Road Island (and PEZ)


I was headed for Twisted Throttle, where I was going to be talking about my trip and packing. It wasn’t that far anymore, when I woke up in the morning, but I was confident I would find something along the way to distract me. This happened not long after I was in Connecticut with I saw signs for the Pez Musuem.





Now, I am not saying Pez is good for you, and I certainly don’t have the time, space, or money to start collecting (even more so at the level of the people highlighted in the museum), but I do like the ocassional Pez and the idea of a museum of the stuff couldn’t be passed up. So, I exited and tried to follow the signs – which weren’t that clear – to Pez mecca.




As it turned out, this was the major manufacturing plant for Pez in the United States and North America. The museum was only a small part of the overall building, and there wasn’t really a tour (as there is at other candy plants, like Jelly Belly). There were some pretty large windows you could look through at workers in lab coats and hair nets doing things with pez packages by the hundreds. But the cool thing about the museum wasn’t the production line, but the hundreds of vintage Pez on display. While I like Pez, I don’t pretend to be an expert (or even particularly knowledgable – that is why I stop at places like this). The first Pez were lemon only, and the dispensers didn’t have cool heads to them. People still bought them, but it wasn’t until the heads appeared things really took off.




The museum had a “gift shop,” which was essentially one wall of the room. It was $5 to enter, but for entering you got some free Pez, and there was a little card to fill out (you had to find the picture and identify the Pez dispenser) for a free dispenser. There was also a credit in the store, so really you could get your $5 back in stuff. I bought some extra dispensers for gifts, and Pez (to eat). Then it was back on the road, headed east.


Rhode Island didn’t look much different when I entered it, fall was just starting and the colors were changing. The coastal road had old stone bridges and tiny rest areas with fuel and convenience stores. There were a lot of cars that seemed to just be waiting there without moving, more cars than there were people, and I wondered if people used them as carpool meet-ups. 




I arrived at Twisted Throttle in the afternoon, not sure what I’d see. Like Revzilla, it was a store of motorcycle gear, but Twisted Throttle seemed to have more practical stuff, and way more than a selection of jackets and pants (They did have some jackets and pants too). I got a tour of the building and some sneak peaks at future product, then we all went out to lunch at (of all things) a BBQ place. It wasn’t bad, but a few days earlier I’d been in the south and RI BBQ just wasn’t going to compete. After we ate, I tried to let them work while I wondered if anyone was going to show up for the talk I was giving that night. It was Thursday, which seemed like an odd night to have an event, but as night came on people started to dribble in until there was about 20 people. Since I wasn’t sure what they’d been expecting, I was a bit worried about it, but apparently that was a decent turnout for one of their events and they were happy.


Since I wasn’t sure what to talk about, I gave a combination ride report/packing talk. As always, people were impressed with Curiosity and surprised by the very small pile of things I packed along. You really don’t need very much gear to travel, something people know but don’t fully internalize.


Part of my deal with Twisted Throttle was somewhere to stay, and while I’d expected a budget hotel I was instead offered sleeping space at one of the employee’s houses – a farm house from the 1700s that was simply fantastic. The barn was full of motorcycles and the view amazing. I slept really well.
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