Scoot Commute

It’s 32 degrees and I saw two bikes on my way home

Posted in Buddy St. Tropez (Franz Biberkopf), Daily Commute by sbahn on 2010/11/02

It’s official; winter is here. Two days in a row and it was 32°F when I left for work in the morning. To me that counts as the beginning of the end for fall. I don’t really mind the cold because I don’t have very far to go (4 miles and 20 minutes…yes, it really does take 20 minutes to go 4 miles), but coming home I do get hot as it’s usually warmer. It was probably in the mid-40s when I left campus tonight and I was steaming a bit.

My first turn onto Smith Street and there’s a guy on a bike behind the car that stopped dead to let me in to make the left. Why, why did you stop? The coast was clear after the bike that was right behind you. Or did you want to be the meat in a two-wheeler sandwich? The bike eventually passes me on the right arrow at Oakland Avenue. UJM. It was dusk and everything about the bike and rider was dark. He was wearing a full-face but that’s probably because it was cold.

I stopped at the Aldi to pick up some grub. I must have made an impression last time I was there as three employees said hello. You just can’t be inconspicuous in hi-viz conspicuity wear. I tried to be quick because 1) the place was crawling with kids, literally crawling partnered with inattentive mothers who occasionally yelled at the kids who subsequently ignored the whining parent; and, 2) I was getting hot in my 5 layers.

I took Dean Street home to check out the paving progress. The whole thing is paved! There’s still a lot of work to do: all the corner cuts, turning on the new stop lights, and some smoothing out of the blacktop.

Only one stupid car maneuver (well, only one worth reporting) at the corner of Cahir and Broad Streets. Red light. Car is stopped. There are no cars coming from the left, and I need to make a right turn. “Hmmm, what does this car want to do?” I think to myself. “Is it going straight? Making a right?” I decide that he wants to make a right, but the car just continues to sit there, even though there is a clear path for a legal right-on-red. As I give the scoot a little bit of throttle to pull up next to the car on the right, the driver turns on the right turn signal. I knew it!

So I roll back to get behind the car so it can make the right turn. And it just sits there. Grrr, just go already. If everyone went with the flow of traffic rules, there would be no road rage. He finally wakes up from his stupor and makes the right. It would have been perfect if a bus or some other large vehicle was going through the light at that moment; one less.

Oh, I failed to mention that the car had a large bumper sticker on the rear window that said: STOP SOCIALISM. Well, if socialism gives us people who know how to make a right-on-red (saving gas, wear on the car, and time) and people who know that bumper stickers should go on the bumper (as opposed to the rear window, blocking the driver’s view), then bring it.

The car turns and then I make the right turn. The traffic coming the opposite direction on Broad Street is at a standstill. It is rush hour. I see a head above the sea of automobiles; a head clad in a shiny helmet. As I pass the rider, I look over and see he’s on a DR 350. Not any ol’ DR 350, but the cool rocking purple and yellow late 90’s DR. Who the hell are you?

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