Scoot Commute

Riding the Dream

Posted in Buddy St. Tropez (Franz Biberkopf), Pleasure Ride by sbahn on 2009/04/27

Friday night I met Erik at Trinity (like usual when it starts to get warm). Barney worked me over for a good while and Erik & I are now joining the gang for a trip to Unadilla in Upstate New York in August. We’re staying in a cabin, gonna make giant bonfires, drink whatever Tommy brings in the kegs, and watch a lot of dirtbike races. Yeah, that’s why I moved outta Tabernacle! Get me some cultcha.

Saturday was really nice but we had someone coming to look at the apartment at 6pm which threw off any sort of scheduled ride. After they left (they were nice and it’d be good if they were interested), we decided to go for a short ride into Pawtuxet Village and whatever that road is called because I like the curves. Erik took the Dream and I took the Buddy as I knew Broad Street would be torture and I didn’t want to keep shifting 1st to 2nd to neutral to 1st to 2nd to neutral for 20 minutes.

On the way back into town, we went through Roger Williams Park and headed into the Zoo parking lot (it’s huge if you’ve never been there, and perfect for practicing). Erik got off the Dream and said to me, here you go. The last time I rode a bike was in class last fall, and it wasn’t a vintage 1965 boyhood dream. No matter. I threw over a leg (did I mention I like scooters?), pulled it into first, started giving it a little bit of throttle and gently let out the clutch. It was less a zoom and more of a ‘ok, we’re moving’ kind of take off. Clutch in, toe up, clutch out…second gear! Then I realized I was coming to the end of my straightaway, so I pulled in the handbrake, pushed down with my right foot on the back brake and then thought, how on earth does this thing turn? I got a little bit of panic, but then went into rider mode…turned my head to left and shoved the handlebars. Yippee! The bike turned, I gave more throttle through the straight, then brake, brake, look, turn.

The turning radius on the Dream is out of control. Wheenever I’m waiting for Erik to get whatever ancient bike started when we’re riding together, I do tiny little circles and figure-8s in our street (which is very narrow). I’m pretty good at them…slow speed, fast speed, n’ver a foot to be placed down. So you understand why I’m freaking out over turning this thing. Not to be deterred, I go around another loop, this time turning in the opposite direction! I never did get out second gear, though, because there were two cars in the lot; one with a couple making out parked smack dab in the middle of my course, and the other appeared to be practicing driving (some sort of new VW thing). I think I was making her nervous and her presence certainly wasn’t doing me any favors, so I pulled up next to Erik, fighting with the Dream to get it into neutral, put both feet on the ground, and kicked the stand down. I was able to hand him over his bike in one piece and still running. I really can’t wait ’til the CB is running.

And apparently we were spotted by our neighbors who were down looking at a house in Gaspee. We’re just so boringly obvious.

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