Scoot Commute

The changing states of Water

Posted in Buddy St. Tropez (Franz Biberkopf), Daily Commute by sbahn on 2012/03/05

Water has this interesting ability to change states, and apparently one of these changes occurs when it’s 29°F.

Wednesday afternoon, Leap Day! A colleague walks into my office around 3:00 pm and says “You need to leave now.” This is what greeted me.

Snow covered Buddy scooter, Franz Biberkopf

Snow covered Buddy scooter, Franz Biberkopf

I debated taking the “busy” way home or the more backway, side street way. The busy way is boring and can get really backed up, and the streets didn’t look that bad. Probably not the correct decision as some of the side streets were covered with slush. And the wet snowflakes were coming so fast, I had to wipe my faceshield three times per block.

Broadway & Tobey Street, Snowy February 29, 2012

Broadway & Tobey Street, Snowy February 29, 2012

When I pulled over on Dexter Street to snap some pics of the snow on the training grounds and the castle (aka the Cranston Street Armory), two guys walked past. One grabs the arm of the other, spins him around, and shouts, “That’s one crazy bitch!” This is why I never worry about any trouble, even in the so-called “bad” neighborhoods in Providence (including my own). I learned from living in New York, act like a crazy mo’fo and no one will bother you.

Dexter Field next to the Cranston Street Armory

Dexter Field next to the Cranston Street Armory

Naturally I was toasty warm and dry in my new Rukka Julia. Love that jacket!

Buddy home safe, sound and dry, on Leap Day, 2/29/2012

Buddy home safe, sound and dry, on Leap Day, 2/29/2012

Unfortunately, Leap Day evening was also the first quadrennial gathering of Rhode Island and Western Connecticut ADVriders. Despite the very slick, snowy conditions, quite a contingent turned out to Harry’s Bar & Burger. I was fortunate to have good people pick me up and deliver me back home so I didn’t actually have to drive a car myself. That meant that I didn’t have the shame of not riding and could have that extra pint of Newport Winter.

Harry's Bar & Burger with the ADV crowd, Providence, RI

Harry's Bar & Burger with the ADV crowd, Providence, RI

Leaving work the following evening, March 1, the weather had turned cold, below freezing. Again giant snowflakes wafted from the skies. Because I left work later than usual, it was already dark and the streets were a glassy sheen. I opted for the “busy” way home in the hopes that the car tires would have warmed up the roadway.

It was not a very fun ride. My gloves were drenched, my gear was drenched (but I was dry underneath, thanks Rukka!), and the streets were slippey slidey. Shockingly, my fellow drivers and Providence-donians were very kind, giving me lots of space behind, not pulling out in front. Only one section was downright stupid, at Dean & Atwells. The traffic was so back up on Atwells that people were trying to find shortcuts which did nothing but make more gridlock.

It was cold and the scooter was soaking when I rolled him into the garage that Thursday evening. Little Ronnie was out, running around in a t-shirt and untied boots. He’s going to grow into more trouble.

Friday morning, I walk over to the garage and pull out my key to unlock the door. The key will not go into the lock. “Hmmm,” I think to myself, “I guess water must have gotten in and it’s frozen the lock.” Now this is frustrating because I had replaced the lock last spring with a rubber covered one because the old one used to freeze.

Standing there, knowing I absolutely had to be on campus and with no car, I put my lips to the bottom of the lock and breathe warm air into the lock. Two puffs, slip the key in, pop open. I roll the scoot out and he starts first press of the electric starter, even though I didn’t have the battery on a tender.

At the end of my street I make a right onto a busier thoroughfare. My left thumb reached to push the turn signal toward the right: nothing. This is also a tricky area as Casby’s dog often comes bounding out of the yard to chase me down. Quick headcheck, no dog. But also no turn signal.

I continue riding, using hand signals along the way and knowing full well that none of the drivers have any idea why my arm is outstretched our crooked into a 90° angle. Finally, at the Atwells / Eagle Square 5-points, the turn signal slider budges and I hear the gentle *click click click* of the Buddy’s turn signals. Success!

So even though the Buddy has been ridden in all sorts of weather, this is the first time that there was a failure due to water penetration. And I didn’t even have to fix anything! Sometimes I think the Buddy is indestructible. He really is the perfect little commuter.

The Little Rhody ADVrider crew at the "every four years" meeting

The Little Rhody ADVrider crew at the "every four years" meeting

Ukranian Russian math

Ukranian Russian math

The other Neuschwanstein: Cranston Street Armory, Providence, RI

The other Neuschwanstein: Cranston Street Armory, Providence, RI

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: