Nails, Caffeine, and Bikes

Jeff Hesseltine found a way to mix his passion for motorcycles, a good cup of joe, and a tasty breakfast.

Sometimes you have to make adjustments. You get your heart and mind set on something you really want then BAM! the reality hammer slams down and breaks the fingers of desire. And you’re left flailing about, reaching for a straw that doesn’t quite fit into your now well-mangled hands.

Well, that’s probably a bit too dramatic of an explanation for how Jeff Heseltine got into the motorcycle-themed restaurant business, but it’s not entirely inaccurate.

Hammers were involved at one point. So were adjustments. Let’s just chalk the other verbiage up to my well-caffeinated brain and lack of sleep.

See, Jeff is now the owner of a fine and growing establishment called Black Lightning Motorcycle Café (BLMC as they like to shorten it) located in picturesque Eureka, CA. His path to get there started on a mini-bike, wound itself through a short-lived life as a weekend AMA racer, then through the hallowed halls of Humboldt State University, eventual ownership of a construction business, and finally the kitchen of the BLMC.

“I always wanted to own a motorcycle shop, but once I decided to make that happen I realized there were already enough of those in this area. The original idea was to have a place you could grab something to eat, then either watch a custom build take place or go work on your own bike. The city had some rules in place to prevent me from doing that so I had to go with the next best thing.”

Like we said, adjustments. So that meant a café that serves breakfast and lunch, some of the best coffee this end of Seattle, and motorcycle apparel and some bits and parts for bikes. That’s right you can get an espresso, breakfast sandwich and a new helmet to start your day. Sounds a bit like heaven.

(Read the rest of Jeff's story in the book Asphalt & Dirt - Life on Two Wheels .)

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