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Now retired but busy still living..

Saturday 8 January 2011


Every time the subject of road damage and potholes caused by the snow and ice comes up on the news what do they talk about?  Is it the VERY REAL danger that they pose to the cyclist?  No of course not!  No, what they tell us is that these damaged road surfaces pose a threat to your CAR!!!  Yes it seems that the authorities and media are more concerned about the damage that your poor old car might sustain than the potential danger they pose for the cyclist. 
But then I should not be surprised by this - over the years we cyclists have got used to the indifference and in some cases downright aggressive behaviour towards us by both other road users and the 'powers that be'.

What is not good news is that a lot of these potholes in the roads will be with us for quite sometime. This is because of the other thing that we keep hearing about in the media - 'The Cutbacks'.
Every time you open a paper or turn on the television, it's cutbacks cutbacks and even more cutbacks. Local councils are having to make cuts in their expenditure and road maintenance is just one area of things that will be hit. Some commentators are telling us that the state of our road network is so bad that the cuts are making it almost impossible to repair these roads properly.
Indeed from what I have seen the repairs that are being made are being done on a very 'patch up and make do' form of road maintenance. The problem with just patching the pothole is that it might improve the hole sufficiently for cars, but often leaves a bump or a dip that can make a very uncomfortable ride for the cyclist. 

Bournemouth Council have told me that they have a number of road improvement projects under way which are designed to make the local roads a better place for ALL road users.
The year long programme of work is set to tackle the sort of problems that I have highlighted here. They call it 'Road Rescue' and over the past year over 2,000 potholes were 'repaired'  across Bournemouth and they also tell me that a contingency fund has been set aside to tackle additional potholes and other damage created over this winter.
Only time will tell if the fund will be enough- but as I see it we are not talking about resurfacing (which is needed in a lot of cases) no we are talking filling and patching- which as I have already pointed out is not really good enough for ALL road users - that is unless you exclude cyclists - which again as I have already pointed out, we cyclists are used to...!
Anyway after one week of 2011 the two things that I am already fed up with are CUTBACKS & POTHOLES.

On a slightly brighter note - I have been managing to get out for some reasonable cycling miles this past week as you should be able to see on my 'mileage counter'. I did think about riding around the block to take it up to a nice round figure, but I decided that it would be taking things a step (revolution) too far, after all it is what it is..!  Most of the week has been spent trying to dodge the heavy rain that we have been getting. Still, it's a reasonable enough start to the year's cycling.  Fitness wise I feel that I am a lot further ahead than I was at the same time last year.




Although I have not ridden with him so far this year - John Donoghue who will be riding the 'Rock to the UK' with me in September, has told me that he has decided to cycle on his commute to work each day (18 miles return trip). He is hoping that it will start to build up his core fitness again. Hopefully we will manage a joint ride again soon. Keep on riding John..!


Londonbackpacker said...

Not only cyclists but us motorcycles have a hard time with the pot holes.

I hit one just before the holidays and ended up biting through my lip :-(

So with them only repairing them with tar, they start to break up after a few days and then its like riding on mables.

TrevorW�� said...

A very good point made there.
Obviously ALL bikes -
(powered by engine or legs) - are at risk here.
Biting through your lip must have been very painful.

I hit one in June 2009 and ended up knocked unconscious and sustained broken collarbone and five broken ribs....!!

Steve A said...

If all cyclists rode further out into the road to avoid such, wouldn't it also increase the incentive of authorities to make better repairs?

limom said...

I don't know what's worse, the potholes or the stuff they use to patch em.

MrDaveyGie said...

So true Trevor, we bikers over here across the pond deal with the same disrespect.

Londonbackpacker said...

The one I hit was in the middle of the road. Didn't see it in the dark, when I looked next day it was about a foot long and nearly 2in deep.

Our council is supposedly one of the poorest in London (although we pay one of the highest council taxes) so road maintance is way down on the list.

John Romeo Alpha said...

When the rough road conditions cease being in one or two places and become widespread and systematic (as in system failure, I suppose), it forces you to change what you ride, with wider tires, even suspension. But, I once had my mountain bike wheel drop into a slot-shaped hole in the road and send me flying through the darkness, so even equipment adjustments only help so much. The road surface should be repaired!

Anonymous said...

Oh, oh..always the same..after that hard frost the streets here with us also full with this holes...not good!

mrbill said...

The only thing they're not cutting back on is the Politicians Paychecks.

emilene said...

...and I've just become your 70th follower! My husband is a serious cyclist as well - if you are ever out in our part of the world (Cape Town), do contact us and you can join the guys for some local riding! I just asked him about the potholes here and he says, believe it or not, it's not such a big problem in the Cape. Up in the northern part of our country it's a little different, as we've experienced just driving up there.

I'll be walking my first camino in July 2012 and as my husband really prefers to cycle, I'm now starting to do my research re the possibility of him cycling while I walk... I'm hoping I could get some suggestions from someone like yourself as I come up with possible ideas??

My blog: www.caminosantiago2012.blogspot.com.

Regards from a windy Cape Town!

cj gordon said...

Those pots look pretty bad. I think our highways might be a bit better but I still have to share with some pretty big rigs. Not to sure which is more dangerous and actually I hope I never find out.

coastkid said...

Some of the country roads around here are in a shocking state!, that spray tar stuff just gets washed after the next heavy rain!,

Six weeks off.

 The visit to see the Consultant went quite well really ...   My ' numbers' have started to creep up again so I am going to be given...