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Interview on KDKA-TV Pittsburgh Today Live

FORKS Author Allan Karl Discusses Around The World Motorcycle Adventure – CBS Pittsburgh from Allan Karl on Vimeo.

Author Allan Karl stops by to talk about his new book "Forks" and his international motorcycle adventure.

Pittsburgh – Special Wrap, TV, Summer Camp & Wine

allan-anne-narcisi-vinesWith the RoadRUNNER event behind me, the next major stop on the FORKS Tour ’14 took me to Pittsburgh—where the proximity of three rivers, The Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio made Pittsburgh ideal for settlers in the 1700’s. In more recent years, Pittsburgh gets huge nods for grading the tops of “best places to live” lists and is now often referred to as the city of bridges — all which seemed to painted in the colors of its major league sports teams the Pirates and the Steelers.

Long before FORKS was published, I reached out through social media in a search for support in testing the 40 recipes that appear in the pages of my book. Among the more than 30 people who offered to help with my project was Anne Karl Holtz, who I soon learned is a distant relative of mine through the “Karl branch” of my family.

When I announced that I was looking for cool places to hold book signing events, Anne was cook to connect me with the Narcisi family who operate the oldest winery in the Pittsburgh area, The Narcisi Winery. This beautiful Tuscan-inspired family-owned property makes wine from locally sourced grapes, many from Northern Pennsylvania near Lake Erie.

allan-karl-kdka-tv-cbs-pittsburghThanks to Anne, who helped connect me with local media in Pittsburgh, I had two major interviews to promote my visit to Narcisi and my book FORKS. I did a phone-in interview for the popular drive-time news program on KDKA News Radio 1020 with Larry Richert and John Shumway. Then, just a few days prior to my even on Sunday, July 20th, I was a featured guest on “Pittsburgh Today Live” on KDKA-TV, the Pittsburgh CBS affiliate with Kristine Sorensen and Jon Burnett. Turns out, Jon is a BMW motorcycle rider.

My next task was to get the 2011 FORKS Tour Van (a 2011 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter) wrapped with graphics from the book. Working with Denny Korber and the competent team at Speedpro Imaging Pittsburgh Central wrapped the van with the incredible graphics and photos from the book. Now there is no way for me to hide.
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At Narcisi I was particularly impressed by their “Stella” wine, made primarily from a little-used grape varietal from Germany and hardly grown or used in winemaking in the United States, Dornfelder, which is blended with a bit of cabernet and another unique variety, noiret, a hybrid developed by Cornell University for winemaking in the Finger Lakes and Hudson River Valley in New York. In speaking with Tony Narcisi, I was impressed by his and the Narcisi family’s dedication to working with grape varietals that are unique and grow well in local soils and in the difficult climate of northern Pennsylvania.
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We had a good crowd at Narcisi Winery and I signed many books. The best thing about doing an event at a winery or even a wine festival like I did last week, is that the idea of connecting with people and learning about culture and each other over good food and drink is paramount to my message and the reason why I wrote and published FORKS as a coffee-table style art, photography and cookbook hybrid complete with compelling narrative in stories of adventure, connection, collision and culture.

While in Pittsburgh I also was able to spend time with family, Anne, and her husband Doug, daughter Emma, and their dog, Rudy, all of whom I’d never met, sharing home cooked meals, good wine, conversation and having a comfy place to sleep. Even better, Emma, an aspiring writer is involved in a very unique summer camp — Young Writers Institute ~ Western Pennsylvania Writing Project — designed to help young writers explore their craft, create and share stories, poems and writing with others. The camp is designed for kids who are in fourth to eight grades. I was lucky enough to be in Pittsburgh when the camp was in session and shared my experience not only as a WorldRiding adventure travel, but also as an adventurous independent author and publisher. I sat on the floor, shared stories and answered questions, and I hope, impressing upon them to keep writing and to never give up!pittsburgh-summer-writing-camp

I could feel the energy in the room as the questions were fired at me — there will be more than a few published authors and best sellers from The Western Pennsylvania Writing Project!

I also managed to find some extra time to explore downtown Pittsburgh, the infamous Nicholas Coffee & Tea Company, The Church Brew Works where an old church has been converted into a brewery and the altar features large brewing tanks as well as Mount Washington for stunning views of the city, its bridges, skyline and stadiums.altar-church-brew-works-pennsylvania

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Check out more photos from the Pittsburgh stop on FORKS on Tour ’14

Snowshoe, West Virginia — FORKS Book ‘Tour — RoadRUNNER Touring Weekend

roadrunner-touring-weekend-2014-logoLeaving my new friends in Columbus I headed to Snowshoe, West Virginia, home of the popular Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort and summer mountain biking, motocross and a plethora of other outdoor activities—and this year site of the 9th annual RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel Magazine’s Touring Weekend.

I was honored to be asked to come present, speak and share FORKS with the more than 300 motorcycle riders who made the pilgrimage to Snowshoe from as far away as Ottawa, Canada. Sadly, I was unable to participate in any of the five or six carefully mapped out rides—one for every riding level and for different type of riding style or bike.

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During my visit at RoadRUNNER Touring Weekend, I met many riders who’ve been coming for many years. The event is professional, well organized and the team at RoadRUNNER keeps things running smooth and attending to riders’ needs. It includes evening presentations, dinner and plenty of motorcycles riders and talk of the amazing rides and roads near Snowshoe.

I did an hour presentation and included many photos, video and then capped the evening off with a dynamic question and answer session and autographing copies of books. Over the past few years I’ve delivered many presentations and answered hundreds of different questions, but at RoadRUNNER Touring Weekend I had a first:

signing-forks-allan-karl-roadrunner-magazine 2“How many pairs of underwear did you pack?”

The curious rider who asked this wondered just how I packed for a three-year journey. The answer: packing for a multi-year journey is, more or less, the same as packing for a two-week vacation. As for underwear? I carried five pair.

Next year is the 10th Anniversary of RoadRUNNER Magazine Touring Weekend and it will be held in the home town of the magazine’s corporate headquarters: Winston-Salem, North Carolina. If you haven’t checked out the magazine or participated in any RoadRUNNER events or tours, I suggest you check them out and begin planning your next adventure or tour.