I was not actually going to make my normal year in review video since this was one of the wackiest years I have ever witnessed. But I still was able to do a lot of riding in Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Normally I go with the Culvers to Panama City Beach, Florida in October, but the damn #COVIDhoax caused that to be canceled. Other trips that got canceled were The Race of Gentlemen, in Wildwood, NJ, riding the mountains of New England in the fall and a one week trip to Cocoa Beach, Florida. But compared to the lock downs most of you have endured, I was very fortunate – and for this reason I decided to go ahead with my 2020 Year In Review!
On January 1, 2020 the Grey Ghost had 3,000 miles on the odometer. 2020 will finish with nearly 21,000 miles on its ticker. So, I count myself very fortunate. There were lots of local miles, lots of trips to the Smoky Mountains and a fantastic trip to the Atlanta area to watch the AMA Flat Track races. But mainly I am thankful for the time I was able to spend with my brothers and the time on the phone with my gal, @RacieSicilian. (More on that later!)
I will provide some monthly details of my journeys, but here is my annual Year In Review video:
2020 started normally enough. While we had heard about the Coronavirus, we had no idea on New Year’s Day what this #COVIDhoax would bring. What we did know was that we were headed into impeachment hearings in the House of Representatives. This would define the first quarter of our year with the U.S. Senate acquitting Donald Trump of the house’s abuse of power charges.
For me, January was fairly typical with riding every week, reloading a lot of ammo and buying an awesome new pistol: a SIG Sauer P365 SAS. Check out my review on it HERE. I also spent nearly a week, during January, in Park City, Utah for work. Which, at that time, after traveling by plane nearly ever week since the mid-90s, I would have been shocked to realize I would only have a couple more flights for the entire rest of 2020!
February was a typical February. Cloudy, cold and typically miserable. While I did what I do nearly every week of the year – ride my bikes – I also hibernated, read, reloaded lots of ammo and built a new AR-15 in .300 AAC Blackout. And damn! It’s a real shooter. One bright spot: the U.S. Senate did acquit Donald Trump on February 5, 2020.
The #COVIDhoax reached a fever pitch in March. While lock downs were not in place yet, they were right around the corner. It was the month of my last business trip of 2020. March in Middle Tennessee sees my flowering cherry tree in full bloom, warmer days and other plants and trees coming out of their winter slumber. I am unsure how many miles I rode in March, but I know it was a lot. While I only rode locally this month, I do know of at least two rides to historic Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee for lunch and several to my favorite biker bar: The Bent Wrench Roadhouse. March would be the last time I would enjoy hanging with my biker brothers there as it would close because of COVID and not reopen.
April was by far one of the most remarkable months of my life. I met my beautiful, sexy lady @RacieSicilian in April and started making plans to do lots of stuff with her in 2020 – especially involving travel on two wheels! Unfortunately, the #COVIDhoax would prevent us from doing every single thing we planned to do in 2020. But, I am most fortunate to have built a very loving long-term relationship with my lil lady from North Carolina. I look forward to spending 2021 with her.
The COVID scam did not prevent me from riding in my one and only poker run of 2020, during April. There were other benefit rides and poker runs, but the majority would be canceled.
May has always been one of my favorite months. The flowers are in full bloom, the dogwoods decorate the woods and the weather is warm enough to start wearing my preferred biker attire: tank tops! During the first weekend of May, I ventured into eastern Kentucky, riding the mountains there and in western Virginia. I finished up riding the Devil’s Triangle before heading back home. While I wanted to see my Tarheel gal on this trip – things were starting to lock down!
Over the Memorial Day Weekend, I was able to make my annual pilgrimage to the Smoky Mountains with Scott and Denise High – the owners of Thunder Roads Tennessee – a publication I write Second Amendment articles for every month. During this annual trip we take part in Ron & Sandy’s Smoky Mountain Thunder Memorial Ride for veteran causes. This was their 20th anniversary of this great event! This year, even with the #COVIDhoax fucking with big events, there were nearly 3,000 bikes in the 60 mile ride to Veteran’s Overlook!
The end of March proved that I am no longer the dirt bike racer I once was. My buddies, Rob, Poj and Steve had built an awesome motor cross track at Steve’s place. This one mile track features all the great fun an old dirt bike rider could hope for: rocky hills, tight corners, fast straightaways and chicane after chicane. These chicanes proved that I was no longer the indestructible young man I used to be. I had Poj in my sights going into the chicanes and decided I would catch him on the Kawasaki KX 220. Methinks that I should downshift going into the second chicane. Well, I thought wrong. Very wrong. I downshifted into second gear and nailed the throttle. That Kawie dug a trench, started to go sideways and lifted up – throwing the Grey Beard Biker to the ground. It was truly a body slam that nearly broke me in two. I ended up getting a $2,500 ambulance ride to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where I was kept in the mental ward for three days and two nights! And while I wasn’t in the mental ward, it appeared I was in a sanitarium for most of my pleasant stay there since they had no rooms due to the COVID thingy! I finally got a private room 18 hours before I was discharged. And did I say I was nearly broken in two? Yes, I was, suffering six broken ribs (they were snapped cleanly in two), a shattered left shoulder blade and a punctured lung. My first two days were in the ICU! Because, at 56, I believed I was still unbreakable, I racked up nearly $250,000 in hospital bills. But. Nothing. Will. Ever. Keep. Me. Off. Two. Wheels. ???
June brought plenty of riding. The first trip of the month was a 440 mile day-trip to Fall Creek Falls. This beautiful Tennessee landmark is well worth the ride if you ever find yourself in middle or eastern Tennessee. The big trip of the month was over my birthday weekend when I rode to the mountains of North Georgia, the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. The weather was warm and I do not recall even running into one rain shower. While I had hoped to see my lovely lady in North Carolina, the COVID bug got her and those plans had to be scrapped.
June was also significant as we got to witness stupid people doing stupid things all over the damn country. With May’s death of George Floyd, the Leftists had another trick up their sleeve to try to spoil Donald Trump’s presidency. Namely anarchy in the forms of riots by Black Lives Matter and Antifa. Both of which are domestic terrorists groups. For more on this, check out my article, When You’ve Had Enough.
July brought my fourth trip to the mountains with some awesome brothers: Jay, Hank, Memphis Mike and others. Over four nights and three days we logged over 1,200 miles on our bikes. We rode some of the most amazing roads: The Devil’s Triangle, Foothills Parkway, Wayah Road, Moonshiner 28, War Woman Road, the Tail of the Dragon, Georgia Highway 60 to Helen and the Cherohala Skyway. We got soaked in Helen and the next day on the Cherohala Skyway. And when I say soaked, I mean SOAKED!
The first weekend in October brought the return of AMA Flat Track Racing – at least where fans could actually watch. We took off at first light on Saturday morning. Spent the day riding, watching the races that evening. On Sunday, we rode back home through Suches, Georgia with a beer stop at a microbrewery in Ducktown, Tennessee. The first day’s ride was primarily interstate, but we crammed a ton of mountain twisties into the ride home.
The third week of October, we headed back to the Smoky Mountains. While the plan was to be there at the peak of the fall colors, we were probably about a week early. But, that really didn’t matter as the brotherhood and awesome mountain roads made it a trip to remember.
Being that we are rather avid mountain riders, we took one last trip to the mountains in November. The ride up on the second Wednesday of November was fairly warm. I had purchased the new to me Triumph Tiger 800 in October, but this was its first trip to the mountains. We did the usual roads: the Devil’s Triangle, Moonshiner 28, Wayah Road, the Tail of the Dragon and War Woman Road. The second two morning were frigid with temperatures in the low 20s. But it was still a memorable trip.
December 2020 brought a solemn but reflective day at the Bent Wrench. One of my closest friends, Rob, lost his dad in November. The Bent Wrench Roadhouse opened its doors for a remembrance service and it brought out tons of bikers. Bob was well known to everyone there as he lived close by and frequented the BWR nearly every day.
Let’s Send 2020 to the trash heap!
While I mentioned early on in this article that 2020 was amazing because I met my love, it was also one of the most fucked up years of my life. Between the faux impeachment of Donald Trump, the COVID hoax, Black Lives Matter riots and a stolen election I cannot wait for the start of 2021! I plan on spending as much of it as possible with my Tarheel lady and brothers – riding, traveling and enjoying life to its fullest again! But mainly spending time with my pretty lady! We wish you an awesome 2021!