Scoot Commute

First kick-start of the season

Posted in Buddy St. Tropez (Franz Biberkopf), Daily Commute by sbahn on 2010/12/06

Tonight was the first time since it’s turned cold that the scoot didn’t start with a quick press of the starter button. It was dark when I left campus tonight. I walked over to the scoot and arranged my things in the milkcrate and snapped two bungee cords in place. I velcro’d my Windstopper fleece mask around my neck and pulled my helmet over my head. I leaned over and twisted the throttle twice. I then pressed the starter. It made a little cough, twice. A sorta “uch … uch”.

“Uh oh,” I thought to myself. It’s freaking cold out and I don’t want to be standing here any longer than I have to. I walked around to the right side to kick it and realized the kick-start is on the left (duh, the Vespa kicks on the right). I folded the foot thingey down and kicked it twice. I then pressed the starter again. The “uch … uch” was a little louder but not even close to what it should sound like.

“Aw man, am I going to have to actually do some work to get this going?” Kick-kick-kick. Three times should be enough. Sure enough, this time I pressed the start button and I got a “grrr … rrr” and I twisted the throttle. “Grrrrrr purrrrrr!”

I pulled on my delicious heated gloves and swung the scoot toward home. The commute was uneventful except that I was head of the line at the left turn from Eagle Street onto Atwells with no cars behind me so I didn’t get the Left arrow. It’s so frustrating because this is a brand new intersection; new traffic signals, new pavement, new crosswalks and I cannot trip the light, and it’s a five-points so it takes a long time to cycle through. I would have made the left against the red arrow but with the regular green light except there were two cop cars at the 7-11 gas station. A car finally came up behind me so I got the light during the next sequence.

As I prepared to turn onto my street, an SUV in front of me turned on her blinker (can you believe it!) and made the left first. But then she just stopped in the middle of the street so I had to swerve to avoid her. I know she never saw me, and probably didn’t hear my Stebel horn either. Yet another clueless Rhode Island driver who has no idea there are rules in driving.

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