Another year is quickly coming to an end. It’s gone by so quickly and I am reminded of all the things that have happened to our country and to the biker community in these 12 months; those that we have lost for various reasons are now forever riding in the clouds. But on a happier note, congratulations to my friends in Chapter 1 of the COBB Society, who hosted their 9th annual celebration the weekend of September 27–29. I was only able to join the fun on Saturday, as Friday night was for members only and on Sunday I was heading in a different direction, but it was still a great time. The event was held at a new location, the Elks Lodge on Kings Highway in Kissimmee, and it worked out very well. There was plenty of room for the bike show, vendors, camping, games and all the other assorted COBBaradie. COBB, you did it again—great time; thanks for the invite… Also on the 29th, there was a good turnout for a benefit supporting Carolina Dave, raising money for his upcoming back surgery. Seems Dave has been hindered by back problems for years and is finally getting it handled. Dave is well known in the area for hosting several popular bike nights. The benefit for him started in Longwood at Hoddie’s with a $10 registration and specials on breakfast cocktails. After hitting several of the popular watering holes in Seminole County, riders ended at the Shovelhead Lounge for the after-party that was enhanced by several band performances and the usual raffle drawings… The first weekend of October was a busy one down in Sebring as the Heartland Bikers Association and the CMA hosted the 10th annual Run to the Heartland that encompassed the historical downtown area for the entire weekend. The Central Florida Drill Team offered several performances each day and there was a 100-mile poker run, a bike show and a Sunday worship service by CMA. Music for the weekend was provided by White Collar Crime, Raisin’ Cain and the Shannon Reed Band… With October being breast cancer awareness month, there were several rides held to raise money for a cause that is close to my heart. Over on the east coast on October 5, the 2nd annual Ride for a Cure was hosted by Fire & Iron Chapter 113 with registration at Grill’s in Port Canaveral, followed by stops at the American Legion 359, Hard Rack’s, the Lone Cabbage and the HD Roadhouse before ending at Lou’s Blues Bar… On the 11th, Gator Harley hosted the Turn Lake County Pink event from late afternoon into the early evening. This was a stop on the Pink Heals National Tour and served as the dedication for Lake County’s pink fire truck. Breast cancer survivors of the area and those who wanted to remember a loved one were invited to sign the side of the truck at the event… Down in Winter Haven, riders joined in the 4th annual All American Ride for the Ta-Ta’s the next day, which started with registration at X-Tech’s on Spirit Lake Road and ended at the Moose Lodge on Havendale Blvd. The highlights of the day were a bra hunt, a wet T-shirt contest and selecting the winner of the poker hand, estimated at $500… The Sanford Bikefest was scheduled for the second weekend of the month and is the kickoff for Biketoberfest in Daytona. And over the past few years it has grown into a decent little party. Unfortunately, this year the city fathers (or mothers or whomever) decided to change the name from “Thunder in the Streets” to “Celebrate Sanford.” I’m sorry to say, the change offered no reason to celebrate, as it has evolved into a watered-down mix of bikefest, flea market and art show… or something. Part of the problem was that the news media promoted the event for a while, then the word went out that it was canceled and then a week later, it was on again—very confusing for those who were planning to attend. In the past the streets along Fort Mellon Park bordering Lake Monroe have been set aside for bike parking and can easily accommodate a couple hundred. This year when we arrived, only about one quarter of the normal area was open to bike parking and the rest was set aside for vendors who were selling snacks, purses, toys and other assorted non-biker items. There was nothing going on, no form of entertainment and the bandstand had no one slated to perform until 9:00 that night when The Outlaws would take the stage. There were two beer tents and three large fair-type food vendors and that was pretty much it. A couple blocks south of the event area, the weekly farmers market was set up but the pickin’s were slim for anything to “celebrate.” My friend and I had a nice lunch at a little German restaurant downtown and decided to spend our time in the saddle rather than doing laps around the wannabe bikefest… Biketoberfest kicked off in Daytona on the 17th and lasted through the 20th with a couple hundred-thousand riders showing up for the insanity that only a well-established event can offer (refer to those stories elsewhere in this issue). That’s all my gossip for now. So until next time, Merry Christmas, everyone, and God bless.