Scoot Commute

Thunder & Lightning

Posted in Buddy St. Tropez (Franz Biberkopf), Daily Commute by sbahn on 2009/04/05
Riding home in the thunder and lightning

Riding home in the thunder and lightning

Friday, April 3, 2009
Providence

Ok, I knew it was going to rain, and rain a lot, today. I also knew I would have to leave work to go to the accountant which basically is doubling my commute for the day. But what better way to test out the new Joe Rocket Ballistics 7.0 then in a torrential downpour?!

Getting to work, not bad. Wore some hi-viz and I was fine. Leaving at lunchtime to go to Cranston to see the accountant — it was raining, but not a heavy rain, just a steady medium rain. Got into the office and he didn’t even know I was on two-wheels (oh my, how slim I look in armoured trousers!).

On the way back to work was followed by Erik in the Fit (clutch cable not yet installed in the P, and it really, really, really needs new tires) up until our street, then back the regular way. Nothing out of the ordinary.

It started getting really dark around 3pm. This is springtime in New England and it shouldn’t be dark until 7:15-ish. It’s pissing down with rain now and puddles are gathering everywhere outside my window. I had to dash off to a different building at 4pm and my feet got soaked (why didn’t I wear my boots over to Harkins?). And I heard some thunder and definitely saw some lightning. Great, I’m thinking. I knew it was going to be bad today and I wanted the test, but lightning?

It was about 4:45pm when I stopped in a more level-headed colleague’s office to ask him what he thought I should do. He suggested either waiting it out or leaving the scoot on campus and getting Erik to come get me. Well, that would be a major defeat. So I grabbed some leftovers and had a snack and we looked at the weather map together. Hmmm, if I wait it out, I’ll be here half the night. It IS Friday after all, and I want to get home, relax, have a fire, play some Animal Crossing on the Wii.

I decided to take the backway home, and donned my hi-viz Probbydense Police jacket and the Ballistics. Please keep me dry and make me be seen, please.

I head down River Avenue and at the bottom of the hill (it’s a huge hill) at the light, I can hear an ambulance’s siren. All the cars are stopped as we try to figure out, where is this ambulance? Then a U-Haul truck decides to take a right-on-red as the cars are all pulling over to the right to make room in the left lane…that the U-Haul is turning into. Brilliant. Screeching tires, siren wailing, the ambulance actually had to stop to let the fool go. Yep, probably headed over to my neighborhood, the land of no-license-no-registration-no-insurance.

Finally made the right and am heading into Eagle Square to make the left on Atwells. I hate this stupid light. Usually only three cars can make the left during the entire green because so many are going straight across from Hartford Avenue, and it’s delayed because it’s a 5-points intersection. For some reason it was moving smoothly and I’m thinking, I’ll get through this on the second cycle (rather a miracle in a crazy thunderstorm on a Friday at 5:30pm). There’s one car in front of me making the left, me, and a Jeep guy behind me. Light turns green and there are only 3 or so cars going straight. Come on, green car…ease into the intersection and get ready to make your left. He just sits there…and misses a golden opportunity. It was like the perfect cross-kick and there’s no one there to head it in. I do a WTF arm flap which I know he can’t see since I’m behind him and it’s practically black outside and the guy behind me toots his horn in response. Now green car guy has two people stewing at him. He finally decides to go and cuts a car off that was going straight; after straight car goes through, me and Jeep guy make successful left turns. And I’m sure green car guy had no frigging idea of the bottled up fury of his fellow drivers.

I come up to the church to make my right and I see a bicyclist riding on the wrong side of the street coming across the intersection. Good thing I was looking well ahead, my idiot two-wheeler, and I slowed down and let him through. Rest of the journey home was uneventful, save for the guy on Elmwood Ave who came screeching up next to me in the right lane (it’s two lanes each way and I ride in the left as I have to make a left turn onto my street) to confirm, that yes, it is a girl riding in a crazy storm.

I make it home and park in front of the house. I pop in and call out for Erik to come take a pic as I want to show how well the Ballistics are doing, yet there’s no sound in the house…no NPR, no 80’s Eastern European New Wave, not even Leggy with her freakishly human-like meow. Oh well, I think to myself.

Arriving home after the thunderstorm

I start up the scoot again and head over to the garage to park and who is standing next to an open garage door, holding an umbrella ready to escort me back across the street in relative dryness, is Erik. When I tell him of my picture-taking desire, he nips across the street and hurries back to snap a pic.

I gotta tell you, the Ballistics are AMAZING. As are my Oxtar boots. And the Columbia Gore-Tex overgloves.  I’ll definitely write up a separate entry.

Oh, and about an hour later, when I’m sitting comfortably on the Drömminge playing Animal Crossing with Beth looking on to learn the game, the sun attempts to peek out from the clouds. Gotta love New England.

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