Union Coffee bike night ongoing in Milford

Photo by LORETTA JACKSON Motorcycle enthusiasts attending a recent Wednesday bike night include, from left, Milford’s Patrick McGourty, with his 1974 Harley-Davidson FLH; local rider Buff Murdock, alongside his 1948 Indian Chief; Carl Messina, of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, with his 1973 Harley FLH; and “Pastor Larry” Clouse, on a 1974 Harley-Davidson Sportster he customized into a “bobber,” a version that has stripped-down bodywork and other modifications.

MILFORD – Wookie Jones, an owner of Union Coffee Co., in Milford, is the greeter who oftentimes welcomes patrons to the rustic South Street enclave that attracts coffee lovers, artsy folk and craft beer imbibers, along with musicians, locals and tourists.

Motorcyclists are a majority on Wednesday evening because it is Bike Night.

Three seasons of bike nights morphed from a Facebook community, the Northeast Moto Society, whose members mostly posted bike photos and news about rides and future destinations, along with tech tips and various two-wheeled tales. Union Coffee became a public rendezvous point after an initial invite from Jones.

“This is cool – let’s do it again next week,” Jones said he told the bikers after the first get-together. “Today, we still welcome all makes and models and anyone who wants to come.”

A Wednesday in mid-July drew around 30 bikes of various makes. Harleys and Indians were parked alongside Triumph and Victory motorcycles. Dave Schoneman, of Nashua, rolled in upon neither. His bike was a black 1982 Honda CB750 that he built and painted before upholstering its seat in a rust-colored leather he stitched in his workshop.

Photo by LORETTA JACKSON Wookie Jones, left, an owner of Union Coffee Co., shares a Wednesday evening bike night with motorcyclist Greg Cormier, of Milford, who rolled into the event on his white 2017 Victory Octane, a sturdy ride that transports him with little backtalk to his destinations of choice.

Meanwhile, Greg Cormier, of Milford, passed some time talking with admirers checking out his white 2017 Victory Octane. Buff Murdock, also of Milford, arrived aboard his 1948 Indian Chief. Corey Emerson, another Milford man, rode in on a 1982 Honda CX. Nearby, Craig Marsh, of Amherst, found parking for his 2004 Harley-Davidson Softail alongside a Yamaha V Star belonging to Marcia Powers, of Amherst. The crowd mingle-mangling in front of the coffee shop was convivial and animated.

One of the regulars at Wednesday bike night is “Pastor Larry” Clouse, of Milford, who recently retired from 35 years as the pastor of Merrimack Valley Baptist Church on Boston Post Road in Merrimack. His tenure of 62 years as a motorcycle rider dates to his teenage years. Today, he and his wife, Josefina, go on long hauls at least once a year. She enjoys the scenery while ensconced in a sidecar, a comfortable addition to the cruiser that gobbles up the miles with speed and efficiency. He often shares the curbside parking with Honda CB750 rider Michael Hilton, a Milford resident and writer for Iron & Air, a stylish magazine based in Manchester.

“We did a trip of 8,500 miles last year,” Clouse said. “We’ll stop along the way and camp beside the motorcycle when night comes.”

The pair has traveled by motorcycle to many destinations including Nova Scotia and California and Sturgis, South Dakota. Nevertheless, Clouse said the trips to the Wednesday bike nights also are a pleasure.

Union Coffee barista Melissa Morin, of Milford, kept busy. She served up coffees and beers to a dozen bikers and some locally sourced grub to videographer Zach Ellis, of Odd Story Creative, who documented the event – a panorama of color and chrome accessorized with black leather. The pair concurred that Wednesday nights are fun and lively at Union Coffee.

Photo by LORETTA JACKSON “Pastor Larry” Clouse, a long-distance rider who has traversed the country on a bike with a sidecar that enables his wife, Josefina, to accompany him, arrived on a recent bike night aboard another of his favorite motorcycles, a 1974 Harley Sportster he customized into a bare-bones bobber.

Patrick McGourty, a Milford rider, credited Wookie Jones for bringing together a community of like-minded women and men. Ace mechanic Rick Frost, of Rick Frost Motorsports in Greenville, talked a while with McGourty about the custom paint and accessories apparent on many of the bikes. McGourty comes to bike night on either of his two motorcycles – a 1974 Harley FLH Shovelhead or his 2013 Triumph Bonneville.

“Now, we’re meeting up with people we’d only know from driving by each other,” McGourty said. “Bike night is a great excuse to buy a cup of coffee, meet other people who ride and support a local business.”

Photo by LORETTA JACKSON Corey Emerson, a Milford rider, joined around 40 of his motorcycling brethren on his 1982 Honda CX at Wednesday evening bike night at Union Coffee Co., a place well patronized by motorcyclists throughout the week and especially on bike night.

Photo by LORETTA JACKSON Glen Shult, of Milford, regularly visits Union Coffee Company on Wednesdays aboard his 1992 Harley Sportster XLH when bike night is in full swing and South Street near the Milford Oval is lined with motorcycles of vintage and of modern lineage.

Photo by LORETTA JACKSON Union Coffee Co. barista Melissa Morin, of Milford, serves up some snacks to videographer Zach Ellis, of Odd Story Creative, who documented bike night with his video equipment to provide a chronicle for Facebook sharing via Northeast Moto Society.