Cruddy Roads

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Cruddy Roads

Post  bobh on Fri Dec 09 2016, 21:53

Is it just round here, or are all the roads in a disgusting state at the moment?

I took a bike to OnYerBike (near Aylesbury - about 40 miles away) on Tuesday morning for a pre-arranged service.  I'm surprised they didn't insist on power washing it before they touched it, and the state of it when I got home was indescribable - just sh1tty brown all over.  I gave it a good hose down as soon as it had cooled down, which hopefully got rid of most of the salt but didn't improve the looks very much, then two  days later spent much of the morning with bike cleaner and brushes.  But it's still not anywhere near clean.

The journey wasn't exactly fun, either - foggy and drizzly on the way there, with really heavy traffic anywhere within 10 miles of Oxford, so that much of the way I had to filter, with my visor covered in clag and visibility down to a few car lengths in places.  And I'd guess the level of grip would have been little better than on ice, so I had the unusual experience of being overtaken by OAPs (yes, I know, pot-kettle) in Kia Picantos around the outside while I tiptoed round roundabouts.

What do they put on the roads now?  Well, I know what the local farmers drop on them, I've seen it in the trailers and being flung off the tractor wheels, but what else do the local councils add to it?  I've heard that they now mix molasses with salt, to make it stick to the road surface for longer before it gets washed off.  I can well believe it, it certainly sticks like the proverbial to hot downpipes.

Hats off to the hardy souls who manage to commute on a bike every day in these conditions - I don't envy you one bit.
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Re: Cruddy Roads

Post  FatCat on Fri Dec 09 2016, 22:22

Exactly the same up here Bob, we went for a ride a week or so ago and the roads were damp. When we left the bikes were clean and looking pretty good. On our return you would have thought we'd used them to plough fields.

Whatever the stuff is, it's blooming horrible.

A quick google confirms that they do indeed mix salt with molasses or ABP as they call it (Agricultural By Product). It's hellish to ride on and worse to try to clean off.

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And the last paragraph from this UK local government page.
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Can you use any other sorts of salt to grit the roads?
Pad white salt – a waste product of table salt – can also be used as a de-icer, but it is more expensive and needs to be used in combination with rock salt and grit.

Some highways authorities also combine molasses, an agricultural by-product, with rock salt. This material is more expensive, but improves adhesion so that more of the salt mixture ends up on the road surface rather than spraying onto verges.
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Re: Cruddy Roads

Post  Rosco on Sat Dec 10 2016, 21:43

When I start going slideyways round roundabouts in the cage I confirm I'm not much of a winter rider.
Kudos to those that want to / have to.
I don't envy you the cold or the greasy roads or the cleaning.

Be safe.

Rosco
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Re: Cruddy Roads

Post  past-it on Sat Dec 10 2016, 22:52

I must admit that the roads are a little iffy at the moment but 10 out of 10 to Michelin PR 3's, not had any moments this winter so far whistle As for cleaning, a spray with WD40/oil mix and a good wash in spring is all the Cat gets. Did wish that I took the bike to Scotland a few weeks ago as the roads were fantastic to drive around on, another one for the bucket list I think.

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Re: Cruddy Roads

Post  Wooster on Sun Dec 11 2016, 11:07

Those crisp winter days up here can seem like a good idea, but the snotters are tripping you after five miles, you struggle to work the levers with what feel like frozen fish fingers (double the gap to those in front), and the daylight doesn't last long. Smile

.......you can also sound like you're riding a broken bike for the first 20 minutes due to carb icing. green smile
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Re: Cruddy Roads

Post  SteveCat on Sun Dec 11 2016, 17:11

I think I must be lucky where I am, roads don't seem that bad at the moment. Was out yesterday when it was slightly wet, fully expecting the bike to be utterly filthy but it not too bad - mind you my dirt threshold is set rather high. Today's biggest curse was discovering many roads around me have been turned in to 20 mph zones, won't be long before all of them will be. I expect it won't be long before we go back to a man waving a flag in front of vehicles Crying or Very sad

My cold tolerance has been waning so bought a heated jacket, was able to use it last weekend and it's brilliant but it been too 'warm' this weekend. Problem has highlighted the real problem, my hands, so have added heated gloves. After the investment, I'm kind of looking out for the colder weather now Shocked
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Re: Cruddy Roads

Post  bobh on Tue Dec 13 2016, 21:50

SteveCat wrote:After the investment, I'm kind of looking out for the colder weather now :shock:

Be careful what you wish for, Steve!
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Re: Cruddy Roads

Post  SteveCat on Wed Dec 14 2016, 00:35

Yes, I ought to. Did a run to Reading today, wasn't nice, train strike and bad weather ( Southern Softies will understand) , reminds me I haven't covered he bike - best do that now Smile
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