Clean for a Day

30 January, 2006 Temperature: 29 degrees F (-1.6°C)

Well, the Baron finally got his bath. After all the excitement on Friday, I just didn’t feel like spending the entire evening outside with the bucket, brush, and hose. So I put it off until Sunday, and then brought him to a self-serve carwash. I was very careful with the pressure wash nozzle, avoiding the axle areas and around the rear drum brake. I even brought my own towels to dry him off afterwards.

When we left there, it was snowing. It snowed all day, with only an inch accumulating.

Clean for a Day

I took this photo as soon as we got home, knowing that he wasn’t going to stay clean for long. I sprayed Boeshield on all exposed metal surfaces, so he would be protected from the salt and crud on our commute this morning. That was a good thing. We got drenched by road spray and brown slush all the way to work.

Poetic Justice, or A Trap Well Sprung…

One of the hazards we scooterists face on the roads, any time of year, are people in cages driving too fast. This morning, a young fellow in an older econobox roared up behind me on East River Road. There was ice and snow all over the road yet, and I was riding a cautious 25 – 30 mph. The speed limit on these parkways is 25 anyhow. He watched me drag my foot through a few corners, saw us slide around a bit, but still he stayed within a car length of my rear tire. If I had fallen, chances are very good that he would have run over me. In retrospect, I should have pulled over and waved him by. But the way it turned out was soooo much better…

Topping the rise before the Lake Street Bridge, I saw a car parked in the shadows underneath. It wasn’t full daylight yet, but I know these roads and the denizens that prowl them. This was an unmarked Saint Paul squad car, parked in a perfect ambush position to catch vehicles on radar as they crest the hill. I glanced at my speedometer, and let off the gas, but didn’t touch the brake. Mr. Impatient behind me floored his accelerator and swung out to pass, in the no-passing zone. He must have been doing 45 mph when that unmarked squad lit up like Times Square on New Year’s Eve. I couldn’t believe the number and brightness of the lights they managed to hide on that car! Red, white, and blue, all at the same time. Kind of patriotic, don’t you think?

He pulled Speed Racer over and let me go on my merry way. He sounded peeved when he yelled over the intercom for the driver to stay in the car and shut his door. I chuckled all the way across the bridge, and most of the way to work. That one’s gonna cost him.

Okay, so I’ve had my brushes with the law too. Most of them happen when we are young and dumb, but my record has only been clean for about five years now. I know exactly what this guy was thinking, and exactly how he felt when he got busted. Been there, done that, got the mugshot to prove it. Still, he WAS dangerous. Maybe he’ll learn a lesson from it. Maybe not. But it was good to have the Boys in Blue on MY side for once.

12 Responses to “Clean for a Day”

  1. Steve Williams Says:

    The lesson for me in this story is to pull over and let the world pass. Man that’s hard to do sometimes. I manage it 90 percent of the time but the rest of the time I can see myself scheming to “box out” the car swerving through traffic behind me just to teach them a lesson. What kind of insane thinking is that.

    Does feel really good though, all the way over in Pennsylvania, to picture Speed Racer getting his due. But no one wants you ending up under someone’s vehicle.

    Drive carefully now.


  2. mnscooter Says:

    It seems a long way from my “scooter zen” beginnings here, doesn’t it?

    But who knows what might have happened had I let him pass? There are many people out running and on bicycles at that time of the morning. With the slick roads, even his young reflexes may not have been enough to avoid catastrophe.

    The older I get, the more I believe that Things Happen for a Reason.

    Ride well,

  3. Dick Aal Says:

    AAAHHHH poetic justice is sometimes the best and most satisfying of all. So many times have I wished for this with idiots cutting me off and other offenses that are dangerous, stupid and do not get them anywhere anyway. I remember one time traveling from San Francisco south to Redwood City one afternoon. I was in the center lane of a 6 lane (both directions) freeway. Shortly after leaving S.F. a car cut in front of me and continued changing lanes all the way down. I stayed in the center lane the entire 40 or so miles. When I got off the freeway in Redwood City, this joker for all his effort was again 3 cars behind me.

  4. Mad Says:

    That Baron’s a cute little thing, nice pic again.
    I had a similar experience today on my commute. There was an impatient driver in a hurry coming through the traffic who got very close to my back wheel, I got out of his way pretty smartly and tucked into the slow lane because I know that the flyover we were approaching often has a mobile speed camera van on it. Sure enough this morning it was there. I don’t know if he got pinged - in fact I doubt he did - but at least he got a bit of a fright.

  5. cra_fizzer Says:

    Man I love when that happens!!!


  6. Laurence Says:

    “But it was good to have the Boys in Blue on MY side for once.”
    They’re always on your side. Wise up!

  7. mnscooter Says:

    Laurence, my sense of humor seems to elude you. You’re not the first.

    I “wised up” approximately six years ago. I’m not ready to tell that story in public yet, but someday I will. The cops that I am acquainted with are all honorable people who are dedicated to their work.

    I meant nothing more than that it felt good to be on the right side of the law this time. Sheesh! Some people are so touchy! Which badge do you wear?

    Ride well,

  8. Mad Says:

    Never let it be said that Gary only ever opens his mouth to change feet…


  9. mnscooter Says:

    You have been a loyal reader, Mad, so I’m going to give you a free pass on this one.

    It’s late where you live.

    Get some sleep. ;^)

    Ride well,

  10. Mad Says:

    Yeah best I shut up now… :p

  11. Laurence Says:

    What badge do I wear? Good question. I retired many years ago, and am currently ‘employed’ as a volunteer crossing guard at our local elementary school! I might add that my only experience with scooters occurred back in the early 60’s, in London, England. I was riding a 125cc BSA and had a wheel-to-wheel head-on collision with a scooter guy. My fault, of course. Neither man nor machine suffered any damage, tho I went right over the handlebars. I can chuckle about it now, but at the time, I was one hundred percent humiliated. The Brit, of course, was cool as a cucumber.

  12. Mad Says:

    Riding on the wrong side Laurence? :p

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