It has been really crummy weather here in the San Francisco Bay Area as of late as winter storm after winter storm keep rolling in and drenching us. I am getting pretty tired of hearing that we need the rain. That is clearly being spoken by people who are candidates for the next edition of NBC's Biggest Loser. If you are an active, outdoorsperson you clearly don't want to be participating in your favorite hobby in the midst of a hurricane.a
OK. Some of you might say, but all this rain brings snows to the Sierra Nevada and if you are an outdoorsperson(is that a word?) then you welcome the weather so you can ski. But, let's get real. Have you ever tried driving up to the Lake Tahoe area when a major winter storm is lashing California. There are some really snow-challenged people out there. I have even seen people putting snow chains on the rear tires of a front-wheel drive car.
Then there are the knuckleheads who think the term SUV means "I can drive my vehicle anywhere at any speed in any weather." Even when they end up in a ditch, they still think it was just fate and that their SUV is still the safest car out there.
But, I digress. The reason why I am writing is that I tried to get out on a ride today when the weather seemed to be clearing only to get hammered by the next round of thunderstorms as they rolled through. I am not blaming the weathermen. The had predicted showers for the whole week. I just thought there was a bit of a lull in the storms and I could sneak in a ride. My bad. Hmmm. Maybe if I had been driving an SUV....
Anyway, as I was cruising along on Alpine Road going through the shopping center at Ladera Oaks (for you locals) I saw a road sign on a metal pole which had been bent down into the roadway. Clearly, a car driver (SUV perhaps?) had hit the sign and it was now out into the shoulder where bikes ride. I stopped and tried to bend it back into place, but the pole was bent too severely and the concrete footing was well embedded in the ground.
This was clearly a very big hazard to cyclists and in the pouring rain I just couldn't figure out what to do. As I rode away disconcertingly I noticed a construction zone a few hundred yards ahead. I borrowed one of the many, neon traffic cones, rode back and placed it in front of the downed sign.
Hopefully, I made the world a bit safer for my fellow cyclists which is the real reason why I am writing. If you are out there either during or after a major storm, take a 'bigger picture' view and help out your fellow cyclists by removing any hazardous debris from the roadway or bike lane. As Earl Hickey says, it's all about karma.