Scoot Commute


Posted in Uncategorized by cheesebot on 2014/12/13

At the services last Friday it was pointed out to me by one of sbahn’s coworkers that her last picture added to flickr was oddly coincidental.  I’d been so busy with everything else going on that I didn’t even realize.

Yeah, it’s a little spooky in retrospect but the explanation is that she went out looking to grab a tag on advrider.  She was unable to locate it but, as always, documented the search nevertheless.  For the record she was cremated (as per her wishes) and not buried in a cemetery.  I just remembered how we always pronounced the word “buried” very differently.  She pronounced the initial “bur” as in “burrow” but I said it like “berries”, as in “berried”.  She picked on me for it – she’s probably right.  I always let her win anyway.  We both have linguistics degrees so who can say.

The memorial service given by Providence College was way beyond anything I could have expected.  The outpouring of emotions and sympathy was overwhelming.  The chapel was standing room only and it was obvious how many people had been affected by this loss.  Personally, it was a whirlwind of emotions and activity and I am having trouble remembering it just a week later.

I rode Franz and enlisted our good friend tmlee to ride the new Husqvarna to the services.

I got permission to park the bikes on either side of the entrance to the reception following the memorial service.

I got the feeling that everyone appreciated this.  She was known on campus (and on this blog) for riding her bikes to work year round.  As soon as the service ended both bikes were surrounded by friends and family; touching, examining, remembering.

As I said, I can hardly remember much from that day.  We, the family, went out to Trinity for dinner the night before where they had introduced a new stout.

and I successfully exposed my much younger brother to the finer points of single malt Scotch whisky.

I just wish she were here to see all of this – I know it’s a cliché.  I hope she would say I was going a good job.

I cannot thank everyone enough for the kind words I’ve been given.  Whether in writing, in person, or over the telephone (I hate the phone) it’s evident how important she was to everyone.  Whether you know both of us, her and not me, me and not her, or neither of us personally (the internet is a funny thing) I hear and read your words.  I know there are various threads on several forums.  You have my thanks.

I don’t know where I’m headed or what the future holds for me.  I’m going to do my best to lead my life as she would have wanted.  I’m going to keep riding, finish the various unfinished ride reports (I know, right?) because I was usually there, and continue this blog as best I can.

On that note; my commute is a bit different than hers.  My job is twelve miles from home and since I usually have to hop on the highway for a bit I don’t ride as much as she did during the cold season.  I apologize in advance for this.  I did have to buy a new car and I’ll probably be using that for a little while but whenever I take a bike I’m sure I’ll have something to say about it.

Please be careful out there and give thanks for what you have, every day.


Sad news for scootcommute

Posted in Campus, Cats by cheesebot on 2014/11/29

This is cheesebot posting, I haven’t made a post on scootcommute in a very long time because sbahn took over and made it her own and has done a wonderful job.  I am the “boyfriend” that you see mentioned in many posts for the last fifteen years.  I’m sorry to announce that sbahn will not be posting any more.

The day before Thanksgiving Siobhan (her real name) was killed in an automobile accident in Foster, RI.  Icy road conditions caused her to lose control and collide with another car coming from the opposite direction.  Anyone who reads this blog knows that she almost never drove a car so the absurdity of it all is mind-blowing.

If you’re local to Providence, RI feel free to come to the memorial service at Providence College:

The Memorial Mass will be Friday, December 5th 11:35am at:

St. Dominic’s Chapel

Providence College

Providence, RI 02918

The reception, afterwards (around 12:30pm) is at:

The Center for Catholic and Dominican Studies (opposite the chapel)

Providence College

Providence, RI 02918

The address for the college is: 1 Cunningham Square, Providence, RI 02918

Please ride if you can – there will definitely be other riders there.

In lieu of flowers we’re requesting that you instead make a memorial donation in her name (Siobhan Ross) to the Providence Animal Rescue League (PARL)

We’ve always had a brood of cats from shelters or straight off the street and PARL was on our yearly charity tax-dodge list. Thank you.

Feel free to post any comments with stories or opinions, I like hearing about what she meant to people.

International Female Ride Day 2012

I would like to ask if you readers of scootcommute would like me to attempt to continue the blog on my own.  I will not have the same voice she does and I could never replace her but I experience the same frustrations and idiot Murano drivers and can still write about dumb cats and various flavors of alcohol.  Let me know.

Heavy Rains … and I see another scooter rider?!

Posted in Buddy St. Tropez (Franz Biberkopf), Daily Commute by sbahn on 2014/11/25

I never see anyone riding on my commute. Well, maybe on a beautiful, sunny summer day. But not now. Not in the cold, the dark, the rain, the leaves, the road construction.

Yesterday morning was torrential rain. As I was riding up my cut-through by the El Tiburon bar, a guy was barreling down Harold Street on a scooter. Thing is, he wasn’t wearing a helmet or any kind of raincoat. He was wearing a Dumb Donald (of Fat Albert fame) woolie cap. Not sure how that was helping alleviate the pain of rain stinging the face.

I gave the lobster claw fist pump, and he gave me several toots on the horn.


Prepping for the Pine Barrens 500

Posted in 2014 Pine Barrens 500, Husqvarna TE610 (aka TEd), Repairs by sbahn on 2014/11/10

Taking the Shinko 244 off the front rim, replacing with a new Pirelli MT21. Gimme a DOT 90/10 knob and maybe I won’t fall over too much.

The Saga of the Spark Plug

Posted in Buddy St. Tropez (Franz Biberkopf), Daily Commute by sbahn on 2014/09/17

How a normal person buys a spark plug

  • Goes to auto parts store
  • Tells clerk make & model of bike
  • Clerk looks it up
  • Clerk locates correct plug
  • Normal person pays
  • Normal person leaves store with the spark plug

How I buy a spark plug

  • Pull old plug and note number
  • Confirm fitment in manual
  • Go online to confirm what plugs fit
  • Write everything down on a sticky note
  • Go online to check what auto parts shop in Providence will have the plug
  • But still go to the shop I prefer even though the website showed nothing
  • Guy at the shop wasn’t particularly nice when telling me, “We don’t have it. I can order it.”
  • Get annoyed
  • Go to the gym
  • Stop at auto parts shop closer to home
  • Get in sorta line as folks aren’t very good at lining up at this shop
  • Wait as the two guys in front of me have the clerk (Isaiah) try to find a matching hose to the one they brought in
  • Watch as a guy attempts to make a return, only to be told that only the manager can do that
  • Watch as clerk yells for manager, Dustin, and receives no response
  • Watch as returning guy just sorta stands there, not knowing what to do
  • Laugh when clerk, after about 5 minutes, announces that Dustin must be outside
  • Watch as Dustin walks through the shop door
  • Clerk yells to Dustin to help the returner customer
  • Dustin yells over to me and asks what I need
  • I yell back I need a spark plug
  • He tells me to get in line behind returner guy
  • I don’t know why since hose guys are almost done
  • Oh, I failed to mention, this is all happening in Spanish, except when I’m spoken to
  • I get behind returner guy
  • Hose guys finish so Dustin tells me to go to my original clerk, Isaiah
  • I tell Isaiah the plug is for a motorcycle and he gives me a concerned look
  • Dustin tells Isaiah to cross-reference the number
  • It appears Isaiah doesn’t know how to do this
  • I point on computer screen at where I think he should click
  • He looks at me, and Dustin yells over that I’m correct
  • Success! Isaiah finds the cross-reference number
  • Unsuccess! Plug is not in stock, but it is at another store
  • Call the other store and confirm that yes, indeed, the plug is in stock
  • Leave the store and saddle up the Buddy
  • Get ready to ride down the curb into the parking lot
  • Front tire lands on the ground just as a red scooter with a “Buddy for Mayor” sticker drives speedily into the same spot, ridden by a guy with fabulous dreads and earbuds
  • He yells over “We’re sharing a spot” as I bust out laughing
  • Head down to yet another auto parts shop, not the sister store of the one I was just at, but one that showed the plug in stock online
  • Watch as Casby’s poodle hurdles across traffic-infested Elmwood Avenue
  • Continue to watch as Casby casually strides behind said dog into traffic
  • Arrive alive at the third auto parts shop
  • Stride in and immediately have the clerk ask me what I want, in a nice way
  • He looks up the plug information
  • Success! They have it in stock
  • $5.50 later, and after a “we stock a lot of motorcycle and scooter plugs because there are a lot around here”, I leave the shop with plug in hand
  • Spin Buddy back toward home
  • Notice a dirt bike riding behind me in rear view mirror
  • Move over to the left of lane as dirt bike appears to want to pass
  • Receive a flash of a smile and peace sign from guy riding an 80’s Honda XR 200
  • Honda XR continues to pass a bunch of vehicles in front of me before turning down a side street
  • I eventually make it to my street in one piece, spark plug safely tucked away in my left jacket pocket

Why, why does it take stopping at three shops, an excruciatingly long wait in one where it felt like I was in a Central American airport with all the different accents, to purchase one lousy plug for a Suzuki DR350? Why?

I thought living in a city was supposed to make things MORE convenient.

What a day

This post doesn’t really have anything to do with scooters, except for the fact that I did, indeed, commute on the Buddy today.

One of the IT guys was over in my office today because I couldn’t get the stupid network printer to show as online. Apparently I gave a lot of the Help Desk folks a good laugh with my ranting description of the issue, including “yes, I did turn it off and on, and that did nothing.”

Anyway, he’s a really nice guy, and has been working on the campus for a long time. He’s been diagnosed with ALS. Young guy, probably late 40s/early 50s. And he’s really angry about it. We had a long talk as we both struggled with getting this stupid printer to work.

Later in the day I met with one of the profs, who happens to also be a Catholic priest, to go over some of his image content for a histology course. Often in my meetings with professors, I get a little lesson on the content (they can’t help themselves…don’t get me talking about semantics ‘cos you’ll get a little lecture, too).

He opened up a slide with an image of a slice of a cockroach eye. He says to me, “Look at God’s brilliance. Look at how beautiful that is.” I looked at the image, then at the prof, then back at the image, and finally muttered, “Ya know, it is very beautiful. Such a perfect design.”

At the end of the day, as I’m riding from the gym (oh, there was another scooter parked at the gym so I’m not the only one!) into downtown to go to the credit union, I just started crying. Why can’t I just work at a normal place?

ATVs in Providence

Posted in Buddy St. Tropez (Franz Biberkopf), Daily Commute by sbahn on 2014/08/19

Casually riding home home tonight on the Buddy, three ATVs, three abreast, scream around the corner onto Sprague near the rehabbed brick factory on Dexter. Thing is, a car was also coming down the street. I don’t know how a collision was avoided; car, 3 ATVs, scooter. Wild ride and it’s only a 4 mile commute. Why don’t the cops do something about the ATVs, most likely stolen, riding around city streets. And Angel wants to be Rhode Island’s gubner, ha!

Power Out on Atwells: Red Light Crisis

Posted in Buddy St. Tropez (Franz Biberkopf), Daily Commute by sbahn on 2014/07/03

To my lovely Jeep this afternoon, struggling in the confuse-a-cat traffic at the intersection of Dean and Atwells, who thought it appropriate to yell out the window “fuck you!” when I scooted between the gridlock…shoulda thought about that initial purchase, eh?! Haha!

My favorite bier in the world is now available in the USA: Why Andech’s Doppelbock Dunkel is nectar of the gods

Posted in Alcohol, Utter nonsense by sbahn on 2014/05/11


Best fucking beer in the world.

Getting ready for the pour

Getting ready for the pour

The pour -- at least the glass is for a Bayern bier

The pour — at least the glass is for a Bayern bier

Mmmmm, Andechs Doppelbock -- nectar of the gods

Mmmmm, Andechs Doppelbock — nectar of the gods


Tagged with:

Mother’s Day Ride — Taking on Western RowDylin’

Posted in Pleasure Ride, Ride Reports, Suzuki DR350SE (1995) by sbahn on 2014/05/11

I had a freakin’ BLAST today. Great people, great route, and great weather.

Thanks to

  • jgormley for leading a really fun ride (yeah, leading sucks)
  • CBejbl for hiking the DR Little up a hill when he wouldn’t start after a failed bumpstart
  • Bikenstitches for suggesting the battery connection was off (well, actually, CBejbl’s idea ), and
  • drewha for wrenches

All in all — five bikes — perfectly sized group
WR250, DR 350, TE610, F650 Dakar, 690 Enduro
All the pics (unedited)

Easy start

Swamp Meadow Bridge, Fostah, RowDylin’

Highest Point in Rhode Island, Jerimoth Hill (Fostah)

Pulling out the paper map — this can’t be good

I love this picture. CBejbl looking badass with his KTM 690 Enduro

We had to turn around after following our fearless leader. “This trail shows as going through on the GPS.” Yeah, no.

Fun in the woods! At least the kids are being safe. I couldn’t tell if it was used and placed neatly back in the package, or someone left the woods very, very frustrated

Nice dude on a Dizzer (yellow is the fastest color) from West Wawa stopped where the DR Little wouldn’t start.

Braaap Braaaaaaap. jgormley gets to try CBejbl’s 690 Enduro.

My turn. I look hawt in orange

Do not follow this man. drewha leading us up the creek without a paddle.

CBejbl, drewha, Bikenstitches

It never looks as dramatic in the pics

WTF? We need to ride UP this.
All I could think as the Jeep was heading down is what the F are THEY thinking? We were lined up like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (plus a girl) facing them, and yet they still drove down.

Everyone made it up with no drops, no stops, no help needed. Even me. I don’t know how I got out of my own head.

FU RIDEM. This is the DEM’s idea of ruining a nice dirt road.

Bikenstitches was behind me, nailing all the puddles. And then I looked, no Bikenstitches. I figured he had a bit of a struggle with the thick sand, and sure ’nuff. drewha went back to help. I would have, but I’m usually more of a burden than assistance.

No harm, no foul. Who needs turn signals in New England?

A concerned CBejbl

Lunch at Serio’s Pizzarama in Pascoag (how you say that?), Burrillville, Rhode Island — I was stahvin’ and desperate for water by the time we got here. Onion ring batter was deleesh.
Would you like bacon with that hoagie?

Sand damage — that’ll duct tape right up

Road-worthy requirements in B-ville are pretty lax. This pulled in AFTER we saw an ATV pulling a trailer down the main street.

Oh, and a special message to the RIDEM: Fuck you!

“You can’t ride those in here!”
“Not allowed.”
“Huh? Licensed, registered, insured.”
“Oh, I’m used to illegal dirt bikes.”

Do you seriously think I would ride up to you, Rangerman, if I was on an off-road only bike? Whadd’ya think, I’m a morAn? See these amber things? And this small, rectangular metal thing with numbers on it? Go F yerself. You’re standing between me and a nice bathroom.

Seriously nice ride today. I can’t wait for the BBA this coming weekend