Ain’t it grate?

Monday must have been Bad Mood Day. I got two nasty emails from two nasty retirees, both suffering a pretty severe case of butthurt due to the work done over here by Blogbot 4.5.6.

Nasty email #1 was a continuation of a prior nasty email, which went something like this: “So I still think you got your head up your ass. I am thinking of cancelling my subscription as well.” I like to call this The Wrath of the $2.99. You’d be amazed how many people indignantly and triumphantly announce that they are going to punish my transgressions this way.

Nasty email #2, by a fellow whose initials are so appropriately “BS,” was livid that I’m not wearing a helmet. He never had a subscription to cancel, being one of those fine South Bay folks who NEVER READS YOUR CRAPPY BLOG but somehow manages to stay abreast of its contents.

Keyboard battles

As much fun as it was for these two to spend what looked like an awful lot of time composing a lot of awfully crappy prose, it drove home a simple fact: You can type all you want, but what matters is what you do in the real world.

Take, for instance, the grates on Crest a half mile or so when you’re climbing up from Hawthorne. Have you ever noticed that the second one is lethal, especially for a 23mm tire? I run under-inflated 25’s, but even then it’s dicey. It’s particularly bad because the first half of the grate is properly aligned so that it’s flush with the asphalt, but the second grate, which was installed backwards, opens up a nice little gap just big enough to catch your tire throw you on your head, which is exactly what happened to a friend climbing Via del Monte three years ago.

So the other day I got off, snapped a couple of photos, and sent them to Cheri at the Public Works Department in Rancho PV. Unlike the City of Los Angeles, RPV’s public works folks are astonishingly quick, and cheerful to boot.

Twenty-five minutes after I sent the email, Cheri answered with this:

Good Morning Seth!

Thank you for your bringing this matter to our attention.  We have contacted our maintenance department and they will make the necessary corrections.

Have a good day!

It’s not quite as nice as “You have your head up your ass, I’m canceling my subscription!” but I’ll take it. The next day I was on Crest again, and here’s what I saw:

The grates had been reset and the gap eliminated. First thing I thought was how awesome it was to have a city that was efficient, friendly, professional, and willing to take seriously issues that could endanger bicyclists.

I thought about all the time and angst and ill-will and canceled subscriptions and canceled non-subscriptions that my two detractors had wasted, tied up in knots over my opinions,which are about as significant as the hot air escaping from a tea kettle. I hoped that after they had blown off their steam, they each had the good sense to go for a ride and try to make something just a little bit better in the real world.

Where, you know, shit actually happens.



The best thing about subscribing is the feeling of power and righteousness you get when you cancel! Please consider subscribing … Click here and select the “subscribe” link in the upper right-hand corner. Thank you!

10 thoughts on “Ain’t it grate?”

  1. Eddy Merckx didn’t need no stinking helmet, just to add some balance to the “discussion” I’ll stop my subscription if you ever wear a helmet again… Hahaha

    Seriously, I guess said nasty people at least see you with some esteem, or more probably contempt as a figure head in the cycling community, and as such should they should take a minute to consider why you ride helmet less and stop wasting time, on something that has little to do with themselves.

    1. What’s funnier is that I actually do wear a helmet, just not in bed, in the shower, in the car, and usually only on group rides and in races.

      1. More importantly it’s none of their damn business when and where you choose to wear a helmet or not.

  2. Wanker: I’m not concerned for you in the least, and I think you are full of ___ half the time, however, I absolutely love your blog and admire your dedication to it, and to seemingly everything you do. Cent for cent it’s the best $2.99/month going…and for God’s Sake, wearing your F’ing helmet!

    1. The $2.99 spares you a biting retort. You CAN purchase protection. And don’t forget to wear your helmet in the shower!!!

  3. We found bad grate a few years ago. Our tandem dropped a foot and stopped instantly. I was painfully bruised in an area that only men have. I was wearing a helmet, but it didn’t help at all.

    1. If you had been wearing helmets everywhere you wouldn’t have been hurt. It is all your fault. That poor grate! I hope you learned your lesson and now wear your two helmets at all time, on the bike and off. Especially off.

  4. yeah it’s all fun and games, until someone gets hurt, freaky things can and will happen on and off the bike, like snagging a grate in the road. My best friend and racing partner just wanted to test his bike on his lunch break and somehow hit his head and could not be saved. Think about kids, spouse and insurance for them, if needed, Otherwise I don’t give a flyin freak what is worn by adults

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: