Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: October 2011


Sound solutions for long-distance motorcycle trips.

There comes a point in a motorcyclist's riding when he/she needs to drone out the noise of the road and add music to the journey. Regardless of where the music source is coming from (MP3 player, iPod, GPS with audio, etc.), there are many solutions for blasting the tunes while you're rolling down the highway on your bike.

1. In-helmet speakers. These come in a thin wafer shape and sit inside of a helmet's ear ports. Since they do not directly go into the ear, they are acceptable under most traffic laws. Here's an example from Aerostitch. Online stores such as also provide options for listening inside your helmet. Related products include in-helmet communication devices with integrated FM radios, Bluetooth, and auxiliary audio inputs such as the Scala Rider G4 by Cardo.

2. Ear buds. These provide excellent sound isolation and in some cases double as earplugs. However, your ability to hear ambient sounds can be reduced. Check your local/state laws permitting the use of in-ear audio devices while riding. If using these, I recommend the soft earbud-style that include interchangeable silicone cups of various sizes, such as SkullCandy or JVC Riptydz. An even advanced option is custom-made earplugs with integrated earphones such as those from EarFuze or Hearing Dynamics. I don't recommend the stock earphones that come with iPods; they just fall out!

3. Bike mounted speakers. Some examples start with the simple, handlebar mounted Kuryakyn Sounds of Chrome speakers to the very involved Quadzilla fairings by Hoppe Industries made for both American and metric cruisers. This is one of the more pricey options for playing audio on a motorcycle, especially for us riders that don't own a two-wheeled car.

Regardless of which listening method you choose, please use common sense when using audio devices on the road and stay aware of your surroundings. Happy riding!


Screw the calendar, I'm riding anyway!

For the last few weeks, I've seen the amount of motorcyclists on the road turn from a huge presence on the road to dwindling down to a couple machines very far and in between. There are times where I find myself to be the only motorcycle on I-270 on the way to work on cool mornings. Nothing has changed much; the days are getting shorter and temperatures have dropped anywhere between 10-20 degrees on average but are well above frost warning levels. For me and the other half, that just means pulling out the long-sleeved shirts, flipping the switch on the heated gear, and throwing on the insulated, waterproof riding boots. For everyone else it seems, riding "season" is over. And traditionally in Ohio, it ends the weekend before Labor Day regardless of how nice the weather is. Last year, that translated to thousands of riders willingly losing an extra month of summer-like weather because, let's face it, you can't ride past just doesn't look right.

Are you kidding me? This is the time of year that we can be thankful for not getting scorched in 90 degree heat waves! The trees are turning all sorts of colors which is a sight to see in this part of the nation. And for those who ride year-round, it does provide a refreshing feeling that the "posers" are all gone for the fall/winter and won't show up until May. (You mean I won't encounter someone at the gas station who thinks I'm a whimp/astronaut/sissy/overdressed/Santa because I'm wearing ATGATT? Sweet!)

In a place where riding a motorcycle is more of a novelty than a form of transportation, I'll still be out there on my two-wheeled car until ice glazes the road and I can play shimmy hockey in my parking lot. Yes, even I have to draw a line somewhere, there's just no reason to do it at the moment.


Food Review: Piada Italian Street Food (Gahanna, OH)

Yesterday's dinner was a trip to a very unique spin on Italian food.

We visited the Piada Italian Street Food restaurant on Morse Road in Gahanna to try out their signature Piada. A piada is basically a grilled item rolled into a flatbread along with a sauce, angel hair pasta (optional), and a whole variety of veggies and toppings. For my grilled item, I went for calamari. Chicken, steak, and salmon are some of the options as well. Matt took the option of having a pasta bowl made in the same fashion. For those looking for leafy greens, building a chopped salad with those ingredients is available as well.

Loosely, this is the Italian answer to Chipotle Mexican Grill with a lot fresher vegetable options. I enjoyed the fact that I had the option of fresh artichoke and mushrooms to throw into my meal. With very minimal pasta, the piada was very filling and probably would've been better without the additional carb filler. For refreshments, Piada features several flavors of Italian soda to break the norm of traditional Coke products.

Here's my calamari piada. The insides are lot more interesting.
Since this was the first time I've eaten here, I didn't get to try some of the additional sides and soups that Piada offers. I think I'll give the lobster bisque or the spinach and artichoke dip a shot on my next visit.

If you're looking for something that's unique and exclusive (so far) to the Columbus, OH area, I would suggest this establishment. At lunchtime this place is notorious for being super busy, but grabbing dinner was very easy for a Tuesday night. In fact, Matt and I were the only two sitting in the actual seating area. But if you're really in a hurry, they do take phone and online orders too.

At the time of this blog post's publication, Piada has three locations currently open with two slated to open by mid-2012. For more information, visit their website at
Piada Italian Street Food on Urbanspoon


Has it really been a year already? Yup.

Around this time last year, Matt and I were riding two-up on my FJR1300 en route to Chicago, IL on US-30. It was a bit different than originally planned; we were on one bike instead of two, our departure delayed several hours thanks to a careless hit-and-run taxi driver that turned Matt's BMW K1200RS into a pile of scrap. Despite that, we managed to make it to the Windy City (the 'burbs of Itasca to be exact) with a nail in the rear tire and a conked out GPS system that left us direction and music-less for half the trip. However, we survived that part of the journey, tied the knot in Downtown Chicago, and partied it like "real" adults at Dave and Busters with several of our closest friends.

For the normal couple, the accident alone would've just killed the entire event, but it just added to the memories and the adventures for us. Who said we were normal?

Being the strange couple we are, we'll be celebrating our first anniversary this week in Toronto, Canada. This time around, we'll have two intact motorcycles and time to go sightseeing in the city where we were originally going to hold our marriage ceremony in 2010. And in familiar, traveling blogger style, you might see a photo or two on my Twitter page (@2wheeledtourist).

And for all you nostalgic people out there, visit our wedding blog @ to relive "that one thing in Chicago."