We are well into 2013 and, yet, I’m not quite sure what happened to the Christmas holidays. It seems they just blew by like a big wind—one week I was starting to make my shopping list and then, in what seemed like the blink of an eye, we were hugging and kissing friends at the stroke of midnight. I hope I had fun, ‘cause it all seems like a blur now. But as the old saying goes, “Time rolls on,” and so do the events and rides. Rolling into the new year, Gator Harley hosted a Rock Into 2013 concert on January 5-6 with music by Back in Black and food and beverages provided by Hurricane Dockside Grill in Tavares. Of course there was a smattering of local vendors and riders coming and going most of the day. When all was said and done, a portion of the proceeds went to the Wounded Warriors Outdoors charity… Over in Tampa on January 4, Space Coast Harley-Davidson spread some love with their customer appreciation day and treated riders to free food, beverages and music… Down in one of my favorite areas of the state that same weekend, the 15th annual Thunder by the Bay Bikefest took off in Sarasota. Festivities started on the 3rd with a Kick Start Party at Michael’s Tasting Room and a Born to Be Wild Party on the 4th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. By Friday, the party had hit third gear and was rolling strong with a downtown festival featuring vendors, a “Light Up the Night” bike show and entertainment on two stages. On January 6, a nice Cruise for Cash Ride with almost $4,000 in payouts and more entertainment in the downtown area was held and featured the Marshall Tucker Band… On January 12, riders up in Starke headed to Knuckle Draggers for a day of camaraderie and fun. The entertainment was provided by a group called Lawless Hearts with food offerings consisting of barbecue and seafood. Twenty percent of the proceeds from the event were donated to the Hampton Veteran’s Memorial Fund… Locally, the day was a little more sedate. Reverend Al Paquette hosted his annual ride to benefit the Coalition of the Homeless in downtown Orlando. Riders started arriving at Porkie’s BBQ in Apopka for an early breakfast and, by the time kickstands were up at 10:45, there were almost 300 bikes crammed into the parking lot. Donations of money, as well as hygiene products and other household needs, filled the back of a couple of pickups and there was a good representation of most of the clubs in our area. Reverend Al and his wife Sharon are loved and respected by so many, this ride is always well supported… On the morning of January 13, Bikers for Christ and Church of the Cross in Sebastian held a Biker Day that was actually a family day complete with a bounce house for the kiddies and balloons. The morning started off with a beachside ride and breakfast and ended at the church with a DJ providing music, bike games, vendors and a biker church service. All money raised and donated went to the Downed Biker Fund in Brevard County… The 10th annual Gibtown Bikeweek encompassed the weekend of January 10-13. With 22 bands on the schedule and a 10-class bike show, it was being billed as Florida’s Most Entertaining Bike Week. (Shouldn’t that be Bike WeekEND? Last time I checked, a week was a full seven days, not three.) Anyway, I didn’t make it down that way because I was busier than a little bee along with the other members of the Chrome Angels of Central Florida getting ready for our 10th annual Pink Ribbons for Life event slated for the 20th of the month, so my saddle time was suffering. But I’m told there was a good vendor showing and lots of food offerings at the Gibtown rally… Some Chrome Angels supporters decided to back us up and put together a bike night at the American Legion in Mt. Dora on January 16. Two of the gals who work the bar there came up with the idea of putting on the night and setting fishbowls around the bar to collect “boobie bucks!” The BoneHeads provided the musical entertainment and the night was a lot of fun and quite a success. Several of the local clubs joined in for the good pork dinners that were rolling out of the kitchen, as well as the happy-hour pricing for their adult beverages… My friends with COBB had a very busy but enjoyable weekend for their 2nd annual Founder’s Day Party and Campout. The weather even geared up perfectly for them—little cool at night with days in the mid 70s. Starting on the 18th and running through the 20th, the party was open to everyone and was kid friendly, as well. Invitees were encouraged to bring their tents, coolers and sleeping bags and enjoy a great weekend of eating, drinking and COBBaraderie. And believe me, this group knows how to enjoy themselves. With a hog roast, entertainment and their founding father, Newt Neuciler, having a birthday, things just lined up perfectly for a party… On January 26, Space Coast Harley again rolled out the carpet and invited everyone to join them for their Winterfest Car & Bike Show featuring customs, classics, muscle cars and lots of other eye candy to make everyone drool with jealousy… And before I close this month, just to pass on some good news for you folks reading this in the northern part of our state—the plans are quickly coming together for the new Harley dealership in Panama City and it’s right on target for the spring opening. This will be a 30,000-square-foot sister store to their other locations in Tampa, Brandon and New Port Richey. That’s it for this month; ride safe, take care of each other and God bless!