This is my 1987 Vulcan 88 Classic. It is big, it is old, but it is mine, and it brought me safely through a 1300 mile journey, so I feel a bit of gratitude towards the old lump of steel and weather-checked rubber.. I figure I owe it at-least a chance to live on in semi-retirement here in Florida. It spent most of its life in the cold and blustery north, so I imagine it likes it down here, as do I.
I bought this bike last year for the princely sum of $600, and have put about 7,500 miles on it so far. I love having a bike again, and florida is the best place for a motorcycle. I should spend even more time riding it than I do.
I rode this motorcycle from Northwestern PA, to the middle of Florida over 3 days, and loved every minute of the crazy adventure, I left directly after my last day of work ended, and then rode about 70 miles to stay that night at a friends house, and in the morning I left, and rode all day long, finally ending up in South-Carolina for the night. then the next morning I finished the ride.
Twenty Eight Feet: life on a little wooden boat from kevinAfraser on Vimeo.
I read the book: ‘Dove’ by Robin Lee Graham, and somewhere stashed away, I have the original National Geographic Magazine articles about his travels, and this video makes me re-live reading those books. Here is a young man also on a small yacht sailing away for adventure.
I moved to Florida partially to someday experience this lifestyle, I ride past the yachts every morning, many of them have names of faraway places painted on their bows, I have seen Australia, Greece, England, Mexico, and the Bahamas to name a few. I imagine what it would be like to embark on an adventure like that. To set sail and not return for months or years, who knows where the wind will take me..
I have been using the Osprey Veer Resource bag since 2010 as my ‘walking bag’ whenever I go out for a walk, or a short bike ride. I keep it to pretty minimal contents; mostly my iPad, a few pens and my Moleskine. Thats pretty much it most of the time.
I bought the blue one in these pictures at REI in Portland back in 2010, I wanted something I could keep essentials in, and since I am a huge fan of Osprey Packs, I bought this without hesitation, and it really has served me well. I used it very regularly from 2010 till 2013, then I gave it away. After a few months of carrying my heavy Momentum 34 pack with me everywhere, I realized how much I missed having something small and easy to grab on my way out the door, so I went to buy another one, only to find that Osprey had discontinued them. I watched eBay like a hawk, and finally bought another one this year. (Red this time)
Other than two small irritations (more on that later) I am really in love with this bag, it has a great strap design so that it sits right on the small of the back when you are walking, and doesn’t interfere with your hands, or get in the way at all. Unlike a backpack which is hard to get into if you want something, you can just swing the veer around easily and access the contents on the move. It has a flap on the front that is secured with Velcro, and has a place for a few pens, and a small hidden pocket where I keep my Moleskine.
The main compartment has a protective flap over the zippers to help keep moisture out, which I think is a really thoughtful design idea. I keep my iPad in there, as well as a larger journal or some other project from time to time. I will often throw in a bluetooth keyboard if I am going to do any long-form writing.
On top is the best pocket on the bag, it is right where your hand naturally falls when you grab for the bag, and I use it to keep things I want instant access to. I keep a flashlight there, and headphones, a cliff-bar and a multi-tool most of the time. I know that this bag has a pretty strong following in the concealed carry community because of this pocket, it almost seems engineered for CC.
There is a place to put a water-bottle, and in my case; I keep a 18oz Hydrofask there most of the time.
The only 2 things I don’t like about the bag, are the poorly designed outside flap pocket, it has a very short zipper which restricts access, and seems like it would have been better if it were a vertical zipper instead. the smart-phone pocket on the strap is also too small. It barely fits an iPhone 5s, and I don’t think it would fit a 6 at all.
At this point (2 years after Osprey discontinued production) you are probably going to have a hard time finding one outside of eBay, but I still think its the best small walking bag ever made.
- Ipad & Case
- Glue Dot Runner
- Sennheiser PX100s
- Coghlans Trek I First Aid Kit
- Lamy Safari Yellow
- Lamy Al-Star Graphite
- Kum Pencut Scissors
- Kashi Granola Bar
- Osprey Veer Bag
- Staedtler Color Pencils
- Bluetooth Keyboard
Why are some places more inspiring than others? Why do I fail to create anything in my day to day life, and then when I leave and go to a new town, down a different road, or travel far far away, then suddenly the inspiration flows easily? Is is the dull unending routine that I am yearning to break free of? Is is just that I lose those mental dead-ends when I have to think differently? What makes those creative juices start to flow?
Will I lose that spark of new ideas and insight when I move away from here, and finally settle into the new life I make there? Will that then become the routine, and then years later I will realize that the muse is gone again? Am I to ever be a gypsy in search of an elusive firefly?
My Journal today, nostalgic for Portland.
There exists a small displaced band of hippies who have escaped the turn of time, and are still happily weed-smokingly living out their days in this small town. They are resolutely happy in their ignorance that it is no-longer 1968, and that there is no danger of the draft.
I encountered this little band of flower-children while working. Although I was there to fix the reception of their cable TV, I doubt that any of them even noticed that I was there. There were four of them, all sprawled on the faded couch, like dead flies stuck to the rim of a glass, no one moved at my approach. The air was thick with the sickly sweet scent of weed, and the TV was mostly snow, only the outlines of figures moved on the old RCA Floor Console. I had come to make the snow go away, and so that is what I did.
I repaired a bad connection, and this solved the problem. I worked silently because I couldn’t think of anything to say, and the stoned bodies on the sofa didn’t bother to interact with me in the least. I felt as though I had stepped into and then back out of a small time distortion. There had been nothing in the room to indicate that I was in any other decade than the 1960s, everything there would have been at home in that decade, nothing betrayed that this was indeed a new century, and the 60s a distant memory.
When I took my leave (Of the only person in the house who was lucid) I glanced back once toward the room, and shrugged at the oddity of what I had just seen.
Oh-well, only one more day in the life of a cable-guy.