Grain Road Trip: Rhode Island Hospitality

Grain Road Trip: Rhode Island Hospitality

Share:
Like many things, motorcycles offer the best and worst. On the down side, you gotta plan around the weather a bit and they definitely leave a rider more exposed if something goes wrong. But for lessening overall carbon footprint in long-distance travel, a well-used motorcycle is hard to beat. Compared to cars, they are about twice as efficient (though they emit alot more nitrous oxides), take less materials to build and maintain, and can maneuver between cars rather than sit pointlessly idling in stalled traffic. Plus, they're fun. Makes driving anywhere a different experience than sitting in a metal box behind other metal boxes, all made of about a ton of steel, plastic and fossil fuels. Day one of our RI/Jersey run was a typical bike trip, sky-watching but dodging almost all the rain. We arrived in Rhode Island to a great welcome at Matunuck Surf Shop under full sunshine. Our friend Gary Stoner - late of the Woodenboat class - brought his just-completed board, now ready for its baptism on the next swell. There's nothing we love better than seeing a HomeGrown kit completed and ready to surf. Our host at Matunus Surf Shop was Bob Fox. He was once a teacher of woodworking who did then as we do now: helped people learn to build their own surfboards. Even now, he is working with a local artist to produce some really unique boards based on full-size woodcuts. Stop by his shop if you are surfing some of Rhodey's great breaks.

Gary, at graduation.

Tuesday, we visited some of Rhode Island's other great shops, including Island Surf & Sport, where Mike ran into some old friends. The guys there scoped our boards and had alot of great questions about wood construction. Some of the boards – like our new 10’-6” pintail –were unlike anything they’ve carried in their shop. We then dodged a few towering thunderheads to get in and out of Narragansett so we could visit Warm Winds Surf Shop. We stayed for what seemed hours talking about boards and board design with the super-knowledgeable crew there. Next came the long slog to LBI – pretty much nothing but highway: lotta night-riding and playing whack-a-mole with Jersey drivers. Tired and saddle-sore, we packed it in late for some deep-REMs, hands still vibrating, and wind-noise ringing in our ears.