Archive

January 2020

Browsing

This week has been incredibly entertaining if you are a politics junkie like your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker. With the Senate impeachment trial in a full court press, there have been plenty of great quotes generating new memes. But, without a doubt, the assknozzles-of-the-week are definitely Shifty Shiff and Jerry Nadler. Watching them make their case for impeachment in front of the U.S. Senate was priceless.

But we must not forget the whole slate of Leftist demoncrats vying for the Democrat presidential nomination. With this group, the hits just keep coming. For the life of me, I cannot find one thing redeeming with any single one of them. They are all YUGE losers. Whichever one of them is nominated will get stomped out by our great president, Donald J. Trump. Let’s look at each of the top contenders’ policy priorities.

Scary Uncle Joe Biden

Scary Uncle Joe Biden

Our favorite do nothing, Joe Biden, says more stupid stuff than any of the other Democrat candidates for president. And he obviously loves to suck his wife’s fingers and smell the hair of strangers. But he has told us what he wants to do if he is elected president.

Second Amendment:

  1. Hold gun manufacturers accountable by repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act
  2. Ban the manufacture of assault weapons and high capacity magazines
  3. Regulate the possession of existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act
  4. Buy back assault rifles and high capacity magazines
  5. Reduce the number of firearms an individual can own

Immigration:

  1. Immediately reverse the Trump Administration’s policies which separate parents from their children (I guess he forgot that it was his boss (nObama) who started this practice)
  2. Restore asylum laws so that they can protect immigrants fleeing persecution
  3. End the use of Department of Defense funds being used to build the wall
  4. End so called Muslim Bans
  5. Ensure ICE and CBP personnel abide by professional standards

Climate

  1. Ensure the U.S. achieves a 100% clean energy economy and reaches net-zero emissions by 2050
  2. Rally the rest of the world to meet the threat of climate change
  3. Stand up to the abuse of power by polluters who disproportionally harm communities of color

Health Care

  1. Give Americans a new choice – public health insurance option like Medicare
  2. Stand up to the abuse of power by prescription drug manufacturers
  3. Ensure health care is a right for all
  4. Defend health care protections for all regardless of gender, gender identity or sexual orientation

Bernie Sanders the Russian Bot

I’m Bernie Sanders – and I am not a Russian Bot

You have to give Bernie “The Burn” Sanders credit. The guy does not give up. And if he were to be elected, you better take all of your assets off shore because he will be coming for them.

Second Amendment

  1. Take on the National Rifle Association
  2. Expand background checks and end the gun show loophole
  3. Ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons and high capacity magazines
  4. Regulate assault weapons like we regulate machine guns
  5. Implement a buyback program to get assault weapons off the streets

Immigration

  1. Institute a moratorium on deportations
  2. Reinstate and expand DACA
  3. Break up ICE and CBP
  4. Dismantle detention centers

Climate

  1. Provide $200 billion to the Green Climate Fund
  2. End the greed of the fossil fuel industry

Health Care

  1. Create Medicare for All – a single payer national health care system
  2. Expand medicare to include dental, hearing and vision coverage
  3. No networks, no premiums, no deductibles, no copays

Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren

1/1024 Pocahontas Elizabeth Warren

What will we all do when Elizabeth Warren is no longer being dishonest on the national stage? This woman is a walking lie. Everything she says is sensationalized beyond belief. Fortunately, she will never be elected, for if she was, there is not enough wealth in the world to pay for everything she wants to give away.

Second Amendment

  1. Take executive action to hold gun dealers and manufacturers accountable
  2. Break the NRA’s stranglehold on Congress
  3. Report on multiple gun purchases
  4. Create a Federal licensing system
  5. Pass a Federal assault weapons ban

Immigration

  1. End unnecessary detention
  2. Eliminate private detention facilities
  3. Eliminate expedited removal and provide due process
  4. Raise the refugee cap
  5. Make naturalization easier

Climate

  1. By 2028 – 100% zero-carbon pollution
  2. By 2030 – 100% zero-emission vehicles, medium duty trucks and buses
  3. By 2035 – 100% renewable and zero-emission electricity generation
  4. Full support for the Green New Deal
  5. 100% Clean buildings

Health Care

  1. Provide Medicare for all without increasing costs for the middle class
  2. Use the Department of Justice to crack down on anti-competitive behavior
  3. Compulsory licensing and public manufacturing of drugs to reduce costs

Pete “Alfred E. Neuman” Buttigieg

Pete Alfred E Neuman Buttigieg

Mayor Alfred E. Neuman Buttigieg is perhaps the only candidate who does not want to give away everything. He only wants to take away your guns. His ambition is YUGE beyond belief.

Second Amendment

  1. Institute Universal Background Checks
  2. Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines
  3. Hold the gun industry accountable
  4. Establish a national gun licensing system
  5. Enact Red Flag laws

Immigration

  1. Modernize our immigration laws to reflect today’s humanitarian and economic needs
  2. End the family separation crisis and evaluate ICE and CBP procedures
  3. Reinstate enforcement priorities and prevent arbitrary targeting of immigrant communities

Climate

  1. Quadruple Federal clean energy research and development
  2. Establish a Clean Energy Standard to reach 100% clean electricity by 2035
  3. Immediately re-enter the Paris Climate Agreement
  4. Deploy at least 1 gigaton of annual CO2 removal capacity by 2040

Health Care

  1. Medicare for All
  2. Improve mental health and combat addiction
  3. Affordable Medicine for All
  4. Create affordable long-term care

Little Mikey Bloomberg

I’m Little Mikey Bloomberg and I am running for president!

Don’t be afraid America! Little Mikey Bloomberg is here to save you from yourself! There will be no more plastic straws, large fountain drinks or guns! Let me tell you everything I’ve done for New York City and I am sure to be your next president! Ugh! This guy makes me want to vomit!

Second Amendment

  1. Require every gun buyer to get a permit before making a purchase
  2. Pass a Federal Red Flag law
  3. Reinstate the Federal ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines
  4. Require secure storage of firearms
  5. Require a 48-hour waiting period on all gun purchases

Immigration

  1. Little Mikey has no real proposals for immigration on his website

Climate

  1. Full decarbonization of America before 2050 (WTF does this mean? – We are carbon lifeforms!)
  2. Reduce greenhouse gases by requiring Clean Buildings
  3. Zero emission public transit

Health Care

  1. Medicare-like public option
  2. Build on the Affordable Care Act
  3. Cap health care prices
  4. Lower drug costs

Grey Beard Biker’s Assessment

Second Amendment

The entire slate of contenders for the DNC presidential nomination are completely against the Second Amendment. Most of them want to tear the National Rifle Association apart. One consistent theme is banning assault rifles (those scary black guns) and high-capacity magazines. Confiscation of such arms are not being promoted by any of these dorks, but most of them are all-in for buybacks. Their idea to require Federal licensing of guns is never going to happen. It would require a gun owner registry tied to a listing of guns they own. There is nothing new in any of their proposed plans. It’s the same old talking points they have blabbered for years.

Immigration

Immigration is important to our country’s long-term health. We are a country of immigrants. Legal immigration is something no conservative is interested in changing. But today, because of a longstanding willingness to kick-the-ball-down-the-road, we have a true crisis. All of these candidates want to throw our borders wide open with little or no regulation. Most of these idiots would like to dismantle ICE and CBP – leaving our citizens unprotected from potential terrorists, drug dealers and gang members. With the influx of illegal aliens coming across our southern border, we cannot get rid of detention facilities.

Climate

The only somewhat hinged candidate on the climate hoax is Little Mikey – probably because he knows the Green New Deal will bankrupt the United States. But he is still willing to push full decarbonization! – whatever the FUCK that means. Hell, we are carbon lifeforms! Does he want to get rid of human life? Laugh my big fat #BikerAss off! Everyone besides Little Mikey is pretty much embracing most parts of AOC’s Green New Deal – a plan that will bankrupt us.

Health Care

This one is simple. Every single candidate is pushing some form of Medicare for All. This is a non-starter. Hell, Pocahontas’ bold lie that the middle class would not have to pay additional taxes to have universal health care has not changed anything. They all want to provide free health care to everyone. But let’s not stop there! Everyone also has the right to free dental, vision and long-term care. Anyone with even the slightest understanding of economics knows this will bankrupt our country. But these assknozzles don’t care.

Closing

Yes, it’s true! As my post title states, “Democrats Are Assknozzles,” – every damn last one of them! They offer nothing new. Their plans are to disarm law abiding citizens, throw our borders wide open and give away everything. It’s an absolute race to see who can give away the most free shit! This includes free post-secondary education and forgiveness of student loan debt! I only highlighted the top five candidates, but the rest of the remaining field is no different. They are all a bunch of losers with a capital L!

Your Ever Lovable,

Grey Beard Biker
gbb@TheGreyBeardBiker.com
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twitter

Special thanks to @GrrrGraphics for the use of the Elizabeth Warren caricature! Make sure to follow GrrrGraphics on THE TWATTER!

Virginia is on a roll. Today, the Virginia Citizens Defense League held its annual lobby day in Richmond. VCDL has been very active over the years with all things Second Amendment related in the commonwealth. With the new Democrat majorities in the Virginia house and senate, Governor Ralphie “Blackface” Northam is salivating over the opportunity to impose punitive new gun regulations on the citizens of his state. Today’s lobby day was expected to be a showdown between far left protesters and the gun owners of the state – with a guest appearance by Antifa. Fortunately, according to Cam Edwards, of Bearing Arms, it was mainly a productive day with no serious protests.

But not able to contain himself, and not willing to miss an opportunity to bash his opponents, Ralphie Tweeted:

Wait, what? This is absolutely absurd. According to Virginia’s Capitol Police, nearly 25,000 Second Amendment supporters showed up today. With all of these gun toters running around there had to be violence, right? (Said tongue in cheek!) No, Ralphie there was no violence because these were law abiding gun owners wanting to protect their God given rights. The only arrest was a young woman who refused to remove her mask. And the Grey Beard Biker would bet that she was not there supporting the Second Amendment!

Sheriffs say they will not confiscate guns and they stand for the #2A

Besides all of the proposed restrictions on the Second Amendment, the senate just announced SB399, know as the “National Popular Vote Compact.” This bill would require that all of the state’s electoral votes be awarded to whichever candidate wins the nation’s popular vote – instead of each elector voting based on the majority of the voters they represent. Your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker can only assume the Liberal Wack Jobs (LWJ) in Virginia believe that only Republicans can win the Electoral College – and not the popular vote. How stupid can they be? (This is a rhetorical question. We all know they are retarded assknozzles.)

A Microcosm of the United States

The Electoral College Protects Against The Two Coasts electing the president

Over my 55 years, I have seen a lot of changes in the political landscape of the United States. I have also seen the Democrat party slide further and further to the left. Democrat presidents like John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton would seem quite conservative compared to the new batch of lawmakers and presidential hopefuls fighting for the DNC nomination.

But what we are seeing right now is a microcosm of what we see on the national level. Nationally, we see three states controlling huge amounts of votes: California, New York and Illinois. The majority of voters in these states are very liberal – mostly progressive. When combined with other states such as New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Washington and Oregon, the combined votes are becoming more difficult to overcome allowing a few geographic areas to control the majority of the country.

This is exactly what has happened in Virginia. The densely populated areas of Northern Virginia, Richmond and Virginia Beach are decisively controlling the rest of the state. This has culminated in a perfect storm slamming into the rest of the largely rural state – threatening to take away Second Amendment rights. Additionally, besides trying to control how the commonwealth’s electoral votes are given, they want to expand abortion rights, make voting easier (Liberal speak for no restrictions such as Voter ID) and fight climate change. With their legislative majorities and control of the executive branch there is little standing in the Democrats’ way of achieving their utopian dreams.

This is a very sad commentary on a state which had voted Republican in every presidential election since Eisenhower was elected in 1952 – with the lone exception being Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. But everything changed in 2008 with the arrival of Obama. Now, it is hard to see a path where a Republican presidential candidate receives a majority of votes in this now Blue state.

Lessons Learned

The rest of the country is beginning to recognize what I wrote about recently – the Left winning the long game. For years they have focused on indoctrinating our children – making sure the education they received strongly supported progressive views. They have introduced hatred and race baiting into political discourse – which has set race relations back several decades. They are moving to red states in droves – turning states like Florida, North Carolina and coming soon – Texas – from Red to Purple. I guess even the liberals in places like Illinois, New York, California and New Jersey cannot stand to live in states controlled by progressives!

We must remain on guard. It’s not just guns they want to take away. They want to take away our freedom of speech, our freedom to assemble and use race to drive a wedge between us. Not to mention providing Federal funding for abortions until the very moment of birth. There is no easy solution short of building walls around Red states to keep leftist progressives out!

Praying for a return to sanity,

Grey Beard Biker
gbb@TheGreyBeardBiker.com
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twitter

Greetings fellow patriots, bikers and other fans of the Second Amendment. It’s hard to believe it’s 2020. It seems like just yesterday that we were worried about the Y2K bug. Holy cow, it’s been 20 years since then. We have been very fortunate the past month to have some excellent, mild weather here in Tennessee. The only snow we have had in the middle part of the state was a dusting before Thanksgiving. Hopefully you have been getting some riding in.

Over the past couple of blog posts, your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker has written about the cost of equipment and components you need to reload your own ammunition. If you have decided to move on with reloading, this article deals with the actual process of loading with a progressive loading press.

If you missed the previous posts on reloading, you can find them here:

Reloading – Part 1 – Basics

Reloading – Part 2 – Brass, Primers & Powder

Setting Up Your Press

Dies and Shell Plate with case installed at Station 1

The first thing you will need to do is set up the press. You will get to be an old hand at this if you reload multiple calibers. First, install the cartridge dies in the top of the tower. Nearly every caliber takes different dies. Follow the die instructions to set up each of the dies before you start reloading. Install the correct shell holder and retention spring in the rotating base of the turret. Depending on what caliber you are using, you will need to load either small or large primers (standard or magnum depending again on caliber) in the primer feed tube. This process is much easier with a primer tray as it will flip all of the primers to the correct side to grab them in the filler tube. Once this is done, cycle the arm on the press and make sure a primer loads into the press.

Setting Up Your Scale

Hornady electronic powder dispenser

Most progressive presses come with a case-activated powder drop, which resides in the third station of the press. The powder drop does work sufficiently well for most handgun powders, but some powders are flakey, or rod shaped and do not work well with this system. This is why I use an electronic scale, which accurately dispenses the correct amount of powder for your recipe. If you decide to use the powder drop, make sure you verify the weight of the powder charge at least ever 10 drops. It will change – and if you are loading fairly stout loads it can be very dangerous – especially with faster powders.

Once I power up my electronic powder dispenser, I let it warm up a couple of minutes and then calibrate it. Next, I use either a recipe I have loaded in the past or refer to my reloading manual for the correct powder charge – entering it in the scale. Remember, this varies significantly based on the weight and type of bullet you are using. If you are using a new recipe, I highly recommend loading towards the lower weight of the recipe. You can always work up from there on future reloads. Once the scale is setup, you’re ready to start loading.

Case Prep

Clean and polished brass is critical to successful hand-loads

As mentioned in my previous articles, I am very picky about my brass, as damaged brass causes most malfunctions with reloads. I tumble it in stainless steel media and throw out any which are not perfect. I find that I can reuse my brass for at least ten loads before I throw them out.

Dial caliper and case prep tools

As my powder load measures out, I use a Lyman case prep tool set to clean the primer pocket and the bullet opening. This removes burrs and cleans everything up, so the cases run through the press smoothly. This step also allows you to examine the case for any flaws – especially cracking and expansion of the primer pocket. If you are reloading rifle ammo, you will need to use lube on the bullet opening since the cases are tapered.

Loading the Cartridges

Prepped case in station 1

Once the case has been examined, I load it in the shell holder at station one. Pull the arm down and run the case through the sizing die. This takes the case to stage two where the primer is installed. Here, instead of pulling the arm, you push it forward to seat the primer in the pocket. You will feel the primer seat. If it doesn’t feel like it pressed all the way in, take the case out and examine it. If it looks like it is installing straight, put it back in the second stage and push forward again on the arm. If this still doesn’t work, throw it out and start over with a different prepped case.

If the primer installed correctly, pull the handle back and run it through the expansion die (if your caliber uses one). This puts a very slight bell in the bullet opening to allow the bullet to seat far enough in, so it doesn’t move when it rotates to the seating stage.

Bullet sitting in slightly expanded case – Station 3

At this point, I pull the case out and make one final inspection of it and pour the powder in the bullet opening – making sure it all pours in. Once the powder is in, I gently place the case back in the shell holder, at station three, and set the bullet in the opening. MAKE SURE IT’S STRAIGHT! Pull the handle back to seat the bullet with the seating die – the fourth station. Lastly, pull the handle back and run it through the crimping die (if used on your caliber). This snugs the case to the bullet – the fifth station. When you release the handle at this stage, the finished bullet kicks out into the cartridge bin.

Bullet seated after station 4 and ready to be run through crimping – station 5

The last step is to measure the overall cartridge length (OCL) to verify the bullet is fully seated. The cartridge should easily slide through your dial caliper, which you have set up based on the recipe and the bullet you are using. This may well be the most important step. If you seat it too deep, the case pressures will increase rapidly, which can cause severe damage to your handgun or possible injury!

Measuring Overall Cartridge Length (OCL) with dial caliper

Wrap Up

Reloading your ammunition is not something you should take lightly. You have to follow these steps and be very precise in all you do. Taking short cuts or not paying attention can be disastrous. But with patience and practice, your hand-rolled ammo will be more consistent than factory ammunition. And if you are like me, you will find it an enjoyable way to spend some time.

For more information, check out my video on reloading on YouTube:

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ,
Grey Beard Biker
gbb@TheGreyBeardBiker.com
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twitter

It is officially 2020, fellow biker brothers and sisters! It is the time of year where your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker likes to reflect on the year’s rides, destinations and other events which have moved him over the past 12 months. 2019 was a spectacular year, but was a little light with regards to long trips on the scoot. An average year of riding for me is usually between 18 and 20K miles. This year’s total? – 15,588 miles. So strap on your six-shooter and take a ride with the Grey Beard Biker!

January 2019

While Grey Beard Biker did do some riding in January, he was recovering from having surgery on both hands in December 2018. That said, being that January is an ugly, dreary month, I have nothing worthy of sharing.

February 2019

Bikers Who Care Polar Bear Ride – It’s not GBB! Steven is sure lucky!

While some riding was done in January, the first real event of the year was the Bikers Who Care Polar Bear Ride on February 2. While not a long ride, the day always starts early at BWC’s club house with some bloody Mary’s and a fantastic breakfast. It was a great time to catch up with awesome friends and do some riding through the rolling hills of Middle Tennessee!

Group ride to the Junkyard Dog Steakhouse – Hohenwald, TN

Never one to miss an opportunity to ride, any month of the year, 20+ of Grey Beard’s friends rode to the Junkyard Dog Steakhouse in Hohenwald, Tennessee on February 3. It was a great way to put some miles on the bikes on the same weekend as Bikers Who Care Polar Bear Ride – not to mention having a great steak!

Saint Valentine’s Day 2019 – We rode to Edward’s Steakhouse for dinner!

The mild weather continued in February and allowed GBB and Tracy to ride to dinner at Edward’s Steakhouse – one of our favorite places to eat.

April 2019

The Big Shiny Beast (BSB) was all serviced and ready to roll on April 1

Our epic journey in 2019 was a ride to the Texas Hill Country to ride the Twisted Sisters (a/k/a The Three Sisters). We had planned this ride for six months and decided to do it early to make sure the blue bonnets and Indian Paint Brush flowers were in full bloom. We left Middle Tennessee on April 5 and rode as far as Texarkana, Texas – where we stayed the night. We pushed through to our forward operating base – Kerrville, Texas – on April 6. It was almost exactly 1,000 miles from home to the FOB.

Grey Beard Biker’s brother – Bulldog – with some fine Texas Whiskey at the FOB

Arriving in Kerrville, we met up with our buddy from Dallas, Bulldog. Having met him the previous year in Milwaukee, we had the pleasure of riding with him through Texas.

The Hill Country of Texas has so many great places – one of which was Camp Verde in Center Point, TX. Their gift shop had so many cool items and since they rode camels here (I know, right?), there is a metal statue of a camel to pose with.

Grey Beard Biker at Camp Verde
Grey Beard Biker & Miss Tracy at Camp Verde

No trip to Texas Hill Country is complete without stopping at some awesome hole-in-the-wall dive bars along the route. On our way to make our first pass of The Twisted Sisters, we stopped at the 11th Street Cowboy Bar in Bandera, Texas. This place is a real hoot if you like dive bars.

Women who leave their bra get a free shirt and drink at the 11th Street Cowboy Bar
GBB did manage to pass the two tooth requirement so he had a beer at the Cowboy Bar

Lone Star Motorcycle Museum – Vanderpool, Texas

If you are a biker, no trip to the San Antonio area is complete without stopping at the famous Lone Star Motorcycle Museum in Vanderpool, TX. For being in the middle of nowhere, they have a tremendous amount of historic motorcycles.

Tracy with a pre-WW II Knucklehead – Lone Star Motorcycle Museum
A gorgeous example of a Harley-Davidson Knucklehead – Lone Star Motorcycle Museum
A stunning Duo Glide Panhead Harley-Davidson at the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum

Riding the Twisted Sisters

After leaving the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum, we made our first loop of The Twisted Sisters. Mind you, old Grey Beard rides in the mountains of East Tennessee very regularly on some of the highest rated motorcycle roads in the United States. While different than riding in the Smoky Mountains, riding The Three Sisters is very technical with stunning views. This is a very highly rated ride and it is comprised of three Ranch Roads which essentially make a triangle: RR335, RR336 and RR337. Check out some of my GoPro video from the Twisted Sisters:

After several hours of riding The Twisted Sisters, there is no better place too cool off with an ice cold beer than the Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop. Obviously this place knows how to cater to bikers. The atmosphere is great with plenty of other bikers to swap stories of the road with.

Stopping for a pint at the Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop
Willie Nelson lives nearby Frio Canyon – Obviously he is well liked!
The Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop is very biker friendly!

Historic Fredericksburg, Texas

One of Grey Beard’s favorite spots in the Texas Hill Country is the historic German town of Fredericksburg. This town has fantastic German cuisine and was the hometown of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. Nimitz’s leadership helped win the war in the Pacific against Japan during WW II. Now Fredericksburg is also home to The National Museum of the Pacific War. For military history enthusiasts like me, this museum is a must see and to do it justice requires at least four hours. There are full sized naval planes and a Japanese mini-submarine which took part in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

The original county courthouse in Fredericksburg, Texas
The National Museum of the Pacific War
WW II era Radar Display – National Museum of the Pacific War

Luckenbach, Texas

Made popular by Waylon Jennings, Luckenbach, Texas does actually exist. It stays busy every day during the spring, summer and fall with pickers playing music outside the original post office – which is now a bar. This is a cash only establishment, but they do have an ATM machine.

Luckenbach, Texas
The Bar at Luckenbach
Getting ready to do some picking at Luckenbach
What a motley crew – Luckenbach, Texas

Willow City Loop

While visiting Luckenbach, your old Grey Beard was told about the Willow City Loop. I was told that people drove from all corners of the country to see the blue bonnets blooming along this 11 mile stretch of road. We immediately decided to ride it. This is NOT a highway! In many areas there are cattle walking along the road and creek beds to traverse. But it is worth the time to ride as the blue bonnets are gorgeous and the vistas vast.

The Hill Country of Texas as seen on the Willow City Loop
Seas of blue bonnets along the Willow City Loop
Brothers and sisters out for a ride

May 2019

The Mountains of East Tennessee

The mountains of East Tennessee are always calling the GBB. 2019 was no different. We rode to the Gatlinburg area once in May and trailered the bikes down one other time. Needless to say, May was a spectacular month!

Near Maggie Valley with our Kiwi friends – the Messengers
Grey Beard Biker on the Blue Ridge Parkway – May 18, 2019
Hanging out at the cabin after a long day of riding the mountains!
New Found Gap Highway – Tennessee
The Grey Beard Biker never tires of the Smoky Mountains!
The New Section of Foothills Parkway – GBB’s GoPro Video

Smoky Mountain Thunder – Memorial Day Weekend

Every Memorial Day Weekend, the Grey Beard Biker heads for the Gatlinburg area for Smoky Mountain Thunder. Put on by Ron and Sandy Giddis, this event is dedicated to bringing back POWs and other veteran causes – such as PTSD. After attending Rolling Thunder, in Washington D.C., in 1998, and again in 2000, they decided to start their own “Thunder Ride.” Smoky Mountain Thunder started in 2001 with around 75 bikers. It has grown ever since. In 2019, we met at Sevier County Courthouse around 0830. Several thousand bikers, from around the country, listened to patriotic songs, sung by local artists, speeches about PTSD and other veteran causes and at 1100 left for a 65 mile ride, under police escort, to Veteran’s Overlook on Clinch Mountain. There the closing ceremony is given. It is a solemn experience, and after attending several times, we will continue to ride every Memorial Day Weekend! Make sure to join us on May 24, 2020 for the 20th annual Smoky Mountain Thunder!

Getting Ready for Smoky Mountain Thunder (Memorial Day Weekend)
Getting ready for the opening ceremony – Smoky Mountain Thunder 2019
Denise, Tracy and Pam with the Harley Troll – Smoky Mountain Thunder 2019
Arriving on Clinch Mountain for the closing ceremony
Veteran’s Overlook – Smoky Mountain Thunder 2019
After Smoky Mountain Thunder we head to the Giddis Ranch
The Grey Beard Biker finished off May by dragging floorboards on the Tail of the Dragon

June 2019

Besides being the month of Grey Beard Biker’s 55th birthday, June also brings the beginning of summer – and warm weather. June 2019 saw another trip to the mountains – and a tribute ride for fellow biker brother Benny Humphrey. Rest in peace, brother!

Chilling at the Bent Wrench Roadhouse for Taco Tuesday!
Too Tall’s Whiskey Wednesday with U.S. Army Captain Jose Julia!
Back to the Mountains of East Tennessee for a wet weekend!
Grey Beard Biker took this great bunch of friends to the Secret Road
Biker chicks are the best! – Hanging out at Bobarosa Saloon – Del Rio, Tennessee
Having some late night fun with Captain Joe & Sandy – Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Hanging out with my brother’s Old Sarge, Rob and Poj – somewhere in Tennessee
Throwing axes at Old Sarge’s House – Grey Beard got a bullseye!
Grey Beard Biker’s daughter, Jamie and grand daughter, Julie
Hanging out at Fredericksburg National Battlefield with my grandson, Justin
Doing the Grey Beard Biker thingy – Fredericksburg, Virginia
Celebrating my son-in-law, Jason’s, graduation from DEA Training
Jason’s graduation (Justin, Jason, Jamie & Julie – Quantico, VA

The Benny J. Humphrey Memorial Ride – June 29, 2019

On June 29, a bunch of us biker’s rode the backroads of Middle Tennessee for Benny Humphrey. Benny was taken from us far too young, in a motorcycle accident, on June 30, 2017. He left behind his loving wife, Sandy and daughter Simone. Rest in peace, brother!

Gathering for kickstands up – Benny J. Humphrey Memorial Ride
Riding the Cumberland City Ferry – Benny J, Humphrey Memorial Ride
Rob Leuenberger sharing a beer with Benny at Benny’s Grave
RIP, Benny – Benny’s headstone
Sandy and Simone – Benny J. Humphrey Memorial Ride
RIP Benny!! – Benny J. Humphrey Memorial Ride – June 29, 2019

July 2019

July was a month that the Grey Beard Biker stayed close to home. But there was still plenty of riding, cigar smoking and bourbon drinking with brothers and sisters!

Hanging out at Clucker’s – Bowling Green, Kentucky
Chilling with friends at Dale Hollow Lake

August 2019

August was another month at home in Middle Tennessee. But there is still plenty of riding to be done! We also had the honor of leading the biker loving funeral ride for Mike Robinson on August 15, 2019. Mike was an excellent musician and played at many biker events. RIP, Mike! Lastly, on August 31, the Shiny Beast was involved in a minor accident and was officially retired from service!

Hanging out at Breaker’s Marina – Kentucky Lake
Little Lexi never misses an opportunity to ride!
Whiskey Wednesday at Too Tall’s Man Cave
Jailhouse Pizza Ride – Brandenburg, Kentucky
Leading Mike Robinson’s Funeral Ride – August 16, 2019 – RIP, brother!
Willett Distillery – Bardstown, Kentucky
Willett Distillery – Kentucky Bourbon Trail
Have I said that biker chicks are the best! – My Old Kentucky Dinner Train
David, Diana, Terry & Lori – My Old Kentucky Dinner Train
The Grey Beard Biker & Miss Tracy – My Old Kentucky Dinner Train
Slumming it out like Grey Beard at the pool!
After a minor accident on August 31 – the Big Shiny Beast was retired!
She was a faithful old lady for over 35,000 miles!

September 2019

September was a memorable month. The Grey Beard Biker officially adopted the Grey Ghost during the first week of the month, attended the Vette City Motorcycle Rally in Bowling Green, Kentucky and Wrenchfest St. Louis!

During the first week of September – the Grey Ghose was officially adopted!
The Grey Ghost sure is pretty!
With 117 cubic inches Screaming Eagle power the Grey Ghost is no slouch!
Miss Tracy loves the Grey Ghost too!

Vette City Motorcycle Rally – Bowling Green, Kentucy – September 14-15

We were guests of Thunder Roads TN/KY at Vette City – thanks, Scott & Denise
Grey Beard Biker loves Road Glides – Vette City Motorcycle Rally
Vette City Motorcycle Rally – Bowling Green, Kentucky
Head East playing at Vette City Motorcycle Rally – Bowling Green, Kentucky

Wrenchfest – St. Louis – September 27-29 – Saint Louis, Missouri

Fast Eddie’s Bon Air with our Tennessee friends Carlos Peters and Steven Tyler
Got to visit with our brother Marc Grant (Q Ball) at Fast Eddie’s
Shady Jack’s Saloon – home of Wrenchfest – St. Louis
The entrance to Shady Jack’s Saloon
Shady Jack’s Saloon
Our beautiful Stars & Stripes – Shady Jack’s Saloon
The beautiful Miss Tracy
Shady Jack with Tracy, Pete and Steve
Tracy and Steve with an old rat rod
Grey Beard Biker’s type of rat rod!
Tracy and her favorite rat rod truck!
Grey Beard Biker’s show favorite! Total badassery!
Big block Chevy badassery!
Bad ass badassery! Over 600 cubic inches of go-go power!
Grey Beard Biker loves this old 1956 Chevy Belair – especially the jacked up front end!
Serious go-go power in this Bow Tie Chevy!
The whole motley crew: John, Steve, Tracy, Grey Beard & Pete

After Wrenchfest – St. Louis we rode to Grafton, Illinois

Pete and Miss Tracy – Grafton, Illinois
A trip to Grafton requires a stop at the Hawg Pit – biker bar
Ice cold brewskis are quite enjoyable at The Hawg Pit
Last night in St. Louis – dinner at Rigazzi’s on the Hill – Saint Louis, Missouri

October 2019

Normally old Grey Beard Biker heads to both Panama City Beach, Florida and back to the Smoky Mountains for the beautiful fall splendor of the trees. But this year he only made it to Panama City. It would be the Grey Ghost’s first long distance trip, and she performed flawlessly. There was also plenty of riding to do at home.

Grey Beard Biker, Dan, Amy, Tracy, Lori & Terry – last day of the season at Fat Daddy’s

Panama City Beach, Florida – October 12-18

This has become an annual pilgrimage for Grey Beard Biker, Tracy, David and Diana. We ride down to our condominium in Panama City Beach and we pretty much park the bikes. It’s the week before their Biketoberfest so things are quiet and we can enjoy our last days of summer like weather – before the cool fall rains hit at home. With Schooner’s right next door, there really is no reason to leave!

Grey Beard Biker loves the view from the condo
One of these days, I am gonna have to jump into the pool from the balcony….
The Grey Beard Biker fell in love with White Claw Hard Seltzer this year!
Beach drinks and beer – it’s 100% Grey Beard Biker Approved!
The Emerald Coast is amazing – especially at sunset!
The sunsets cigars and bourbon are made for!
Arriving back home from Florida – the Grey Ghost turned over exactly 3,000 miles!
Another Whiskey Wednesday at Too Tall’s man cave!
A late October storm brought down a 70 foot sycamore damaging GBB’s deck!

November 2019

November is a quiet month for Grey Beard Biker. We did some local riding, traveled to Kansas for Thanksgiving and took it easy. In hindsight, we should have gone to the Smoky Mountains early in November as the leaves were changing and the weather was still fairly mild.

A fall ride to Pinewood Kitchen
Pinewood Kitchen – a gem in Middle Tennessee
Pinewood Kitchen serves up home cooked southern meals!
Terry & Lori Arrington, Miss Tracy and the Grey Beard Biker – Pinewood Kitchen
Getting ready to help Old Sarge, Rob Judd, with a tire job!
Hanging out with my brothers at Leatherwood Distillery
Throwing back a couple, with an awesome cigar, at Old Sarge’s homestead!

December 2019

As the Grey Beard says, to anyone who will listen, we can ride 50+ weeks a year in Tennessee. 2019 proved this. I believe I actually rode every week of the year – except the first week of January – as I was still recovering from surgery on both hands in December 2018!

An early December ride to Puckett’s Grocery in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee
Sundays in December mean watching football at the Bent Wrench Roadhouse!
I guess everyone else forgot it was game day! The Grey Ghost was lonely!
After a long year of adventures, the Grey Ghost got a nice bath on December 30!

Happy 2020! – next year’s adventures

2019 was a great year. I had recovered from my December 2018 hand surgeries enough to ride 51 weeks! I had originally planned to do one extra trip to the mountains and a ride to Wildwood, New Jersey for the Race of Gentlemen. But there is always 2020, right? So here are some of the highlights of Grey Beard Biker’s early plans for 2020:

  • The big monster trip will either be in June or August. It depends on whether we go to Sturgis Motorcycle Rally or not. If we do go to Sturgis, August will be the monster trip. If not, it will be a June ride to Colorado to ride in the Rocky Mountains
  • There will be at least three trips to the Smoky Mountains – one of which will be for Smoky Mountain Thunder
  • There may be a fall ride to Wildwood, New Jersey for the Race of Gentlemen
  • October, Grey Beard, Tracy and the Culvers will definitely be riding to Panama City Beach, Florida
  • Indianapolis in June for the Riley Children’s Hospital Miracle Ride
  • There will definitely be at least one ride to Savannah, Georgia – dates to be determined

Happy New Year, brothers & sisters!

Grey Beard Biker
gbb@TheGreyBeardBiker.com
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twitter