My riding was a little more limited this month due to medical issues, but I still managed to keep my finger on the pulse of action, so let’s get started. Rumor has it that the Bar-Out Back in Sanford will be reopening in the spring after a few months of being closed due to some legal issues. Workers were finishing some upgrades and getting things ready the last weekend in December and a notice was posted on Facebook to stop by. This has been a popular stop for many of us for a long time. It’ll be good to have it open again… Gator Harley-Davidson stepped up to the plate on the 4th of January to kick the year off with an open event. The food and beverages were provided by Al’s Landing, a popular waterfront restaurant down in Tavares with a raffle drawing for six dinners at Al’s just to sweeten the pot. Music for the afternoon was supplied by the ever-popular band Big Engine, with today being the culmination of several performances by “The Engine.” They had performed at various locations in our area during the previous week and brought in the New Year in Daytona at the Main Street Station… This was just part of the celebration on Main Street on December 31 when the entire street was closed to traffic, but the bars were wide open. Dirty Harry’s hosted a DJ to keep the party going and was open until 4:00 a.m. to make sure no one went home thirsty… Over on the west coast during the weekend of January 9–12, the pretty town of Sarasota hosted the 16th annual Thunder by the Bay Bikefest. Starting with a Kick Start Party on the evening of the 9th with whisky, wine and cigar tasting, it moved quickly into a “Born to Be Wild Kick-Off Party” on that Friday. By Saturday, the event was in full force with a downtown festival offering a gathering of merchandise and food vendors and a Light Up the Night L.E.D. bike show and parade. Sunday was a bit more subdued but just as enjoyable with The Outlaws performance downtown and the Legacy of Valor ride honoring our veterans and active duty military personnel. And the best part is that a portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to the Sun Coast Charities for Children organization… Congratulations to the US Military Vets MC—Lake County Chapter who celebrated their 14th anniversary with a big party at the American Legion Post #35 in Mt. Dora on January 11. The event was open to everyone (all club members and independents) and for just a small donation of $10 included lunch and an afternoon of fun… For those looking for another cause to support, the Dragon Slayers clubhouse in Melbourne was the place to be on the 11th. Seems a little 5-year-old boy named Josiah and his family needed some help since he was diagnosed with an inoperable kind of brain cancer called DIPG, which forms in the middle of the brain stem. Proceeds from the ride will be donated to the family to help with the medical costs associated with Josiah’s treatment. The ride started and ended at the clubhouse with a nice lunch and music provided by Doc Holliday. A page has been set up on Facebook for those who are interested in following Josiah’s Journey with DIPG… On the 12th, many riders headed to Treasure Coast H-D to support the Donna Scarberry Memorial Ride. After a blessing of the bikes, kickstands were up and riders were off for a lengthy, but well-planned, ride to Red Devil Cycles, then Chillin’ the Most where a nice lunch buffet was laid out with the proceeds going to Donna’s family. With dessert under their belts, everyone headed west to Johnny Z’s where the after-party was held… Here in Orlando that morning, hundreds of riders and nonriders alike turned out to support the 3rd annual Roar on I-4 event hosted by the Tri-County Chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA). Registration was held at Downtown Disney as in the past with kickstands up at 11:30. After a well-conducted ride up I-4 with two stars from the Sons of Anarchy TV series acting as grand marshals, the bikes rolled into Orlando Harley’s Historic Factory for the after-ride party including good food and drink and some awesome prizes donated by the dealership… Some good news for those in Lake County: My friend, John Samples with Vengeance Cycles, has just opened a new shop just a few miles from his bike shop in Tavares. It’s called Vengeance Cycles Leather and Apparel. Stop by and check out the new place or give him a call at 352.508.5084. That’s about all the news I have from Central Florida for now. We’ll be getting ready for Bike Week soon and there will be plenty to share. In the meantime, ride safe and take care of each other. God bless.