By Wally Wersching

On Saturday, May 4th, The Cleveland County CBA held their Autism Awareness Poker Run at VFW Post #4066 in Shelby, NC. They rode in a group to the following locations before coming back to the VFW hall for food and festivities. Metrolina Power Sports in Kings Mountain; the 238 Grill in Gastonia;– The CCIB Clubhouse in Shelby; 4th stop – the Windjammers Clubhouse in Shelby; and the final stop was back at the VFW hall. They had nice black Autism Awareness T-Shirts, a 50/50 drawing, and a silent auction.

The weather on Saturday was uncertain with rain all around Shelby, so the turnout wasn’t as many as it would have been on a sunny clear day. I arrived at about 9:30AM with the 1st bike out at 10:00AM. I stopped in the VFW to say hello to everybody and saw all the stuff that was up for the silent auction. There was quite a lot of interesting stuff like oil changes, an air compressor, tools, a bird house, lottery tickets, etc. and a very unique coffee table with the US flag on the top. It was custom made by a very talented woodworker. If I had room in my house for it, I would have bid on it. It was beautiful!

Bikers were continuously riding in and registering. The feeling was a very festive one. Everybody was looking forward to a very pleasant afternoon. For the registration fee of only $15 you couldn’t go wrong. You got to ride around the Carolina countryside with friends making stops at friendly places, then come back to eat, and maybe even win with the best poker hand. Poker runs are always a lot of fun.

Clint and Haley were there making sure that everything went according to plan. They really work hard to make the Cleveland County CBA/ABATE the best it can be.

The bikes were lining up outside by the exit to the parking lot. A couple police cars were there to lead the way until the group got to Rte. 74 on their way to Metrolina Power Sports.

As 10:00AM approached, the bikers went to their bikes and got ready to roll. First there was the prayer to ask God to watch over all the riders and then the road captain gave out some useful information. That’s the way it usually is for a group ride so that everybody knows what is going on along with what is expected of them. It makes for a safer ride.

I watched them leave, and then went home. Later it rained, and I hope that they missed it. I’ll watch The Carolinas’ Full Throttle Magazine Cruisin’ Calendar and the Cleveland County CBA Facebook page for future events.