Friday, July 31, 2009

asphalt artists

the nice thing about riding on a route that's used for running races ~ emigration canyon in this instance ~ is that just before the race, somebody cleans up the bike lanes.
the sweeper sweeps away pebbles and rocks and garbage, and for a brief time the bike lane is debris-free.
even more incredible is that they fix problem spots in the road surface itself.
now, I cannot swear that the race promoters are so powerful and connected that they can impact street repair, but I think the fact that the repair happened just days before the event is too serendipitous to call a mere coincidence.
the repair of which I speak is one of those interesting little "sinkholes" where the asphalt dips down. (do I really need to try to describe a sinkhole? seems to me the name says enough.) there was one on the downhill bike lane, about 3 or so miles from the top, that was just a doozy. (yep, that's a technical term for whoa! that's a bump!) when you're riding downhill, fast, and you hit that, it would send you skiwompus. (another technical term.) and if you weren't paying much attention, could give you a fairly significant scare.
so I assume someone with pull decided that that sinkhole could result in a twisted ankle or worse, and two days before the ride a worker-bee filled that hole with asphalt.

which leads me to today's curiosity: who is it that patches these spots?
I know the general answer: someone who works for the company the city hired to do so.
but I want the detailed answer: who is the person who actually used his tools to smooth over the fill job? who decided it was done, it was just right, it was the best patch job he could do?

you know this is leading somewhere.
and that somewhere is that there are good patch jobs out there, and absolutely hideous patch jobs out there. I have ridden over both. and to ride over the good ones is such a treat that I want to repeat it, just to be certain that I can't feel the edges. there are patch jobs that good out there, and I could tell you exactly where to find them.
and then there are the ones like what they did to the aforementioned sinkhole.
I avoided that sinkhole before, and I avoid it now.
because whoever did the repair job is not an artist.
I like asphalt artists: they make my ride pure pleasure. and they do exist, as proven by some of these beautifully smooth repair jobs. I like to think about someone who cares so much about the job he does that he will not quit until it's as if the original injury and resulting repair never even happened.
there are people like that out there.
in every walk of life, in every field, in each kind of industry that exists.
I like to think about the pride they must feel in the job they do, and I hope that my thanks and gratitude for their efforts and commitment might somehow work its way through the universe and someday, in some way, settle into their awareness.
with great appreciation and admiration for all who elevate their work to fine art,
warmly and respectfully,

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