Tick Tick Tick go away!
After freaking out after the goo I found on the dipstick after my arrival at the first-of-the-year Pachaug Camp-N-Rides, I poured some random oil into the Suzuki DR350 to get me through the next few days (thanks Dave!).
This week has been and continues to be a bit of a hell week, but I knew I had to change the oil as I need to ride the baby DR on Thursday down to the Twisted Throttle Rhode Island Bike Night as I’m working the CCRI table because, really, someone from the moto-training courses in Rhode Island has gotta represent for the ADV crowd.
Sooo, after leaving work late because of a big annual event, I headed downtown to City Hall to pay my property taxes to Providence so my street can be swept by the auto-machines once a year and potholes cannot be filled. Someone had the bright idea of having the tax office open late until 7pm a couple of days before taxes were due, and it was brilliant. I got fucking rockstar parking immediately in front of City Hall, and there was no one in line. The best part? The lady called me ‘honey’ which made me smile.
Then onto the gym, first time since the CNR because I had gotten beaten to hell on the Saturday afternoon ride. An hour later, I pop onto the Honda Elite and head home, knowing I had a pile of laundry and a sad Suzuki waiting.
Oh, but wait.
I GOT EVERY LIGHT ON BROAD STREET.
This has never happened before. I was screaming inside my helmet after I passed through the last light before the turn onto my street, “I got every fucking light!”
Wanna put a big grin on a girl’s face? Give her a crowded city street with a full view of green. I vividly recall watching all the lights turn green on Avenue A one very early morning in New York when I was out riding my bicycle. It’s a freaking symphony.
After stuffing the washer with laundry, it was out to the garage with a rare Strongbow in hand.
Part of one Tom Ashbrooke on Supreme Court decisions about copyright and broadcast rights, and affirmative action and college admissions, which I thought was interesting, and into a ridiculous Tom Ashbrooke about life coaches (really?!) that I kept thinking this has got to be enough oil that I poured in, I was done.
I should be good for a couple of weeks :)
The boyfriend snapped this pic of my big cat, Dutch, snoozing beneath the down comforter on my bed. Seriously, the house is kept at 55F and it was probably warmer than that today as the sun was out. What a freakin’ life.
Went to the gym again and did 45 minutes on the ARC machine, listening to some dub step until I needed to step up the tempo, at which time I switched to Swedish House Mafia. I’m really hoping all this sweating will make a difference to my riding, ‘cos there sure ain’t nothing to look at in the gym.
I had to attend a funeral in Leominster, Massachusetts this morning. And I didn’t fancy getting myself there alone. A colleague at work was kind enough to offer to drive us with the catch that I had to get myself to his house in North Attleborough / Attleboro, MA.
No problem, my trusty Honda Elite 250 will zip me through Providence on I-95, and then off onto secondary roads through the Bucket and into Massachusetts. I didn’t reckon the traffic would be as heavy. Why are drivers so nonchalant in the morning. Move it! already.
Left PVD at 7:33AM and walked into his kitchen at 8:13AM (that was after wandering around a bit not knowing which door to knock on and completely missing the note he left me on the door).
What an awesome dog he has! And I didn’t get a picture of Jazzy. I’m in love … German Shorthair Pointer.
After returning to North Attleboro, he and another colleague drove to campus in one of those car things while I prepared to ride the scooter, analog GPS taped to the windshield.
I really don’t know what is wrong with me, directions-wise. I’m always lost. And I do pay attention to landmarks and stuff. At one point, I made a left instead of a right and wound up back on the same road I had turned off of about 10 minutes prior.
I retraced my route back to the mistake and headed right this time. Things seemed fine as I passed a “Welcome to Rhode Island” sign. Ahh, back in the Ocean State.
Then things got messed up because I stupidly used “R at CVS” as a direction.
In New England, here are things to NOT use as landmarks.
- White, steepled churches
- Dunkin’ Donuts
I must have passed three different CVS stores and became very confused WHICH right I was supposed to take.
My mistake, and in my defence, it’s not really a mistake, as the right I thought I should take was a one-way in the opposite direction (in other words, I couldn’t actually take the right).
Which leads us to the real issue.
Central Falls and Pawtucket, what is up with all the freakin’ one ways?!
When I realized I was, yet again, lost in Central Falls, I just resigned myself for the slow slog through the one square mile town, knowing I would be dumped out into the Bucket, which of course terrified me.
I’ve never not been lost in Pawtucket.
“Please, please let there be signs for I-95,” I thought, begged, to myself.
And there were! And more alarmingly, they actually led me to I-95. The wind had really picked up as I entered the highway but the mighty Honda Elite soldiered along, hitting 61 on the digital dash. Take that, CBR 600s!
I made it to campus safe & sound, where I learned that my car-driving colleagues were wondering if I would arrive before them. How cute.
Today wasn’t a particularly nice day, but I saw lots of bikes out and about on my commute, probably because I didn’t take my regular commute as I had an appointment in the morning.
- girly on a Yamaha Vino scooter
- hardcore commuter on a Honda CRF230 or 250
- some random 90′s thing parked on campus with fake BMW roundels
- a tiny glimpse of a sportbike X2
- and finally, a nice, unmolested early 1970′s Yamaha
I arrived home tonight to a very serious looking boyfriend. He uttered these words:
I have very bad, life-changing news.
My first thought was that his library was closing or having a major reduction in hours, and he was going to be laid off.
But no…it’s worse.
The geniuses at Heineken have fucked with one of the best ciders on the market. How? you ask. By bringing out two new ciders, the one which I tasted being sickeningly sweet, to appeal to fucking urban hipstahs who have no appreciation for true alcoholism.
The genius part? Pulling the ORIGINAL recipe off the market.
Why? Why would you do this? Largest market share in the global market so yeah, let’s stop making the product and bring out something sweeter.
Wanna make a lot of money? Produce a good-quality dry cider in quantities large enough to support the market.
And I absolutely LOVE the marketing profile of the Strongbow drinker.
Strongbow consumers live their lives in a natural, effortless way, and appreciate authentic experiences and moments with friends. They love the outdoors but also love the city, where they seek their own ‘urban orchards’: places where nature meets the upbeat metro pace, and real conversations happen. From parks and patios to deck bars and street festivals, those urban orchard locations are meant to enjoy a Strongbow poured over ice.
Seriously? Cider was what the drunks drank. Now it’s come out of the shadows and they have to fuck it up with sugar. Some of us drunks just want our dry, crisp intoxicant.
Rode the Buddy into work today, the first time in a couple of months. Very weird feeling. I had to use my left hand for something.
I didn’t move the Hippo Hands from the Elite to the Buddy. When I opened the door to go outside this morning, I wasn’t hit by angry, frigid air, but gentle, dare I say it, a warmness that surrounded me. Still a bit shocked as I wandered over to the garage, I pulled on my helmet, started up the Buddy, and decided I didn’t need to turn on my heated gloves.
I spent this Tuesday and Wednesday at the annual NERCOMP conference, conveniently located at the Providence Convention Center. I rode the Honda Elite both days, parking it safely next to Trinity Brewhouse.
This morning greeted me with gale-force winds. I really should have switched out scoots so I could have taken the Buddy (which doesn’t have a windscreen), but I labored down Broad Street to the convention center on the Elite with his GIANT windscreen.
Truly an amazing ride as I couldn’t predict when the gusts would strike from side streets or between buildings. At one point I used a RIPTA bus to block the wind at the cemetery. Thankfully there was only once when I got blown so hard to the left that I touched the center line. There was a lot of brake covering and shifting of my body weight.
Oh, and the conference presentation I did with two of my colleagues went really well (if I do say so myself).
March 19th is a big day in Rhode Island. People go crazy eating zeppole to celebrate St. Joseph’s Day. Somehow I missed this day growing up in the Pine Barrens of south Jersey. I thought maybe it was just my sheltered upbringing (really, there’s not a whole lot of diversity in the sand pits), but I conferred today with a co-worker, also from New Jersey, but she from up north (you know, 201 land), who confirmed “it’s a Rhode Island thing.”
My ride in this morning was brilliant! Why, you ask. Could it be I made every light, and every stop sign was but a brief halt? Sadly, no. So what was it?
Corner of River and Chalkstone Avenues, there’s a barbershop. I rolled up to the red light, first in line, no one behind me. I noticed a guy walking along the sidewalk in the opposite direction. I leaned down to watch in my right side mirror but didn’t see him. This is the kind of corner where you don’t want to lose site of pedestrians, if you know what I mean. I glanced to the right and noticed that he had turned around and was now heading back in the same direction as I was headed.
He gave a head bop and yelled something over. Now normally I don’t engage with random dudes walking down the street, but I knew this was a long red light and why the hell not? I pulled up my faceshield and said, “Wha?” He made vroom vroom noises. I yelled over, “Grab a helmet” as I patted the seat behind me, “and hop on!” Apparently he loved this.
He then walked up the steps of the barbershop, presumably to get his buddies, but the light turned green and off I went. We’ll see if he’s standing there tomorrow morning, helmet in hand.
Oh, to the morAn in the Subaru who screamed out the driver’s side window as I was waiting to make a left onto Huxley (from Eaton), fuck you. Wasn’t sure if you heard me this morning.
On the way home, a totally different take on the scooter as commuter.
My favorite insult, of the myriad of insults that are hurled at scooter riders, comes from the person waiting for the bus.
I had just gotten gas, and as I’m scootering down Broad Street, a chick at the bus stop, presumably waiting for a bus, at Central High School yells out “Can I take a ride in your basket?” which must have referred to the rocking milk crate on the back.
Really? You are waiting for THE BUS. I can come and go as I please, getting 70 miles to the gallon and insurance of what, $50 a year? Which comes out to be cheaper than your bus pass, except for the fact that you don’t actually pay for your bus pass, which is, naturally, subsidized by me. So because of you, yes, I have to ride this lame-ass scooter because my earned income is siphoned off so your ass can ride on a bus.
I am so over this neighborhood. Social justice my ass.
I took a quick walk around the neighborhood tonight, despite the cold, because I can’t stand being cooped up anymore. It was already kinda dark, but it doesn’t really bother me ‘cos I know what blocks to not go down.
Braaaap brrraaap braaaaappp backfire braaaap.
That’s right, a kid on a crappy rattlecan job ATV zipping down a street with those giant speed humps. He actually stopped at a stop sign. I was like WTF, who stops at stop signs on stolen ATVs?
A little later, as I’m approaching a corner onto Broad Street, I hear sirens blazing and lights shining off buildings. Two cop cars come racing around the corner onto the street I’m walking along. They drive about a block and both cars come to a dramatic, screeching halt, lights cut, in front of an apartment house I just walked by.
Um, yeah, maybe I’ll just stick to riding. Faster getaway.