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Thursday, April 12, 2012

10th Annual OBX Bike Week 2012!

It's FINALLY the season opener, at least for me. Charlie and Linda beat me to it this year, heading down to Roanoke, VA, for the Blue Ridge Bike Fest, and I'm eagerly awaiting Charlie's report on the bikini contest down there. I'm not there to help him judge, and neither is John, so he's on his own. But hey, WTF does that have to do with OBX, right?

Like most things I do, I pretty much decided to run to OBX at the last minute. I guess about a week ago, after buying my Road King, I was itchin' to hit the road, and OBX was coming up so........ Bang, one hotel reservation later, I was set to go.

There's a few reasons I'm going, over and above boredom. 

Reason #1
Like I posted a few weeks ago, I picked up an awesome 1999 Road King that's been loved and pampered, but not by me. And I've done some very minor modifications to it, including some wiring stuff, so a not-so-far shakedown cruise is in order before I set off for Sturgis, South Dakota, later this year. If something is going to go kaput, I wanna know now so there's time to fix it. Better here than in Iowa or something. (Fuck, I don't even know if you go through Iowa to get there! )

Reason #2 
The people in OBX are so darned friendly to bikers....moreso than in any other town I've gone to for a biker event. Last year, I was in a store shopping for grub and some cold medicine, and while perusing the meds, I found myself standing next to a soccer-mom type who was looking for the same kind of stuff. I'd been riding in a little rain, and looked a little ragged, so I figured she'd glance sideways, realize her life was in jeopardy, and run screaming for a cop to save her from a nasty biker.

Instead she looked at me and asked if anyone had thanked me for being in OBX. I figured I hadn't heard her clearly, so I asked her to repeat the question.

"Has anyone thanked you for coming to OBX for our bike week?"

I said no, that I'd just gotten into town, not at all sure of what else to say.

She stuck out her hand, shook mine, and said, "Let me be the first to say thanks. We are all so glad to see you guys. We love it when the bikers come to town. I really hope you have a great time and come back again."

I was speechless.

She got her stuff, I got mine, and soon I found myself near her once again in the checkout line. So I went over, tapped her on the shoulder, and told her that in 40+ years of riding, no one had ever thanked me for being anywhere! I said I was usually asked to leave town, and quick wasn't fast enough. She laughed and told me to go have some fun!

So that's one story, but a memorable one, and she made my day. I was also treated well in nice family restaurants, bars, and everywhere else I went. Three big cheers for the residents of Outer Banks, North Carolina. I love 'em.

Reason #3
The cops aren't feeding off bikes in either direction, or in the towns along the coast, like Kitty Hawk and Nags Head. This is in very sharp contrast to the Ocean City, Maryland, bike event where the cops go out of their way to make you feel unwanted, with a bike pulled over every block or two, not to mention the incredible number of radar traps between OC and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. They are literally around every bend in the road. OBX ain't like that. Not even close.

So that's my 3 reasons for the run to OBX, and all pretty good ones. No pics yet, obviously, but I'll keep you posted. I'm rolling out of Alexandria the morning of the 21st, heading to Fredericksburg where I plan to get off onto State Route 17. I hear it's a pleasant alternative to that fucking I95 and I64. And a few days later I'll ride home, hopefully with the same big grin I had when I left last year. So far I'm going unchaperoned too. Scary!

Wish me and Big Blue (the Road King) good luck together. It's like a honeymoon, and while it should be fun, anything can happen.