Last night I zip-tied the wreath on the front rack on the Buddy. Terrible pic, taken at the Aldi. I forgot to take one when I got to work.
On a completely unrelated noted, the pedestrian crossing and stop lines have been painted on River Avenue with that new, extremely slippery but highly reflective, paint. There were piles of glass beads all over the street. Be careful in the wet!
I really don’t believe it. I saw two bikes on my commute. Today. 37F when I left the house.
I left later than usual because I didn’t want to get up this morning. It was dark and grey. I even said to the boyfriend, “Why is it so grey out?” and his response was “Winter in New England.” Oh yeah, right. Why did I move here again?
It was an easy commute, and I even saw, *gasp* TWO motorbikes on the commute. That’s pretty amazing because:
- I never see anyone on the commute on two wheels
- It was 37F when I left this morning
- One of the bikes was a Harley
I’m riding toward Eagle Square on Atwells Ave and I see a black guy on a black unknown scoot. He wasn’t wearing a helmet, but was bundled up and a “where’s Waldo?” type of acrylic knit cap donned his head. I gave a fist pump, ‘cos really, a scooter rider in 37F?! He fist-pumped back.
Within seconds of the scooter rider passing, I saw a Harley with Harley dude at the gas station (the 7-11 at the corner of Harris & Atwells). He had a neck gaiter pulled up over his chin, mouth and nose, but no helmet. Because, of course, that would be too inconvenient. I will never understand. Naturally, not a nod of recognition. FU cop, ‘cos only a cop is riding a fucking Harley in this weather. Thanks for locating my stolen DRZ. Ride back to B’ville and leave us city-scum to roast in our own juices.
Radio said 18F. Little Buddy didn’t want to start. Cold cold cold. Bud finally did start and now I’m in my office with the portable heater on. Only one glove has heat. Cold. I hate winter.
Yesterday was the grand opening of a Cycle Gear in Warwick, Rhode Island, the first in the state. They’d done a soft open a couple of weeks ago, but this weekend was the official opening.
I was asked to represent the Rhode Island Rider Education Program with a table to distribute information about our basic rider course, experience rider course and advanced rider course.
It was a good time despite the cold. I got to chat with a bunch of Rhode Islanders, as well as some of the folks from Cycle Gear, including those who came into the state to help out with the opening. Most memorable Rhode Islander was the guy who didn’t smile, and got a bit smart-assy when Anthony teased him. His “smile” was fake mooning us. That, in a nutshell, sums up the miserable attitude of the people of this state. I still don’t get it, as an outsider.
Fun-est bike was this Kawasaki! The owner was a super-chill dude from West Greenwich. He told me about how nice the riding is in Maine, so that’s on the list for next year.
I picked up some of the Freeze-Out line; a pair of leggings and socks in preparation for an upcoming ride. We’ll see if it works…the national marketing guy told me it would. He’ll hear from me if it doesn’t.
Loved this Dizzer sumo. Rider was a cool dude; he put a fake exhaust on the left side. Told me there wasn’t anything in there, now that I knew it was fake ;)
I had planned on taking the DR350 but he wouldn’t start. It was really cold and the fuel was down to nothing. Took the Buddy, and stopped at Trader Joe’s on the way home to pick up the last bits for the Thanksgiving meal.
I needed to get something notarized so I met the boy at Trinity for lunch before heading around the corner to our bank. The food, chicken caesar salad, was literally walking out of the kitchen as I pulled off my jacket. Thanks Julie!
Apparently I missed a Bajaj that rode by seconds after I took off back to campus.
Just a quick update tonight. I actually saw a bike on my ride home. For some, not so unusual. But not only do I usually not see any other powered two-wheelers on my commute, but it was 30 frigid degrees this morning, and just under 40F on the ride home.
As I pulled up to Smith Street to make my turn, I barely saw a completely blacked out bike with a blacked out rider (black jacket, backpack and flat black half helmet, brrrr). And there I was, red battery-operated fairy lights hanging off the milkcrate, yellow crate bag with large, reflective triangle facing traffic behind, retro-reflective stickers on my white helmet, reflective patches on the jacket, pants and boots, and two loops of retro-reflective bands on the handlebars. A beautiful opposite ends of the spectrum stilllife.
And crazy weird scene at the intersection of River and Chalkstone Avenues. It was rush hour and a large Budweiser delivery truck, so big it had a separate cab, is backing up against a green light on Chalkstone, trying to park in front of the skeev bar Gilligan’s. It was traffic chaos!
Most of the ride was uneventful, except the car that blew a 4-way stop and the idiot in the Subaru sitting at the intersection of Harkness and Westminster. I don’t even bother to honk anymore. It’s easier to go around a texting or otherwise inattentive bad driver than wake them from their stupor. The more space between me and them, the better.
I noticed on Monday morning that the Buddy was getting close to hitting 15,000 miles. I figured it’d be on Tuesday morning as I know the exact mileage of my daily commute.
Tuesday morning comes. I have a three-hour meeting starting at 9am so I wanted to get in early enough to enjoy a cup of coffee and go through whatever excitement happened while I was sleeping. Basically, I wasn’t thinking about odometers when I unlocked the gate and pushed the Buddy back onto the other side of the gate.
“Ride safe!” yelled the boy as I scooted down the leaf-strewn sidewalk and into the similarly leaf-strewn street.
Uneventful ride as I’m dodging cars, making way too many left turns at stop signs, waiting at red lights (shout out to Judy son’s graffiti mural at Tobey & Broadway). Then, for some completely unknown reason, as I literally wasn’t thinking about ANYTHING, I looked down and saw the odo at 14,999.7
“Ugh, here?!” is what I thought. Not the best place along the commute to pull over and snag a pic. But oh well, here goes!
When the odometer turned over 14,999.9, I stopped, pulled off my right-hand glove, and fished out my phone (those who know me, yes, it was a shock I had it in my bag and it was charged). After taking the 14,999.9 pic, I shoved the phone into the glove, and then shoved the glove into the “glove compartment” of Buddy, riding bare-right-handed (GASP!) down Knight Street, turning onto Atwells.
As the Bud turned over to 15k, I pulled over and put on the hazards, which I forgot this scooter has until I remembered. Taking the phone out of the glove, I snapped a pic of the odo. Then I thought, why not capture the moment?!
I looked up and saw a hipster dude walking along the sidewalk on the overpass for Route 6/10. I thought, “oh man, he’s gonna think you’re taking a picture of him…oh f’it.”
As he walked by, I yelled over excitedly,”I just hit 15,000 miles!”
He looked over, bemusedly, “Wha?”
“15,000 miles, I just hit 15k on this!”
So I guess yelling through a Cyclone Buff and full-face helmet dulls the excitement? I mean, c’mon! 15,000 miles on a piece of Tupperware. I think I may have made my money back.
I love my Buffs. I have a lot of them. What can I say, I’m a girl and consider a Buff a fashion accessory that happens to be extremely useful and quite good at performing as advertised.
In May I placed yet another Buff order. This time I scooped up a UV Buff (for summer) and a Cyclone Buff to complement my old Polar Buff.
Huh? Buff, what on earth…
A Buff is a tube of fabric that you pull over your head as it encircles one’s neck. Depending on the fabric, it can keep you toasty warm, sweetly cool, and/or sunburn-free. To say I have a couple of Buffs is a major understatement. I’ve got UV Buffs, hi-viz Buffs, lightweight and heavyweight Buffs, cozy fleece Buffs, and now…a Cyclone Buff.
The Cyclone Buff has two sections: one is thick black fabric which feels a bit like neoprene that features Gore Windstopper fabric; the other is thin fabric like a regular everyday Buff.
Now that the temps have dropped in New England, I pulled out the Cyclone Buff, a bit reluctantly, actually. I have a really nice Polar Buff (black fleece on one side and pink fabric on the other … reversible) that has gotten me through several winters. It’s super-soft and matches my Rukka jacket.
I’ve very reluctantly pulled out my full-on winter gear because of a perverse belief that if I postpone the heavy-duty warmth, it won’t get colder. But alas…
earlier this week it was cooooooold in the morning, below freezing. So out came the Cyclone Buff.
Lemme tell ya, there are some who love the W. L. Gore company and those who hate. I’m in the ‘love’ camp.
I pulled the Cyclone Buff over my head, softer fabric toward my feet, Windstopper fabric toward my head. I carefully mushed the thick fabric between my jaw and helmet padding, and headed to work on the Buddy. It really is unbelievable. No breeze, no wind, no cold.
I’ve become obsessed with all things Windstopper. Did you know they make shoe covers for bicyclists? How fantastic would they be over riding boots?!
The commute on Tuesday morning was brutal. One of those commutes that I thought, “Man, there’s no way I can capture just how difficult this is, this little 4-mile ride.”
As I was getting dressed, I looked out the bedroom window to see white flakes drifting earthward. “Great, snow. In mid-November. Why’d I move to New England again?” The cats did that little ear twist that cats do as they lay on my grandmother’s down comforter on the bed. I gave them a grouchy eye stare.
After pulling on my gear, I opened the back door and stumbled into the Buddy. I moved him because I wanted the battery on the tender. Temps dropped twenty degrees overnight. Sad. I yanked the cover off, shoved my new Ortlieb “purse” under the seat (thanks Matt…it’s much too cool for skool), and started up the Buddy.
Snow snow snow.
As I rode over to the gate, I realized I had to unstart the Buddy as I had to open the gate lock. Score one for being an idiot.
On the road now, I discovered just how poorly the Caberg Duke helmet handles cold air temps and warm breath. I’m scooting down Elmwood Ave and, basically, cannot see a thing. I’m wiping wet snow off the outside of my visor and squinting to see out the upper right quadrant of the inside of the visor.
Ever turn was an exercise in “how much can I NOT lean” as I struggled to not slip the rear wheel out on wet leaves and snow-laden pedestrian striping.
I’m riding down Atwells Ave thinking, “This is really scary.” Wha? Those thoughts are for trees that jump in front of me or mind-troubling sticky black mud, not an easy scoot-scoot along a paved city street.
The whole experience was made that much worse by car drivers not turning on their lights on a snowy, grey day. Wonder why there were multiple accidents on the feeder highways in Providence? Turn on yer friggin’ lights!
- Get the Respro Foggy out BEFORE the first snow of the season
- Figure out why the Pinlock popped outta the Caberg when I was up in Vermont this summer
- Wish I didn’t need glasses
At least the ride home wasn’t that bad, except that the temps fell throughout the day. There are times when I think I’m done with winter riding. But it’s just too damn easy. If I had to take a car, it’d take twice as long.