Landscapers & The Value of Eye Protection

We were nearing the end of our every-other-day tandem ride from the house yesterday morning, having survived the usual collection of motorists who don’t know about Georgia’s 3-foot passing rule, or who just use really poor judgement, such as attempting to pass on blind curves and nearly having head-on collisions.

Less than 1-mile from our home we come upon a house where the ubiquitous “landscape maintenance guy” (Good grief, does anyone cut their own grass anymore?) is out running his gas-powered string trimmer along the edge of the road.  He’s facing away from the flow of traffic,  which tells me he’s completely unconcerned with where the crap he’s kicking up is going.  A smart and conscientious landscaper would at least have his eyes looking up the road so that he could momentarily lift his cutting head as cars, motorcycles or, in our case, bicycles passed.

Be that as it may, as we approach him I check for traffic and move to the center of the lane to put a little distance between his string trimmer and us, knowing that those things as well as mowers can kick-up rocks and what not and turn them into projectiles.  Yeah, well….  and please excuse my use of an expletive.

Thankfully, I had eye protection on. However, I recently lost my Tifosi cycling glasses and have, instead, been wearing some very inexpensive wrap-around sunglasses which protect the eye but not much else.  Son-of-a-gun if that string trimmer didn’t kick-up a rock and send it into my left eye-socket bone, just under the lower edge of the lens: ouch.   Thankfully, it didn’t do any real harm, it was mostly the shock factor that got my attention.

I’ll most likely make a point of going by there next Tuesday morning and talking with him about the need to be attentive when operating his equipment along the road.  That rock could have easily been kicked into an open car window, motorcyclist, etc.  However, in the interim, I’ve sent off a note to the homeowners regarding the incident since they are technically his employer.

Bottom Line:  Protect those eyes!


About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
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2 Responses to Landscapers & The Value of Eye Protection

  1. Dave says:

    The same thing happened to a friend of mine on a single bike several years ago. He hit a rock that was kicked up by the landscaper’s weed wacker and crashed as a result. He ended up in the hospital with now-permanent injuries. Extreme caution necessary around landscapers!

    • TG says:

      They or their employers are liable. It’s like dog owners who let their animals run off their property: they take you down, you take them to court. As for the landscapers in general, here in Georgia it’s illegal (misdemeanor) to blow grass clippings into a public thoroughfare. The legal rational is two fold, (a) it creates an unsafe condition for motorcycles as it’s slick as ice and causes single bike accidents, and (b) it’s also considered littering. But, like most laws, it’s rarely enforced to preclude accidents and, instead, gets cited during the traffic accident investigation: kinda like failure to yield, use turn signals, distracted driving, etc.

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