A few days ago I was lamenting the leaves collecting in the street on one of my favorite cross-town thoroughfares, and expressed some frustration with the lack of leaf removal--with the resultant piles of wet, ground-up leaves making cycling on this fairly well-travelled (by car and bike) road rather dangerous. Well, today I was delighted by the appearance of a mini-army of leaf-removal apparatus: tractors, loaders, and dump-trucks. This signaled a transformation of the road. Add a street-sweeper (later in the day), and you have a marvelously comfortable and scenic ride under gorgeous autumn foliage--until the leaves pile up again. Predicted dry weather should make it last a bit longer.
All of this brings up the work done by city employees to keep streets passable through the year. Cycling keeps one in touch with the world a lot more (I am surprised how many people I meet and chat with while going about my travels), and this includes noticing all of the, well, garbage on the roads. With improvements in tires, one can go a long while without a puncture... but there are still a lot of things in the road that require removal. And there are squads of people who do just that for us.
Cyclists can get a bit shrill at times about all of the problems we face dealing with infrastructure set up for cars alone, or projects that seem to be undertaken for bikes with little sense of how a bike actually works. Sometimes this is quite legitimate, but at other times it is just more of the usual American sport of griping. Gratitude for blessings, kindness, and beneficial hard work where it is encountered should always be offered. Today, I found myself quite grateful for some equipment cleaning the leaves (and assorted other odd bits) from the side of the road.
What have you been grateful for on the road lately?