Another month here in the south and that means another adventure for me on two wheels. This time the trek calls to head way east, to the coast in Charleston, SC. Here I will see my good friend Asher of Grifter Company USA, “practitioners of confidence tricks.”
I want to shake things up a little bit this go-round. With a new camera in-hand using the GoPro Max that shoots 360 video, I also decided to spice it up and take a 2005 Triumph Bonneville T-100 and showcase all the creamsicle angles.
Coffee Rules my World
While downing two cups of coffee to get me nice and buzzed for the adventure ahead, I let the Bonneville warm up and get ready to chug 350 miles. The weather smells of a warm spring morning and my nose and allergies both agree, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
After a quick trek through highway 64 out of North Carolina and into Georgia, I veer off to highway 75 through the beautiful town of Hiawassee, GA. This quaint little town offers a scenic mountain backdrop and a large body of water named Chatuge Lake. After HWY 75, I ride the cool breeze onto HWY 76 and find myself in Clayton, GA. Another small mountain town, Clayton makes me think of Buena Vista, CO back home. I stop by to get coffee in town, because, you know, coffee is life. By this time, as you can imagine, I am confidently caffeinated and ready to hop back on the road. Before I knew it, I was in South Carolina going through Sumter National Forest. And what a view it is! I savor this mountain pass before I hit the long distance highway.
Trading Mountains for Highways
At some point I realize the mountains have faded on the horizon and all I see ahead is a straight concrete road through I-26. To accompany me on are some strong headwinds for miles. I forget how the Interstates can bring these tricks; it has been a while since I hit the interstate for long hours.
Meeting Trashcan and Tammy Faye
Finally, with the miles of winds behind me, I reach my destination – Grifter Company in North Charleston. Grifter gloves and apparel have been around the motorcycle world for a number of years now. You have definitely seen them and they’ve left an everlasting impression on our motorcycle culture. I’m honored to call Asher a friend and have been lucky enough to photograph his handmade gloves and motorcycle apparel over the years. Also, to meet his little french Bulldog “Trashcan” and that amazing Bosozoku named “Tammy Faye.” It’s an impressive motorcycle and if he takes it on the road, you have to see it in person to appreciate all the little details.
In the back of Grifter’s brick and mortar shop is Ralph’s Barber Shop run by, you guessed it, Ralph. Ralph and I strike up a conversation and soon we start talking about Denver. Turns out Ralph lived in Colorado for a number of years – two Coloradans down south, pretty cool I thought. He is kind enough to give me a trim, which is probably no easy task with all the knots from riding and months without a clean cut. I felt like a new man. Thank you, Ralph.
After some quality hang time, I realize I haven’t eaten anything and am running on only coffee for hours. I decided to head to The Royal American, a motorcycle-friendly restaurant recommended by a couple of friends. To my delight, this place is popping with motorcycles left and right, and the food is also amazing. I highly recommend you stop by if you’re in Charleston, and if you’re lucky, you might even see Dave Chappelle or Norman Reedus who I’m told frequent the joint.
Hotel and Nicotine Nights
After a long day of riding I decided to call it a night. I find a barebones hotel nearby (“barebones” is the nice way to describe it, no further details needed) and prepare to crash.
The next morning, despite breathing in decades of stale tobacco all night, I feel refreshed and ready to take on the day. I want to visit the coast and see the ocean before I start to head West.
Ocean Views and 2 Wheels
I pack up my stuff and hit the road, but first coffee. Recommended by Asher, I hit up The Daily for a cup of coffee or two. Once I get my caffeine buzz going I set course to historic downtown Charleston, SC and more specifically White Point Gardens as the destination for the day. Riding through downtown is like jumping back in time with beautiful buildings and palm trees. What I don’t anticipate are the old, bumpy roads. If the caffeine doesn’t wake me up, the cobblestones surely will do the job.
Overall, this was an amazing experience to see the East Coast. It was a nice treat to be able to take the adventure on two wheels and I can’t wait to visit again. There is so much more to see and explore.
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 in 2021 he 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.