So, our first moto-camping trip of the season was a huge success! We took a quick trip across the Long Island Sound for the 4th of July weekend to escape the Hamptons tourists here on the East End. We rode a few of the gorgeous roads we discovered last year, as well as some new gems. All were so beautiful; it was almost impossible to trim our video montage any shorter.
It’s been MONTHS since we’ve blogged – not because we haven’t been super busy with all things moto, and coffee-related – but between us both working two jobs, and having THIS awesome hobby, we haven’t had a moment to sit down and write. But we finally have something extra-ordinary to celebrate.
Our dear friend Lilly’s fiancé, Makenzie, is finally riding her own motorcycle! Her journey began on the back of Lilly’s bike but through much encouragement, she decided to try riding a motorcycle on her own. We offered her my own little Sportster which she took around our cul-de-sac back in the fall of last year just to get the feel of everything. Having her own Jeep with a manual transmission, she was a quick learner regarding the concept of the clutch, gears, etc.
So, since we’ve gotten so many questions about “why whole beans only” and “well what grinder do you recommend” we figured we’d write a blog…so here it goes, all the reasons for grinding your own beans and the tools to do it...by Clay Snyder.
Grinding your coffee as close to the time when you brew it is a simple way to improve any cup of coffee. The main reason for doing this is to preserve the many flavorful oils and other compounds that are released when grinding. These are not preserved with pre-ground coffee that has been sitting on a shelf for even a short amount of time. Another important reason is for consistency. A more consistent grind allows for better quality.
So excited to welcome a bandana company to our very small line-up of vendors. Stumbling upon them, I knew they were the perfect fit for North Fork Moto – as riders (and as COVID fighters) we all need as many rad bandanas as we can get. Unfortunately the market seems limited - with COVID and more people making bandanas part of their wardrobe, good ones are hard to find. Well, we scored with Bandit Bandanas – they are all beautiful, unique designs and for every bandana sold, they donate 10% to the charity of the artist’s choosing.
What an incredible trip we had to Salem this past weekend – perfect riding weather, scenic roads, and such an historical, and spooky town! Such a great way to kick-off our favorite season!
The only unfortunate part – we only had two days and 400+ miles ahead of us.
So, the main reason for adding the Ural to our garage was so that the dogs could join us in our motorcycle adventures. As mentioned in a previous blog, my Rhodesian Ridgeback, Kai, was a frequent passenger in the Wastsonian sidecar I once had attached to my Triumph Bonneville. He loved it so much and I saw his recent disappointment every time I left the house without him to go riding. After years of coveting a Ural Gear-Up, we finally bought one in nearly perfect condition from our neighbor.
Now came the challenge of making sure the dogs were safe in the sidecar since it wasn’t nearly as deep as the Watsonian and now I also have a Great Dane who sits much taller than my Ridgeback. As usual, I did a ton of research. I read blogs about gear, harnesses, strategies of securing said items into/onto the sidecar, etc. I also reached out to fellow sidecar riding dog lovers via Instagram. I was so glad when we heard back from Waffles, a very famous social media side car Great Dane. Unfortunately, by that time I had already made the commitment to purchase gear from RuffWear. I am a HUGE fan of RuffWear. I’ve used many of their products in the past since we love taking our dogs on adventures. We’ve used their backpacks, collapsible food/water bowls, leashes, collars, etc. They all have lasted years, been durable out on the trails and camping. So I didn’t have much hesitation selecting this brand to keep my dogs safe in the side car. My only dilemma was which harness to select.
Sooo Worcester, MA….have you ever visited? Well after our first stop there when we dropped off the Ural, we didn’t think it would be a bad place to stay the night before picking it up. I made Friday night reservations at a very reasonably priced hotel with gorgeous modern décor. It had great reviews, so I figured we’d have a relaxing night away from home, like a mini vacation. And we did….even drinking some mezcal (my FAV) at a small taco joint a few blocks away…and then the walk back to the hotel.
I’m soooo overjoyed with the new addition of the Ural to our garage, I hardly know where to begin this blog. This is probably the closest I’ll get to understanding how new parents feel (of course, other than when I welcome a new pup to the family). Adding this very special, unique bike to the fleet, has been such a fun-filled experience – everyone who’s seen it, ridden in it, or has discussed it with us, has admired it with wide-eyes and been brought to laughter. While at times it feels like we’re riding in a circus prop, this crazy bike is actually a pretty tough, loud, raw, machine. We consider it beautiful, like a typical adoring, new parent. But I suppose to others, it might seem more like an international military machine – well maybe, because it sorta is.
After riding for many months in regular Levi’s jeans which didn’t compare to the full-piece race leathers I wore years ago, I’d been longing for a pair of proper riding pants. I don’t ride as hard as I once did, so there’s no need for a full leather suit. Also, I’m not a fan of the “motorcycle streetwear fashion movement” at all. I was looking for something that would actually function for protection rather than just “look the part”. I did countless hours of research on many trusted internet sites and read a ton of reviews - AS many as possible. So in an attempt to save anyone who might be in the market, the time I spent researching, read on for my saga of finding the “perfect” pair of every day riding pants.
For nearly a year I’ve been following moto coffee shops on Instagram dreaming of someday opening one of my own. Finally for the first time, I was able to visit one in person - New Tradition in Worcester MA. It was everything I hoped for - and beyond tasty too!!!
Another amazing dream came true this weekend - I took ownership of a URAL Gear Up! The previous owner purchased it from Alpha Cars in Boxborough MA. So he suggested we take it there for service. So upon picking it up, we took it straight there. And on the way back to the Cross Island Ferry, we were able to stop at New Traditions in Worcester MA. Although Clayton thought I couldn’t possibly be taking him somewhere cool as we weaved through back alleys of downtown, when we pulled up, we both were instantly pumped by how cool the place is - an old factory turned garage/coffee shop/barber shop (YUP)!