Scoot Commute

Why I can’t ever have anything nice

Posted in Buddy St. Tropez (Franz Biberkopf), Daily Commute by sbahn on 2013/12/16

Today was not a good day. I tried to find a picture when I first got the Genuine Buddy St. Tropez, but I don’t think I took any. I got the scoot on April 25, 2008 from JavaSpeed in Providence. The earliest picture I can find is dated June 14, 2008.

Scooter Full House

Scooter Full House

The telephone in my office rang. I looked over and the display read “Safety & Security.” This is never a good thing. I was already on edge because Harvard had issued an evac notice on four buildings this very morning.

“Hello?” I answered, tentatively.

“Hey, this is Debbie in Security. I have a student here who is crying. She hit your scooter. Can you come out and take a look?”

“Oh, it gets hit all the time. Please tell her it’s not a big deal. I’ll be right out.”

I grabbed my office keys and the scoot keys and walked down the hallway.

“Where ya going?” yells a colleague.

“Scooter’s been hit again. At least this time the person turned herself in.”

As I’m walking to the lot, the security officer in the booth to get onto campus slides open his window. “She was crying. She’s really upset.”

“Yeah, I’m sure it’s nothing.”

A woman was standing near the scoot, still lying on its side. I walked up and said, “Hey, you ok?”

“I’m sooooo sorry. I’m sorry. I was backing out and the wheels slipped on the ice. I couldn’t stop.”

I’m staring at the seat, which has been tossed across the parking lot. The seat should be permanently attached at the front of the pet carrier (the bucket beneath the seat) on a hinge.

“Whelp, let’s get it up,” I declare as we pick it up and put it on the centerstand. I remember thinking, “Wow, this thing is light.”

“Oh it’s fine. I’m sure my boyfriend can fix this. You ok?” I asked. “Are you heading home now?” (as today is the last day of final exams).

“Yeah,” she sniffed.

“Where’s home?”


“Well, you better get going. Did you get all your final grades? Did you do well?”

“Yes! I got really good grades.” She seemed happy for a moment. “Then this happened.”

“This? This is nothing. Take a few deep breaths, relax, and head on home for Christmas.”

“Security has all my information. If there’s any problem…”

“Don’t worry about it. It’s just a thing.”

And away she went. I didn’t take any time to take a look because I didn’t want to freak her out any more than she already was.

When I left my office and walked toward the lot, all I could think was, “please start, please start.”

I pulled my helmet out of the pet carrier and slipped it on. I reached over for the front brake, flipped the kill switch to on, and pressed the starter. Nothing. Not even a click, nothing. “Oh c’mon,” I thought. I pressed the starter again and the scoot whirled to life. “Phew!”

I took off on my usual commute home when I noticed that the right mirror was off-kilter. I maneuvered it back into place, no worse for wear. I stopped at the T-intersection of Huxley and Smith, where I snapped into reality and remembered that I should take the annoying, heavily travelled route home as the streets were covered in ice this morning.

Ice-strewn side street in Providence, RI

Ice-strewn side street in Providence, RI

Oh my gosh, and I am glad I remembered! The commute was slow and steady, and I didn’t have an issue until back in my neighborhood. Thankfully the car behind me was waaaaay behind me so I was able to pull over to the side before turning onto an ice-strewn side street.

Scary scary scary riding down this street

Scary scary scary riding down this street

When I got home, I took a look at the right side of the scoot. The muffler cover was dirty from lying in the salt and snow, and the rear foot rest looks even more shoved in than it was from the last time the bike was hit in the same parking lot (although that person simply drove off). The front brake lever has a scrape and there’s a cut in my beloved Pro Grip 714 grips.

Broken hinge that attaches the seat to the pet carrier

Broken hinge that attaches the seat to the pet carrier

The big issue is that the plastic part where the seat attaches in a hinge is broken. I blame myself for this because, had I remembered to bring my helmet into my office, the seat would have been completely closed and would not have hit the ground (as the crash bars would have stuck out more). It’s that damn Caberg Duke helmet not fitting under my seat.

Broken seat hinge on Genuine Buddy scooter

Broken seat hinge on Genuine Buddy scooter

I give up ever having anything nice. Riding through the winters and parking on a college campus have destroyed the aesthetic of the Buddy.

Oh, and we’re supposed to get 2-4 inches of snow, starting first thing in the morning and snowing all day tomorrow. I don’t know how I’m going to commute. Snow covering the ice makes for a hellish commute.


2 Responses

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  1. circleblue said, on 2013/12/16 at 8:35 pm

    If one rides like we do and when we do, then our rides just have to get personality. Nice or personality, leave at home or ride it like you can’t stand to be off it for a day. I had the sudden water main breaks appearing out of nowhere this morning. By evening we’d warmed up.

  2. Ryan P said, on 2013/12/19 at 10:51 am

    Grr! At least the student turned themselves in, and overall it’s a cheap fix (which the student’s insurance should pay for).

    My wife’s buddy had the front ‘fender’ and cowl hit at work. I was able to replace it, and even though there was some breakage under the front main panel, I was able to squeeze it back in. A week after I replaced it some jerk hit it again. aaaagh!

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