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Housekeeping - The Wandering Jew Status Report

Triskedecaphobes beware: The Ridiculously Random Motorcycle Tour enters its thirteenth day tomorrow. What a short, strange trip it's been. New post on Nashville forthcoming. Meanwhile, I'm writing to update you on the logistical side of this oddyssey [sic].

Fritz the BMW K1600 GTL

Despite my Jewish heritage – or perhaps because of it – my German motorcycle has proved itself a reliable steed over our first three thousand miles.

Which is just as well; I've instructed Apple Maps to avoid highways like the plague. Siri didn't understand the word plague. Even so, she has me riding through countryside that's lonelier than a Wilson-less Chuck Noland.

Breaking down in The Middle of Nowhere would not be a ball. I can't – don't want to imagine the time and financial hassle of transporting a motorcycle from a place that's hundreds of miles from a BMW dealer.

Aside from the rubber covering the brake lever flying off in the middle of a traffic choked city road, Fritz has had one relatively minor wobble. Well, two.

Intermittent Quick Shifter Failure

The Bimmer's Quick Shifter is a blessing; a left-toe flick of the gear lever interrupts ignition and reduces engine torque, enabling clutchless gear changes. It requires practice to operate smoothly, and downshifts are too clunky to consider.

Once you master it, living without Quick Shift seems positively antediluvian (a.k.a., a PITA). When Fritz went on the fritz, intermittently, I suddenly understood why Berlin's boffins created the QS in the first place.

A not-so-quick visit to the Nashville BMW motorcycle dealer repaired the culprit: a barely visible break in a tiny wire connecting the shifter to the Bimmer's brain. As my ex-wives will attest, small things can make big trouble.


Fritz doesn't like foul air. When we're stuck in the wash of an eighteen wheeler, the Bimmer judders like it's doing Jaegermeister shots.

In short, a wobble-prone K-bike is not the machine I'd choose for major superhighway duty; Harleys' and Indians' fairings offer far more steady and comfortable cruising in that circumstance.

The aforementioned backroads-only guidance kept the backwash at bay. On those rare occasions where we were eating 18-wheeler aerodynamic interference, Fritz passed those long trucks in a single mind-bending bound.

Even in clean air with the K's modified fairing fully extended, the wind still buffets my helmet at speed. Because the helmet presses right up against the iPods, the atmospheric collision creates low-frequency thuds.

Loud-and-clear music drowns them out, more than less, and my brain eventually ignores the noise. Still, it's not ideal. A helmet designed around noise-cancelling earbuds would be. Especially in terms of pre-flight prep and post-flight wind down.

Confessions of an IPod Pro

The pre-ride protocol: power on the BMW, twist my iPhone into the QuadLock, remove my glasses, extract the iPods from their case, insert earbuds, open the modular helmet, carefully slip it over the iPods, put on my glasses, throw my leg over the saddle, hit the starter button and press play on the Chubby Button controller.

Coming off the bike is the same process in reverse. The downside isn't just time suck and exhibitionism. If someone wants to talk to me while I'm on or just coming off the bike I have to use hand signals to indicate I can't hear a word they're saying.

Which I can't until I remove my glasses, carefully wiggle off the helmet (lest the earbuds go flying) and remove them from my ears. All of which is worth it for killer tunes and protection for the LOUD AF fan cooling the massive TFT screen.


Adderall – Extended Release in the AM, 5mg in the afternoon – has banished the blues and kept me focused on not dying in a horrific crash. Unfortunately, meth in a bottle make me forget to eat or hydrate, dizziness and fatigue resulting.

I often find my blood sugar hitting the basement in places where gas station fare is my only option; a selection more than partially responsible for enabling the locals' resemblance to the plus-sized passengers on Wall-E's luxury Starliner.

I've learned to down a bottle of water whether or not I'm thirsty, suck a Red Bull (the drink) for the caffeine and munch on some Kind of energy bar.

At night, I refuel in earnest (the behavior not Mr. Worrell). The purge and binge lifestyle has added to Fritz's burden (i.e., my waistline).

So I've begun taking long daily walks. The perambulations burn calories, increase interactions with bipeds and gives me the lay of the land (an idea of a place, not sexual congress).

Mental Health

As foreshadowed in my last post, I've lost something profound over the last 12 days: the attachment to my previous life. I'm not completely free yet, but I can feel the chains beginning to slip.

A big part of that's down to the fact that my bridge is burning. The condo has sold. On July 15, I will be officially homeless, my worldly goods transported to storage. There's no going back.

It's a liberating thought, but a bit distant. Here on the ground, nothing has changed. I'm still me. Still traveling. Still finding my rhythm.

That said, I'm already aware that it's a somewhat slower pace. Less desperate. More... present.

Everything Either Grows or Dies

There's no doubt about it: I'm feeling more creative. While I reckon my previous posts from the road have been somewhat formulaic, I feel a lot more inspired than I did in Austin.

Less travelogue, more Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Touring to come? Maybe. I'm certainly going to write non-Wandering Jew posts in future.

In any case, writing in and of itself soothes my soul. So... here it is. Don't forget to sign up for casual updates on X. I'm considering a new Instagram page. Will advise. In any case, thanks for reading.

NOTE: Comments are now enabled without signing up for "membership." Fire away! And the floor is open to anyone who wants to write their own truth. Email with "Truth" in the subject bar.

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6 Kommentare

Chrisopher Bove
Chrisopher Bove
16. Juni

Homelessness, sucking on Red Bulls, sounds like the start of a depressing interview with a stripper....

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13. Juni

If you get a chance, read any of the books by Mark Hamer. He literally lived like a hobo for many years, sleeping in hedgerows all over England, and his books are very philosophical and yet grounded in nature and in his musings and wanderings.

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Dave Holzman
Dave Holzman
13. Juni

It's been a good ride that's just gotten even better.

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13. Juni

Congratulations on the sale. You are now, truly, the WJ! Many of us will be following and jealous and we are locked down.

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12. Juni

Motorcycle trips are always hard on the body, especially in hot weather. Sounds like you are adapting and the fact that you aren't really in a hurry to get to a planned destination gives you a lot more flexibility. Have fun and ride safe!

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13. Juni
Antwort an

Tail of the Dragon next...

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