Friday, November 10, 2006

Thousands of Leaves Leave the Area

The streets were naked. So even though the break in the rain didn’t last ten minutes, the ride was good yesterday. The leaf trucks had come early in the morning, followed by the street sweepers, creating a new shiny jet black slate for the brightly colored leaves to land on.

That’s why I was raking leaves the day before – to beat the leaf trucks. You’re supposed to rake the leaves from your parking strip out into the street so the city can come pick them up. They do it two or three times during the fall and winter to help prevent the drain clogging that happens, which then causes flooding.

I’m not sure if you’re supposed to rake your whole lawn, or just the strip. But since everyone else rakes their whole lawn, I did too. It beats stuffing all your leaves into a dozen leaf bags for the yard debris people to come get later at a dollar a bag. Who has time for all that? It’s good that the city does this – in the long run it saves them money, because when those drains clog up, things get out of control fast. Cars get stalled and basements flood.

The thing I wanted to tell you about raking was that this year I felt like a person twice the size of the me that was raking last year. It felt much easier, and I got it done much faster. I attribute that to the increase in my strength, and I attribute that, as you might guess, to my biking life, to which I can also attribute my motivation for weight lifting at the gym. The two together, of course, are what made me into this superhuman leaf raker I am today.

At around five yesterday, when I got ready to leave the downtown area, it was pitch dark, but the ground was dry as a chip. A damp chip perhaps, but dry nonetheless. Tonight it might be a different story, or should I say the same story as last week at this time: Add heavy rain to pitch darkness and stir in zillions of blinking lights and reflective surfaces. Not good recipe. I may stick my bike on the front of the bus and take the slow way home.


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