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April 2020

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Has there ever been a weirder time than this? No, it is not a rhetorical question. The time we are living in is weird beyond what I could have ever imagined. I am not used to riding around streets with so few cars. When I go to bed at night, I hope to wake up in the morning to normal. But it never seems to end. I just want my favorite Mexican restaurant – and my favorite waiter – to be there with my chimichangas and a big margarita. But they are only doing take up now – but the good news is that you can get a take out margarita with your dinner.

Your ever-lovable Grey Beard Biker feels like he is living in the movie, Ground Hog Day. Everything is a repeat of the previous day. Being used to traveling by air nearly every week, I have not flown since early March. That’s weird. I haven’t stayed in a hotel or rented a car since early March. Honestly, I do not miss any of that after having done this for 25+ years. But being in my home office everyday does cause me to get a bit restless. I wake up, brush my teeth, take my RA meds, go downstairs and watch the early national news, do some Twitter stuff, work all day, eat dinner, do some Twitter stuff, brush my teeth, read, go to sleep. And repeat. Every. Single. Day.

But, being a biker, as you know I am, I do get out of the house quite a bit to take rides. Last week there was a 365-mile day trip to ride the Calfkiller Highway. There was a Saturday ride to the Amish grocery in Charlotte. On Sunday I rode over to my buddy Rob’s house for some day drinking. This evening I rode a 60 mile loop around Montgomery and Robertson counties. But something still feels off – even when I am on the Grey Ghost. And I can’t put my finger on it. It feels like people have closed off from the world – even when they are out and about. They have closed the doors to their life and are in suspended animation. Weird, huh?

But There Is Light at the End of the Tunnel

Today, Tennessee governor Bill Lee, announced that the state would begin gradually turning on the lights over the coming weeks. Next week, certain businesses will begin reopening – although he did not specify which businesses would be targeted. He also announced that he would not be extending the shelter-in-place order which expires on May 1. But starting the entire economy back up is not like pushing the start button on the Grey Ghost. It will take some time. There are thousands of moving parts which need to be started in the right order.

Other governors, primarily in RED southern states are following suit. Beaches are opening again in Florida. So we are definitely seeing a movement to get things back to normal. Will it be a new normal or will it be like it was before we were slammed by the China Virus? Only time will tell. I do know, that in my industry, auto claims are way down. People are not driving their cars as much – so they are not having accidents. On the repair side of the business, many mom-and-pop businesses may never open their doors. Larger multi-site operators (MSOs) have furloughed thousands of their employees. Will all of them ever have a spot to come back to? There are so many unknowns about what our future holds.

Another positive sign is that many conservative citizens are beginning to protest the overreach of certain states. It seems unusual to see conservative protests, but they are happening. People are beginning to see through the ruse. They are beginning to see that the Deep State still exists. It still thrives on creating confusion about our leaders. The mainstream media is part of the Deep State and has been peddling lies and creating sensational narratives to try and deceive the American public. But we are not going to be fooled by them any longer. President Trump continues to call them out on the carpet and brow beat them. And they need it. Hell, I’d give most of them a fucking throat punch. They are spineless amoebas that only know one thing – they hate Donald J. Trump. End of the damned story. They suffer from severe Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS).

Final Thoughts

While I have been forced to change my work habits, not travel as much and stay in the man cave more than usual, I have not stopped living. I continue to live every single day like it might be my last. I go and see friends. They come over for cigars and whiskey several times a week. I canceled a ride to New Orleans for last weekend, but I still ride more that 90% of so called bikers do when there is no limitations on what we can do. And all this is not changing. I will keep doing what I want to do. I will buy things I want to buy. I will keep my whiskey cabinet stocked with fine bourbons. My humidors will stay full. I am still going to ride to Colorado this summer. I will still ride to Panama City Beach this fall. I will go to a lot of bike rallies. Why? Because you can’t hold the damned Grey Beard Biker down. And my advice to you? Do the same. Live your damned life like you want.

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

Good evening fellow bikers, American patriots and Second Amendment freedom lovers! I hope that you have been getting a lot of riding in this spring. Soon, we will be celebrating Memorial Day weekend – a solemn weekend to remember those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Hopefully, you will come out and see me at Smoky Mountain Thunder – over Memorial Day Weekend. I will be with the great folks from Thunder Roads Magazine and should be easy to find.

For the past four years, you have counted on me for information on firearms, self-defense, politics, Second Amendment news and concealed carry. This month’s article is about proper training and pistol drills. If you carry concealed, for self-defense, you must practice. Unfortunately, I have talked to many individuals with Handgun Carry Permits (HCP) who went through the process of buying a pistol, applying for their HCP, getting fingerprinted, going through the background check and passing their live fire qualification – only to never practice again. These individuals might actually be safer without carrying a firearm than with it. Inevitably, if you are ever in a situation where you need to protect yourself, you will be under severe stress and your actions need to happen from muscle memory – not stress. That muscle memory is only developed by practice.

Dry Fire Drills

Living within the city limits, I cannot practice with live fire at home. My preferred range is a 45-minute ride – which is something I do not do every week. But, as I have learned over the years, the best practice routine is dry fire drills. The are simple, and because you are not firing live ammunition, they are free.

My practice routine is very simple. I practice with all of my different carry pistols. I start by removing the magazine and ejecting the round in the barrel (if you do not carry your pistol with a cartridge in the barrel, you have a paperweight – not a self-defense firearm). Double-check that the pistol is in fact cleared and then triple-check. We all know that many deaths and injuries have come from unloaded guns, correct? Remove all ammunition from the area you will be drilling in. Yes, go overboard. Be safe. Stay alive.

First, I practice drawing from my holster. I dress the way I would in public, with a shirt over my holstered pistol. I swipe my shirt away, draw, bring my pistol to low-ready, re-holster. I repeat this for a total of ten repetitions. Then I will repeat the drill, swiping the shirt away, draw to low-ready, bring the pistol up to high-ready and squeeze the trigger. Re-holster and repeat for a total of ten repetitions. This builds your muscle memory around drawing, coming to low-ready, high-ready and squeezing off a shot.

MANTISX Dry Fire Training System

Next, I use my MANTISX System with my smart phone to practice trigger control. The Mantis system tracks barrel movement before the trigger pull, and afterwards. Practicing with the MantisX is actually better for me than live range fire. With instantaneous feedback, you can actually learn better trigger control, waste less ammunition and improve your live fire groupings. I practice with my dry-fire techniques way more often than I go to the range.

Live Fire Drills

While I do practice what I preach with dry fire training, there is still something special about the smell of cordite in the morning – in other words sending lead downrange. I like to feel the recoil and to see the physical evidence of where my shots are going. When I go to the range, I will typically start with shooting 50 – 100 rounds at paper. During this time, I am not looking to blast the bullseye out but to make sure my groupings are consistent, and my pistols are all functioning properly. Those of you that are only concerned about tearing the 10-ring up are missing the purpose of practicing for self-defense: a well placed first shot followed by an equally well-placed follow up shot. In a real-life situation, you are not trying to literally shoot out the eye of an attacker, but to incapacitate them quickly. This is done through ventilating their center-mass, making it impossible for them to breathe.

From the paper target range, I go to the tactical pistol training area. At most ranges this is the only area you can practice drawing, rapid fire shooting and tactical firing positions. I load five rounds in each of two magazines so I can practice a quick magazine change. With my pistol holstered, I walk up to the area I plan to fire from, get set in my isosceles stance, deliberately draw, concentrating on technique, take aim and fire the five shots quickly – concentrating on follow up shots on different targets. I do a quick magazine change, pull the slide back to put the pistol in battery, and fire the next five shots. I will typically run through about 100 rounds of ammunition at the tactical range. The benefit of tactical pistol practice is the instant feedback the metal plates provide.

Tactical Live Fire Pistol Drill with magazine change

Closing Thoughts

After years of training in self-defense, there is no substitute for practice. But you must practice smart. You must do a lot of dry fire practice – at least five times as much as live fire practice. Your muscle memory and trigger control will become much better ingrained from the dry fire drills. And remember, without continual practice, you will not be prepared if the unthinkable happens.

Until next month, #LIVEtoRide and #RIDEtoLIVE. I hope to see you at Smoky Mountain Thunder over Memorial Day Weekend.

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

Here we are fully into a beautiful spring in Middle Tennessee. The flowering cherry trees have bloomed and now have full branches of leaves. The dogwoods and redbuds are sporting their full colors. And, ironically, the area is all but shut down from COVID-19 – better known as Novel Coronavirus. Life seems to have been turned upside down.

Since its arrival in the Wuhan province of China, nearly 1.5 million people have contracted the virus world-wide. The United States leads all countries with over 490,000 cases and 18,000 deaths. When I venture out of my man cave the streets are nearly deserted. Businesses are closed – many to never reopen. There are cars about, but nothing compared to normal. And yes, we have the same shortages of toilet paper as the rest of the country. All the health clubs are closed. My favorite Mexican restaurant is open for carryout – including margaritas. Praise the Lord! (Can I get a big AMEN!! – LOL)

It is really a desperate situation our great country finds itself in. The politics of it all are beyond disgusting. Instead of coming together, in a bipartisan fashion (which is what our country has traditionally done), to help American businesses, and individuals, the recently passed $2 trillion stimulus package had to go back and forth as the DemonRats continued to push for their pet projects: aid for Planned Parenthood, aid for the Kennedy Center, nullification of certain presidential executive orders, hikes in the Federal minimum wage, requirements for airlines to go “green,” cash for airline clunkers, $10,000 in blanket student loan forgiveness, more Federal control over elections, requirements for the Department of Homeland Security to extend visas and work authorizations, limits on CBP’s abilities to shut down immigration processing facilities during the pandemic, Federal funding for sanctuary cities and expansions to Obamacare. Now what in the hell do any of these socialist wet dreams have to do with helping businesses and individuals? Absolutely nothing!!!

China lies about the origins of Novel Corona virus

China, WHO and the ultimate responsibility

Your ever-lovable Grey Beard Biker is very wise – at least most of the time. And he has had plenty of time to think about this whole COVID-19 thingy. Plenty of time. In fact, you have probably noticed I have not had any new blog posts lately. I have started several and would just get so agitated writing that I could not finish. Not that I had writing block, per se, but just because I could not get things written quite the way I wanted. So this post is based on my opinion only and is in your face – but that is just the way it has to be.

So here is my unvarnished take on this whole thing. China has been under severe financial duress. Our great president’s tariffs have sunk their financial largess. They cannot finance debt with no cash. The black market knockoffs cannot be sold for huge profits to the United States any longer. They are beyond their means and people are starving and eating vermin.

China used Coronavirus as a form of biological warfare. There is no doubt whatsoever. They lied about its origins. It was not caused by some Chinese person eating a bat in a damn wet market. Some of their military labs and biological labs are located in Wuhan. Coincidence? Hell fucking NO! It doesn’t take an economist and an infectious disease expert to realize a virus which can morph itself, spread through the air and become a pandemic would be a financial blow to the world markets, corporations, private businesses and individuals. China used this virus as warfare.

The World Health Organization is as guilty as China. They have allowed China’s lies to become the face of reality to the world. It is abominable. They need to be defunded by all nations. As an organization, dedicated to protecting the health of all the world’s people, they have failed in their mandate.

Final Thoughts

Presidents are judged by how they handle the crises they face. Abraham Lincoln saved the Union and freed the slaves. Franklin Delano Roosevelt ramped up U.S. manufacturing, supplying our allies, and assembled the strongest military ever seen in the world – winning World War II. John F. Kennedy stared the Soviet Union straight in the eye and ended the Cuban Missile Crisis without a shot being fired. Donald J. Trump will defeat the COVID-19 virus through his leadership – uncovering China’s culpability in this disease and punishing them. This is a given and is what keeps the Leftists up at night. They know he is #winnning again!

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