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Road conditions, minor rant(11 posts)

Road conditions, minor rantMel Erickson
Aug 24, 2001 7:44 AM
How do your road repair guys fix the roads in your area. Around here they seem to have a favorite, albeit diabolical, method. I'm not talking about potholes, but patches ranging from 5 to 100 feet. They lay down some loose patching asphalt to cover a stretch of bad road and then compact it. The last pass always seems to be with a grader or front end loader with chevron tread tires, leaving something akin to a rumble strip down the length of the patch. A bone shaker, tooth rattler par excellance!
In the DistrictMB1
Aug 24, 2001 7:47 AM
you always know when they are getting ready to tear up a street. First thing they do is repave the thing with a nice smooth layer of asphalt. Then about a week later they start putting ditches in it.

DC, the only place where the dirt is better than the roads.
I can't standRusty McNasty
Aug 24, 2001 8:04 AM
all those streets with "chip-sealed" top layers! If the gravel is fine, it will make a decent surface in about a week, but don't ride on it until they sweep the excess off! Other streets, they use a VERY coarse grade of gravel, which is just excruciating to ride on! Is there a cyclo-sadist at the road department???
Find a way around it, quit sniveling! (nm)Trollman
Aug 24, 2001 8:48 AM
Find a way around it, quit sniveling! (nm)Mel Erickson
Aug 24, 2001 11:25 AM
You're right, and I do if I can, but I can still snivel if I want to! Isn't complaining an American birthright? I think I saw it in the constitution.
re: Road conditions, minor rantDINOSAUR
Aug 24, 2001 9:03 AM
They just got finished chip sealing some of my favorite roads after a month of changing my ride pattern. They tend to patch roads for a period of time, then go with a complete repave or chip seal. They go by by cycles of time. The roads that really need to be resurfaced go without it, and the roads that are OK get resurfaced and end up being worse off than they were before. That's the way the government works. On the goodside, all the debris and glass is off a lot of my roads, for awhile anyway, and I seldom have flats. On the bad roads I have all the pot holes memorized. For what it's worth, the main cause of my cycling club's crashes are road hazards and riding in packs on unfamiliar roads, or roads that get repairs that you aren't aware off.
IMHO I switched to riding with clear lenses all year round so I can see what the heck is ahead of me...Actually your rant is not minor, it's one of my major rants. Unfortunately it all comes with being a road cyclist, the roads are designed for motor vehicles and not bicycles. Bicyclist are not considered, unless it is brought to their attention, or after a crash and the county or city gets sued....
re: Road conditions, minor rantMel Erickson
Aug 24, 2001 11:20 AM
The county actually does a pretty good job around here (west central Wisconsin), it's the town roads. It's only a minor rant because most of the roads are pretty good here. It was just on my mind because I was doing a 40+mph descent yesterday and hit a stretch of "chevron" pavement. Damn near lost my eyeballs! This stuff is pretty hard to avoid at that speed because you really don't see it coming in time.
re: Road conditions, minor rantTurtleherder
Aug 24, 2001 12:28 PM
On the rural roads around here the trucks will break down the asphalt on the outside of the lane first. The road crew then lays down a new strip on the edge of the road. If done right (compacted with roller) it is wonderful. A two foot wide strip of new, smooth asphalt. If done wrong (compacted with truck tire) it is unrideable. My major rant is the chip and seal treatment. It does nothing to improve the overall quality of the road,it just adds another layer to the existing imperfections. What really makes me crazy is what my city road crew does. They chip and seal roads in town! About every four years they will lay down the tar and gravel treatment on the street in front of my house! You know how long it take to compact the gravel on a cul-de-sac? About three and a half years! Didn't this technology go out with rumble seats and steering knuckles? I swear the motto of my town should be "forever looking to the fifties" for the approach they take to road repairs. Whew! that was a big one, calm down, slow deep breaths, thinks of sunny days, no wind and smooth roads.
Actually I find chip sealMel Erickson
Aug 24, 2001 1:00 PM
to be quite effective in prolonging the life of roads. There are two secrets. One, only chip seal roads in reasonably good shape. Chip sealing is not a replacement for repaving, can't fix potholes and won't work where the underlying surface is unstable. Two, (and this is really important) use a street sweeper to pick up the loose gravel after a 1-4 weeks (depending on the amount of traffice the road gets). If done properly chip sealed roads last alot longer and are smoother riding in the long run. The county chip sealed a screaming downhill last year and I was really pissed because it took it out of circulation for a month. It needed something, though, because it was getting kinda rough. This year it's better than ever and I've gained about 2-3mph on my descent speed because of the better surface.
Actually I find chip sealDINOSAUR
Aug 24, 2001 5:41 PM
They can only chip seal roads for so long. They have chip sealed the road I live on each year for the past eleven years. This year a private contractor did an ashalt repave and it is as smooth as glass. The problem is people use it like a race track and we almost had a head-on directly in front of my house. At least the pot holes made them slow down, sort of like speed bumps. It all comes down to money..
chip seal's nothingfuzzybunnies
Aug 24, 2001 8:42 PM
The two areas I'm used to riding the most are the worst places to ride. The first is in the country around my parents house which is repaved every year with gravel and a tar/oil mix that leaves all the same pot holes only deeper since it's left to the vehicles to pack the gravel. The tar sticks to the bottom of the frame and the excess gravel gets pushed to the side where the bike would be ridden. The second area is down town albany where I live. Every time they repave the sewer grates just move further below the surface and the next year the plow rips up all the pavement around them. All the pot holes are filled in with multiple layers of fill which are usually packed down by passing trucks. Kind of sucks. TTFN