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Recent Comments

Re: “Let's not let Charleston become Myrtle Beach

The comment by Big Al is entirely out of place. I personally know many Black bikers that do not fit into Al's broad sweeping brush. These same riders contribute to our community and I ride with them when I have a chance.

Violence in our community or any other exists and is not associated with bikers. If Will were to start a crusade, he should start one to help turn young people away from gangs. These same young people might be better served by learning skills that give them a sense of community that the gangs seem to give them.

Last fall the SC State HOG Rally was held in Mt Pleasant. I sure didn't see any negative coverage concerning the influx of additional revenue to the Charleston Area. Even Joe's city benefitted from the dollars spent. Did you cover this rally, Will?

Posted by sleepneagle on March 12, 2009 at 10:08 AM

Re: “Let's not let Charleston become Myrtle Beach

Now, I am not saying that all bikers are violent, but the image is there and it
is well earned and even celebrated in some quarters. And if you don't believe
there is a violent subtext to biker culture, check out the letters to the editor
next week in response to this column.

{sleepneagle} so far I don't see any threats on your pathetic life, Will!

Indeed, the incident which finally forced Myrtle Beach to take action against
the biker rallies was the shooting death last year of a Coastal Carolina
University student in a dispute over a parking space.

{sleepneagle} I believe you forgot to elaborate which week this happened. You also did not mention that this really was not motorcycle related but gang related due to the influx of cars carrying non-bikers and gang members to a week where they could reek havoc due to an increase in the number of people.

A short-lived motorcycle
rally in Charleston earlier in the decade was shut down after three years in
part because violence among some of the participants made it impossible for the
organizers to buy insurance.

{sleepneagle] I believe the lack of insurance coverage for the ill fated Charleston Rally was due to a certain individuals ability to pay his bills in a timely manner. when your credit rating is in the toilet, insurance companies don't issue event insurance. Also this particular individual was long on promises and short on follow through.

I have been writing about motorcycles and motorcycle culture for years in this
column and in my 2003 book, Banana Republic: A Year in the Heart of Myrtle
Beach. I witnessed and lived through three annual cycles of biker rallies, when
it was impossible to sleep for days, when traffic crept along U.S. 17 at 10 mph,
when many residents simply packed up and fled, as if they were evacuating for a

[sleepneagle] Will, if your mind can think back 3 years ago, I extended a personal invitation to you to witness first hand a motorcycle ride and rally from ground level. You did not have the curtessy to decline my offer.

Of course, the good folks at Myrtle Beach and Atlantic Beach never planned it
this way. It all started out as good fun and brought a lot of money to the area.
But the biker culture conflicted with the "family fun" image that Myrtle Beach
built its reputation on. Bikers drove away a more lucrative and desirable
tourist segment. And finally, enough was enough. After last spring's violence,
Myrtle Beach leaders went to work to shut down the biker rallies. So far, they
are 1-for-2.

[sleepneagle] Let's be honest, Myrtle Beach did not have the guts to do battle with the NAACP again in court. Now Myrtle has gone one step further with the recent license plate frame issue. If you have any portion of a number or letter not clearly visible. you will be ticketed. That will keep all the tourist away.

I hope Mayor Joe Riley and city council are paying attention to what is
happening on the Grand Strand. I have seen increasing numbers of bikers on
Charleston streets during the tourist season in recent years. As I have written
here before, motorcycles are completely out of place in our historic district.
City leaders would be smart to learn from Myrtle Beach's example and start
cracking down on noise violations. Bikers must learn to obey the law like the
rest of us.

[sleepneagle] funny you mention the city council. It exists in name only. No decisions are made by it. If Joe wants it, Joe does it. If Steve Forbes was in town, would you like to interview him? You are aware that he is a motorcycle rider? I believe you are painting with broad strokes. Motorcycle riders or as you say Bikers are made up of people from many walks of life; Doctors, Lawyers, Nurses, Executives, slaesman, homemakers, home owners, technical, mechanics, City Police, County Sherriffs, State Police, on and on. I dare say Will, I don't think you have the mental and physical abilities to multi-task, aka use a throttle, clutch and toe shift at the same time. I do believe I suspect a degree of envy for something you can't possibly perform. By the way, I will pray for you.

Posted by sleepneagle on March 11, 2009 at 11:11 AM
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