Trip Preparation – Thanks Stanley, Laura and Andrew

April 16, 2013

Across the United States on my motorcycle. This is a first for me. Anticipation and a small reserve of anxiety has transformed into excitement at the prospect of what awaits me on this adventure. This morning I packed my motorcycle for a test ride to see how my bike would handle fully loaded. It passed the test. I think I did too. At least I seemed to be able to ride it with ease up over the steep and winding road from Route 30 to the sleepy village of Williamsville.

This past weekend I sorted and sifted through clothing, tested camping gear, placed USB drives and charging cables into pouches and moved various items from bag to bag until just the right items were accessible in the most convenient places, I think. Undoubtedly, there will be adjustments along the way.

Yesterday I picked up my motorcycle at Lynde Motorsports on Flat Street in Brattleboro. Stanley, the owner and operator, has been a motorcycle enthusiast since the age of 14. StanleyLynde  He’s been repairing and custom building bikes for nearly 40 years. He’s been in business for 25 years and in Brattleboro since 2002. He’s been tending to my needs for the past two years. When you’re taking your first motorcycle trip across the United States and you’re a mechanical idiot like me, Stanley, his wife Laura who manages the office, and Andrew (Stanley’s assistant in the shop), are the sort of folks you’re thankful live in your town. I know if anything happens while I’m on the road I can give them a call and they’ll provide guidance.

All of that aside, they’re just darn nice folks!  Last week I was in the shop checking on some customizations to my bike when I was invited to have a piece of Laura’s mother’s homemade Italian cheesecake. This wasn’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill cheesecake. Laura’s parents are from Italy. They can cook. So can Laura. She’s a professional chef. They’re Italian!  What more need a guy with the last name Tavella say?  Okay, mangiare!

Stanley and Laura have fine-tuned my two-wheeler. She’s ready to fly. Well, ride. It’s tuned for the road, not the air. When I picked up my bike my new lockable saddlebags were mounted. These will provide me with some added security when I go grocery shopping, or if I decide to take short hikes, and need some of my valuables locked up. On Wednesday morning before I depart Vermont I’ll also have an electrical unit installed that will permit me to plug in a heated vest just in case I hit some cold weather over the Blue Ridge or Rocky Mountains.

If you ride a motorbike and live in southern Vermont, New Hampshire, or northwest Massachusetts, go see Stanley to get a fix. I can’t guarantee there’ll be cheesecake on tap, but I can guarantee you’ll get expert service and the warmest welcome bar none (this is not a paid advertisement!).  🙂

Here are some pictures from around Lynde Motorsports. At the bottom of the page you’ll find some videos of what and how I’m packing for the trip (requested from my Thai friend, Ton Buasri).

Lynde Motorsports

This picture shows Stanley outside his shop showing me how the new saddlebags unlock and detach from the bike.


Office Manager, Laura D’Angelo


Apprentice, Andrew Martin


Around the shop

Inside Lynde Motorsports

Assisting a customer


“Where’s Stanley?”

Lookin' for Stanley

“Oh, I found him. Hey Stanley, what’s that part and how much does it cost?”

Looking up a part

Let me fix that for you.

More customers


New battery and tires on my bike

New battery and wheels

Adjusting the shocks

adjusting the shocks

Mounting the saddlebags

Mounting the saddlebags

Here’s a video showing what I’ll pack in my bags.

Here’s a video showing how I’ll pack it on my bike.

Here’s a video saying goodbye to Vermont (for now).


All content Copyrighted © Stephen Craig Tavella

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