December 04, 2016

1,600 Miles Later

Friday morning at 6am my co-pilot/best friend Nicole and I began to head west to start a very full weekend in the state of Michigan. Ten hours later we arrived in Kalamazoo, MI at our first stop: Bell's Brewery. Perhaps it was just because our lunch consisted of only SunChips, but everything tasted delicious. We scored some cool souvenirs and then were on our way to stop #2. About an hour north we arrived in Grand Rapids and found a cheap hotel before heading to Founder's Brewery. Founder's has been a destination on my list for a bit now, and it surely did not disappoint. People weren't kidding when they recommend I visit Grand Rapids-what a cool city. Of course we met some really nice locals throughout the evening at various places we explored which made the long day better yet. 

Saturday we woke up and we're back on the road by 9am to travel three hours east to make Caro, MI our first stop of the day. We pulled up at Cass Tavern to be welcomed by some of the friendliest motorcycle guys my dad and I have met at the races. The menu of only hamburgers, cheeseburgers and fries made for an easy lunch choice. After having a good meal with our six friends we made our way to Caro to begin our bike tour. Have you ever seen 500 motorcycles at one house? It began with the "museum" followed by an additional barn and garage full of bikes, however, the absolute coolest part of our tour was the motorcycle graveyard. "Oh my goodness" was the PG phrase of the whole tour. "Want to see more bikes?" was what our friends kept asking and soon enough we were heading to another house to see more, and then again to another house. We met a few new people along the way, including a few bike builders, and their hospitality was unreal. Needless to say, it was really, really great to see my "Caro Friends."

This whole weekend plan started around a trip to Lapeer for Miss Morgan Monroe. You could say we saved the best event for last, as it was really great to see everyone from all around gather to help out a very special injured flat track rider. Good food, killer raffle items and genuine, generous people are what made the benefit a huge success. I have to admit I was a bit emotional, partially because I was unable to attend the benefit for Kyle and Charlotte. I'd like to think this trip counts for them as well. I am so grateful to have attended and meet a lot of really wonderful people within the racing family. Even the custom 10J Throttle Down Speed Co. pillow I made for a raffle prize went to a good home to a new friend of mine. I look forward to watching Morgan Monroe progress and get back to 100%. She is no doubt a fighter, and I am honored to have been a small part in the fundraising for her and her family. 

The "afterparty" solely consisted of girl talk on a couch in Flint Saturday night with my friend Kara because Nicole and I felt like we were running on fumes the whole day from traveling. At 8am Sunday morning we hit the road again, this time heading East. About 9.5 hours later we finally made it to the homeland where we divided up our weekend treasures we picked up along the way. We reminisced the whole ride home, but the last 100 miles was no doubt the longest of the entire trip. 

I probably could ramble on and on but to keep it short and sweet: I am forever grateful to be apart of this motorcycle community. I've met amazing people and continue to meet more everyday. I have a lot of thank you's to give out including being apart of the Aid to Injured Riders. The opportunities that have come up because of AIR and Throttle Down Speed Co., are overwhelmingly wonderful and I look forward to many more in the future. I couldn't imagine my life differently, and I surely wouldn't want to. To think, it all began when my dad took me to the race track...

Anyways, so long, Michigan. I'll see you when I see you. 

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