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.
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.
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