Scoot Commute

First week of the semester 2013

Posted in Buddy St. Tropez (Franz Biberkopf), Daily Commute by sbahn on 2013/09/07

Ah yes, it’s that time of year. Faculty emerge like cicadas, with needs and (mostly) wants that often leave me scratching my head. Students hauling way too much crap, exploding from the hatches of expensive SUVs driven by hassled dads and sad moms, arrive freshly scrubbed and eager to devour the Illiad (at least for the first week).

But for me, first day started with a pretty awesome bike-siting morning. Riding along the torn-up River Avenue, I gave a big wave to a chickie on a kiwi Honda Metropolitan (or Met II as I didn’t look that closely). Then almost immediately, I spotted a Yamaha Vino (in grey) parked on the sidewalk. At my turn-off, which is a four-way stop, I spotted a D/S bike with a geared-up rider. I took the right turn before he got up close enough to the stop for me to determine the make of the bike. But still, as someone who NEVER sees two-wheelers on my commute, it was quite a morning. I’m chalking it up to having to be on campus at the crack of dawn (8am!) to prepare for the first block of classes at 8:30am.

Later in the week I rode over to an emeritus prof’s house to return the keys to his condo in Georgia (that he so graciously lent me for the ride back from Florida on the Husky, which, by the way, is still in Florida). Providence street traffic was horrendous (I can only assume an accident on the highway which led drivers to attempt go-rounds on city streets). As I maneuvered through the foolishness, I spied a BMW GS, complete with ADV kit with matching DS-helmeted rider trapped in a tangle of snarling traffic on North Main Street. No lane-splitting for you with your ginormous panniers poking out as wide as a Nissan Murano.

I’m still clinging to my good parking spot, which I fear will be taken by a lazy student car owner over the weekend. It’s a sorta half-spot, and the security guys park really close to the line to make it too small for a car (and available for me). I can always use one of the striped “no parking” endcaps but that’s where the scoot was hit and left lying on the ground in the spring.

And finally…

with the start of the new term, the parking arms are now back in use. My system for carrying my ID card is working pretty well, but I still had a maniac car driver behind me one morning get a little irate as I pulled out my card, touched it to the swipe mechanism (mine has a chip, thanks Gene for upgrading me), and proceeded through the gate. Honestly, my fine fellow, it took me less time than you but because I’m on a bike, you perceived it as longer. Is it my fault you’re late for class? I’m sure your grades reflect your timeliness.


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