Enrique Parrilla

Enrique Parrilla

It’s a crisp early February morning in the rolling hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where we now call home and I’m about to go exploring new roads and new terrains. The excitement of venturing to new paths is definitely helping me overcome the chilly humidity of a southern winter – coming from the high deserts of Colorado, this humidity is all new to me. Thankfully I am covered head to toe in multiple layers and wearing my trusty Harley-Davidson Cycle King Jacket to cut through that frosty chill.

The destination is Georgia a straight shot through I-575. More specifically, The Big Peach (a.k.a. Atlanta). To say howdy to my friend Jared at Brother Moto, a DIY coffee and motorcycle co-op and a great opportunity to explore this vast city on assignment with my friends at Rider Justice.

Coming from Colorado, I have been spoiled with scenic backdrops, carving through the canyons on switchback after switchback. However, the more I ride around the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains, the more I realize just how beautiful our new neighborhood is. In fact, leaving our farm we have 11 switchbacks within a 6-mile stretch. It’s fun to say the least and it would be a great start of this 120-mile ride to Atlanta.

As the curvy and tree-covered roads eventually turn to stick-straight concrete, the contrast of the mountains to the city is apparent. I have to admit, it’s a bit of an adjustment getting back into a big city and finding my defensive riding after coming from the slower, laid-back vibe near our farm. The most traffic we get around here is Guinea Fowl and the occasional escaped sheep crossing the road, and even then, it ain’t much during rush hour.

Yet once I see the first sign for Atlanta, I start to get excited and know I’m in for a real treat. I want to ride through the giant glass and concrete mountains to get a feel for the city and soon I realize just how expansive downtown Atlanta really is. If I have to guess I’d say downtown Atlanta is about three times as big as downtown Denver. I have to be extra aware of metal cages driving left and right, and all-too-often cutting right in front of me, but it adds that extra bit of excitement I forgot about city life. After touring through the city streets, I decided to make my way into the outskirts of downtown ATL to see my buddy Jared at Brother Moto.

Brother Moto in Atlanta GA

Brother Moto is a hidden gem in the city. The white church facade belies all the treasures this innocuous building holds. Vintage two-wheeled artifacts, motorcycle memorabilia and damn good coffee. It’s a destination that anyone, especially motorheads, visiting ATL need to pay a visit to.

Jared kindly greets me with a much-needed cup of coffee to warm up these old bones. The excitement and concentration of riding has hidden the fact that I am chilled to the bone. That cup or two of coffee is exactly what I need to continue the journey to the next stop through ATL.

I want to check out some local art and go in search of the Krog Street Tunnel. But after the early start with nothing but coffee in my belly, it is screaming at me for some lunch. Conveniently across the street from the Tunnel I discover 97 Estoria Bar and the best damn breakfast burrito I’ve ever had (that week anyway!). After scarfing the burrito in record time, I take a walking adventure down the tunnel. It reminds me of The Crush Walls in the RiNo/5 Points neighborhood in Denver, and I can tell there is a lot of talent and love put onto these walls over the years. It’s definitely worth riding or even walking through the Tunnel to take in all the passion.

V.C.C. - Victory Coffee Calamity with 2 motorcycles parked outside

After the hardy lunch and art expo, I decide to hop back on my iron horse and head to V.C.C. (a.k.a., Victory Coffee Calamity), a spot highly recommended by the good folks at Brother Moto. Upon taking my first step into V.C.C. I can tell it is a rad place for the motorcycle community to gather. With a custom off-roading dirt-dwelling motorcycle at the entrance, you gotta believe these folks know a thing or two about fun! The welcoming motocentric vibes allows me to fuel up with another cup of joe to get me through the rest of the day.

With the sun starting to drop, I know I have to wrap up the day’s adventure to get home before the deer come out and the daylight fades. It is great to see a familiar face and check out some new locations–a successful day exploring a new city. If you ever find yourself cruising through Atlanta, heed my advice and check out these spots. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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

Enrique is a creative originally born and raised in the Mile High City of Denver, CO but he has recently skipped town to the rolling hills of North Carolina for a quieter kind of life. He specializes in visual storytelling and finding a voice for a narrative. With over 15 years experience in the industry, he brings professionalism along with experience to every project.
Find him on Instagram or see his work here.