Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Spring Cleaning

This guy is pretty cool. Perhaps we can put people back to work manually sweeping the streets. Should would reduce carbon emissions.

So after a treacherous and nerve-wracking commute all fall on the discarded refuse of deciduous trees and all winter on the sands and salt poured all over the road by public works it is finally spring. I witnessed one of the most welcome signs to this effect today as a lumbering mechanical beast crawled down my street whisking away all of the sticks, rocks, sand, and leaves that had been forced into the bike lane (aka the shoulder) over the past few months. Despite my ambivalence, at times disdain, for vehicles powered by internal combustion engines I love to see street sweepers plodding down the road leaving it neat, clean, bare, and safer for bicyclists.

How nice it is to be able to maneuver around a suddenly stopped car or allow a large truck or bus to pass without venturing into the land of the unknown, without fear of slipping out on the loose traction of sand or leaves or risking a puncture. I always wonder what kind of cache of nails, glass, or razor sharp metal objects are laying under the soft surface of sand waiting to pierce my soft and temperamental tires. Now the bike commuter can again turn all of their attention to their persistent foes the automobile and the pothole. We can yield the lane (if we so choose) without fear of danger or harsh repercussions. We can zip past stalled traffic and around turning vehicles, in the process flaunting our efficiency and maneuverability to delayed drivers.

Hopefully returning the majority of the street to automobilists will reduce some of the hostilities we have experienced through the winter as cars rebelled against our brazen challenge for equal treatment. More than likely, however, this will be a temporary truce and things will slowly return to the daily clash of car vs. bike. In the meantime, however, I will enjoy my clean roads and newly-restored travel lane while I scan the horizon for voids in the pavement and glance over my shoulder alert for approaching vehicles.

1 comment:

Brendan said...

I don't know, man. Cars were much nicer to me in the winter.