tan lines May13

One of this month’s highlights for me was going to the Osceola Military Vets annual event on February 9. They held it at the VFW Post 4225 down on Randolph Street in Kissimmee where it was held several years ago. Although a little harder to get to because of the layout of the roads, it sure is a better facility than the DAV where it’s been held for the past few years. The surrounding property offers plenty of parking and room for vendors, as well as a nice canopy with shaded seating. Not only was it a good event and very well-attended by local clubs and other Military Vet chapters from all over the area, but I also got to see friends I hadn’t seen in awhile including Little John Johnson. I’ve known John for several years and was very concerned when I heard he had been involved in a bad accident at work not long after I had my accident in 2010. I think between the two of us, we have majorly supported the medical facilities in the area and have both overcome some serious medical trials. But, like John said at the event, “We’re both still above the dirt!”… The weekend following that event, I headed south again to the Kissimmee area on the 16th to catch the 10th annual Pre-Daytona Bash party hosted by my friends in COBB. The party started on Friday night and extended until Sunday. On Friday folks start arriving and getting their RVs situated and the tents set up to get the old Kissimmee Rodeo Grounds ready for everyone to start rolling in on Saturday. In the spirit of good COBBaraderie, the party involves bike games, a huge spread of food, and just good fun throughout the day. Unfortunately I didn’t arrive until early evening on Saturday and the fun was already well underway even though the mercury was falling and the wind was cutting across the open field like a banshee from hell. The big bonfire was a welcome sight and made for a great place to park myself and enjoy the fellowship and lively humor of the COBBers. Members of the COBB always make me feel so welcome even when I haven’t seen them in a while. They truly are a “social” club—getting together often and always truly enjoying each other. And they are always open and friendly to anyone who might decide to join in their fun… Of course, in the Central Florida area with all the clubs and riders, there’s always something going on, so let me fill you in on all the rest of the fun. January 26 found riders in the Cocoa Beach area heading to the Saints MC clubhouse to help out Alex, one of the fire dancers who perform there on occasion. Alex received severe burns on more than 40 percent of his body last year when someone maliciously set him on fire. (I can’t imagine the pain of being burned so deeply when getting a bad sunburn hurts so much.) All the proceeds from this event went to help Alex with the medical and financial bills around this horrible incident… That was a busy weekend as well on the west coast when the Florida Motorcycle Bike Builder Invitational took over Quaker Steak and Lube in Clearwater. With over 100 vendors, a bikini contest, the Greg Billings Band and some mega bike builders on the itinerary, it was quite an event. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take my little self over to Clearwater, but I heard it was well done and that more than $10,000 was given away in cash and prizes… Back on the east coast in the Ormond Beach area, Smiley’s Tap held their annual Memorial Ride for Fallen Bikers. The ride rolled out of Smiley’s promptly at noon and took a nice, leisurely ride through the Ormond Loop after making a stop at a nearby park at the Memorial Tree for a brief ceremony to remember those we’ve lost… On February 17, Peace United Methodist Church hosted their annual Biker Sunday event. This is one of the best-attended events in the area and draws riders of all sorts on all makes and models of two-wheeled transportation. The day starts with a church service and then a hearty lunch followed by biker games and a performance of one of the exhibition teams in the area. This year it was a double feature with the popular Central Florida Drill Team that has performed there for the last few years and a show by Team Xtreem for the sportbike enthusiasts… Over on the east coast, that same day, the BIN—Bikers In Need—Run took place in Brevard County. Last year’s ride was a huge success and the proceeds went to help downed bikers and other locals needing assistance. Registration was held at Space Coast Harley in Palm Bay and for those who brought a nonperishable food item, the cost was just $5 per person. Kickstands were up at 11:30 and the police-escorted ride worked its way down to Wickham Park for a nice concert and after-party. Anyone interested in supporting this great organization can make a contribution at www.BikersInNeed.org… And now for the latest tidbit of information concerning Panama City: The new Harley-Davidson dealership (part of the Tampa Harley Group) is coming right along. At the time of this writing, the curbing is in along the road and the perimeter of the parking lots, while inside the drywall and electrical wiring have been installed. Another treat for those of you up in the Florida Panhandle area is that the popular tattoo shop, “231 Tattoos,” will be sharing some space at the dealership. This shop has been in the area for over nine years and will certainly be an added attraction to all that beautiful chrome on the showroom floor. That’s it for another month. So ride safe, watch out for those dumb drivers and God bless….




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