You’re Skidding

As if aerial attack weren’t enough, the coonsil have decided to make my ride down to the papershop even more hazardous by resurfacing the road. Or rather, not so much resurfacing the road as burying it in chippings:

loose chippings skid risk sign

Now, this section of road was fairly bad, with a couple of craterous potholes, so I’m grateful that it’s been repaired, but not at the expense of turning my quiet back road to the papershop into a skid hazard. I appreciate that this method is cheaper than doing it properly, and I know that theoretically after two or three days the surface will have bedded in, but that rather relies on there being a steady stream of cars to press the chippings into the tar. But given the levels of traffic on this road, it will be more like weeks before I’ll be able to rely on being able to stop safely in any kind of a hurry. And I don’t imagine being close passed by anyone ignoring the 20mph limit will be much fun either.

The farm yards are the worst: the tractors have already put tracks into the chipping which shows how thick the loose layer is.

loose chippings on roads

That was always a brilliant downhill section to savour on the way home, too.

In fact, what with the chippings on half the road, a thick layer of mud further along, where the silaging tractors have been hard at work, and the return of the hedgecutting tractor my route to the papershop this morning was less a bike ride and more of a proving ground for puncture proof tyres*

The only upside is that I was so annoyed by all this I forgot all about the buzzard till I was halfway up Buzzard Alley, and it didn’t even bother to swoop. Clearly, when it comes to being a hazard to passing cyclists, it knows when it’s been beat.

* and if any manufacturers would like me to test out their wares they know where to find me…


11 Responses to You’re Skidding

  1. Paul Gipson says:

    I think you meant to say “manufacturers of Brompton and other bikes”.

    Got to increase your audience.

  2. Kim says:

    Yep, it is the cheapest way of surfacing a road there is…

  3. Paul M says:

    I wouldn’t entertain too high hopes that the resurfacing has dealt with the potholes. My local lane in Surrey was “top-dressed” about 18 months ago. All they did was spray a layer of bitumen and stones over the existing potholes, so they were harder to see than before, but just as big and deep.

    The dressing started to disintegrate almost immediately, and looking at it now, you would never know that any resurfacing had been done at all.

    Taken with the constant washing of gritty sand into the road every time we have heavy rain, it really knocks the stuffing out of my Brompton, so my maintenance bills get quite steep.

  4. disgruntled says:

    Paul G – you’re right, what was I thinking
    Kim – it’s enough to make one nostalgic for the tarmac fairy
    Paul M – you’re a right little ray of sunshine you are…

  5. commuterjohn says:

    We have been treated to an upmarket version of tar and chippings here.
    It’s tar sprayed down and a very sticky mix of tarred chippings laid onto it.
    It then ruts just like yours but also sticks to some tyres more than the road and lifts off completely to reveal the old surface.
    So we now have a situation where the new road has more potholes than the old one!
    Never mind I expect it’s one way of spending money to fill in potholes you never had beforehand.

  6. WOL says:

    It gets so hot here that we’re glad when they lay down gravel (what we call chippings), because the tar gets so melty our car tires/tyres get all gummy with it. But with the way people drive here, for the first hour and a half or however long it takes for the gravel to get pressed in good, no windshield/screen is safe. All the cowboys in their stupid pickup trucks vroom about slinging gravel everywhere.

  7. disgruntled says:

    @john – that’s not sounding very hopeful
    @WOL – I don’t think the tar melting is a problem we’re ever likely to have

  8. […] of the road to Papershop Village where I found that a week of traffic hadn’t done much to the loose chippings except to concentrate them on the edges of the road and the bends, the exact places where I might […]

  9. […] weeks after I first complained (and by ‘complained’ I should point out that, as well as blogging, I did also write to one of my local councillors) about loose chippings on the road, they have done […]

  10. […] while the council did everything it could to make the papershop run more hazardous and we discovered that the puncture fairy’s remit also runs in the Netherlands […]

  11. […] a cyclist’s point of view) they’re not actually mending the road, they’re just surface dressing […]

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