Scoot Commute

Random update ‘cos it’s been a while

We are for freedom! Free Free Syria -- seen in Olneyville Square, Providence

We are for freedom! Free Free Syria — seen in Olneyville Square, Providence

Tonight after work I rode out to pick up the gift I had made for my wonderful student worker, Molly. On my way out of Providence I ride through a couple of “rougher” neighborhoods. I was about to make a right at a 4-way stop when I see a group of guys leaning against a fence across the street and another guy on my side of the street. The guy closest to me, the one I’m going to have to ride through, is holding a huge brick. “Hmmm,” I think, “I wonder if this is some new game, ‘toss the brick’ or perhaps something more nefarious is going on?” Either way, I just wanted to get through the morass of bored, young men.

I rode on route 14 and then 116, a really nice road in central Rhode Island as there are very few stops. I passed a guy on some sort of small cc dual sport bike; I thought it might be the REI stalker guy from a couple of years ago but I don’t think it was as he, apparently, was getting the ADV RI/CT tag.

On a completely different note, last Saturday I took one of the student’s who works in another department but with whom I work with closely, for a ride on the boyfriend’s Honda Transalp as her graduation present. (I thought better of having her ride on the back of my DRZ400 as I can only imagine she’d think I wasn’t proud and excited for her accomplishment.)

smurph's graduation ride on the Transalp

smurph’s graduation ride on the Transalp

I picked her up on campus after her last final (in Italian!) ever as an undergraduate. As I’m waiting in the lot, a dad parks his SUV next to me, gets out and starts a conversation. When I told him I was picking up one of my student workers for a ‘congrats ride!’, he nodded his approval. So there was at least one random parent who didn’t think I was taking the life of a precious child and putting it in grave danger.

Oh, I didn’t mention that on my ride over to campus from my house, on the Transalp, a bike that does not belong to me and one which I have only ridden a few times, that I kept thinking, “You are taking someone’s precious daughter for a ride on a motorcycle. Don’t fuck up.” Not exactly the best frame of mind.

The smurph was right on time and I proceeded to don her in my gear, which was much too big, except for a brand new helmet that I got for just this type of event; a new loaner. It was hot and felt bad that she was hot, but I can’t have someone riding with me without a jacket and gloves.

Scituate Reservoir, Route 12 in Rhode Island

Scituate Reservoir, Route 12 in Rhode Island

We headed out toward the main reservoir for Providence, stopping at a food shack for lunch.  While we were chowing down on clam chowdah (me) and crab cake sandwich (smurph), one of the guys shows up to say ‘hello!’. He was riding one of those Harley things instead of his trusty KLR. Naturally he wasn’t wearing his D/S helmet but a wee little beanie. I think he should sell the bike for his own safety. I think smurph was happy he stopped by as it stopped my grilling of “whadd’ya gonna do now?”

In all, the smurph and I rode 83 miles together and it was great. Perfect weather, lots of other bikes so she got to experience the communication strangers on bikes have with each other, and great company. I even took her down a few dirt roads, on the pretense of showing off a pretty waterfall, but in reality, I just wanted to try riding on a dirt road with a pillion. It was great! The funniest part, at least for me because I don’t think smurph had any idea what was up, was coming up to a guy on a little D/S, like a KLX250, very cautiously turning it around on the dirt road. He had on an expensive D/S helmet and a very nice kit. When we stopped to look at the water, I said to her, “That’s gotta be one of the guys out on a learning run. He was wearing a very expensive helmet.” Her response? “How do you know?” I then had to bow my head in shame and admit to my gear whore-dom.

Swamp Meadow Covered Bridge, the only covered bridge in Rhode Island (Foster, RI on Central Avenue)

Swamp Meadow Covered Bridge, the only covered bridge in Rhode Island (Foster, RI on Central Avenue)

In other random commuting nonsense, last Thursday was a raining, grey morning. I was sitting at the light at Tobin and Atwells when a woman in a car pulls up into the Atwells intersection, looking like she wanted to turn onto Tobin. The problem is, Tobin is one-way and her turn would put her against traffic. I tried to get her attention, as I was front of the red-light line, but to no avail. She turned directly toward me, as my light went green, and zzzzzzzip, I went around her into the intersection and across Atwells. I left the chaos behind me as the entire intersection came to a standstill. Mor-ANs, Mor-ANs, Mor-ANs. I’m tired of ’em.

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