Friday, August 20, 2010

Tar and Loathing

I hate chip sealed roads. What is a chip seal road? Well let me enlighten you, if your county or municipality is low on funds or just really cheap then this is what they use to "repair" the roadways. Santa Clara is working on their roads this week and I am not happy.
They lay down a lay down a layer of tar over the existing asphalt and then spread gravel over the top and roll it tight with a wheeled roller/compactor.
They then wait a couple of days, letting traffic imbed the gravel further into the tar and finish it off by sweeping of the excess gravel.

They say it is 4-5 times less expensive than putting down new asphalt but it will only last for a year before it starts degrading to the point that it was worse than before. It's like putting a bandaid on a sucking chest wound.

Here is what the final product looks like up close. It's a glorified gravel road.

They are terrible to ride your bike on, maybe the average motorist would never know the difference but I assure you, they really are bad.

And if you are unfortunate enough to try and ride it when it is fresh or really hot, you get this.

Yesterday in the Tour of Utah my boy George Hincapie went down hard, notice the road surface he is on.

A quote from Velo News;
Stage winner and former teammate Levi Leipheimer (Mellow Johnny’s) was behind Hincapie when the crash occurred. “I think what happened is the side of the road looked like pavement but it was actually gravel,” said Leipheimer. “He didn’t notice and his front wheel slid out. I don’t know how he’s doing, but I hope he’s OK.”

When there is no curb, the excess gravel gets left on the side of the road and it is nearly indistinguishable from the regular road way because it looks like a gravel road. George got 8 stitches and abandoned the race. Look close at his right leg, yuck.

I know that I can do nothing to stop the use of chip seal but ranting does make me feel a little better. I will probably get hit by a car anyway.


Demi Riley said...

No you must not settle on any varied they

El Scorcho said...

Love your gusto Demi, but I have no idea what you are saying.

Stan is the Holiday but mucho.
See I can do it too. ;)

Sabrosa Cycles said...

First off - thank you for the coin for perspective purposes. Second off - good luck getting that off of yer skinny tired bicycle. My goodness.
Chip seal is la bandera de utah - chalk up yet one more reason for me to stay off of the pavement.

DW said...

I have never once become scarred nor bloodied while sitting on my couch. Except for this one time....