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Do you like your local road conditions?

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Road Cycling ďIt is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

Do you like your local road conditions?

Old 05-28-19, 03:47 PM
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MidTNBrad
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Do you like your local road conditions?

Over the last several months of reading Bike Forum posts, I find that a lot of people complain about the condition of the roads they ride on, but almost wear that as a badge of honor. Frequently I read about pot holes, bad road surfaces, goat head thorns, etc... and I found myself wondering yesterday if I have it better than most riders. I live 30 minutes south of Nashville, TN USA and I have to say that I can't complain about the roads in my area. Five minutes on my bike out of my driveway I can be on as many miles of roads as I want to ride, all in good to great condition and medium to low traffic. Sure, there's chipseal and pot holes here and there but nothing to get too worked up over. Do most of you like the conditions you ride on, or am I just lucky?
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Old 05-28-19, 03:54 PM
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Seattle Forrest
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Seattle's roads are awful. I wish we had smooth pavement everywhere. I don't personally take it as a badge of honor. But overall, I could be running instead, so I'm pretty happy.
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Old 05-28-19, 04:01 PM
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MinnMan
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(muffled anguished cries coming from all the Minnesotans on this forum)
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Old 05-28-19, 04:30 PM
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rubiksoval
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Hendersonville collectively has some of the worst roads I've come across at the moment. Seems they just dumped random strips of asphalt out the back of a truck on most of the popular cycling roads.

North and west towards Ashland City are a lot better, though.
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Old 05-28-19, 04:37 PM
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mantis
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Iím lucky that I live in a section of Northern Virginia that has undergone a lot of development over the past 20-25 years. As a result the roads I use for cycling are fairly new and in good shape. Most are divided too which helps with safety. Distracted cell phone drivers here are a real problem.

And if I need a break from the roads, I only live a mile away from the W&OD (Rails to Trails) bike trail that is in good condition and maintained by the state.
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Old 05-28-19, 04:39 PM
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Hi Brad. Guess you've seen the lovely new pavement over Alpacastan. On the other hand, a pothole on Wilkins Br descent swallowed three riders just last week S
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Old 05-28-19, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
(muffled anguished cries coming from all the Minnesotans on this forum)
I live right on the Wisconsin/Minnesota border and actually cross over to Minnesota to ride the good roads!

Wisconsin seems to have little interest in maintaining the roads this far west.
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Old 05-28-19, 05:10 PM
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bruce19
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I live in NE CT. Love this place and it's roads.
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Old 05-28-19, 05:17 PM
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Our roads aren't bad at all....so long as you have 40mm tires or larger.

#RigorousStandards
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Old 05-28-19, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Hi Brad. Guess you've seen the lovely new pavement over Alpacastan. On the other hand, a pothole on Wilkins Br descent swallowed three riders just last week S
The trick with Wilkins Branch is to ride up it. That way you are only hitting the rough stuff at 6 MPH.

I have been avoiding Bailey and Floyd because it is pretty chewed up over there.

Last edited by MidTNBrad; 05-28-19 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 05-28-19, 05:37 PM
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I live in a mid-atlantic beach resort area. We have a quickly growing population and some of the infrastructure issues that come with it. There is an incredible number of development projects going on now, some very large and some not so large. A lot of the roads in these areas have been upgraded due to water/sewer lines, power lines, new bridges, etc. being installed. Once the season is in full swing, those things come to a halt. Unfortunately, that does not prevent the ever present summertime traffic jams. We now have areas that have traffic problems all year and that is just going to get worse. When I visit the midwest; Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, the terrible shape of just about all roads reminds me that where I live, it just is not that bad.
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Old 05-28-19, 07:44 PM
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I'm in Manhattan. Most of the roads are in good condition and major routes have protected cycle lanes. The cycle lanes are appreciated but are also the dregs of the roadway and ride quality is better in pretty much any traffic lane. The few bad roads are pretty spectacularly terrible. The worst I've been on is 9th Ave, which has been undergoing construction for a couple years and feels like paved single track. I managed to vibrate the rear axle out of the dropout on my last trip down with the quick release closed, which was disturbing when I found it during a fold.

I did a century last weekend up the GWB and 9W, which is one of the busiest cycle routes in the country and the conditions were near perfect. I was following a route of someone who wanted an "interesting" ride so it involved pretty much every climb he could come up with, a bunch of back roads, and about 15 miles of crushed gravel. Conditions varied with the back roads being in varying degrees of potholes. Only had one ~1 mile segment on really bad + busy road through a town (blanking on which) that I wouldn't want to ride again. On the whole, really good given the freeze/thaw cycle in the area.
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Old 05-28-19, 10:26 PM
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Way out West,

I cope , It's not too bad, but @ 71, I don't leave town, much, any more..

It quiets right down @ sunset ..
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Old 05-28-19, 10:48 PM
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seau grateau
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Asking cyclists about their roads is like the four Yorkshiremen sketch. That said the holes in my local streets ruin cars.
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Old 05-29-19, 06:03 AM
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In the southwest of England the roads mostly range from mediocre to terrible. Occasionally we might have a road with a decent road surface. Lots of surfaced dressed (chip seal), loads of potholes, irate drivers, etc. But the camaraderie, scenery and pubs stops/coffee shops make it all worthwhile.
Most of the cycle lanes are a joke. My favourite has either a large tree, streetlamp, sign, or bin every 50 feet.
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Old 05-29-19, 06:13 AM
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No.
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Old 05-29-19, 06:30 AM
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yes & no



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Old 05-29-19, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by MidTNBrad View Post
Do most of you like the conditions you ride on, or am I just lucky?
You're lucky.


The actual roads in southern Tasmania aren't bad. They aren't riddled with too many potholes. They aren't excessively rough.

However ...
They do tend to be narrow with no shoulders.
They've often got a lot of curves with poor sight lines.
They're hilly.
They're surprisingly busy with drivers that just don't care.
And they have this tendency to turn to gravel.

Here's one close to a tourist attraction (very busy, especially in summer) near where we live.






The roads in the north, however, are much better. Smooth, nice, and not busy. We often take trips up north to go cycling.


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Old 05-29-19, 07:15 AM
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WhyFi
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To expand a bit on my previous answer...

The daily freeze/thaw cycles in the fall and spring can wreak havoc on the roads - when the snow and ice clears in the spring, it's always a process of familiarizing oneself with the new, sometimes exciting hazards. The roads around here will generally be good/great for a short time, then they'll go through a period of a few years where they'll pick up a crack here and a pothole there, but they're still very rideable and the hazards are easily avoided by those familiar with the road... and then, one spring day, you'll find the the road surface has been horribly brutalized over the winter and you'll want to completely avoid that stretch until it's repaved - this period will sometimes be a year or two.

Regardless of surface conditions, there aren't many roads in my immediate vicinity that are suitable for road riding, whether it's because of traffic, lanes/shoulder considerations, intersection frequency, etc. There are plenty further out from the metro, but getting to those areas is often influenced by the condition of a handful of key access roads/paths. If I look at my ride maps over the course of years, I clearly go through phases where the bulk of my rides shift and take place in a certain regions of the metro and surrounding areas. Sometimes this is because I've found/been introduced to a new area, other times it's boredom with the same scenery, but often it's because of the condition of those previously mentioned access routes. If there are only a couple routes to cleanly get out to the certain area, I'll stop riding to that area if/when the roads to access that area go to ****.
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Old 05-29-19, 07:22 AM
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Live in in northern New Jersey and some really crappy roads to ride on til u get to a poupular route 9 w then it gets fairly good riding nice dedicated shouder for many miles . Rockland county NY has some good roads to . But even with crappy roads if u pay attention to the road not all that bad
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Old 05-29-19, 08:26 AM
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The winter and wet spring have taken their toll in Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska from what I've ridden.
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Old 05-29-19, 08:37 AM
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Too many headwinds where ride. I need to move somewhere they only have tailwinds.
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Old 05-29-19, 08:46 AM
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The roads I ride are mostly in good condition but thatís because I avoid the many terrible roads around Metro Detroit. I live in a western suburb and mostly ride further west and north because the roads east and south are 3rd world and carry too much traffic.
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Old 05-29-19, 09:30 AM
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Central Iowa

Des Moines and metro- the roads are great overall. Obviously some are in need of repair at various times and it typically isnt very long until they are patched. The patching isnt smooth as glass, but its plenty fine.
Outside the metro- paved roads are smooth and in good condition. The only major bumps are typically bridge expansion joints or railroad tracks.
Gravel- the unpaved roads are continually managed and maintained by counties.
Paved trails- excellent condition.


I cant complain at all. I never ride thru a bunch of glass or goatheads and roads arent crumbling all around me.
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Old 05-29-19, 09:53 AM
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Nevada, so...

With the exception of some very nice (indeed, legendary) mountain passes within a couple hours' drive, the roads in Nevada are mostly bad. Hence, the need for several bikes!
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