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Cabbage Patch Bikes, Babes & Coleslaw!

By Dave Twitchell

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Mid-morning on the edge of where Ormond Beach meets the roar of Daytona’s Bike Week is where I sat waking to the breeze coming off the calm Atlantic.  There were no plans for the day and I was itching for action that wouldn’t land me in jail or result in becoming a big red spot on notoriously dangerous I-95.  The Dyna was gassed up awaiting dispatch, ready to inhale forced air mixed with Octane for breakfast.  After a few cups of cheap Coffee the iPhone chimed with a text.   The requested task was covering the risqué sporting competition of Cole Slaw Wrestling at the Cabbage Patch.  That was a no-Brainer so I grabbed the camera and twisted the grip.

For some reason it took hours to find contestants that were willing to roll around in shredded cabbage mixed with Vegetable Oil.  Once underway the crowd was in for a treat.  Not only were some wrestling ladies going to show their ‘assets’, but Cole Freeman of Ill Conduct was on hand to devastate the transmission of his Harley on one wheel at high speeds.  Highly impressive to see a young rider circling with controlled recklessness using torque to throw rooster tails of grass, dirt and gravel.  What makes it harder to imagine is that he was riding with both a torn MCL and ACL in the same knee.  A lot of professional athletes couldn’t stand up under that injury far less man-handle into complete submission a sportified Harley.

At the Press table were a cast of characters.  William Ayscue and Frank Timberlake of Woodland, NC had made the pilgrimage to Daytona.  They’ve been close friends and riding partners for twenty-five years.  Frank told me William at 66 years old is on his last leg.  After further examination I learned that William had lost his leg in 2012 when a car pulled in front of his bike resulting in the amputation of his leg above the knee.  It didn’t slow him down much as he continues to ride a Harley trike with no fear.  We’ve come a long way with prosthetics.  At $33,000, William now has a piston-actuated lower leg that is BlueTooth compatible and rotates 360 degrees at the knee.  Like the Bionic Man of the 1970’s, these are innovations we only dreamed of on TV decades ago.  We watched the oil-soaked Cabbage gals grappling for the $2,500 prize and traded stories spanning near misses on the highway to the finer points of grilling the perfect steak.  These two comrades traded jabs back and forth until Frank elbowed me asking what William’s wife of 44 years says when he takes off his Carbon Fiber leg at night exposing a stump…the answer from her:  “You ain’t stickin’ that in Me.”   Priceless!

Special thanks to Ronnie and Roger at the Cabbage Patch that gave Thunder Roads Florida inside access to the event.

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