Scoot Commute

Boston by scooter

Posted in Buddy St. Tropez (Franz Biberkopf), Daily Commute by sbahn on 2009/12/15

I had to go to Boston yesterday for a workshop. Rode the scoot to the train station, well, as close to the train station as I can get to park, which would be the Providence Place Mall parking garage. Because our wonderful Federal friends won’t let two-wheelers park in the Amtrak parking garage. It cost me 10 bucks to park for half a day…thanks Amtrak.

I rode up on the MBTA to Back Bay and walked to my destination (Emerson College). Lemme tell ya, Bostonians cannot walk. I never know where I’m going in Boston, so when I came up the stairs, I immediately tucked myself into a corner and consulted my Google map print-out, comparing street signs to the drawings on the piece of paper. When I felt properly oriented, I headed off at typical New Yorker pace. Boston friends, it was 8:46 am and I had to get to the Commons by 9:00 am (preferably before so I could grab a cup o’ joe since I had spilt half of mine on the ride to the parking garage). People were lumbering! Don’t you have to be somewhere at a specific time? the sidewalk was particularly narrow as there was construction on one side and trees on the other. I was literally squishing myself up against a chainlink fence to pass on the right to get around people and their laptop cases and backpacks. Seriously, don’t visit New York.

I arrived at the meeting with enough time to grab a cup of coffee and say hello to some colleagues I hadn’t seen in some time. At the break one of my buds from Rhode Island came over and asked “You didn’t ride up here, did you?” because I had my leather jacket with me and was wearing riding boots. “Ugh…I really gotta tone it down. I rode to the train.” As I said this, I looked out the window onto Boston Commons and spotted a Honda Metropolitan and a chinascoot locked up to the bike rack. Grrr, I wished I spotted the Met before the conversation because I would have pointed out the window and smiled.

On the walk back to Back Bay Station I spotted the snout only a mother could love; a yellow Honda Elite with a grey milkcrate parked on the sidewalk. Smiles.

Back in Providence after getting on the wrong train (me to conductor: This is the train to Providence, right? [as the train is moving]. conductor to me: No. me to conductor: Ok, I thought it seemed early. conductor to me: Never get on an early train. There’s no such thing. me to conductor: So, um, if I get off the next stop, will the train to Providence come shortly? other passenger to conductor and me: This isn’t the train to Providence…yak yak yak into cellphone. conductor to me: Get off here. Wait for the next train. other passenger to conductor as he steps off the train: This isn’t the train to Providence? conductor to other passenger: Hang up and maybe you’d know where you were going.) I walk to the Mall to retrieve the scoot. I pay at the kiosk before I go into the parking garage.

I gear up and swing the bike around toward the exit. A mom with a little boy in tow gives me a disgusted look. Her son’s eyes are bright and he shouts “Mommy, Mommy look!” That’s riiiiiight, sweet little man. You’ll get wheels one day.

I head down to the exit and it’s rather backed up for the middle of the day (well, it is Christmastime). My turn. I pull up, stick my ticket in, and the machine doesn’t want it. Great, I think to myself. I roll around the spot some to try to get the sensors to sense me. Nothing. I press the Help button and wait. Nothing. I press it again. Nothing. I finally press it a third time and voice crackles out of the box. “Is there a problem?” “I’m on a bike and the sensor doesn’t feel me. Can you lift the arm?” I guess I shouted way too loudly because the response was “Calm down”. Dude, I am calm. I can’t frigging hear a thing. The pipe is loud. I’m wearing a full-face and fleece all over my face. Finally the arm goes up and out I zip.

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