The weather turned out not to be as good as forecast. The sun was out but the temperature plummeted southward and it got colder as we headed northward. There were supposed to be four bikes headed up yesterday, but I decided to drive rather than ride. RayRay was afraid that, at my advanced age, I'd probably fall asleep at the wheel, get lost or wet my Depends along the way. At any rate, he sacrificed a chance to ride in the cold for seven hours just to accompany me in the heated, suround-sounded, leather seated, luxury Lexus. Now, that's a true friend! The other two guys rode and managed just fine although one of them had his heated grips turned up to "Toast." They also left the show before I would have wanted to go so they could get home before dark. Wimps.
All in all, I'm glad I went, but I really wasn't all that impressed. Harley and the Big Three Japanese bikes were there as were a lot of smaller vendors but I thought there was a lot missing too. I was especially interested in looking at a GPS for my bike and was surprised neither Garmin nor Tom Tom were there. Also, there wasn't a single exhaust vendor; no Vance & Hines, Bubs, Hotshot, no one. Additionally, I didn't see any of the custom headlight guys although there were several folks showing taillight and under-bike treatments. No Stiebel horn folks -- just a lot of companies missing that I thought would have been there. I wonder if Charlotte is just considered to be too small a show for these folks; maybe the NY, Chicago or LA shows would be larger. Also missing f/ past shows were the publications; no Cycle World, Rider, or Touring magazine. There were a couple of small, regional publications I'd never heard of but not much of the press was represented.
So, I think I'll put the Charlotte show in the same category as Daytona's Bike Weeks; I'm glad I went but I'm not in any real hurry to go back.