It was another brisk but sunny day in New Orleans, perfect for riding around. I went mostly on task rides today and rode home on Constance Street. I usually just take Magazine, but Constance is smooth, recently repaved, almost as nice as Baronne or even Hampson. So much of a New Orleans bike ride is about navigating potholes, seams, cracks, loose gravel, stagnant water, and other myriad hazards, so a smooth street is a welcome relief. They make me feel like I’m flying. I stopped, though, when I saw this open manhole on 6th Street, marked out by a couple of chair legs and a baton of some sort with a piece of lime green vinyl tied to it. I love this about New Orleans: neighbors looking out for neighbors. It’s what we do here. How many folks might accidentally step in this thing and twist an ankle or fall and take out some teeth? No worries–somebody’s filled it with obvious warning flares. Big potholes are often filled with trash of one sort or another as a warning to walkers, bikers, and drivers. My favorite was a pothole over on Broadway last year. The thing was vast, but friendly neighbors put a wicker chair in there to let us all know it was trouble. Then the chair disappeared, but somebody put a floor lamp in its place. This was followed by a big pile of bricks. Eventually the hole was filled, but I love how, in the meantime, good sams kept us safe. That said, I wish the streets here weren’t such a maze of tire-killing obstacles.