped to one knee to complete the paperwork.  I wanted my friends to know that my driver was mine, so I marked his hip.  By the time I finished, the wetness soaked through his jeans, and he jumped up and yelled “Chewy!”  I jumped back as if to play, wagging my tail and giving him my happy look of “What?!?!”  My driver’s jeans dried during the walk, but everyone thought he stunk.  That was the first and only time I have ever intentionally pissed on him.   
 
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USO Friends at the Winston-Salem Tennis Open
We did a lot since my last article.  The USO of North Carolina invited me to be part of the opening ceremonies at the Winston Salem Tennis Open on August 22.  I had the pleasure of meeting several members of the North Carolina National Guard, a wounded Marine and Miss North Carolina USA (Brittany York).  That was my first time on a professional tennis court and at an opening ceremony.  Neither my driver nor I knew what to do, so we just followed the cool bagpiper.

On August 27, Hurricane Irene was running up the east coast of North Carolina.  We had tropical storm conditions when we left our house to ride to Asheville.  We ran into bands of heavy rain and wind until we were between Greensboro and Winston-Salem where we had partly cloudy skies and nice temperatures.  We rode a scenic route through Diamondback (NC 226A), a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Devil’s Staircase (NC 80) on our way to Asheville.  The S-curves on NC 80 were fun as my driver pushed my Harley left and right several times.  We also stopped at the grand opening of Harley-Davidson of Asheville, where we linked up with Raleigh HOG and spent time with Scott Northrup, who is the General Manager of the new dealership.  While at the dealership, I let my driver off his leash in a huge field adjacent to the shop.  He got away from me and I ran through some mud back to the dealership to find him.  My driver said he was going to give me a bath at the hotel, but Keith Zionts suggested taking me to the bikini bike wash.  My driver had baby shampoo in our saddle bag, and I turned it into a bikini biker-dog wash.

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Brady of "Team Brady" at the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation
Ride for Kids in Asheville, NC
Why did we ride to Asheville through a storm?  My driver and I were part of Team Brady led by Keith Zionts.  Brady is five years old and has a brain tumor.  He couldn’t attend the Asheville Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF) Ride for Kids last year because he was undergoing chemo.  My driver promised to have me at the event in 2011 if Brady was going to be there.  On Sunday morning, we linked up with Raleigh HOG and Statesville HOG south of Asheville and rode to Biltmore Square Mall, the starting point for the PBTF Ride for Kids.  We don't know how many bikes were there, but we know it was a few hundred.  The police-escorted ride took us on a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway and then on a highway to Lake Lure.  It was a pawrific day to put my tongue in the wind!  At Lake Lure, lunch was served for the Celebration of Life.  One of the riders didn't like her sandwich, so she gave it to me.  It was a ham sandwich and I loved it!  Team Brady placed in the top five in fund raising and we had our pictures taken with the Stars.  At the Ride for Kids, the children are referred to as Stars.  After the Celebration of Life, we rode with Raleigh HOG back to Raleigh led by Steve Metz.
 
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Spending time with Christi, the Gold Star Mother of Adam Ginett, TSgt, USAF,
KIA 19 Jan 2010, Afghanistan
On September 10, we participated in the USO Freedom Ride led by Rolling Thunder NC4.  I spent a few minutes with Miss North Carolina USA and I asked her to help me with a project for a child.  The project involved a cut out named Flat Stanley and Flat Stanley had to have his picture taken at different places.  It was so pawsome that Miss North Carolina helped us out with this elementary school project!  Two paws up to Brittany!  Rolling Thunder NC4 asked us to be road guards.  Being a road guard allowed us pawtastic photo and video opportunities.  Unfortunately, the memory card in our camera became corrupt and we lost over 400 pictures and about 45 minutes of video.  We spent two days trying to recover as much data as we could from the memory card.  Many thanks to the LEO departments that ensure our safety:  Wake County Sheriffs Dept, Harnett County Sheriffs Dept, Coats PD, Lillington PD, and Apex PD.  I apologize if I missed anyone.  You can view what we recovered on my Facebook page or on the USO Freedom Ride music video on my website. 

On September 24, I helped Operation Helping Hands for Heroes (OHHH) at their fund raising tent at Benson Mule Days.  I was available for photos and did my little doggie part to support OHHH.  OHHH is a 501c(3) non-profit organization which focuses on helping wounded warriors.  You can learn more about OHHH at www.operationhhh.org.
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Helping Operation Helping Hands for Heroes at Benson Mule Days, Benson, NC
www.operationhhh.org

October 1 was a busy day. We attended one event and portions of three other events.  We started the day meeting the Golden Retrievers from Patriot Rovers at the Ride for the Rovers.  There were six Rovers there.  Patriot Rovers rescues Golden Retrievers, trains them, and assigns them as companion service dogs to a wounded warrior or veteran with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Each Rover is named after a Fallen Hero.  The Patriot Rovers was founded by David Cantara.  David sometimes refers to me as the “original Patriot Rover.”  We were told that part of the idea for the Patriot Rovers comes from my background of being rescued and bringing comfort to people.  Patriot Rovers is a 501c(3) non-profit organization.  For more information about Patriot Rovers, visit www.patriotrovers.org.

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Dano of Patriot Rovers  (www.patriotrovers.org)


After the Ride for the Rovers rolled out of Ray Price Harley-Davidson, my driver attended the wedding of John Headrick and Hannah Stallings inside the showroom of Ray Price H-D.  They are a pawsome couple!  Since dogs are no longer allowed in the dealership, I spent time outside with Dave, the General Manager of Ray Price H-D.

After the wedding, my driver and I mounted up for the annual Miracle League Ride. The Miracle League is a baseball league for children with special needs.  Cary Police Department ensured we arrived safely at the ball field at Adams Elementary School in Cary, NC.  The bikers put smiles on the children’s faces, and I did my part to help.  After the game, the No Rules Riders led the group on back roads to Characters Quarters in Garner.  After we arrived at Character Quarters, my day wasn’t over.  After saying “later” to a few of our friends, we went to Locked-n-Loaded for Behind Barz Bike Nightz.  You can find my video of this ride on my website.

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Bringing smiles to faces at the annual Miracle League Ride, Cary, NC
We spent time chillin’ at Locked-n-Loaded in Garner, NC.  I take my driver there occasionally for lunch or dinner, and we sit in their patio area.  My favorite is their Philly CheeseSteak, but hold the onions and peppers so I don’t gas bomb my driver and my mom that night.

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Snoozin' in my drivers arms at Locked-n-Loaded (Garner, NC) for
Behind Barz Magazine's Biker Nightz


Earlier, I mentioned that dogs (pets) are no longer allowed in Ray Price H-D.  That policy change went into effect during the summer.  This policy has nothing to do with me or any dogs – it has everything to do with dog owners.  As is typically the case, it only takes a small number of irresponsible, inconsiderate or disrespectful pet owners to make it bad for all responsible owners, good pets and biker dogs like Snoopy the Biker Dog (Driver: Tim Wall) and me.  If my driver and I owned or managed a dealership, we would have implemented the same policy based on events that occurred at Ray’s.  What happened?  I know this is not 100% accurate, but I’m sure the dealership staff will agree that it’s generally correct.  Over a few days this summer, one owner allowed his dog to piss on a tire.  Two owners allowed their dogs to take dumps in the dealership – and the owners didn’t clean up after them!  Hey, we’re dogs and we can’t clean-up after ourselves – that’s the dog owner’s responsibility.  Dog owners should understand our body language when we have to go.  My driver knows my body language, always carries poop bags on his leash, and when he sees my body language, he takes me outside, picks up after me, and everyone is happy.  My mom recently witnessed a Home Depot customer allowing her dog to take a dump near the cash registers – and she didn’t clean up after her pet!  But, I think this is the kicker that led to the policy change at Ray’s.  A dog owner allowed his large dog to run loose in the dealership and drag the leash.  I think the leash got caught on the side stand of a bike.  Guess what happened next … yyyyup … the bike went down, which triggered an insurance claim, which led to questions by the insurance company about dogs in the dealership, which led to the policy change.  As I said, it takes a few people to make it bad for all of us good dogs, regardless of breed.  Dogs, you need to ensure that you are well-behaved and quiet before you allow your people to bring you to public people places, such as stores or restaurants.  Can you imagine the reaction of people eating at a restaurant’s patio and, at the table next to them, a dog takes a big, stinky (to humans) dump?  Customers will be quickly calling for someone named up-Chuck.  My driver and I have been to pet stores where dog owners didn’t clean up after their dog.  Just because it’s a pet store doesn’t mean the pet owner has no responsibility to clean up.  Dogs, you also need to ensure that your people are respectful and considerate of others, even in your neighborhood.  For example, in the subdivision we live in, I will sometimes find where a dog took a dump in our yard while walking with their owner, and the owner didn’t pick up the mess!  Why should I have to find those dumps in our yard, mark them, then bring my driver there to pick it up?  I respect Ray, Miss Jean and the dealership staff for putting up with irresponsible pet owners up until this summer.  My driver and I talked with them about exceptions for biker dogs, but the insurance company advised them against making any exceptions.  My driver and I fully understand and respect their policy.  Dogs, if you bring your drivers to Ray Price and you see that sign on the door, don’t be upset with the dealership – be upset with the pet owners who ruined a good thing for us.

Where will I be over the next few weeks?  The MeanStreet Riders are tentatively planning to be in Maggie Valley in early November – to RIDE, not play a concert.  If my driver and I can swing it, we hope to ride with them again and stay at my favorite pet-friendly hotel:  Smoky Mountain Lodge.  Raleigh’s Christmas parade is the Saturday before Thanksgiving, I think.  I rode with Raleigh HOG in every Raleigh Christmas parade since 2008, and it’s an opportunity to bring smiles to faces.  Last year, I barfed onto the street during the parade, and you can hear the reaction of the crowd in a video.  The annual Marine Corps Toys for Tots ride at Ray Price H-D is also coming up in early December.  Two years ago, my Harley won first place people’s choice in a bike show in the Toys for Tots ride.  My driver and I had no idea that we were entered, and we learned that the reason we won was because they thought I was an “accessory.”

It’s that time of year when leaves fall from trees and I like to sniff and mark piles of leaves.  If you ride on roads with fallen leaves, be careful – particularly in the morning when the leaves could be wet.  Deer will be testing our reaction times and riding skills, so be careful out there!

God bless America, our Fallen Heroes, those serving now, those who served, Gold Star families, and our allies.

Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, stay warm and keep your tongue in the wind!
 
Chewy
My Website
My Online Store
Behind Barz Magazeine


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Kim Butler (r) at Miracle League Ride, Cary, NC


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Flags for Fallen Military flag pole installation and flag dedication
in honor of
Michael Rodriguez, SPC, US Army, KIA 23 April 2007


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I turned the Bikini Bike Wash into a Bikini Doggie Wash at the
Grand Opening of Harley-Davidson of Asheville, NC


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Miss North Carolina at the annual USO Freedom Ride


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Miss North Carolina and I rehearsing for the opening ceremonies
of the Winston-Salem Tennis Open


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Typing my article


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Proofreading my article