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Tan Lines: July, 2014

By SunDancer

tan lines May13

The month of May rolled into Florida with a sprinkling of showers, but not enough to ruin anyone’s riding plans. Good thing because that weekend actually started on Wednesday, April 30 when the Thunder Beach Rally kicked off in Panama City in the Panhandle for a long weekend lasting until May 4. Harley-Davidson of Panama City Beach was the site of some major action during the event. Not only did they have some good-looking gals working the event, but there were also plenty of vendors and a free shuttle helping attendees get down to Club Le Vela where they could take a demo ride on a new bike… The following weekend, May 8–10, I headed out west to the Old Skool Biker Rodeo, a.k.a. Party in the Pasture in Brooksville. This was the 10th and final year for this event, which has helped many veterans in Hernando County over its lifespan. Like the name says, it’s an “Old Skool” event, so pretty much anything goes for this over-21-only party. And if you’re there, you might see just about anything as the sun’s rays and the $1 beers start to take effect… Main Street in Daytona was still sizzling and rocking on the 10th when the street was closed to all traffic and live music filled the air for an event tagged the Ragin’ Cajun. Crawfish master Duane Smith was set up and serving his own brand of spicy Louisiana flavor, and the popular watering holes—Froggy’s, Boot Hill Saloon and Dirty Harry’s—were right there with the remedy for all that spice… The weekend of May 16–18 couldn’t have offered any more reasons to get out in the beautiful spring weather and get the wind in your face. The Proud to be American Bikefest held on the Renniger’s Flea Market property in Mt. Dora kicked off on Friday night with the ever-popular Bobby Friss onstage from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. Saturday morning brought an even larger crowd to participate in the biker games, mud wrestling and body painting. Of course there was a beauty contest, and some young lady was named the best of the best on Sunday. I don’t know who she was ’cause I only attended on Friday night as I had several other things on my calendar that weekend. Therefore I missed some of the “adult” fun I later heard about… Over on the west coast the morning of the 17th, riders headed to Jim’s Harley-Davidson to register for a benefit ride for a little gal named Mia who is in need of a new heart. Riders made several stops on the poker run before ending at Quaker Steak & Lube for the afterparty and an exciting afternoon of raffles, music and an antique car and bike show. Proceeds from the event will go to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association that will aid in the search for a heart for Mia… Also on that day, riders around the Daytona area joined in the Jericho Ride—an event intended to bring riders of Christian faith together in fellowship and prayer. The starting point was the Calvary Christian Center in Ormond Beach. From there, riders visited seven locations in seven cities and said seven prayers. After a day of great riding along the east coast beaches, everyone came back to Jakob’s Well on Beach Street in Daytona for free food and live music. This is an annual ride, and in 2012, 52 cities in the U.S. participated. In 2013, 96 cities were involved in the U.S. and another 20 in foreign countries. So, if you’re interested in joining in next year, visit www.JerichoRide.org… Back in Clermont at Stormy Hill Harley, riders were arriving from the military cemetery in Bushnell for the 7th annual Freedom Ride. The ride left the American Legion in Bushnell by police escort and headed to the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell before making their way back to Clermont. The parking lot, as well as the afternoon, was full of activity with the popular band Big Engine providing the backdrop of entertainment. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the DAV… Another of my favorite events took place on Sunday, May 18—the 7th annual Do You See Me Now Ride hosted by friends in COBB. This year, things were done a little differently and we didn’t do ride-ins from various points around the Central Florida area. The entire event took place in South Orlando at the EagleRider location. There was a nice pack ride that left from the dealership and returned about an hour and half later. Even though the attendance was down from past years for this worthy cause, most of the day was spent at the location with food, vendors, music by a band called 357 and the usual good fun that always surrounds the COBBers. This day is meant to bring attention to those of us who have been injured or killed by a driver “not seeing us,” and the event came about after a member of COBB was killed several years ago. Unfortunately, a couple other groups decided to tag onto the idea and do their own rides that same weekend. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, but in my opinion all three rides would have been better if combined to bring a sharper focus to the whole reason for the event. After all, there is strength in numbers. And that’s about it for me this month. Take care, ride safe and God bless…

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