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 (  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!

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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)

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