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Changing my profession to vagabond

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by NoHorizons, Oct 10, 2018 at 12:16 PM.

  1. NoHorizons

    NoHorizons Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    Hudson NY, Washington DC
    It is now three days before I depart on my first longer motorcycle trip. And I am feeling a good mix of I can’t wait to finally get out of here, I have been dreaming of traveling for the last 4 years and oh crap I am totally unprepared, my panniers and boots haven’t even arrived yet. Well I suppose that’s the difference between an adventure and a vacation, right? A good adventure should have a good solid shake of uncertainty and I have at least decided on the general direction I am heading as for the rest there is no time like the present for making decisions, the future present that is.

    At 22 years old the expected path, the one that most of my friends and acquaintances have taken has them graduating from a good college with a fancy piece of paper and embarking on their careers. Despite actually enjoying learning I simply couldn’t justify the price of a private school and found community college to be painfully lacking in intellectual stimulation. So, when a friend offered me a place to live and a job at her small catering company in DC I jumped at the opportunity and have spent the last 2 years working my ass off.

    IMG_20180923_103744730_HDR~2.jpg
    I generally frown on selfies... but, here's one from a 1 week cross country trip delivering a friends car to Portland

    As long as I can remember I have longed to travel and travel in a way that I actually can experience the land and its people, so that when I am done I have more than a stack of selfies that prove I was there. I don’t know how I decided I wanted to travel on a motorcycle but somehow the idea showed up and wouldn’t leave. So, I did a two-day motorcycle course and started watching craigslist for adventure suited motorcycles, it took a while but I did eventually find something I liked. A 1992 KLR 650 with just under 10k on it yes, its older than I am and yes I am told the paint would better fit a jet ski from the 80's personally I like to think that it gives it a bit of character.

    IMG_20170430_181333881-2.jpg
    From the very first ride I took.

    I have decided to write this down partly because I want to give back to a community that has taken me across the world and truly stoked the flames of my inner vagabond with their words and pictures, and with any luck I would like to do the same for someone else. The other part is that I am doing it for myself, for days in the future when it has become a distant muddled memory reading this might bring back a bit of definition. In reality it has been a couple years since I have written anything longer than a short email and I have never really written something longer of my own volition, so, we will see how long this lasts. Also, bear with my on the grammar, I am working on it but its by no means a forte.

    Well that should be enough of a rambling introduction, I have to get back to wrapping up work. Hopefully I will have more interesting posts soon.

    DSC_2372_02.jpg
    #1
  2. Romero

    Romero At Cinéopolis or OXXO

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2016
    Oddometer:
    463
    Location:
    Morelia
    I'm in! That was the exact first bike I ever owned. Heading south?
    #2
  3. NoHorizons

    NoHorizons Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    Hudson NY, Washington DC
    Yes I figure I might run up to NY to see family and then wander south as weather and interest dictate. In the long run I hope to end up in Mexico or further but I want to spend at least a month getting used to living off a motorcycle before adding in a language I dont speak. I figure I have maybe 5 months of money if I'm super frugal unless I find a way to work en route, so we'll see where I end up.
    #3
    MYUMPH and Romero like this.
  4. Romero

    Romero At Cinéopolis or OXXO

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2016
    Oddometer:
    463
    Location:
    Morelia
    #4
    NoHorizons likes this.
  5. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,381
    Location:
    Chicago physically, Colombia en mi mente.
    I’m in! Good luck and get south soon—the weather’s changing fast.
    #5
    NoHorizons likes this.
  6. SteveTheLocal

    SteveTheLocal Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    251
    Location:
    Island in the Salish Sea
    You are off to a good start...keep your nose clean...I'll be watching, ha ha.
    Ride like they are out to get you, 'cause they are!
    Safe and interesting journeys.
    #6
    NoHorizons likes this.
  7. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,139
    Location:
    Central Mn
    Subbed.
    I'm thinking some great photography is coming from this lad :queenie
    #7
    NoHorizons likes this.
  8. rokytnji

    rokytnji Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2018
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Pecos Texas
    PM me here, if tired on I20 and in the West Texas area and need to recharge body and scooter.
    I got room for scooter vagabonds. Being a scooter tramp myself since the 70's.
    #8
  9. NoHorizons

    NoHorizons Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    Hudson NY, Washington DC
    Not fast enough its been in the 80s and humid in DC, not exactly fall weather.
    Thanks!
    #9
  10. NoHorizons

    NoHorizons Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    Hudson NY, Washington DC
    Day 1

    Well, the beginning of the trip was definitely not what I was hoping it would be. I left at 4pm hoping to squeeze out before the worst of rush hour hits. I am heading home to upstate NY for a couple of days before going south.

    20 min later I pop a tire, I pull over and take a deep breath. Ok. Not the best start but I am prepared for this I have my toolkit with some tire patches. Nope its not going to be that easy, I get the tire off and pull out the inner tube to find that it is torn around the valve. There is no patching it, luckily, I am still in civilization, there has to be somebody in the area who has a tube that will fit but it is now almost 5pm on a Friday. After calling maybe ten places I finally find a Cycle Gear 20min away and call a Lyft.

    I didn’t look at the exact time but given how much I know about my driver’s history, sports interests, career and family I am guessing it was a bit longer than 20 min. I got the tube and called another Lyft, this time it was much longer and I sit in silence watching the sun sink to the horizon. By the time I got back to the bike its around 7 and getting dark. I hate DC traffic.

    Naturally as I am putting the tire back on the rim I pinch the new inner tube. Guess I get to use those patches after all. I pull out my headlight and get to work the rest went slowly but without incident. Eventually I get the tire back on and head out of the city. Still in heavy traffic.

    I don’t like driving in the dark but under no circumstances am turning around that would feel too much like admitting defeat before I even started.

    I got something to eat despite not having much of an appetite and started to look for someplace to hang my hammock. I usually go for a campsite or at least someplace remote where its unlikely I will be seen. I start getting seriously tired and cold and eventually give up looking for remote and find a corner of a parking lot behind a strip mall, I am setup shortly before it starts to rain and continues to rain throughout the night.

    Sorry, no pictures I was a little preoccupied.
    #10
    Suncoaster likes this.