I knew waking up this morning that the ride was going to be a different vibe.  

With warmer weather here in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, finally, this morning didn’t chill me to my bones. I woke up, readied a pot of coffee, loaded up my Harley-Davidson Street Bob (FXBB) and set course west bound. The destination is Chattanooga, Tennessee, where I’ll meet up with my good friend and world-renowned builder Tony Purst of Analog Motorcycles.  

But first, where’s that next cup of joe?

Rare Bird Emporium in Chattanooga Tennessee with parked motorcyclesFueling Up Before the Ride in North Carolina

Before I take this journey, I meet up with my friend and fellow rider Pav at his coffee shop and local goods marketplace Rare Bird Emporium in Murphy, NC. This little quaint shop has been my go-to destination when I need a quick coffee ride and need to do some computer work in town. I highly recommend it.  

Also, yes I live on coffee fuel – no doubt. 

After a few more cups of coffee we are ready to hit the road. Pav gets on his sweet green vintage Yamaha, with an even sweeter two gallon Honda tank, and we set course West to Chattanooga, TN.  

Racing Through Ocoee River Valley in Tennessee

After about half an hour of riding on Highway 64–quite possibly the quietest highway I’ve ever ridden and a welcomed relief from Denver’s big-city traffic–we hit a beautiful Tennessee canyon winding along the Ocoee river. 

The feeling of the open road, racing next to the white waters of the Ocoee river will never get old to me. It’s the stuff that petrol dreams are made of. With Spring time upon us, the waters are raging and all the trees are blooming. Red, purple, white, orange, pink, dark green, light green, neon green–these southern trees offer so many beautiful colors, almost like a painting, making Spring time feel like Fall in the mountains of the South.  

As we take our time carving through this incredible landscape we stop at the Ocoee River to take sight of this vast lake. I start to think to myself how lucky I am to be able to ride and share these stories with you.  

We hop back on our iron horses and get back on Highway 64, then shortly merge onto Interstate 75 (I-75) that will take us through Cleveland, TN and shortly after to my friend’s shop Analog Motorcycles.

In Awe of the Custom Builds at Analog Motorcycles

Analog Motorcycles has been around making custom builds for over a decade, and Tony’s knowledge and expertise in this business is next to none. Each one of Analog’s custom-built motorcycles is clean and unique, truly a piece of art that not only looks fast as hell, but rides fast too. With every clean line you see, you can tell there are countless hours spent making sure those lines look effortless. I, likely many, have admired Tony’s work for years, and it was truly an honor to check out his new shop. 

Upon arriving at the Analog shop, I realize just how incredibly green and lush the property is. It’s something I am still getting used to here in the South coming from the high deserts of Colorado. As we get closer to his shop through an impressive stretched driveway, there you see it–a big red barn shop. I was in awe, and hadn’t even gone inside yet. A sleek black Sprinter parked next to the shop draws your eye, but what really stands out is his beautiful vintage 1975 Travco Motorhome that he uses to transport his bike to races.

Did I mention that he not only builds amazing custom motorcycles but he is also a moto racer?  Talk about a guy that can do it all and stay so humble.  

When we finally make our way to his shop, I am immediately amazed by all the beautiful motorcycles he is working on, not to mention all the machinery and tools he has to make every piece come to fruition. It really makes you appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into making a custom motorcycle.  

Tony proceeds to generously give us a tour of his shop and explains the history behind each piece. It’s the kind of stuff that enthusiasts and anyone in the industry can appreciate. We then bombarded him with all the questions regarding his latest build, a Ducati “Paul Smart 2.0.” Just looking at this Ducati you can tell how fast it’s meant to be. With elegant yet bold lines throughout the tail end to the fairing, the aggressive stance makes it race ready.  

After chatting about all the motorcycle things we break for lunch and head over to the Boathouse Rotisserie & Raw Bar on Riverside Drive in Chattanooga, TN. We enjoyed a beautiful view of the Tennessee River and Chickamauga Lake, great food and even better company.  

After lunch, Pav and I head back to Murphy NC, and on the way back we’re treated once again to the sights, sounds and smells of Ocoee River. What a good day it was and what amazing memories I’ve gained.  

Until the next city, catch you somewhere on the road.