Saturday, May 22, 2010

Ed HIllsman, The Broom-Wielding Bicycle God

The Hub Grub Bicycle Ride bicyclist of the day goes to Ed Hillsman, who was wearing one of those bright green vests and gripping a sweep broom in the Fletcher Road bike lane early this morning while I was biking back to Seminole Heights from Flatwoods Park.

You know how you admire people who actually do stuff that you only think about doing -- like in this case, sweeping crap out of a bike lane or shoulder like Ed was doing this morning. I make mental notes all the time to sweep bike lanes and also the crappy debris-filled evil triangles at intersections, but to this day I have failed to pick up my broom and clean the damn crap out of the road.

But there was Ed, wielding the stick with bristles and helping bicyclists who use that bike lane.

I'll let Ed take it from here:

"That was me you saw on your bike ride this morning, as you were heading east through the Telecom Parkway lot (hat, dayglow-green vest, push broom).

"I recognized you as you passed but you were out of earshot when I called back to you. I'm certain I gave the appearance of elderly crackpot.

"Anyway, I was returning from sweeping sand piles out of the bike shoulder in front of the Carlton Arms Apartments. I'd reported the problem to the County Public Works Department a couple of weeks ago on their website (, but never received an acknowledgement or other reply.

"This week, one of them shifted to fill the full width of the shoulder, and after losing control on it I decided to make it at least minimally passable again, and I while I was at it I cleared another area that was bad and becoming worse.

"But they really do need to get out there with a scraper (followed by a sweeper) and reclaim the shoulders from the overgrowth, certainly before we take a bunch of students out there for the Bicycle Bash next fall, but preferably sooner.

"I meant to take before and after photos but forgot my camera.

"See you at Hub Grub this afternoon."

Yes indeed, Ed, I will see you at the HG2.

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