Scoot Commute

Visit to the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette

Posted in BMW R75/5 (Mackie Messer), Pleasure Ride, Vespa P by sbahn on 2009/07/05
BMW and Vespa P200 at LaSalette

BMW and Vespa P200 at LaSalette

It’s finally stopped raining here and the fourth of July weekend has been beautiful. On Friday we went down to Razees in North Kingstown to buy some parts for the BMW, but mainly to drool over the beautiful BMW R1200s. They had a Honda SH 150i there that I got to sit on. It’s really nice. Wish it was a 300. They also had the Tourmaster Transitions II jackets in hi-viz, but only an XXL men’s size so I still have no idea what size would fit me. I rode the Vespa and only wheelied once when some damn fool indicated he was going to turn right and then made it the slowest right turn known to man. I should have gone down to first, but was in second with a car on my tail, so I gunned it. The car next to me (it’s 2-lanes each way on Elmwood Avenue) actually yelled “whoooa!”.

Yesterday, July 4th, Erik, Beth and I rode down to WaterFire and to watch the fireworks. We parked at the Columbus statue on South Main with a bunch of other bikes. We got to watch them start the lighting and we made some jokes about the crappy New Age music and the grim faces of the black-clad firekeepers in the boats (Daedalus, Eos, Nike…). Erik rode the Dream and as we’re getting ready to take off, some guy came over like a zombie…he didn’t say a word and was all over the bike. Finally his wife said something to him as the three of us are staring at him, and he said, “is that a Dream?”. Beth was upset that he didn’t think much of her Met. I’m so used to the attention the old bikes get, it doesn’t bother me anymore.

Off we rode to Conley’s pier to watch the fireworks over the water. Got us some rockstah parking and literally got to the pier a minute before the fireworks started. Gooood timing.

Today, Sunday, it was such a nice day but we were doing stuff around the house. Around 4pm we decided to go to La Salette, the shrine in Attleboro. Neither of us has ever been there (I know, I know, we’re supposed to got at Christmastime, you can stop telling me that) and it was really, really nice. Lovely flowers and water and it was so peaceful and tranquil. There’s a building called the Candle House that just has candles in it. It reeks of candlewax and there’s flickering light everywhere. It was very cool.

We walked up the stairs by the actual shrine itself and read the story of the apparition to the two children of a weeping Mary. The shrine was built in 1953 (a Marian year) through the support of the then Bishop of Fall River, Bishop Connolly. It was very peaceful there and I enjoyed the ride.

On the way back home, I was thinking about the Shrine and the grotto for St. Francis and about Leggy, and all of a sudden I see Erik start to stop. I look ahead and barely see the red of a stop sign. I know I have a car behind me, but they’re not on my tail, so this should be ok. I stomp down on the floorboard with my right foot and yank in the right handle to ask the bike for all the braking it has. I’ve never had to do an emergency stop on the Vespa. It doesn’t respond anything like the Buddy, that’s for sure! But, I managed to just slide over the white painted stop line and come to a firm stop. I scream over to Erik through my faceshield, “I didn’t see the stop!”. He replies that he didn’t either.

Erik takes off and I have to use both hands to wrench the gears back into first. Mind you, the street was only posted at 35 and we weren’t flying; it was just the surprise. The car behind me was cool and didn’t honk as I got the bike into first and took off. Only then did I notice the flashing red on the left opposite corner. “Aha!”, I thought to myself, “I’m not the only one who hasn’t seen this damn stop.”

BMW R75/5 at McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket, RI

BMW R75/5 at McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket, RI

We managed to find Route 15 to head back into Pawtucket and stop off a McCoy stadium for a shot of the bikes. I suggest we stop for ice cream at the place on Hope Street where Blackstone starts, and so we do stop. The place has been poshed up (they have sandwiches and coffee and other annoying East Side crap on a giant wall menu that is simply too long). I finally see where the normal sundaes are listed and order up a Dutch chocolate with hot fudge, walnuts and whipped cream. I didn’t specify the order of the toppings because the last place I did that, they made me feel weird as they did it the “right” way. I thought my prior bad experiences may have been anomalies, but no. I don’t get Rhode Island sometimes. Who wants the nuts on top of the whipped cream…nobody, that’s who. It should go thusly:

  1. chocolate ice cream
  2. hot fudge
  3. nuts
  4. whipped cream
  5. no cherry because they’re nasty

Nobody wants the whipped cream and then  the nuts. You can’t mix them into the hot fudge. Anyway, it wasn’t even that good. The place must have new owners because the last time I was there (last year), the ice cream was really good.

We ate up and headed back to the Southside. I’ll spare the stupidness that happens once we crossed the Point Street bridge, as it’s so common as to become unworthy of mention.

I’m really enjoying riding the Vespa as a weekend run ride. I don’t think I could handle the shifting on my miserable stop-and-go commute. Oh, and we need to keep an eye on the Vespa’s mileage as it’s just shy of 10,000!

Me & Vespa P at McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket, RI

Me & Vespa P at McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket, RI

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