Scoot Commute

Tuesday is a Vespa kind of day

Posted in Daily Commute, Shopping, Vespa P by sbahn on 2009/08/04

I swear I get to work faster when I ride the Vespa and not the Buddy. I just looooove when some bozo will switch lanes when I’m coasting into a light (clutch in, of course!) because he doesn’t think I’ll get off the line quickly enough when it goes green. Uh, bye-bye, and smell that 2-stroke while you’re at it, my idiot friend in whatever giant monstrosity you’re driving to go the three miles to your work.

And even with the in-service training that’s going on on campus for the Providence Schools teachers (hmm, I wonder why our schools are so bad? Don’t come into my office and take stuff off my desk when I’m grabbing a cup of coffee upstairs because you forgot a pair of scissors), I got me a primo parking spot. I don’t park the Vespa in the same spot as the Buddy because 1) it’s on a slant and I’m not convinced it would remain upright; and, 2) I don’t want the guys in the guard station watching me kick-start.

Ahhh, the kick start. Apparently I’m not closing the fuel tap correctly. The petcock lever is broken off (Erik calls it part of his security plan) and when I turn it off, I put it in the middle, crank it up and then do another half crank for good measure. Well, that extra half crank is flooding the carb and making it very difficult to start. I asked Erik to kick it for me this morning as there was a nice puddle of black goo under the bike. He got it first kick, of course (oh, sooooo manly!), but man did it smoke up a hamhouse or what?!

The Providence Water guys are replacing all the piping on my block today so I couldn’t get out onto Broad Street. I went up to Updike, and got a wave off the guys working on the roof at the house on the corner, and then a right, then a left out onto Broad. I hope the water guys are done when I get home. Water is the most difficult thing to not have working in the house.

Otherwise, uneventful. No roadworks on Dean. Hit most of the lights, so that was a drag. Good left hand strengthening! Didn’t see any other bikes. Erik sees tons of bikes on his commute.

Speaking of his commute, I met him after work yesterday, having stopped at Target (cat litter and tampons, a girl needs her necessities) and Trader Joe’s (carnitas!). On my ride to the library, I passed several individual Harley guys. I waved at each one, and each waved back. Who wouldn’t wave at a girly in a pink jacket, pink helmet, white gloves (Labor Day is almost here so I must switch them out) and a 35 pound bucket of cat litter between her legs? All these people who sniff that no big, bad biker will wave at them, well, I say, get yerself some pink gear and a big grocery shop, and you’ll get the waves. I think the guys are just happy to see a girl out riding.

Erik has a workmate who really wants to get a Harley. She even has the giant Harley sticker on the back window of her SUV. When we left the library yesterday, she was coming in as she forgot something in the refrigerator (she’s on vacation). I asked her why she doesn’t just sign up for the BRC at CCRI. To get the H restriction on your driving license (yes, that’s right, an H restriction is the motorcycle endorsement in Rhode Island…geniuses, eh?), one must complete the BRC. That gives you a permit, and after 30 days you turn the permit into the registry to receive your permanent H restriction. She doesn’t want to take the BRC without knowing how to ride a little. I told her that you don’t need to know anything except have some semblance of what it means to shift gears, which she does have from driving a car. But that’s not good enough, so I think we’re going to take her out on either the BMW or the Honda (ugh, the thought of it…I can handle me dropping it but not someone else) and have her get a feel for riding. Then she’ll sign up. And then, horror of horrors, she’ll get a Harley. Both Erik and I cannot figure out the desire to pull up to the bar (and of course it’s a bar, not a pub) and park with all the Harley boys. To each his own. If we can help, good. If we can help change her mind and get some nice Japanese steel, even better.

Last thought: article in a magazine about the new Snell/Euro helmet standards. But I’ll save that for another day.

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