Sunday
Nov192017

Raleigh Christmas Parade = Riding Fun!

(November 18, 2017) Raleigh, North Carolina hosted its annual Christmas Parade and the local Harley dealership, Ray Price Harley-Davidson entered a float. The float was escorted by about 25 bikes from the Raleigh Harley Owners Group (HOG) chapter, of which my friend Mike and I are members.

Photo left: That was my favorite of the decorated bikes. Over the top, sure; but it accurately represents the festive mood at the event.

Mike and I met at 0730 for breakfast at BoJangles on E. Chatham Street in Cary and then headed downtown for the pre-ride meeting at Ray Price HD. Local temperatures were in the low 40s but rose rapidly into the 60s by the time the parade was over around noon.

We enjoyed calm winds and clear skies, and consequently, the turnout for the parade was huge. Great weather also made for an exceptionally fun riding experience. Everyone was relaxed, chatty, and really enjoying themselves. 

What a great way to spend a Saturday morning! I met an interesting fellow named Robert who is a manufacturing engineering consultant who specializes in automating machine processes primarily for the roofing industry. I always find it interesting to learn what my fellow Harley riders do for a living.

Photo right: We assembled on St. Mary Street along with some antique cars, miniature horses, and the Wells Fargo Stage Coach and its team of horses. It certainly felt like a parade.

Privilege to Ride

Seeing hundreds of children in the audience waving and cheering us along the parade route reminded me what a privilege it is to ride. I feel so fortunate to have the health, financial means, and friends who support me to be able to ride, especially on such a nice, late-model Harley-Davidson touring model. I so appreciated the heated grips and seat on such a chilly morning!

Seeing the little boys in the audience enthusiatically twisting their hands at the wrist to us, signaling that they wanted us to rev our engines, made me smile ear-to-ear. But what I enjoyed even more was seeing the little boy attitude come out in some of the grown men riding these big, sometimes loud machines responding to those kids in the audience.

Opportunity to Decorate Even More!

Most Harley owners choose to accessorize their bikes often starting at the time of initial purchase, and that accessorizing seems never to end. As some of my photos here reveal, the Christmas Parade offered us yet another opportunity to decorate our bikes. :-)

Photo left: me with my decorated parade bike.

My friend Mike's wife, Marge, made me a large pretty ribbon to attach to the luggage rack, and my girlfriend's older daughter, Lena, loaned me a dressed up Panda bear for my back seat. Mike is the one who reminded me about the parade and got me there on time. So, my participation in this year's Raleigh Christmas Parade was a team effort. :-)

Mike R. Purchased a New Bike

My friend Mike R. also purchased a new 2018 Ultra Limited. The color is called twisted cherry and the new Milwaukee Eight (107 cu in) engine is sweet, so they kind of go together.

Photo right: That's Mike R. on his new ride, decorated for the parade. He's eager to get started. That's Robert, the engineering consultant, in the background with the mask on. He's bringing some Halloween spirit to the Christmas Parade! 

As always, keep the shiny side up!

-The Long Rider

 

P.S. Next year, I'll wear my GoPro camera so I can capture images of the audience.

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