Scoot Commute

A different bike for a different day

Posted in Daily Commute, Suzuki DR-Z400SM (Elsa) by sbahn on 2010/04/11

Again, I’m way behind on my bitchin’ and moanin’ about the crap drivers in Rhode Island.

I took the Trail to work on Monday. Now that it’s plated with year-long VT registration, it needs a run at the very least once a week. Lemme tell ya, it’s stupid. Just plain stupid. The good thing is that within my shortie little commute (3-4 miles), I got the weirdy shifting pattern down. It definitely did not like the giant hill at River Avenue. I think I’ll have to keep it to the Dean Street commute. I did feel a bit overdressed (ATGATT)  as I was kick-starting after class on Monday evening, but it does go 30mph and I do ride through a no-man’s-land of no license, no registration, no insurance drivers. It’d be just my luck to get a bit cocky, not wear my armoured pants, and some idiot pulls in front of me and down I go, little CT90 scraping along the pavement.

As Erik has been off for the past two weeks due to the floods (thankfully he’s a Teamster so he’s still getting paid), he put my new sheepskin buttpad, the BarkBusters and squishy Pro Grip grips on the DRZ400. Now Elsa is ready to step out on the town in beguilin’ style.

Jacket sunburn

90 degrees in April?!

On Wednesday it was in the 90’s F (insane for April), so I rode Elsa (the DRZ) to work, as I knew I had to stay late and would go for a lunchtime ride. As is my MO, I got lost somewhere in Massachusetts. I somehow ended up on Route 16 which I knew would take me to 146 as we took 16 to get to Jesse’s house (the guy I picked up the DRZ from). Who needs GPS? Who needs a phone? For that matter, who needs a paper map?!

I did make it back to campus (eventually) and was really, really hot. I was wearing my Honda leather jacket and my shortie gloves. I did give a thought that maybe there will be some redness on my arms between the end of jacket sleeves and the beginning of my gloves, but who knew how burned I would be. I guess when you’re radioactive white, it can’t be helped.

I attended a workshop in Norwood, MA last Thursday so I rode up on the DRZ as the last time I took the Buddy, the section of Route 1 near the stadium where the Pats play got crazy. It may be posted 55, but people drive 75! First time on the S-curves in Pawtucket! I’m repeating inside my head, keep upright, look ahead, know where the cars are, stay comfortable. What fun! I’m no fan of riding on I-95 and the wind was something fierce. I stayed in the slow lane, keeping a little above posted speed limit (65 mph).

Who's that with you?

Who's that with you? Random shared parking

When I got to the hotel, I found a spot that I thought was empty until I pulled into it. Surprise! Whoever this person is, they should probably learn that they shouldn’t park all the way up or a car might wind up smashing into them. The bike was still there when I left around 3:30pm. I had three different people come up to me at the workshop to tell me they saw me on the highway. One guy said that when he saw me on the bike, he thought “there’s someone who really wants it known that she’s a female.” I told him that since I switched to a pink helmet from white, I feel that pull-outs have lessened.

On my ride home I stopped by Gilbert Hills State Park in Foxborough, MA. I wanted to check out the rules for riding the trails. I always read stuff about needing “a sticker” so I wanted to confirm what that actually means. I pulled up to the ranger station / fire warden station and a truck came up behind me. I asked the guy who got out of the passenger’s side if a ranger was around, and he pointed to the guy getting out of the driver’s side.

F. Gilbert Hills State Park, Foxborough MA

F. Gilbert Hills State Park, Foxborough MA

I pulled my helmet off and asked about the trails. Less than a minute and there were 6 men sniffing around my bike. One guy used to race. They were all very nice, and I had to keep repeating, ‘Oh no, I’m not here to ride today. I just happened to be in the neighborhood and had some questions.’ It was a nice ride on tiny backroads, even though the guy I need to talk to wasn’t around.

I took I-95 back to Providence. I was passed by two fully dressed motorcycle police bikes. It was very cool and I wish I had my camera out. The wind on the highway was miserable. I hate riding the highway, but it can be so much faster.

Coming into Providence the traffic thickened and became stop-and-go. I was watching some chicky who pulled a crappy merge from an entrance ramp into the slow lane, thinking, she’s going to do it, she’s going to do it. I had my thumb covering my horn and my eyes were watching her tires.

And here she comes! And here I honk. She glances over as I turn my head in her direction and give her a piece of my mind, which of course she’ll never know because 1) she can’t hear me, and 2) a piece of my mind wouldn’t fit in her dipshit head.

My favorite part of this exchange is that she got behind me! I thought she’d at least let the car behind me go. I wasn’t happy with her behind me, but she eventually bullied her way into the fast lane. Rest of the ride home was uneventful.

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