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The Pothole That Ate Manhattan. And a Small Child.

The epic, child-eating pothole at 83rd and Central Ave. in South L.A. (photo: sahra)

There are potholes and then there are POTHOLES.

Potholes that can send you headfirst over your handlebars.

Potholes that can destroy your rims.

Potholes that can consume small children.

Wait, what?

Yes, we discovered on the Central Ave. Experience Bike Ride on Sunday, some potholes are capable of eating small children.

When the carrier he was riding in hit the gigantic pothole at 83rd St., a 4 year old boy bounced out the back and onto the pavement. It happened so fast that the cyclists riding up from behind barely had enough time to swerve around him. One even ended up falling over him.

It is a terrifying thing seeing a small child silently staring up at you from underneath a bicycle.

"He doesn't really cry," his cousin told me as she scooped him up and we checked him over.

He only had a wee bit of road rash on the side of one leg and a couple of little scrapes on the back of his head. He looked more startled than anything.

We breathed a sigh of relief.

And then we all cursed the pothole.

"What the hell is that thing?"

"It's huge!"

"It almost takes up the whole lane!"

"I need a photo of it!"

"What the...? Where did that come from??"

I'm not sure where it came from but it seems to have been there forever.

"That thing's been there 20 years, at least," a man on his bike told me yesterday, when I went back to take a picture of it.

"It's so big it probably doesn't qualify as a pothole any more," I joked.

"Whatever it is," he sighed, shaking his head, "I don't think anybody's in a hurry to fix it."

While South Vermont may have the greatest collection of potholes, this is by far the single biggest pothole I've spotted around South L.A. Do you have other candidates for that honor? Let us know.

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