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When are your roads safe for outside riding?


Square Wheels
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Around here, it's usually June.

The potholes are never fixed, but sometimes they throw that loose crap in and let the cars pack it down.

They run street sweepers sometime in May.  That picks some of it up, but mostly just spreads it around.

The winter salt runs off earlier, so that's nice.

In general, most of our roads are unfit for cars, never mind bikes with tires less than an inch wide.

Tomorrow will be in the upper 60s, it's a run day, but I might do a short ride too.

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People ride here year round..our local public radio station now includes a report on bike commuting conditions in the morning!

Depending on your bike and skills..right now snow is melting..and roads are very sandy... I would not take a road bike out in this..but some folks do..

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Our roads are the same all year long except for when they are snow covered. I have 28s on my road bike now, 32s on my touring bike, and 40s on my gravel touring bike. Our roads are really rough for skinny tires.

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Now is ok downtown or where snow was cleared. It's dry pavement ...because our air is drier year-round, snow cleared roads and paths melts dry off faster. Then we'll get snow again. So in winter there are short periods for few days to a wk. to bike and then ...absolutely no snow is around late-mid. Apr. onward.  I don't see construction as a factor if one knows already the best cycling routes in a city because a city that even considers cyclists, will mark road detours that are safer...at least in certain neighbourhoods. 

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Today's rain will help wash the salt off the shoulders.... I got a flat tire in January that I blame on a jagged chunk of salt I rode over.  The potholes seem pretty bad this year - but I've managed to ride at least once or twice a week through 2022 so far.  We did not get a lot of snow this year and what we did get went away pretty quickly.

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21 minutes ago, Wilbur said:

They are safe between winter and construction season. 

They have already started replacing guardrails that were knocked down over the winter. They close off one lane and have flag girls out directing traffic

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11 minutes ago, Gump said:

Usually by May the rain has washed the salt away.

This ^^^  was one reason I quit riding in the winter here.  All of the salt (or whatever they use) residue on the roads.  A car passes you and OMG a cloud of salt dust to breath for a while.  That sucks.

As long as there was no ice on the roads you can ride here.  But I gave up on cold weather riding, a few years ago.  The older I get, it is less fun riding in the cold

Yesterday it was almost 70 here.  No riding...  it was the day to rake the stones from the grass along he side of the road.   We are at the end of a cul-de-sac and the the snow plow guy stops and we get most of the snow from the road pushed into the grass. (nowhere where else to put the snow)   Since our roads are blacktop, I'm guessing the small rocks must be mixed in with the salt.   I carried away 9 five gallon bucket of rock and sand from the grass and edge of the road, which would eventually get into the grass. 

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Almost year round depending on your skills.  Maybe some weeks in December make it difficult.  They do not use salt here.  We use gravel.  I can ride though the gravel.  It gets dusty and slippery in turns, but it's fine for me.  There are some potholes, and I ride though them or around them.  They might not be as bad as what you experience.  WE have chunks missing from the road surface and big cracks.  My commuter is a bit mountain bike geometry.  My other commuter is a CX.  I don't ride any real road bikes.  

When the snow is thicker, I leave the bike and go for walks.  The bus commute provides a decent walk to and from the stop.  

I am getting excited for a backwoods route around death hill.  I will be able to cut through a nice section of trail to ride during part of my commute.  

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Not so much when as where. Places where I used to enjoy riding are now built up with housing and distracted drivers. When riding on the roads, I usually head out to more rural areas. Fortunately, there's about 400 miles of bike trails nearby not counting the Katy Trail.

Winter can be a challenge with snow and ice. In one of the rural areas, they use cinders from a coal power plant in addition to salt. Those things are horrible for tires. Think goatheads on steroids. We had a group ride of about 20 riders in that area once and we averaged a flat per bike. It takes a month or so after the last application of the cinders before it's safe to ride in that area. 

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6 minutes ago, jsharrwick said:

I live in Texas, so "When is NEVER" Alek?

We have pickup trucks here too along with a number of people who should have had their license removed years ago.

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Just now, maddmaxx said:

We have pickup trucks here too along with a number of people who should have had their license removed years ago.

Most Texans should never have been given a license.  At the DMV, they actually ask, "Would you like me to hold your beer?" as part of the driving test.

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I think never, because many of the local roads are windy and it's never easy for drivers to have a good view of what's ahead or for cyclists to have an awareness of all the vehicles on the road.

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12 minutes ago, Kirby said:

I think never, because many of the local roads are windy and it's never easy for drivers to have a good view of what's ahead or for cyclists to have an awareness of all the vehicles on the road.

What does WIND have to do with ANYTHING?!?!?!?!  The Belgians seem to relish a mean crosswind when riding.

Yet another reason folks hate learning English :) 

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When it's roads where it's safe to ride - which means off a bike trail several miles from home - it's safe anytime there are dry roads.

The paved, designated bike trails, which include some sidewalks and only short distances on minor roads, are good for me anytime there's dry weather and 40° or higher weather and I feel like going for a ride.

 

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Where I live, over 80% of my cycling is on  pathways.  We have an interlinked system that is 700 km. in total  within and around perimeter of the city.  Which means of course, I don't know about certain neighbourhoods that are not bike friendly at all. Shrug.  It's not a loss to me, that's for sure.  There's nothing for me there, just quiet dead streets of no one and boring homes to see.  Why I would I want to ride through those neighbourhoods,  and then big box chain stores by highways....which I can ride more safely to stores closer to home.

For instance there is 1 system we have that is 130 km. long.. I still don't know the whole route, because part of it is way out in the boondocks which honestly, I'm not interested in seeing: prairie suburbs of single family dwellings with very little trees, is not enjoyable riding to me. 

I think there's a perception that inner city is too many cars, etc.   It's how you design your cycling routes to be on quieter roads with a mix of separated bike lanes and park pathways. My area gets REAL quiet car-wise, on weekends and holidays.

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I do ride year round, but I get more flats in the winter months.  Probably because it's no fun fixing them in the cold and dark.

Street Sweepers are starting to wake from hibernation. so things should improve soon

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27 minutes ago, Randomguy said:

My roads are never safe.

Mark this as the thread solution.  Bike riding on city streets is inherently dangerous. 

You may look down your nose at indoor riding, but I have never had any sort of crash or injury while riding indoors.  :)

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4 hours ago, Square Wheels said:

Around here, it's usually June.

The potholes are never fixed, but sometimes they throw that loose crap in and let the cars pack it down.

They run street sweepers sometime in May.  That picks some of it up, but mostly just spreads it around.

The winter salt runs off earlier, so that's nice.

In general, most of our roads are unfit for cars, never mind bikes with tires less than an inch wide.

Tomorrow will be in the upper 60s, it's a run day, but I might do a short ride too.

...I have pretty good road surfaces here. And the riding season outdoors runs year 'round (if you can take some rain and the heat/air quality later on in summer). I'm puzzled why you would not fight back on poor quality road surfaces and potholes with an older hardtail MTB, or something else designed to take wider tyres ?  Like the original Marin county mountain bikes that were used on all the fire roads down there ?

They are easily modifiable for a more roadlike position, with the addition of drop bars and brake levers to fit them.

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10 minutes ago, Road Runner said:

Where I used to ride, these things are troublemakers, year round.  :(

590894133_006small.jpg.e6f8f03477052ad06ad92127868683eb.jpg

What is the problem?  That is closed to cars.  I would just go around it.   Looks like a perfect place to ride a bike.

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1 hour ago, Randomguy said:

My roads are never safe.

Your roads aren't safe even when I'm driving my car.  Any time I have to drive to Kennedy or the island I feel like I'm taking my life in my hands and that I should pack a lunch for the traffic jams.

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Weather wise all year.  I had a meeting with my boss today at a coffee shop near his house.  I had to drive by a MUP that has a sketchy road crossing. We used to ride it often but we no longer do as that crossing is sketchy as hell. We go about 3 miles out of our way to avoid it now. 

 Driving by it this morning I saw a ghost bike at that crossing…. 

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8 hours ago, jsharrwick said:

Most Texans should never have been given a license.  At the DMV, they actually ask, "Would you like me to hold your beer?" as part of the driving test.

I see now that some Texans don't even bother with drivers licenses...........or age limits either.

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9 hours ago, Razors Edge said:

What does WIND have to do with ANYTHING?!?!?!?!  The Belgians seem to relish a mean crosswind when riding.

Yet another reason folks hate learning English :) 

Did you ever see echelons on small, narrow roads?  Invitation to disaster!  :nodhead:

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11 hours ago, JerrySTL said:

I usually head out to more rural areas.

10 hours ago, Kirby said:

I think never, because many of the local roads are windy and it's never easy for drivers to have a good view of what's ahead or for cyclists to have an awareness of all the vehicles on the road.

And that is why I like riding here.  Most of my riding roads look like this.   For a 20 mile ride if the farm lands, 10 cars would be a lot.  In town, even then I don't see a lot of traffic.

20200623_095709.thumb.jpg.cb182b9aba0fab0e30b3d783c0ac099a.jpg

Or I can use my MTB and ride the I&M Canal trail.  I may see 1 or 2 people on bikes, or maybe 2 or 3 people hiking on a 25 mile ride.

1180196243_IandMCanal.thumb.jpg.561d6fe1803976b442ae950000a39026.jpg

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