Last month I told ya’ll I’d heard rumblings about the Bar Out Back in Sanford opening back up, and I guess they’re more than just rumblings. Lots of work has been done to bring the place up to date, and I’ve seen a post or two on the social media sites that the new management is hiring bar personnel—another good sign. I’m looking forward to seeing the new place, as it’s always been a great stop on a Sunday afternoon for a cold drink, some musical entertainment and free barbecue. And ya’ll know how much bikers like anything free, especially food… The bad weather up north didn’t hinder the riding here in Central Florida, other than a little rain here and there. On Sunday, January 26, Smiley’s Tap in Ormond hosted their annual Memorial Run for Downed Bikers. This all began when the owner’s daughter, Sherrie, and her husband were killed 26 years ago on their 5th wedding anniversary, which was also Sherrie’s 23rd birthday. Each year, there are more and more names added to the list of those who have gone on to ride the highways of heaven. Everyone is always welcome at this benefit, there’s no fee to attend and it’s always a good time to make new friends and remember old ones… On the other side of the state that day in Bonita Springs, the American Legion Post 303 held a Blessing of the Bikes. More than just a few bikes showing up for dispensation; it was a well-thought-out afternoon event. There were vendors and bike games and a walking poker run. Entertainment by a band called WUMF and a 50/50 drawing every hour throughout the afternoon completed the offering… On February 1, Stormy Hill H-D in Clermont held a Dice Run to benefit animal rescue. The $15 registration fee had to be accompanied by a towel or blanket to be used for pet bedding. Participants could actually bring their own pets to this event as well, adding to the fun. And if you didn’t have a pet to bring, there were some looking for new owners and waiting to be adopted. Unfortunately the rain didn’t add to the fun and I think some of those towels might have been put to good use before they were donated… That same day, during a short ride down Highway 27, riders were rolling into Orlando Harley South on 192 for the 2nd annual Osceola Law Ride. Escorted by local officers, this nonstop ride rolled out in a steady drizzle and encompassed scenic back roads in the area before returning to the dealership for the afterparty. The $20 fee included a nice lunch, a goodie bag, a door-prize ticket and a commemorative ride pin. Proceeds from this event will be donated to the families of officers who were injured or lost their lives serving the community… On February 8, the VFW Post 4225 on Randolph Street in Kissimmee was the site of the annual party hosted by the U.S. Military Vets Osceola County FL8, more affectionately known as “The Angry Eight.” The rain was coming down most of the day, which certainly put a literal damper on the event, but there was still a good turnout. I didn’t get there until the afternoon so I missed the poker run in the morning, but I caught the afternoon festivities including the music, food, refreshments and a bunch of hugs. Always best of all, I got to see a lot of my friends that I hadn’t seen in quite some time since I don’t get down that way as often as I used to. After a little confusion, I was able to find my old friend Little John and have a nice visit with him before he and his lovely wife ride off to Illinois for their well-deserved retirement. My love and good wishes go with them for sure… Sunday, February 9, the Seminole County H.O.G. held their annual Valentine Run and topped it off with a performance from that ever-popular band from Jacksonville, Big Engine. Riders started their day at the American Legion Post 53 in Sanford and made a few stops before ending up back at Seminole Harley-Davidson for the fun including food and refreshments, as well as a live and silent auction… And just a little reminder; the last weekend of the month, April 25–27, I’ll be heading north to hang out with a few hundred thousand of my closest friends at one of my favorite rallies. This year Leesburg will host its 18th annual rally, which has blossomed into one of the largest three-day rallies in the Southeast. The event team knows how to provide us with a good time and the offerings just get better every year—food, vendors and especially the musical entertainment. Yes, the traffic is horrible and the streets get more and more crowded, but unless someone is being a total ass or endangering someone else, the officers working the event are cool with the bikers and their antics. For more information, go to www.LeesburgBikeFest.com. That’s about all my gossip for this month. Take care of each other and God bless.