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Motorcycle Bob in Bangor

Motorcycle Bob in Bangor — I heard the Harley’s roar outside of my Bangor residence, and knew immediately who my visitor was. “Shit, its Motorcycle Bob!” I had just washed the farm crap off of me, and was standing fresh out of the shower, wrapped in a towel. “Chaya, go answer the door,” I hastily [...]

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Motorcycle Bob in Bangor —

I heard the Harley’s roar outside of my Bangor residence, and knew immediately who my visitor was.

“Shit, its Motorcycle Bob!”

I had just washed the farm crap off of me, and was standing fresh out of the shower, wrapped in a towel.

“Chaya, go answer the door,” I hastily spoke to my wife.

She said “no,” I said “yes,” she said, “you are an asshole,” I said, “I’m naked.”

Given the bare circumstances of the moment, she begrudgingly answered the door. From the other side of the apartment, I heard a booming, 50 gallon steel drum echo sort of voice coming from the doorway. It rattled everything, like the cars of those dorks who drive around blasting bass.

“Shit, that’s Motorcycle Bob.”

Not only did Bob prove himself in that instant to be a real person with a real voice, he proved himself to be real person with a very, very deep and loud voice.

I rushed to get dressed. I could not leave Chaya out there with that voice for too long on her own. Its sheer weight would surely crush her in no time.

I ran onto the scene, and there, I finally met the architect of some of the best comments on this travelogue. After a couple years of internet communication, I met the man behind the comments: Motorcycle Bob, known more simply as Bob L. He was big.

Motorcycle Bob, Irene, and Wade in Bangor

Motorcycle Bob, Irene, and Wade in Bangor

I felt tiny as he swallowed my entire arm up in a handshake. If he had not previously handed over two six packs of beer — a gesture of amiability in any culture — I probably would have been shaking in my pink plastic Chinese slippers.

Motorcycle Bob and his lady friend, Irene, took seats at our dinning room table and began drinking their treat of beer and pretzels. We then talked about . . . everything.

Like old friends catching up on lost times, the conversation flowed smoothly and ceaselessly. Even though this was our first meeting, Motorcycle Bob and I are old friends.

Every time that I solicited advice on this travelogue, Bob has been there with a stock of wit; whenever I stood indecisively at a crossroads, Bob has always held a sign as to which way to go; whenever I have been crinkled up and fluster, Bob has been there to flatten me back out again; whenever I overstep a linking sentence that ties together the wisdom of a travelogue entry, Bob has been at the helm to tie it up himself with a comment; if I ever need anything on this long road, I know that I can just say “Bob, give me . . . .”

And if Bob ever needed anything from me, I would simply do whatever that anything was.

This is how friends operate.

Bob has followed me on my travels for the past year and a half on this travelogue, and he has always kept me up to date on what he is doing through emails. In this way, the travelogue becomes a sharing, of sorts. I babble on continuously about my life publicly, and Bob sends me private letters — like a more stable person probably should.


I really like the people who read this travelogue. I often stand in disbelief at how many readers have become real friends. Sometimes, publishing these travelogue entries feel less like ticking words out into a random sort of ether than sharing a story with friends.

The enjoyment that I take from walking this path far trumps out the drive or need to make money. If I could make a living from this website, I would be a happy man . . . only, perhaps, because that would mean that I could spend my work days amidst an ether that has filled itself with good company.


Back in the initial days of this internet publishing fiasco, I had the errant impression that a large portion of travel blog commenters were either know-it-all limpwrists on the prowl to call someone else an idiot, shallow pitri dish goons looking to prove their riotousness, or horn headed monsters lurking in the depths of the dark basements of somewhere.

I thought that after this travelogue began receiving a steady amount of visitors, the “you are an idiot” comments would begin flowing in droves. I was ready for them. I have been armed with a shield and a sword for a long time, always on the ready to strike out at the inevitable army of goons who patrol the internet in search of a stranger to insult.

But I have very rarely needed to put up any sort of defense. I have now laid down my arms, and opened myself up to the possibility that a real good bunch people are the readers and contributors to this travelogue. I have become proud of myself in the reflection of the company I keep.

I truly enjoyed Motorcycle Bob’s intrusion into the hermit-landia that I etched out for myself in Northern Maine. He proved to be full of wit, humor, and wisdom, in the proper spirit of his comments.

He even laughed at a few of my jokes.


Filed under: Friends

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3691 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

Support VBJ’s writing on this blog:

VBJ is currently in: Trenton, Maine

12 comments… add one

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  • Heidi July 19, 2009, 12:46 pm

    β€œShit, its Motorcycle Bob!”

    Hahahaha, that has to become a catchphrase. A great post.

    As a long-time lurker of these pages, your confidence in your readers has motivated me to start commenting a little more.

    And bugger me, is that THE Bob L? He’s cute!

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    • admin July 19, 2009, 7:35 pm

      Haha, Heidi,

      I am so glad that you began commenting to let me know that you are out there . . . somewhere? Ireland? I just relayed your critique on to Bob . . . I think he will appreciate it haha.

      Thank you,


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  • Emery July 19, 2009, 5:16 pm

    Birds of a feather, flock together, right, Wade? I think you generally like your readers because they have found in you some kindred spirit. Out here in this vast ether, like minds somehow find each other like little bits of metal shavings to a magnet. Do you remember those toys? You may be a little young. They had a cardboard back with a cartoon picture, usually a bald guy with a round head, a clear plastic cover glued over with little metal shavings trapped inside, and it came with a little red plastic wand with magnet on the tip. You take the magnet a put hair on the bald guy. Anyway, I’m sure can relate. πŸ˜‰

    Glad to have found you, thanks to your quotes from The Drifters, written somewhere back in 2006, connecting me here, in 2009. Like… OK, I’ll stop. Peace.

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    • admin July 19, 2009, 7:37 pm


      Thank you for these good words. I do know what you mean.

      . . . like metal shavings going onto the bald guys head . .

      Hey, was that a bald joke! hehehe

      I am glad that you feel into this website net. I appreciate your thoughtful comments, advice, and, in general, friendship.

      Thank you,


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  • Emery July 19, 2009, 9:33 pm

    Yes, I admit it. It was a ba(l)d joke. You can take it, right? Anyway, I found the name of the toy. It was Wooly Willy. I felt inspired:

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  • admin July 20, 2009, 9:34 am

    Yeah, I can take it . . . I haven’t been getting it as often ever since I picked up that wig haha.


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  • Bob L July 20, 2009, 10:29 am

    I think maybe Motorcycle Bob has too much time on his hands.

    It was great to see you also and meet the famous Vagabond and his lovely wife.

    ***Like old friends catching up on lost times……..***

    That’s a good way to put it. It was a new experience for me, meeting a person for the first time, that I knew well. Like seeing someone you have not seen in a very long time, but have kept in contact with. Not a stranger, but not someone who is completely familiar either. A very good time.

    Irene and I wish you both the best, and hope to meet up with you again soon. We want to see that cabin in the woods.

    Bob L

    Link Reply
    • admin July 20, 2009, 12:02 pm

      Feel free to come up anytime!

      Then we can go out to the cabin in the woods.


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  • Pearl August 25, 2009, 5:38 am

    Aww I’m glad you two finally met!
    I’ve noticed all the comments Bob leaves on your posts so it was good to read about your lost catch-up.

    This was a great read, by the way –it deterred me from Italian and chemistry homework for a while, so that’s a good thing!

    I’m glad I found your blog back on Blogger when I first started to blog. And I just want to say thanks for posting such interesting stories. My blogroll or whatever its called would be much less fun πŸ™‚


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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com August 25, 2009, 8:20 pm

      Thanks Pearl!

      I am glad that we met back up again. I was wondering where you went to.

      Good to have you back!



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