Scoot Commute

Spring is here and the commute is blooming

Posted in Buddy St. Tropez (Franz Biberkopf), Daily Commute by sbahn on 2012/04/10

Four miles, three bikes, and one great intersection sums up my ride in to work this morning.

The Bikes

The red scooter that parks on the side street near Palmieri’s is now back in its parking spot on Penn Street every morning. I don’t know what it is but it has a nice, tall windshield. I saw the owner riding it one cold winter’s day up Ridge Street toward me, wearing a half helmet. He looked cold.

As I’m waiting for the green arrow from Valley to River, a very nicely kitted BMW R series with the full complement of matching hard bags and top case, gingerly made the left onto Valley. If I had been more awake, I would have had more than a “WTF?” thought. Weird bike to be in that neighborhood with a fully-geared rider. Someone passing through with a wonky GPS perhaps?

The third bike was the WeeStrom parked outside its garage on my cut-through to Smith Street. I first saw this bike last year and I’m thinking the owner may be riding again, now that the weather is staying steady in the 50Fs. always makes me smile when I scoot on by.

The Intersection

The corner of River and Chalkstone Avenues, a woman driving a mini-van (shocking!) made a left from Chalkstone onto River, but was pulling very, very close to the curb. This intersection is a bit nutty as it’s tight so the ‘stop’ lines are painted way before the corner (not like anyone pays any attention and then wonders why the city bus practically runs over the hood of the car).  There’s a gas station on one corner, mini-shops on two other corners (you know the kind, computer repair, long-distance calling cards, money transfer and probably an immigration lawyer in the back helping people straighten out their paperwork), and an empty medical building.

The woman, African with a colorful scarf tightly wound on her head, sorta waved at the pick-up truck trying to make a right turn. Foolish man, assuming this driver was actually going forward instead of stopping randomly at a dangerous intersection.

The light turned green for cars in my direction, but no one could move because the intersection was block; no one except me as I scooted around everyone. One lady, one mini-van, half a brain is all it takes to create a small scene of semi-chaos.

On the way home

I stopped at the Aldi to pick up some food for dinner. New check-out guy who was more interested in discussing clementines than dirty, hi-viz jackets. I back-tracked to take my crazy route home as there’s less traffic. I pulled the left onto my cut-through from Smith to River, and there was the WeeStrom again. The difference this time was that the owner was crouched next to it, doing something chain related (at least that’s what it looked like).

He must have heard the powerful growl of the Prima pipe on the Buddy because he looked up, gave a big smile, and waved. Kinda hipster-y looking but friendly…I mean, he actually waved at a hi-viz girly on a beat-up Taiwanese scootah.

All in all, I’ve gotten so good at predicting the stupid shit of the car drivers, it’s not even fun anymore to yell.

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