Scoot Commute

Getting my hair cut

Posted in Daily Commute, Suzuki DR-Z400SM (Elsa) by sbahn on 2011/03/20
Elsa the DR-Z400SM in her parking spot on campus

Elsa the DR-Z400SM in her parking spot on campus

Both Thursday and Friday I rode the DRZ to school because it was SIXTY degrees! In mid-March! My tolerance is pretty well built up as I went for a long ride after work on the scoot on the Tuesday of the same week; it was 37°F and I thought it was warm.

Friday evening I had a hair appointment in North Attleboro, MA. How pathetic is that, that I have to go to Massachusetts to get my hair cut when I live in a capital city. But he’s that good. I decided to take I-95 because Route 1 is a pain in the butt at 5:00pm. Stop and go, stop and go, and much more dangerous with cars turning into driveways and pulling out of strip malls.

Earlier in the day I had walked across the campus and the wind was fierce. Huge gusts, blowing sand and plastic bags through the air, just really, really strong. I knew the wind was going to be bothersome on the highway. Just how bothersome, I was about to learn.

I entered I-95N at Exit 24, Branch Avenue. As I merged into the slow lane, I could feel the wind tearing at the bike, at me, at the new windshield. I remember thinking, “Man, this sucks.” I stayed in the slow lane, behind a white, generic, Japanese compact. The posted limit at this part of 95 is 50; no one goes 50 but I was happy to just poke along in the slow lane to try to get a handle on how the wind was going to affect the bike, as this was my first highway ride with the new Lynx headlight/windshield.

At Cut on North Washington Street, North Attleboro, MA

At Cut on North Washington Street, North Attleboro, MA

In my left rear-view mirror, what do I see coming up in the fast lane but a dayglo green, upright-seated bike and rider. What? I never see DS bikes out and about, let alone in Providence (or Pawtucket which is where I was at this moment). And here I was poking along in the slow lane. Oh the shame, the embarrassment. Until I thought, “Hmmmm, it’s gotta be a KLR. No KLX400 could be going that fast in this wind.” It was obviously a regular commuter because he had a backpack on and had that appearance of, I do this all the time. I do like the KLR. It’s just such a horse.

As the guy rode up, he was honk-honk-honking his weak little Kawasaki horn, making sure to get my attention. I gave a big wave as he sped up the lane. I think he got off in Pawtucket. I’m not exactly sure as he got way ahead of me and I was just happy to still be clinging to the Dizz as I approached the Pawtucket S-curves. Did I mention how sucky the wind was?

Crossing over into Massachusetts, the speed limit increases to 65mph. I just hung out in the slow lane, trying to keep the bike from careening into the ‘hey, wake up’ divets in the shoulder. There’s one point where the highway goes by a reservoir and I have to say the bike was at a 45° angle to the pavement. I think this was actually worse than riding the Trans Canada because I had more weight on the bike on that trip. On this ride it was me and my little bookbag.

I really couldn’t get to Exit 5 any quicker. I met up with the sportbike dude who had roared past me at the light at the end of the exit ramp. It was warm, but a t-shirt at 70mph? I don’t know how they do it.

I meandered down to Washington Street in North Attleboro and found a spot almost in front of the salon. As I’m parking I notice a very nice BMW R1150GS across the street with a set of very nice Jesse bags. I read my Economist as I’m waiting for Michael to finish with his client, peeking up occasionally to see if someone comes to claim the GS. Nothing.

When I’m sitting in the chair, I say, “So, who’s Beemer?” Michael responds that it’s been there all day and he and the other hairdresser have no idea to whom it belongs. All I could say is, “The guy needs to go somewhere. Those Jesses look sad without any stickers.”

BMW R1150GS with Attleboro's finest young men (note the nice PIAA lights)

BMW R1150GS with Attleboro's finest young men (note the nice PIAA lights)

And then wouldn’t it be the case that the guy made his getaway before I was finished (looking rather smart, I must say). He must work nearby as there’s only2 hour parking allowed on this stretch of Washington Street so he was probably keeping an eye on it. Or he was at the H&R Block doing his taxes so he could get some dosh to go on that trip.

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