Scoot Commute

I saw Jesse in Webster, MA!

I’m finally getting around to writing up my ride up to Webster MA into Oxford MA to check out the Hodges Village Dam. It was a nice Saturday, sunny and warm, and as I got up super-early (for me) because I SOLD THE CB750! The new owner, Patrick, came to see it on a Wednesday evening, and the following Saturday came by to fork over the cash and ride off into the morning glint of the sun.

I was sad to see the Beast go, but after a quick ride up and down the street, I knew it was the right thing to do. I never connected to it. It was just too big for me. The new owner told me he had been casually looking for a good, original condition CB750 for a while, and when mine popped up on craigslist, he pounced. I’m so pleased the bike went to another young enthusiast, and not someone who wasn’t going to ride it. I hope to see the new owner at the 2010 Rice-o-rama.

After the sale we headed out to the northwest corner of little Rhody, to ride into Massachusetts to visit the Dam. I rode with my new Alpinestars Tech 6s to start the break-in process. I also brought my regular Oxtars in case I couldn’t take the weight of the Tech 6s after a while.

We took Route 7 (Douglas Ave/Douglas Pike) out to 102, 96, and finally to Route 16. 16 runs through the Douglas State Forest in Massachusetts, which is really nice because there are no houses. Loads of cruisers out and lots of waves. As we’re riding along on 16 we see cops everywhere, on both sides of the road, dozens and dozens of them. I couldn’t figure out if there was some kind of enduro race or practice drill going on. They definitely kept the cars honest.

We stopped at the gas station on the other side of the forest (a place I usually stop because the bathroom is large and clean). We actually pony’ed up and bought a Worcester/mid-west Massachusetts map. I have lived in New England for 8 years and have driven to/in Worcester many, many times, all without a paper map or GPS, and I finally know the city. I refused to give in and use a map, but now that we’re out west, we decided it might be good to have a map for western Worcester.

Riding into Webster, right near the 395 overpass, I see a blue and yellow sportbike with matching blue and yellow rider heading toward me. The road is two lanes in both directions, and I usually don’t acknowledge in that situation, but the rider gave me a huge ‘hi Mom’ wave. Oh my god, it’s Jesse! We had to stop at a light shortly after, and I pulled up next to Erik screaming “That was Jesse! That was Jesse!” Jesse is the guy from whom I bought Elsa (the DRZ400). At least I thought it was Jesse. We were near his house and he took the cash from the DRZ and bought a Honda CBR 1000R. For the life of me I don’t understand why you’d go from a supermoto to a sport bike, but then again, I’m a girl.

Clara Barton's House

Clara Barton's House

We were headed to the Hodges Village Dam and wound up on some roads in the middle of  nowhere. At least in Massachusetts there are street signs. We finally found Clara Barton Road and stopped at the house to snap a pic. I had no idea Clara Barton was from Massachusetts.

As I was stopped snapping the pic, a guy on a DRZ with a little kid perched on the back rode by. That was a good sign we were headed in the correct direction.

After riding around in circles some more, we finally found the parking area for the dam. There were three pick-ups parked, one with a ramp hanging off the tailgate.

We parked our bikes and walked down the trail to have a look. We’re walking and walking and then we hear a roar. Three bikes coming along the trail. A KTM, a Yamaha and something that was grey and durrrrty. Stupid me left the Flip video camera on the bike or I would have gotten some action video of the guys riding up a pine needle strewn, root-infested hill. It was great fun!

Hodges Village Dam

Hodges Village Dam

As we walked along further, we came to the river that must feed the dam, and saw a bunch of stumps that had been gnawed down by beaver (not recently). Again, I didn’t even bring the regular camera. I have a thing for beavers and thought it was pretty cool that they had been here at one point working away. We walked back up the hill and to the lot when a guy arrived on a sport bike. I told him “three hooligans are down there having a helluva time”. He laughed and said he had a dirt bike and didn’t realize the dam existed. They sure are lucky in Massachusetts to have some areas open for riding.

At this point I was really hot and hungry, so we swung back into Oxford town and stopped at a place called the Whistle Stop Bar & Grill. It’s the kind of place that you look at and think, “Where is the front door?” Food was ok and the Bruins were on (and eventually beat the Flyers in OT).

As we rode back into Webster, we passed the sign for the lake with the longest name. I have been looking for that stupid sign for over a year! I stopped and Erik turned around and came back to snap my pic. Finally I can tick that off my list for when I’m riding up in that part of Massachusetts.

We headed back to Rhode Island and stopped at the Powder Mill for ice cream on Route 44. There was an Aprilia something in the lot, and we wound up sitting next to the couple. The guy said to me that he couldn’t believe a girl was riding the DRZ because it’s such a tall bike, let alone have the capability to flat-foot it. Ah, being tall sometimes has its advantages.

Turns out the guy, Don, drives the RIPTA busline that goes by campus. He was telling me stories about our students…yikes! He and his partner, Patty, are getting married on May 16th! The third for both of them, congratulations! And Patty was signed up to take the BRC course at CCRI and was thinking she would get her own bike. She certainly had a cute Shoei helmet, albeit a 3/4.

Don was awesome and has been riding since the early 70’s. He currently also has a big ol’ Guzzi. He told me he always wears a FF helmet and doesn’t understand how the guys ride around with nothing. “Don’t they get tired?” he said. So I’m not the only one.

All in all a really nice day. It was hot and I should have worn my mesh jacket, but who knew it would get to 80F in early May?


2 Responses

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  1. mom said, on 2010/05/14 at 10:06 pm

    why were the cops there?

    • sbahn said, on 2010/05/14 at 10:11 pm

      I don’t know. I know there was an enduro in the area that day, so they may have been guarding the trails so no one got hurt. Or it could have been a drill, I don’t know. It’s not like there was a fire or anything.

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