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June 2019

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How is it that over the past ten years or so, we have come up with themes like Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter and Biker Lives Matter? Your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker was obviously raised in a different time in a galaxy far, far away. Back in the old days, we were raised to believe all lives mattered.

While race relations have continually improved over my 55 years of being on this orb, it seems to me that since Michael Brown, a black man who had just strong arm robbed a gas station, was shot and killed by a white police officer, race relations started to slide. What happened after Michael Brown was shot was especially horrifying for me, as I spent 20 years of my life in Saint Louis. Ferguson, a suburb of “The Lou,” swirled into a state of anarchy, with the black community burning businesses down, throwing molotov cocktails at police cars and the Missouri National Guard being called in to restore order. In the aftermath, the Obama administration sent Attorney General Eric Holder to Brown’s funeral – and Obama, himself, claimed that if he had a son, he would look like Michael Brown. In my humble opinion, this was the start of our current slide in race relations.

Grey Beard will go on record saying that he still believes ALL LIVES MATTER. Since when do we accept the notion that one group’s lives matter more than another’s? That said, I have a very special place in my heart for Blue Lives. My son-in-law was an Orange County, Florida sheriff’s deputy. Soon, he will be graduating from exhaustive training to be a DEA agent. So when I read about a law enforcement officer being killed in the line-of-duty, it hits too close to home for me. So today, I am sharing the story of a police officer, veteran and father who was killed in Savannah, Georgia. Rest in Peace, Sergeant Kelvin Ansari! And thank you for your service as a first responder and your 20+ years serving for all of us in the U.S. Army.

Grey Beard Biker

This may well be one of the stupidest things a company CEO has said in recent memory. It’s one thing for highly overpaid movie stars to threaten a boycott of Georgia due to their passing the “Heartbeat Abortion Bill.” Most adults could give a flying FUCK what these bloviating idiots say. But now, a publicly traded company’s CEO says they may be forced to stop filming movies in Georgia if the law takes affect after the inevitable lawsuits being filed reach the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

At this time, it is impossible to say what decisions SCOTUS would hand down with the plethora of abortion restrictions being passed around the country. Recent decisions by the SCOTUS lead your lovable Grey Beard Biker to believe that even with the confirmation of “conservative” associate justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, it’s at best a roll of the dice if they the court upholds any of the state laws.

Now, with regards to Disney CEO Bob Iger’s decision to throw his company’s reputation into the bubbling cauldron of politics, over Georgia’s newly passed heart beat bill, a worse decision could not have been made. If I were on the board of directors, or a major shareholder in Disney, I would be all over Iger’s ass for being so stupid. There are plenty of conservative fans of Walt Disney Studios, old Grey Beard included. I will never pay to see another Disney movie again if they boycott producing movies in Georgia. The same goes for other stupid entertainment companies including: Viacom, CBS, Sony, AMC, NBC/Universal, Warner Media, Et al. Is it really worth losing market share because your corporate executives hate roughly 1/2 the population (us Deplorables) and do not care if they piss us the hell off? We will vote against all of you with our wallets. All of you companies should immediately fire those making the decision to threaten a boycott of a state over laws duly elected legislators passed.

So, your ever lovable old Grey Beard Biker has some sage advice for the idiots at Disney, NBC, CBS, Sony, AMC and Warner Media – and for that matter all over Hollywood. Shut the fuck up and make movies. Stay out of politics altogether. If you are a singer: shut the fuck up and sing! If you are an athlete, shut the fuck up and play ball! If you are an actor/actress, shut the fuck up and act! The way you are all spouting off right now, you obviously do not give a damn about roughly half the population of the United States. If you really don’t care about us Deplorables – go ahead and keep spewing your nasty vomit all over social media. We will simply protest by not spending money to support y’all!

The Grey Beard Biker

The Tail of the Dragon is a marketing genius. Deal’s Gap Resort, US 129 Photos and Killboy have made a killing selling t-shirts, hats, stickers, pins, motel rooms and pictures. Before the road was promoted to gear heads, there was almost nothing at Deal’s Gap. That has changed big time over the last decade or two.

There is no doubt, that the road is fun to ride. But in the Grey Beard Biker’s opinion, it is a total tourist trap. While the road is somewhat technical in nature, there are actually more difficult rides much closer to home – and all over the Smoky Mountains.

Nevertheless, we ride it most trips to Eastern Tennessee because it is included on the route to other great rides. This picture was from our last ride there on May 24. We were definitely dragging the right floorboard here – as we do throughout the Dragon. I ended up buying this picture from US 129 photos as it is a unique view that they had not captured of us before. The pictures are one of the things which make the Dragon a must-do in my opinion.

The Grey Beard Biker

Deal’s Gap Motorcycle Resort

I have often said that unless your ride has a propellor, it does not need to be trailered. For the most part, I still believe that today. The reason you own a bike in the first place is to enjoy the journey – not necessarily the destination. Half the fun is in getting to where you are going – whether riding in a group – or by yourself.

There are certain advantages to trailering your bike, which over the past couple of years, the Grey Beard has come to appreciate:

  • You arrive at your destination refreshed and ready to ride
  • Since we usually are with another couple in the truck, we can easily talk all the way to the destination
  • You can definitely pack more clothes and gear
  • There is less wear and tear on your scoot
  • Air conditioning is your friend when it is hot

To trailer, or not to trailer, your bike is the question. I am still a bit torn about this. I am more accepting of it than I once was. It certainly does have its place. If we are going with our friends and can trailer our bike, the Grey Beard will certainly consider trailering. But then I am reminded of my last trip to Sturgis, many years ago. The ride there is across the plains and would be extremely boring in a vehicle. But on the bike, blasting across the “Big Sky” states, there is an unusual beauty to the vast openness which you cannot enjoy while in a cage.

What do you think?

The Grey Beard Biker