The Bunkie Co.

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A collaboration between 608 Design and BLDG Workshop, the Bunkie is versatile prefab house that can be placed just about anywhere.

The two firms came together through mutual appreciation of each others work, and decided to work together to design an inexpensive, eco-friendly housing option. They decided to use CNC milling technology, which is used extensively for mass-producing furniture, in order to cut large pieces of the house. This saves them both material as well as construction time.

They designed a few different versions of Bunkie, each with their own special characteristics, however all of them feature a compact living space that aims to offer maximum functionality with minimal footprint.  To this end, each Bunkie has been designed with integrated shelve-system for storage and a folding murphy bed. Ideal for a guest house, backyard office, or remote cabin retreat, the Bunkie great multipurpose space with a smart modern design.

For more information about the Bunkie house, check out its dedicated website: bunkie.co

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Motorcycle Camping in Big Bear

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There are moments in every city-dweller’s life when we feel compelled to drop everything, forsake our weekend obligations, and flee – by any means necessary – into the wild. This desire to escape our crowded surrounds comes on slowly during the workweek, but swells up suddenly and undeniably once the weekend arrives. It is as if we spend our entire lives in the city holding our breath, and from time to time we are required to come up for a long drag of cool, clean air. This was one of those weekends.

A group of us from Aether: Jonah, Brandt, Matty, and myself, as well as our good friend Davide from Shelter Half, seized upon the idea of getting out of town about midweek, even if just for a single night. One of the main benefits of an impromptu camping trip is that there’s virtually no time to stress out over the planning. No weighing one destination versus another, sussing out the campsite with the best amenities, or trying to determine the absolute ideal route in getting there. Whatever is going to happen, is going to happen – in a very real, kinetic way. This style of last-minute scramble camping can be quite liberating, especially for those who rely heavily on careful deliberation and planning during the workweek. So off we went, without much of a plan, or much of a care, over the hills and far away.

In additional to our own personal motorcycles, we also had access to a loaner Ural Gear-Up sidecar. This Russian beast of a machine is the motorcycle equivalent of an SUV, making it the ideal vehicle for hauling camping supplies. With its passenger compartment, rear trunk, and back rack fully loaded, we have no doubt the Ural would give a Toyota Rav4 a run for its money in terms of storage capacity.

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We were heading towards Big Bear lake, but instead of slabbing it across the highway, we decided to take the back way over the San Gabriel mountains along the Angeles Crest Highway. We stopped off at Newcomb’s Ranch to assess how the Ural was handling the grand, sweeping twisties of the Crest and much to our surprise it wasn’t having too hard of a time keeping up.  Although much of the credit was due to the man riding it, Mr. Matty McCalla.

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Piloting a side-car around tight canyon turns can be described at its best as a “dynamic experience” and at its worst as a “real son of a bitch.” There is a lot of rider participation in the form of hiking yourself off the side of the bike like a deckhand on an America’s Cup sailboat, in order to physically wrestle the vehicle around the corner. For anyone concerned that riding a motorcycle is too sedentary an activity, riding a sidecar allows you to get in a full-body workout before you get to your destination.

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From Newcomb’s Ranch we pressed on down the road to Wrightwood, where we made a stop at the Evergreen cafe. It was about 11:30 am and half of our group felt they could get away with a second breakfast while the other half were intent on ordering lunch. Thankfully, small-town diners don’t really delineate between either meal, so the friendly waitstaff were more than happy to accommodate us. With out stomaches filled and feeling pretty satisfied with life, we got back on the bikes and continued down the CA-138.

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We passed through the hot dusty basin that sits between the San Gabriel Mountains and the San Bernardino Mountains as quickly as we could. All around us were the tell-tail signs of high desert decay: sun-bleached trailer homes on dirt lots, knucklehead kids running amok on ATVs, and corporately-maintained gas stations baking away in the noonday heat. At the lowest point of the valley, representing the absolute nadir of the area, was the I-15. As we crossed over the freeway, we saw beneath us the stampede of drivers who were wildly careening out into the desert in hopes of making their fortune in Vegas. We passed over this motorized migration with a sigh of relief and made a beeline for the mountains on the other side.

Past Silverwood Lake, the topography started to pick up and the dusty scrub-covered hills began to turn back into pinewood forest. We got turned around a bit near Crestline, when we overrode our human instincts in deferment to the authoritative commands of Davide’s GPS unit. However, this minor detour lead us to chance upon the water park on Lake Gregory, which, with its inflatable water slides, bouncy trampoline, and inflatable obstacle course, filled us with an untamable, child-like excitement. We vowed to return some other time to investigate this lakeside wonderland more thoroughly.

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Further down the road, we stopped at Lake Arrowhead amidst a growing clamor from within the group for soft serve ice cream. It’s unclear who put this thought into everyone’s heads, perhaps it was divinely inspired by the perfectly sunny afternoon, or perhaps, seeing the carnival-like atmosphere of Lake Gregory, we all felt compelled to partake in at least one classic summertime indulgence. So off we went, five grown-men on motorcycles, in search of soft serve ice cream.

We found what we were looking for at the Lake Arrowhead Village: a consortium of shops and business that have been contrived – either by misguided city zoning or the demented vision of some enamored developer – to resemble a Swiss alpine village.  Filled with outlet stores and food court-quality vendors, the whole scene seems to fall tragically short of its intended aim, while shouldering the added weight of being painfully unoriginal. However, despite all of its many shortcomings, we can now attest whole-heartedly that Lake Arrowhead Village is a great place for soft serve ice cream.

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Continuing along the Rim of the World Highway we finally arrived at Big Bear lake. Heading along the north shore it wasn’t long before we arrived at the disconcertingly-named town of Fawnskin. From there we turned north onto a dirt road that led to our campsite at Hanna Flats.  Nowhere does a Ural sidecar feel more at home than on a country dirt road. It charges over the washboard grooves in stride and doesn’t miss a beat forging across sandy washouts. We were just starting to get into the swing of things when we arrived our campsite.

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When we pulled in, the camp host gave us two warnings: “Keep your campfires low. And watch out for rattlesnakes. I’ve killed two already today.” With these welcoming words, we were allowed to proceed to our site. Turns out Brandt isn’t much of a fan of snakes, a view which, once shared, offered us plenty of fodder for the rest of the evening. Thankfully it was all in good fun, because we didn’t see any snakes the whole time. Plenty of sticks that looked like snakes, but alas, no snakes.

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And so we arrived from the chaotic streets of Los Angeles, having travelled roughly 150 miles, to a tranquil campsite in the mountains of Big Bear entirely on backroads. To the best of our recollection, there was only one stop light and perhaps a handful of stop signs over the course of the entire route. Living in Los Angeles may have its draw backs from time to time, but having access to these kinds of riding roads certainly makes up for them.

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AETHERmoto LA | The Great Malibu Traverse

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Join AETHERmoto LA every Second Sunday of the month as we explore some of the best riding routes in the Greater Los Angeles area.

When: Sunday, August 10th, 2014.
Meet at 9am for coffee & donuts, kickstands up at 9:30am

Where: AETHERhq
(6100 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA)

What (the Ride): For this ride we will boldly endeavor to complete The Great Malibu Traverse. Our route will take us up the first canyon along the PCH. From there, we we will twist, weave, and snake our way through the Santa Monica mountains until we reach the absolute last canyon back to the ocean. This route will have us traveling the full length of Malibu entirely in the hills. The journey will be long , the views will be spectacular, and the roads will be twisty. Very, very twisty.  So fill up your tank and join us for a motorcycle odyssey  through some of the best riding terrain on the planet.

Click here for the Route Map

Group Ride Guidelines (etiquette):

1 Arrive with a full gas tank, having already used bathroom.
2 Know the route in case you get separated (especially gather points)
3 Ride at your own comfortable pace. Group rides can often push people beyond their skills. Don’t get caught up in keeping up.
4 See #3. Seriously.
5 When making a turn off of any given road, stop and wait until the next person sees you. Rinse and repeat. This way the group can keep moving without losing anyone in the turns
6 Let faster riders past you. The group should automagically end up fastest to slowest after a while (It’s ok to be slowest!)
7 If you have to bail out, send a text so we don’t have to come looking for you.
8 Have fun, that’s the whole point. Extra credit: post your awesome shots and story to Insta/face/ter/gram and the list and tell everybody how fun it was. #aethermoto

Moto Guzzi Tractor 02 by Venier Customs

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This Moto Guzzi V7 by Brooklyn-based Venier Customs has been redesigned for two-up riding on the chaotic streets of New York City.

This restyled Moto Guzzi V7 Stone has been transformed by Venier Customs for one of their New York clients. Dubbed the “Tractor 02″, the bike was customized for two people to ride comfortable across the bumpy streets of Manhattan while dogging taxis and buses.

To this end, the bike has been outfitted with dual-sport knobby tires as well as an elongated flat bench seat that has been shifted 30mm towards the back of the frame. It also features a GPS legendary speedo and a black LSL headlight. It has been finished with two tone glossy gray paint with a gold strip and matching gold logo.

A simple, elegant city commuter with an aggressive flat track-inspired attitude, the Moto Guzzi Tractor 02 by Venier Customs is versatile piece of art. Check out more of Venier projects on their website: venier-customs.com

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Good To-Go Freeze Dried Meals

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Good To-Go dehydrated meals lets you bring healthy, gourmet meals into the backcountry.

After a long strenuous hike, the first thing we’re looking forward to when we break for camp is a nice, well-cooked meal. However, more often than not, the bag of freeze dried food we brought along is barely passable – even with our our ravenous appetite! Enter Good To-Go Freeze dehydrated meals.

Founded by Jennifer Scism, co-owner and chef of nationally recognized Soho restaurant Annisa, and her husband David Koorits, Good To-Go endeavors to bring high-quality, healthy, gourmet meals out onto the trail. Their lightweight dehydrated packs are handmade by a team of chefs in Maine, whose sole purpose is to craft the best tasting meals possible. They use real food, fresh produce and toasted whole spices to deliver a flavor that can’t be achieved by other processed freeze dried meals.

To see all the meals Good To-Go offers, check out their website: goodto-go.com They are also available for purchase on Amazon.

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Kit Bike by Lucid Design

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The Kit Bike, a new concept by Lucid Design, could be completely dismantled in minutes and would fit into a circular bag the size of a single wheel.

Coming out of India-based creative agency Lucid Designs, the Kit Bike would be an creative alternative to the awkward, small-wheeled folding bikes currently on the market. When built, it would be made from lightweight hollow aluminum tubing with each piece being held to together by a lockable turnkey. For ease of setup, all the attachable joints would be accessible from one side of the bike. The drivetrain would use a belt rather than a chain, while the saddle and included carrying circular bag would be made from high-grade leather.

The major draw of a design like this would be the ability to completely dismantle the bike for easy transportation and storage. No other design has been able to transform a full-sized into such a small package. This type of bike could be checked for air travel or placed in the back of the closet of a small studio apartment.

Unfortunately, the Kit Bike is still just a concept, but for more information about it check out the video below or Lucid Design’s website: lucid.co.in

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End of Season Promotion | Get 20% Off

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END OF SEASON PROMOTION | RECEIVE 20% OFF

As we start to ramp up for fall, we’d like to offer you a chance to hold onto summer just a little while longer. From July 28th to August 3rd we are offering everyone 20% off many of our styles.

So if you have been holding out, now is the time to pick up one of our current styles and ride out the rest of the summer season in style.

Enter Promo Code: AEO20

This promotion does not apply to the following styles: Altitude, Apex, Empire, Highline, Skyline, and Eclipse. Offer is available in online and at Aether retail locations (NYC, LA, SF). Not applicable to previous purchases.

AETHERmoto SF w/ Piston & Chain: Station House Cafe

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Join us every First Sunday of the month as we explore some of the best riding routes in the Bay Area. These rides meet at AETHERsf and are led by Piston & Chain. All types of bikes and riders are welcomed.

When: Sunday, August 3rd, 2014. Meet at 9am for Ritual coffee, kickstands at 9:30am

Where: AETHERsf at The Proxy (489 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA )

What (the Ride):

This month we go North to Station House Cafe in Point Reyes Station. After breakfast and Ritual coffee at the Aether lot, we roll North to Mill Valley, then above the cloud line on Panoramic Highway. From there, we hit epic twisties that include Ridgecrest Road and Fairfax-Bolinas just before we find Highway 1 North into Point Reyes Station.

While the last bit seems a bit straight, it’s incredibly beautiful and it begs you to return to SF (or wherever else you’re heading) via either the Lucas Valley or longer Fairfax-Bolinas route.

Click here for the route map

Group Ride Guidelines (etiquette):

1 Arrive with a full gas tank, having already used bathroom.
2 Know the route in case you get separated (especially gather points)
3 Ride at your own comfortable pace. Group rides can often push people beyond their skills. Don’t get caught up in keeping up.
4 See #3. Seriously.
5 When making a turn off of any given road, stop and wait until the next person sees you. Rinse and repeat. This way the group can keep moving without losing anyone in the turns
6 Let faster riders past you. The group should automagically end up fastest to slowest after a while (It’s ok to be slowest!)
7 If you have to bail out, send a text so we don’t have to come looking for you.
8 Have fun, that’s the whole point. Extra credit: post your awesome shots and story to Insta/face/ter/gram and the list and tell everybody how fun it was. #aethermoto #pistonandchain

B-and-Bee Sleeping Cell

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Designed for music festivals goers who don’t like sleeping in tents, the modular B-and-Bee sleeping structure offers enclosed king-sized beds for a more comfortable night’s sleep.

Created by a team of Belgian designers, the hexagonal sleeping cells can be stacked four high in a diagonal line to accommodate 50 individuals on only 100 square meters of ground. Each module is winched onto a base frame using a crane to form an interlocking stack. Roll-up fabric covers provide privacy from the outside world but can also be secured open to let in air or allow occupants to watch a performance from inside. Lightweight metal steps are used to access the upper compartment, while lower compartments are used as locker space.

The B-and-Bee is currently being tested at the Gentse Feesten music festival in Belgium, which runs until July 27th. The designers hope to develop a production model of the structure after receiving suggestions from users.

For more information about the B-and-Bee sleeping cell, check out their website: b-and-bee.com

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Camp Cups by Mazama

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These beautiful, handcrafted Camp Cups by Mazama were inspired by the classic enamel mugs of past generations.

In an age of cheap ceramics, chintzy plastic, and disposable paper the majority of the cups we use on a daily basis do little to heighten the overall drinking experience. By and large, they’re purely utilitarian in function and entirely forgettable in style. However, if we care about the quality of what we put in the cup (good coffee, good whiskey, etc.), then why wouldn’t we want to drink out of something we cherish?

The Camps Cups by Mazama inspire to be more than just an empty vessel for transporting liquid and serve as a reminder of the best moments of summer: the outdoors, campfires, and cowboy coffee in the morning.

Made from hand thrown vitrified stoneware, the Camp Cups are finished with a special dual-color glaze technique to capture that classic enamel look. They feature a tapered, unglazed foot which allows sets to nest together neatly for storage while a carefully considered handle provides a solid yet comfortable grip. The Camp Cup can be purchased in two different sizes: 12oz and 8oz, as well as in two different color styles: Cloud with Ink Speckle and Ash with Cloud Speckle

So if you’re looking to elevate the quality of your cup to the quality of your coffee, take a look at the Camp Cups by Mazama. You can also check out the rest of their collection of quality drinkware on their website: shopmazama.com

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