Scoot Commute

First day of jury duty in Rhode Island, and of course it snowed!

Posted in Buddy St. Tropez (Franz Biberkopf), Daily Commute, Jury Duty by sbahn on 2014/01/29
Franz the snowy Buddy scooter parked safe & sound at the RISD library

Franz the snowy Buddy scooter parked safe & sound at the RISD library

Like a good motorcyclist, I tuned in to the TV weather news last night so I’d know what the morning would have on offer. The report was for a snowy mix as Providence was showing just on the line on the radar. I figured I’d wake up and the streets would be wet, but nothing complicated.

When I got up, I could tell by the brightness within the dreariness, that it had, indeed, snowed and stuck to the ground. This was as I stared out the window without my glasses, so all I could see were contrasts.

“I wonder how much is out there?” as I climbed into the shower. As I continued to get ready, I finally put on my glasses and discovered that “oh, hey, it’s still snowing.” I peeked out the front door and despite the white street, suited up and walked over to the garage.

Ahhh, what did the garage offer me this morning? Well, it was novel to say the least. This time, the metal bar that keeps the big door locked would not budge. I pushed, I pulled, I banged it with a large metal tape measurer. Nothing. Then I heard the boyfriend trying to open the door from the other side, and I’m thinking, “that’s not gonna work.”

He walked around to the side door and looked at me like I was a complete moron. “You can’t open it with the bar locked.”

“Oh really?” I thought. I did an abracadabra wave as if to say “have at it.” He grabbed a hammer and finally the bar snapped out of the horizontal supports.

Even though the street was snow-covered, it seemed fairly straightforward. The trick to riding on snow of an inch of so is a slow, steady throttle and a light rear brake. A car actually flashed me to offer me the left turn onto the main street in front of him which made for a good ride  as he hung back a bit. I can only think he’s a multifaceted rider. Who else wants to drive behind a lunatic on a scooter on a snow-covered street?

I was headed downtown as today was my first day of jury duty since I moved to Rhode Island. I was kinda excited because it’s something different from a regular workday, and you may get to hear something interesting.

I had already scoped out parking as I knew there was a small, protected “square” near the new RISD library where the students park bicycles. I had recalled seeing scooters parked there as well, but figured, what scooter is out this winter? When I got there, I paddled the scoot up the cut in the sidewalk for wheelchairs and pushed the scoot into his spot. To my surprise, there was a proper motorcycle, covered, among the bicycles. I figured I’d be safe, and if the RISD security ticketed me for lack of a parking permit, I have an “in” at the library.

Buddy scooter still safely parked at the RISD library after jury duty ... wonder what bike is under that cover?

Buddy scooter still safely parked at the RISD library after jury duty … wonder what bike is under that cover?

Just a couple of blocks from the courthouse, I walked across the river and up one of the many ridiculous hills on the East Side. I am seriously out of shape! When I entered the building I was greeted by an x-ray machine and a metal detector. Usually these things are a formality, but the guys went berzerk over my gloves. Because one of the battery packs is all F’d up, the light doesn’t go off so it was glaring red. It instantly attracted attention.

“What are these?”
“Are these heated gloves?”
“How do they work?”
“Do they keep you warm?”
“Are they expensive?”
“Could I use them with the snowblower? Hey, I bet these’d be great for working the blower.”

No mention of the fact that I was on a two-wheeled machine and rode to the courthouse today in a f’ing snowstorm. It was as if it was the most natural way to arrive to the first day of jury duty.

I went down to the jury room, and yadda yadda yadda, I’m back home now. Of the three states I’ve attended jury duty, Rhode Island has been the most boring, but also the most respectful. They really went out of their way to thank us for sitting around.

Tomorrow’s another day of jury duty, woohoo! I think the best part is the parking spot. I was just delighted this morning. Sometimes I think I get more pleasure from the interesting and unique parking than the actual riding.

Returning home, my street was still a white, slick mess

Returning home, my street was still a white, slick mess

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