Scoot Commute

Suzuki, meet a Suzuki

Yesterday, July 14, was the absolute best day, weather-wise, this summer. Well of the days I’ve been in Rhode Island this summer. No humidity, high in the mid-70F range, just perfect. I felt a bit guilty taking the DRZ to work today and not the Buddy, because it was Bastille Day and the Buddy has a French pedigree…it’s a St. Tropez after all.

But I knew I wanted to go for a ride after I was done for the day. Getting ‘done for the day’ was delayed a bit as there was a gathering of those of us who work all year on the campus sponsored by one of the offices whose director I adore. Because I had the “big bike”, I took my alt-route home as it is basically a square with a limited number of stop and turns, compared to my usual route which has me zig-zagging across town with lots of stopping, shifting, turning. I wasn’t in the mood for that.

Up Pleasant Valley I headed and I knew I was in for some commute when the cars were backed up to the playing fields at Nathanael Greene middle school. Here the street eventually splits into two lanes so I rode along the center line to get into the left lane. The traffic in the right lane all needs to turn onto the highway entrance ramp which I was not taking. A car actually honked at me as I passed. Hey, dude, if we were all on bikes, there would be no traffic back-up.

I come up to the light where traffic pours onto Pleasant Valley via a left turn, coming from the east side of town. I see a small bike approach and turn into the left lane. As the light turns to me, I’m thinking, I’ve got to catch up to that bike, which was an easy task as the traffic was horrible. The one car in front of me was turning left so again, I split the lane and now was right behind the bike. At the next light, the bike pulled to the left and I approached in the right portion of the left lane.

“Hey!” I yelled over. “Love the old Suzuki!” The rider turned to me, lifted the shield and, yikes!, another girl! Obviously a commuter as she had a bag slung over her shoulder. She smiled and yelled back, “Hello!” I said I had a bunch of old Hondas but that the bike I was on was a Suzuki, too. She laughed and as the light turned, I moved over into the right lane as the lane we were in eventually splits ahead into a left-turn-only lane. She was riding the sweetest, little orange 70’s Suzuki I ever did see.

After arriving home, I ask the boyfriend if he’d like to go for an evening ride as the weather is truly superb. After a little back and forth of “I don’t want to map it out” and “I don’t want to lead” on his part, I suggest we head out toward the Barden Reservoir. The roads are quiet and peaceful and the water is beautiful.

As we ride out through Cranston in crappy Providence/Cranston traffic, I wonder to myself why there are always so many bikes that parade up and down the city streets. Don’t the riders go nuts? They’d be much better off heading out into the ‘countryside’. Idiot poseurs.

We did a very nice loop on some easy dirt roads. I led because I know the roads. As we were heading out on Plainfield Pike, I was thinking that it’s just about getting to be deer-leaping-out-in-front-of-me time. And the deer did not disappoint. As I was riding down Rams Tail Road, a big one lept across the road. The deer really scare me so I slowed down to a crawl as I rode through where the deer came out of the woods. I’m convinced they travel in packs, but I didn’t see any more. Apparently the boyfriend didn’t know why I had slowed because when I stopped at the stop sign at the end of the street, he asked if everything was ok. I said, “Yeah, I just don’t like the deer.” “Deer?” he queried. I looked at him. “You didn’t see that large animal leap across the road?” He didn’t. They really do look like the Deer Crossing signs.

Moon over Scituate Reservoir, Rhode Island

Moon over Scituate Reservoir, Rhode Island

We rode back into town to have dinner at Bob & Timmy’s. The moon was huge and shining on the Scituate Reservoir. Beautiful. As we were riding down Broadway toward Dean Street, a handful of boys were standing around in front of a place, chilling with their sport bikes. They are stared as we rode down the street, mouths open. I think they had no idea what kind of bikes we were riding. It made me smile.

Ordered up a Pizza I and caught up on the gossip with Ashley, one of the servers. One of these days we’ll get her to go to Australia.

Overall, a pretty nice summer night.

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