Posts Tagged ‘kick start’

Well, I Did It

May 10, 2014

I crashed the scooter.

That didn’t take too long.


I didn’t harm it, too badly, it will need some body work, the front fender needs to be popped out a little bit.  I pulled it out with my hand, but it needs a touch of attention and some re-shaping.

I got more hurt than the scooter.

And it hurts, but it’s not deadly.

I crashed it starting it.

It’s sort of like breaking your leg falling up stairs.

After my friend came over the other day and showed me how to prime the scooter, I was ready for it.

Ready to ride it out and get up and over those hills to Noe and 19th for work today.

Considering all the crashing that could have gone on today, I am tremendously grateful that I am not worse injured or the scooter totaled, or the car I drove over the Golden Gate Bridge to The Discovery Museum in Fort Baker over on the Sausalito side, and back, was not hit.

I had a near heart attack when a car careened through an intersection I was crossing through and nearly hit me.

It weaved off and I felt every hair on my body stand straight up.

Not sure what was the issue, I was fully in the clear, green light all the way, I don’t even care to dwell on it.

I will be dwelling on my scooter crash.


I didn’t even want to admit to it, but I find that I cannot hide things here, I have tried to edit my posts to make me seem more amazing and you know, that just never works.

I fucked up.

It was not on purpose, I flooded the scooter in the Whole Foods Parking lot in the Upper Haight.

I was heading back from a speaking engagement at Our Lady of SafeWay and was happy to be out and about, primed to swing by the Whole Foods on the way home, grab some apples, a few bananas, some almond milk.

I parked.

I was golden.

I got over excited by the priming lesson my friend had given me and gave it too much gas.

At least this was what I was to come to find out.

I called said friend.

No answer.

I tried starting again, not realizing that I was compounding the problem by rolling the throttle again, thus effectively, flooding it some more.

I got  a hold of Barnaby, who is a Vespa aficionado and owns a couple he stores down in San Jose at his mom’s place.

He told me I had most likely flooded it and walked me step by step what to do.

I had also called another friend, who turns out was in Seattle setting up for a dj gig.

“Carmen, I have one thought for you,” he told me two weeks ago while he and I were standing at the curb with Barnaby admiring it, “may you lay it down soon, gently, softly, and with little or no harm to you or the scooter.”

I rolled my eyes.

“Oh you scoff, but everybody lays down their scooter or motorcycle at least once, get it out-of-the-way sooner rather than later,” he finished.  “She’s a beauty, may you ride her a long, long, long time.”

I am so special and terminally unique, I was not going to believe him, I won’t lay it down, that’s not going to happen to me, nope, I don’t need to have that experience.

Thank you very much.

Apparently, I am no different from anyone else.

She got laid down tonight and I got drug.


Here’s the embarrassing bit, but again, I know better than to be too chagrined, I didn’t get badly hurt, I got the scooter started, I laid it down and got that nasty bit of business out-of-the-way.

My ego might be more bruised than my leg.


I am going to have an awful bruise on my left thigh.

It’s like, dented.

After following Barnaby’s instructions and doing some praying  to the powers that be, I went to start it.

And it almost started!

I was so excited.

I was also rushed, which I can see in this tiny bit of hindsight probably helped aid in my little wreck, the security guard was closing up the parking lot at Whole Foods and had wanted me to move earlier, I explained what was happening, and he was cool, but doing his job.

He startled me while I was praying and I got on to getting it on.

I kicked it again and the engine caught and I gave the throttle some gas.

Which was the wrong thing to do.

I don’t know how, I really don’t, but it had slipped into first, that is the clutch was in first, not in neutral.

When I gave it gas, it responded.

It leapt forward with me dragging behind it.


Then, it stopped, abruptly.

Two reasons.


I hit a light pole.

Oh, dear sweet Jesus.

It’s true.

I hit the fucking light pole.

I hopped the curb, rode rough shod through some bushes and bonked on the light pole.

I was still holding onto the scooter, I rolled off the throttle, held the front brake and I don’t know how or why or where, but I heard clearly, “use the kill switch.”

I looked up, pushed the kill switch, and the scooter stopped running.

I tried to roll it back, but it was stuck in the wood chips around the bush.

I laughed, perhaps a bit maniacally, and pulled it back through the wood chips and onto the pavement.

Well, it’s not flooded now.

But the front fender was bent in.

And what ever I rammed my leg on, scooter or curb or bush or who knows, dug into my thigh bad.

I took three ibuprofen upon entering my domicile (while I silently debated keeping this whole story to myself, ego, ego, ego) and pulled down my leggings to look at the dented part of my left thigh.

I bruised the muscle bad.

I am not riding my scooter tomorrow–I want to make sure that I take care of the dent and just have it checked out to make sure that I didn’t do it worse damage (it rode home fine, fyi, but still)–and I don’t know if I will be riding my bicycle.

I am limping when I am walking.

But I am walking.


Let me assure you, it could have been worse, accidents happen, I learned, albeit in a harder way than I wanted to, to slow down and let things run their natural course.

Because when I force things, well, they can get out of my hands quickly.

Here’s to the Universe making it real clear.

I will be slowing down the rest of the weekend.

Thanks for the prompting.

And for not having me lay my scooter down in traffic.

I mean, if I am going to lay it down, what better way, really, then in a bunch of wood chips and a bush.

This will make a very funny story soon.

I can feel the humility working its magic as I type.

Or maybe it’s just the ibuprofen.

Come on!

It is pretty funny.

I ran into a light post at Whole Foods.

Damn it man.

And with just a tiny hint of perspective, let me give myself some props.

I got back on it.

I wheeled it out of the parking lot, started it up, and got back on the proverbial horse.

I will give myself some props for that.

Yes I will.

Sore, dented, bruised props.

But props nonetheless.

I’m Back!

April 22, 2014

Sort of.

The Internet connection is still shitastic.

And my landlord told me two days ago that she paid to have a faster service.

Not down here.

Nothing’s faster.

Get your money back.

Oh well.

Hopefully, at some point I will have access, there always does seem to be a magic moment when I do manage to sneak online then I will transfer the blog from here in my MAC Word documents to my WordPress site.

I have missed this!

Four days since I have last blogged.

Me no likey.

I had entertained the thought of writing my blogs long hand then taking photos of them and posting them via my Iphone, but I never got around to it.

I did read a lot.

Nearly finished Michael Chabon’s Telegraph Avenue.

Now that I have my computer back, I don’t know that I will be kicking through the book quite as fast. I will certainly finish it, it’s good enough to be finished, though, and I have to say there are some bits of it that don’t quite sit well with me. Perhaps it’s because I worked around the neighborhood that the author is describing and I lived in a rather rough part of East Oakland. There’s something in the language of the characters that does not ring true.

Fiction is not supposed to be “real” per se, but it has to read true to me and there are times when it does not read true.

Then again, it’s a good enough read that I am going to finish it.

Not tonight, though.

Tonight is all about the blog, if I do manage to get it up online.

I am writing it anyhow.

As I was riding my bicycle home along Irving, flying into the wind, the salty smell of ocean, very fresh tonight, the breeze bracing, brisk, almost cold, but not quite, I kept thinking what am I going to write about?

What did I do over the last few days that is noteworthy.

I cried a little bit on the corner of Hyde and Grove outside the Burger King across from the main library.

And not because what you think.

That is, should you know what that neighborhood is like.

Crack head central.

It wasn’t cuz I was smoking it, scoring it, or looking to turn a trick.

But I got all sorts of propositioned.

I wasn’t crying either because I had lost my abstinence or gone off on a flame-broiled binge at the Burger King either.

It was because my scooter, out of the blue, stopped running.

Right at that particular corner.

It smells bad.

See aforementioned crack head reference.

Add to that the charred smell of carcinogens people were stuffing into their glazed 4/20 faces.

Oh, yeah, yesterday, on top of it being Easter, it was Easter on 4/20; everyone was baked out of his or her heads.

Wafts of pot smoke.

Ponderous billowing clouds of smoke drifting all over the city, but most especially from the Upper Haight.

A neighborhood I had the pleasure of riding my scooter through.

I took her out yesterday.

I was not thinking about Easter.

I did not know that Kezar was going to be closed.

I did not know that because of the massive construction project happening in Dolores Park that the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were having their Hunky Jesus contest and Mary Magdalene Pageant in Golden Gate Park, as well as the traditional little kid fest Easter Egg Hunt that was happening.

And yes, oh wise city that you are, who decided to schedule Sunday Streets (the event where the city shuts down a length of street and leaves it open to bicyclists and pedestrians only) in the Upper Haight?

What the holy hell?

I was completely not ready for that.

I had thought that I would ride my scooter to my commitment at Church and Market around 5:30 pm’ish and have a nice late Sunday afternoon ride.

I was chilling in the back yard enjoying a big mug of chai tea after having had a delicious kale salad with all sorts of fresh veggies in it, a salad I had after a beautiful walk on the beach with very few people out (I should have cottoned to it then, that the city was crazy elsewhere. Whenever it’s nice at the beach and it’s empty, something else is happening.).

I knew it was weird for the beach to be so deserted; it was 70 degrees out yesterday, clear, sunny, gorgeous, light breeze, beach weather in San Francisco for sure.

I just figured it was because it was Easter Sunday.

I was not thinking about the melee just a few miles away from the quiet, sleepiness of the Outer Sunset.

Nope, I was thinking I would chill in the back yard for a bit, read my book, enjoy the sunshine and when the time was right, why, I might even take a nap.

Plans changed.

Quick like.

I got a text message from a friend asking me what I was up to and it became apparent quick that I needed to meet up with this person and grab some coffee and then go to an earlier showing of get my head on straight I done fucked up, with my friend.

He was not in a good place and I said meet me for coffee at three p.m. and we’ll hit the four o’clock at Our Lady of Safeway.

I got my stuff together, pulled on my gloves, popped on my helmet, pulled the choke out on the scooter; kick started her up and zoomed off into the Inner Sunset.

And right into the worst traffic I have ever seen in my life.

For all of two intersections I stayed behind the cars in front of me.

Then something in my head said, “Fuck this,” and I graduated to splitting the lane in Nano seconds.

I cut through traffic, I rolled up through the maze of crazy taking it really slow, there was no other way to do it, but getting through.

It was crazy pants.

I don’t ever want to do that again.

But I can say with no little pride, that I did not kill it once, that I glided through, carefully, but I did it, I got through.

It still took me 45 minutes to get to Church and Market.

But get there I did.

I stopped.

Got coffee.

Did the deal.

Hung with my friend.

Then afterward as he was leaving to hit a dinner commitment I got a message that my laptop, my baby, my blog-producing machine, was ready for pick up at the Apple Store downtown.


I hopped on and headed out.

But I got to admit, something felt weird, I felt weird, things felt off, the scooter felt, well funny.

I had a hard time suddenly relaxing into the flow and I got uncomfortable.

Should have listened to that feeling.

Because as it turns out, nothing says good times like stalling out at Hyde and Grove.

Well, maybe having all the hairs on my neck stand up and whirling around as a huge man with a cigarette dangling out of his mouth comes up and tries to hug me.

“Yo, It’s cool, I know you from the meeting, you Cindy, right?”

“NO, I am not and I don’t know you, back off,” I said and put my arm up to fend off the incoming hug.

“Yo, my mistake, it’s cool,” he said and turned to jog down the stairs to the underground.

But that was it.

Last straw.

I could put up with the homeless dude trying to offer to help me kick it over, “no thanks, I got it,” I could handle the guy that tried to solicit me, “not hooking,” I handled the guy who spare changed me too close, “Nothing, I got nothing,” but that last dude did me in.

I fired off a bunch of texts and started making phone calls.

I got a number for a tow company that deals with motorcycles and I got a friend to come down and keep me company until the tow came.

And when the tow came, revelations.

“Didn’t the guy who sold this to you tell you about the reserve tank?” He asked.

“No,” I said.

And in all fairness, he might have, but I had no recollection, and I had checked the tank three times and each time I saw that it was half way full, even with all the stop and go traffic, it was half full.

“When it gets to about half way, you need to turn this little knob here below the choke to the reserve tank, otherwise it won’t feed gas to your engine,” he demonstrated, and then started my scooter right up.

Then what?

Only charged me $20 for the service call.

My hero.

“Bike Guy Motorcycle Tow—you never know when you’ll need a tow.”

Stephen Goodloe, you are my hero.

My friend made it down to me about the same time as Mr. Goodloe did and said he would follow me home as I rode out into the dusky twilight, headed, yes, back through the park, but by this time the roads had cleared and it was smooth sailing all the way home.

I didn’t get my computer.

But I did get to learn about the reserve tank!

It’s nice to be sitting at the keyboard again.

I look forward to heralding you further with more tales from the life of Auntie Bubba again real soon.

Like tomorrow.

If I can get online.

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