Scoot Commute

Back to work

Posted in Buddy St. Tropez (Franz Biberkopf), Daily Commute by sbahn on 2009/07/01

Today was my first  day back in a loooooong time. It was rainy, showering outside as I was getting ready, and I suited up accordingly. As I walked across the street to get the scoot, I decided it had actually stopped raining and removed my orange hi-viz overjacket.

I headed off and all seemed fine. Not a lot of traffic and the giant tow-truck thingey I was behind on Pleasant Valley used his indicator so I was able to flick around and get through the next light before the silly Chrysler 300 that kept switching lanes.

Going by the park across the street from Nathaniel Greene, I was sure to look for the new playground that was set up with funding from Kaboom!, the same company that paid for the Peace & Plenty Plaground around the corner from my house. It looks great and quite different from our park; same fence, though.

Head up the hill and just as I was needing to brake the light turned green and zip, I pull my left (thanks green arrow!). The Chyrsler 300 is now behind me and following a bit too closely for my liking, but the car in front of me needs to make the left at the cut-through street to Roger Williams Hospital so my Chyrsler friend slows down a bit. I put on my right blinker and pull a soft turn by the creamery because the streets are wet.

I head down my cut-through street (yeah, I don’t know the name) and there’s a big black SUV in front me, a really nice one like a new Range Rover or something in that class. I take it slowly as it’s a ressie street and the Prima pipe does growl a bit so I’m a decent distance behind him. There’s a lump of leaves and branches in the middle of the street so I pull to the right to go around it (there are two sets of manhole covers on this block and I usually go straight down the middle of the street and pretend the covers are squirrels and I weave between them), so it’s unusual for me to be so far to the right.

From the left I see a dark burgundy SUV pull up on a side street and I make what I believe is eye-contact, only to have her begin to pull out into the street to make a left, directly in my line. I saw that she was not doing a “Providence pull-out” (afterall, this is not the South Side!) and is going to continue making her left, directly into me.

I give a long, strong push on the Stebel horn and make a swerve to the right. She appears to wake from her stupor and puts her brakes on as I cruise to the right of the truck. At the end of the street at the stop sign, I turn around and give a WTF armflap and she is frantically waving her arms with a sorrowful look on her face. That’s right, you better look sorrrowful as my heart is racing and it probably took a few minutes off my life because of the wasted beats.

Seriously, you looked right at me. I’m wearing a screaming pink jacket with 3m reflective tape, a pink helmet, and two loops of blue & white checkboard reflective tape on my handlebars, and you did not see me? You looked right through me?

Whatever. I take the left onto Eaton and the the quick right onto Huxley and then onto campus. Got a big wave from the woman in the security booth (I still don’t know who she is).

I get into my building, after some slalom-like moves to get around the high school students who were the slowest walkers I’ve ever been stuck behind (um, aren’t you headed somewhere?!), and trudge up the stairs to the third floor. I can hear footsteps coming down from the fourth floor which is odd because who would be coming down the stairs when the big high school event is on the fourth floor? I start to walk down the hallway on my floor and the mystery person calls out, “Do you work here?”, to which I reply, “why, yes, today is my first day back”.

He starts to ask if there is a vending machine in the building, but then interrupts himself to ask, “Do you have a scooter?”. I said that’s how I get to campus everyday. He told me he has a Vespa, and noticed my jacket (the Corazzo) and asked if I had gotten it at Javaspeed. I said, “no offense to Patrick, but I got it on eBay a lot cheaper.”

I pointed him to the vending machines (first floor, opposite side of the floor). And thus began my first day back.

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