Scoot Commute

Urban Explorin’

Posted in Buddy St. Tropez (Franz Biberkopf), Pleasure Ride by sbahn on 2014/05/05

We had our first motorcycle fatality of 2014 in Rhode Island on Friday evening. I spent some time looking at the Google street view of the location and just couldn’t figure out what happened (22 year old on a GSX-R that he purchased in March of this year, at least that’s what I sussed out from his Facebook profile). The street surface looked smooth and the stretch of road looked straight. It was bothering me enough to make it the aim of my ride this evening (after stopping at the Aldi, the credit union and the house to drop off the groceries).

Now, it is well-known by those who know me that I am hopeless when it comes to trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B without intensely studying a map and writing very specific directions. But for some reason, I decided to just wing it.

Buddy on Cadillac Drive, Providence RI

Buddy on Cadillac Drive, Providence RI

And here’s the crazy thing. I actually found the street. I had never been there, a street that parallels I-95. I kept coming upon dead-end after dead-end as the highway was cutting off the surface streets. But I persevered and kept heading in what I thought would make the most sense. For once, I was actually right. I couldn’t believe it when I was stopped at a red light, and felt like I should make a left, when I spotted the street sign. I found it!

I rode down the street a ways and spotted the accident scene easily as a makeshift memorial had been set up (I don’t get these roadside candle and flower tributes, but it did make it easy to find). I wanted to continue on the street to see where it went, so I rode on. It got kind of creepy with gates and fences everywhere. There was a dirt road that paralleled the railroad tracks but I couldn’t figure out a way to get to it as the river was inbetween where I was and the tracks.

Wellington Avenue, Cranston RI

Wellington Avenue, Cranston RI

At one point I stopped and walked down into what appeared to be a spot where people dump crap and found two rib cages. There was a bunch of rope and a couple of 5 gallon plastic pails. I think I know what I found, but I don’t really want to think about it. It kinda creeped me out.

Ribcage skeletons, rope, 5-gallon buckets -- nice place for a picnic off Wellington Ave, Cranston RI

Ribcage skeletons, rope, 5-gallon buckets — nice place for a picnic off Wellington Ave, Cranston RI

It was getting to be about dusk so I turned back up the road and tried to ride it thinking like a 22 year old guy on a Gixxer. Naturally I wasn’t very successful in this endeavor. I still don’t get it. There was a slight turn to the road before the place where he hit the pole, but it was so much before I can’t see how an over-correction would have gotten him into the pole. The only thing I can think is he lost control earlier, looked up and saw the pole, and target-fixated. Nothing else makes sense. It’s just so sad. If only he had gone off the road 5 feet earlier or later, he’d probably still be here as it was a huge lawn.

I continued along the street until I came upon a bridge over I-95. I had no idea where I’d wind up, but I swung a left and rode down the parallel street on the opposite side. Lots of little kids out, riding bikes, playing. At least three gave me a thumbs-up. At what point do little boys go from thinking scooters are cool to scooters being, ahem, not cool.

Little Buddy, big Cardi equipment overlooking I-95 on Wellington Ave, Cranston RI

Little Buddy, big Cardi equipment overlooking I-95 on Wellington Ave, Cranston RI

Astonishingly, I eventually wound up on a street where I knew where I was. It was as if I somehow acquired a sense of direction overnight. I still don’t know how I figured out how to find the street and how to get home. Maybe my knowledge of Providence is really getting to be good, as if I’m approaching the Knowledge.

Oh, and this showed up last week on campus.

BMW R90/6 on campus

BMW R90/6 on campus

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