Scoot Commute

Camera Practice Day: Riding and Olympus don’t mix

It was actually warm enough for Mr. Transalp to ride to work

It was actually warm enough for Mr. Transalp to ride to work

Today my plan was to practice using my point-and-shoot camera on a tether to my jacket as I’m riding. I’m getting ready for my ride to visit my mom next week and I want to take pictures as I’m moving. I’ve seen such fantastic pics and thought some practice would help. I’m a terrible photographer so I probably should have started long ago.

The boyfriend actually rode today because the forecast was for mid-50s. And I still had to hear him complain about the wind and the cold. Puhleeze. I’ll play the violin when you ride on a day under 32°F.

I headed out on my regular route. There really is nothing interesting on my commute so I don’t know what I was thinking about where to take pics. At the five points on Atwells/Harris Ave/Eagle Street, I just got the red light so I figured, here’s an opportunity. I pulled the camera out and aimed to take a pic of the confusing light configurations. As I’m about to take the pic, the arrow for the left turn lane turns green. The car in that lane goes. At the same time, the SUV in front of me also goes…through a red light and almost into a car making the left from the opposite direction. You can tell I’m still learning how to take pics with gloves while in traffic as my finger is blocking the green turn arrow. The guy in front of me is a typical distracted moron. I’m so sick of it.

Who knew that a red light = go?

Who knew that a red light = go?

Today was Wednesday and as such I had to go to RIC for the class I’m taking. Don’t ask me why I’m taking a class. I don’t like going, but I usually have a good time while I’m there.

Genuine Buddy Saint Tropez "Franz Biberkopf" in his tidy parking spot on the campus at Rhode Island College

Genuine Buddy Saint Tropez "Franz Biberkopf" in his tidy parking spot on the campus at Rhode Island College

I used to park in the faculty lot in a striped yellow section, but I’ve gotten bold this semester and I’m now parking at the loading dock behind one of the buildings. I was surprised because the dumpster was no longer flush up against the dock; it had been moved into a very nice car parking space. I can’t believe the faculty haven’t rioted over losing such a nice (read: close to a classroom building so little walking) spot.

PVD DPW finest work ... good job boys!

PVD DPW finest work ... good job boys!

After class on the ride home, I took a few more shots. I wanted to show the nasty pothole and the even nastier patch job that Providence’s pathetic DPW guys consider acceptable work at the corner of Broadway and Harkness. This is why I have to take this corner all super-moto style.

Tropical Liquors, Cranston Street, Providence

Tropical Liquors, Cranston Street, Providence

Next I was stopped at the light at Dexter & Cranston Streets so I thought I would snap a pic of the liquor store. I love the neon sign. The last few years, when the weather is warmer, I’ve often seen a guy on a purple Honda Elite wearing an anorak purchasing his libations from this establishment. I’ve never been in there because I’m loyal to Jim at Standard.

And the final pic of the ride was on Sprague Street. This was an in-motion pic. Obviously I have to work on these although it didn’t help that 1) it was dark, and 2) a pick-up truck had just barrelled past me in my lane, having had to swerve to avoid the very pothole.

Fill a pothole? Nah, that's too 21st century for Providence. How 'bout an orange cone?

Fill a pothole? Nah, that's too 21st century for Providence. How 'bout an orange cone?

Here’s my bitch. There’s obviously something wrong underneath the road surface because this area has been an on-again, off-again sinkhole for the last two years. All DPW does to resolve the issue is throw in some pothole filler stuff and place barrels or cones. This is not the way to deal with the problem. Fix the freaking street. It’s a heavily used “cut-through” street that has become extremely dangerous because cars have to swerve into oncoming traffic to avoid the hole. On the scoot I can go to the right of the giant divot because there’s a sliver of flat tarmac. In the morning  I’m safe as I’m always to the right. In the evening I could, and often do, have a car or truck baring down on me as they have to take such drastic evasive action. I’m not usually a “where are my taxes being spent” whinger, but when it comes to the DPW, I can’t take the ineptitude. The worst department in Providence government. Just fix the frigging hole.

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3 Responses

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  1. dgarnsey@gmail.com said, on 2011/04/07 at 10:23 am

    Hi Sbahn,

    It’s hi-viz sportbike guy. How’d that velcro for your AST work out for you this winter?
    Re: moving camera pics, Home Depot and Lowes sell these little clear plastic/rubber buttons made to use as bumpers on cabinets so there’s no wood to wood banging when you close them, or as non-slip feet onder misc. stuff. I’ve added them to the power and shutter buttons on my point and shoot to facilitate riding and shooting. Also, with this setup, you can use the cam upside down and use your thumb on the shutter and then invert the pix in software. This lets you wrap your fingers over the bottom (now top in inverted mode) for a better grip.

  2. sbahn said, on 2011/04/07 at 11:01 am

    Hey D, that’s a really good idea, the rubber dot things. I’ll definitely give that a try. For some reason I’m a lot better on the bike than the scoot but I think that’s because I’m constantly stopping and going in traffic on the scoot. At least that’s what I’m hoping or I’ll have nothing but crap pics from the ride to my mom’s house.

    The velcro extender worked great, aided by switching out my thick fleece neck gaiter to a thin Gore windstopper gaiter that was a present. Does my boyfriend know how to buy gifts or what?!

    We definitely need to get a ride in together as the weather is finally warming up.

  3. […] Providence DPW was filling in the huge pothole that practically straddled the entire street. (See my previous post about this particular pothole.) Genuine Rattler and Buddy scooters on […]


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