Scoot Commute

Snow scoot, yet again

Posted in Buddy St. Tropez (Franz Biberkopf), Daily Commute by sbahn on 2011/01/28
The garage the morning after the snow

The garage the morning after the snow

This morning, well, I had decided last night that I was going to ride the scoot in, regardless of the condition of the streets because I knew finding parking on campus would be difficult. What I didn’t expect was how bad the major streets were. It was cold last night (down to 15°F) and the streets froze. I figured it wouldn’t be too bad as the traffic volume would have warmed up the blacktop. I was wrong.

My street was covered in a thick, thick layer of slush, snow and sand. I would say it was 2 inches thick. I paddled the whole way to the end of the street, where I turned onto a main street. I rode a couple blocks and thought, “Hmmm, this is much worse than I expected. Should I turn around and take the Fit? Naaah, I’m practically there.”

My ride takes me by the main police station in Providence. There are three zebra crossings as a lot of people are coming and going as some of the courts are located in the building (such as the Housing Court, ask me how I know). A guy steps into the roadway to cross, he’s definitely a cop but not in uniform so probably a detective; I release the throttle and coast up the street. He turns to look, to make sure no one is going to run him down. He looks away. He looks back. He smiles, gives a little laugh and a wave. I can only guess what he’s thinking.

Because the streets are really bad, I decide to take a different route after getting to Smith Street. I continue straight on Raymond instead of turning on Smith, because I figure more people will take Raymond straight to get to Eaton than one of the side streets off Smith. And even with that, the street was still a mess. I’m not complaining Angel; I think the streets look freaking fantastic for how much snow we got, how cold it’s been, and how much old snow was laying around.

In total the rear wheel went out on my eight (8) times. Riding the DRZ400SM has really helped my scoot skills as I just went with the flow. I didn’t even come close to dumping the bike. I also think riding in this muck is going to help me in the spring when I can get the Dizz out again. West Virginia, here I come!

My parking spot

My parking spot

I pull onto campus, not even a nod from the security guard. It’s old hat for them. So my parking spot is well, sorta obliterated. I rode a bit further into the lot and took the yellow striped area where I park the Vespa and the DRZ. The lot was surprisingly well plowed, and one of the students told me it’s because an APB went out yesterday for everyone to move their cars at a certain time so the facilities guys could have at it. One car owner didn’t get the message as the car was buried in snow and not going anywhere for a long time.

Outside Julian's on Broadway, Providence, RI

Outside Julian's on Broadway, Providence, RI

I received a message late in the day that the boyfriend had taken his mom and younger brother out for a late lunch and I should stop by on my way home. So I did and had a nice chat. The brother had come up to Probbydense for a new tattoo that looked pretty cool even though it was covered in saran wrap.

I followed them back to the house, but the boyfriend, who was driving mom’s car, stopped to get gas on Broad Street. I continued on toward home as I had to put Franz to sleep and wound up behind a driver who didn’t really have much interest in going forward. As in, sorta meandering in a forward direction but not having any need to be anywhere at any particular time. I spent some time behind them, watching the male driver futz with a bag of fast food and the female passenger lean over into his embrace, as we slowly inched toward the Elmwood Avenue / Broad Street split. The light had turned green to head onto Broad, and this is a delayed green, so I layed on the Stebel airhorn. “Grrr, hurry it up, we’re gonna lose the light.” Losing the light is an act of treason to me.

So the guy’s response is to slow down even more. We make it through the light, just barely, as he’s fucking with me. But I don’t care. I pull to the right, go around, and open the throttle. Enough already! I peek in the mirror and he’s still sorta meandering down the street. The street is slippy slidey but I’m watching for manhole covers and painted stripes and easing into the red lights. The guy never does catch up to me.

As I prepare for the turn onto my street, I get the feet out again as paddles. There’s snow everywhere. The driveway requires some real skill to get the bike up without the rear wheel giving up and shooting out underneath me. I get to the garage and carefully, ever so carefully, get the scoot up on the center stand. There’s a thick ice patch in front of the garage. Ugh. I dug this out myself yesterday to make it easy to get the bike out and turn it around with little effort. And now it’s a frozen puddle. I’ve really had enough of the snow.


2 Responses

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  1. Pepper said, on 2011/01/29 at 12:18 pm

    I anxiously wait to read your Blogs. I love that picture of the Honda with the NY plates sitting in the snow. Oh…I am looking for your Blog on the Motorcyles Show last week-end. And…where does the word Blog come from (more than web log?)

  2. Keith said, on 2011/01/31 at 8:39 pm

    Nice job. Don’t like riding on snow, but sometimes one has too.

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