Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pothole Dodging

"Pothole Dodging"...sounds like a sport doesn't it?  Well, it pretty much is this time of year whether you drive a car or ride a bike.  And, nothing will trash your NEW $2000 carbon clincher wheelset than taking your eye off the road (for just a split second) and landing in one.  So, let this be a WARNING to you especially if you ride at night or ride in a pace line and don't have a clear view of the road.  Yes, we all know that the lead dog in a pace line should be pointing these things out..but if you're the last of 10 in a pace line it's sorta like playing "whisper down the line".  By the time the message gets to won't make sense and you'll probably already have found it.  Even if you do have a clear view of the road, it's hard to discern potholes from shadows under the trees during a sunny day.

In addition to "Pothole Dodging" you're going to have to beware of sand, gravel, salt, junk, etc. on the roads leftover from the winter snow removal trucks/plows.  Just tonight, I blew-out a piece of sidewall from my rear tire on a sharp rock when making a long sweeping turn on the side of the road.  I'm pretty lucky I didn't go down since I was going about 20 mph.  I was able to pump up a new tube throw a dollar bill in-between the tube and tire, to keep the tube from protruding out the hole of my tire, and make it back to my hotel safely.  So, let this be WARNING #2.  When you ride, I'd cheat more to the center of the road.  Yeah, I know you're thinking I'm NUTS you'll get run over...but statistically speaking..less cyclists are hit/injured when they use up more of the road than when they hug the white line (on the right side of the road).  I don't mean to ride in the middle of the road...just cheat a little more to the center.  Wait until the Spring rains clear the salt, sand, pebbles, rocks, etc. from the sides of the road before you ride on the white line..or to the right of it. 

Lastly, for you local guys/gals, if you know of a road that is "Pothole City" like the photo above...add it in the comment link at the bottom of this blog (next to the pencil).  I'll tell you one road I will DEFINITELY stay off of until they fix it is Fleecydale Rd. a very heavily used cycling road that runs in-between Carversville Rd. and River Rd.  It's a FREAKIN' mess.  Even if you can "Dodge the Potholes" on your bike try dodging the cars coming the other way that are playing "Pothole Dodging" too.

Power ON! Coach Rob

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