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Old 01-08-09, 10:03 AM   #1
one_beatnik
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So THAT'S chipseal!

I visited my daughter in McComb, MS for a few days and got to ride. I went out on old hiway 24 and knew instantly what I had from descriptions on here. Nasty stuff. Then it smoothed out pretty nicely. I'm assuming it was a difference in age of the sealing.

Since it's 9 degrees here at home, it was delightful to be able to ride down there. It was rainy off and on while I was there so coming back from my ride I pulled onto an in-town divided 4 lane, hit wet oil and went down hard. You know how you hear about things going into slow motion? Yep! Half way down I remember thinking, "This is going to hurt!" My helmet hit hard and even while sliding on the pavement I may have even said out loud, "Good thing I had my helmet on!" Weird. There was a local cop getting gas right by there and saw me go down and came running. He thought the van behind me had hit me. He wanted to take me to the hospital when he saw the blood on my leg and finger and the big chunk of my helmet left behind on the pavement, but I just hurt. Road to my daughter's apartment, took a nice long HOT shower and lived on ibuprofin for a couple days.

Hey, at least I got to ride. The only damage to my bike was torn handlebar tape. Not bad.
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Old 01-08-09, 10:18 AM   #2
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Time for a new helmet. The old one gets retired with honors. You can use it to hold your cycling gloves, as a hanging plant holder, put it under the front wheel when you are on your trainer; but if it left chunks on the highway it has done its job and you can't ask it to do it again.
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Old 01-08-09, 10:21 AM   #3
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I'm riding a road bike and inflate the tires to 120 psi since I'm right around 220 lbs. Biggest problem I find with chipseal is that it can really trigger numbness in your hands just from the extra vibration. Sometimes the shoulder is better if they don't run the chipseal all the way over to the edge.
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Old 01-08-09, 12:22 PM   #4
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Whats Chipseal?
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Old 01-08-09, 12:28 PM   #5
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Glad you got to ride and weren't injured seriously. It's kind of nice hearing about law enforcement officers running to the aid of a cyclist. +1 on retiring the helmet with honors and getting a new one.
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Old 01-08-09, 01:10 PM   #6
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Yeah, it's already been pitched. I can see where the chipseal would put your hands to sleep. This road I was on had no shoulder whatsoever. I'm glad it wasn't a very busy road. It was delightful just to ride. It was somewhere near 70 degrees while I was down there. Didn't see another cyclist at all. League of Bicyclists ranks MS at 49 on bicycle friendliness. I had very good encounters. The drivers were very polite on the road I was on.
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Old 01-08-09, 01:26 PM   #7
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Been there, done that. I'm glad to hear you weren't hurt. Enjoy the new helmet
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Old 01-08-09, 02:46 PM   #8
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Whats Chipseal?
Simulated mountain biking for roadies.........................except smoother.
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Old 01-08-09, 03:31 PM   #9
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Chip seal, I know it well...

Chip seal, done correctly, is a good traction surface. It is a process used here in our mountains, Santa Cruz, to help extend the life of the existing road surface between more expensive resurfacing and overlaying applications. Our local county Public Works department uses it extensively.

The road during the chip seal process is no fun to ride on; it is basically riding through gravel and can be very scary. They lay down an oil screen on the existing asphalt and then spread a layer of rock/gravel over it and let the cars compact it and create the finished surface. It takes a number of weeks to develop into a good surface.

A couple of down sides to chip seal roads do exist. Even a completely “cured” chip seal road has a collection of loose gravel at the edge of the road and often times even near the center of the road. The gravel at the edge of the road can easily become a permanent part of road experience. Another down side, it does little for existing asphalt irregularities. Another minor down side, it is hard on tires for it creates a more textured surface than an asphalt over lay or resurface.

The worst scenario in our mountains is when you have been on a stretch of road a bazillion times and you hit that fast down hill again and you realize the road crew has just patched pot holes with the chip seal method, that is nasty. It is like dodging gravel mines. On a fast down hill your heart jumps up into your throat when you round a corner and see the dreaded diamond shaped orange sign on a barricade that reads, "LOOSE GRAVEL".

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Old 01-08-09, 03:53 PM   #10
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They use a chip seal product as road patch here on the asphalt and concrete roads, oh is that fun to hit when its fresh , they mound it in the potholes (thump! thump!) but the cool part is they spray it out of a road patcher machine from 2-3 feet above the damaged pavement, throwing loose gravel all over the otherwise smooth road giving the cars something to fling into each others windshields and of course into the face of any cyclist lucky enough to be around so its not only lumpy, sticky and loose on the road, its shrapnel!!! What a wonderful way to spend my tax dollars
I don't mind chipseal roads (the county uses chipseal) they are a bit rough but not as bad as dirt, I just don't like the land mine approach of the pothole patrol...
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Old 01-08-09, 03:56 PM   #11
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One thing we have an advantage on you with.

Roads are Re-made with a surface of tar and gravel but Hot tar and the gravel is only about 1/2" across. Then it is rollered into the hot gravel and then a couple of hours later and a road sweeper will pick up the excess. Most of our roads have Kerbs on them so not much loose gravel on the edges. Where the roads have no edge- then a layer of TarMcAdam is laid and as this is grit and tar then no loose stuff. Only problem we have is that in hot weather- Surplus tar will ooze to the top of the gravel and it is literraly like riding on Tar.
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Old 01-08-09, 05:12 PM   #12
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Chip seal, Felton Empire Road
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Old 01-08-09, 05:36 PM   #13
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I have two responses to the chipseal I encountered last season:

1. cursing
2. 28c tires
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Old 01-08-09, 06:04 PM   #14
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Yeah, it's already been pitched. I can see where the chipseal would put your hands to sleep. This road I was on had no shoulder whatsoever. I'm glad it wasn't a very busy road. It was delightful just to ride. It was somewhere near 70 degrees while I was down there. Didn't see another cyclist at all. League of Bicyclists ranks MS at 49 on bicycle friendliness. I had very good encounters. The drivers were very polite on the road I was on.

I am guessing Arkansas ranks #50 behind MS. We deal with some real jackasses around here.
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Old 01-08-09, 06:34 PM   #15
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It was somewhere near 70 degrees while I was down there. .
Glad you came out OK. I was grimacing and wincing as I read your description of sliding down the road and banging your head and than I felt even worse (for us in the moderately cold American Heartland) when I read it was 70 degrees!

Warm rides are hard to come by this time of year.........
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Old 01-08-09, 06:46 PM   #16
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Yappers they use tons a the stuff here in Michigan .Right now the pot holes are big enough to swallow a bike and person whole . They will patch them in Aprial MAYBE atleast you guys got patched holes
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Old 01-08-09, 06:56 PM   #17
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I've ridden a lot of miles of chipseal in WA and OR and from my experience there, the older it is, the better.

Good to hear you survived your crash so well! I usually end up in the hospital. Yes, a helmet is essential!

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Old 01-08-09, 07:20 PM   #18
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They lay down an oil screen on the existing asphalt and then spread a layer of rock/gravel over it and let the cars compact it and create the finished surface. It takes a number of weeks to develop into a good surface.
Most of the chip sealing done in California consists of:
1. Sweep the road surface.
2. Spread the "oil"--usually a polymer-modified cationic emulsion.
3. Spread the chips.
4. Compact with rollers.
5. Send the brooms over it again.

Condorita, paving industry professional (driving the oil truck, to "boost" the spreader)
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Old 01-08-09, 07:36 PM   #19
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I have two responses to the chipseal I encountered last season:

1. cursing
2. 28c tires
3. steel

We call it "shake 'n bake around here. Nobody likes it, but people on aluminum bikes seem to hate it the most.
A long ride with out a few miles of shake 'n bake almost seems like cheating.
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Old 01-08-09, 08:30 PM   #20
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Glad to hear you survived the fall. One question: Did you hold on the the handle bar while falling and sliding on the road?
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Old 01-08-09, 08:50 PM   #21
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Grr.... Chipseal! Around here, they use it instead of repairing the roads. With time, the expansion joints get deeper as the chip seal builds up everywhere BUT. It camouflages pot holes pretty well, too. They don't press it or sweep it, so painting lane lines less than a month after doing it would be physically impossible.
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Old 01-08-09, 09:11 PM   #22
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Did you hold on the the handle bar while falling and sliding on the road?
That part I don't remember. I don't think so since my bar/stem had twisted 90 degrees. I was able to straighten it and ride on. I had the presence of mind to clip out and NOT put my foot down.(Can you say twisted knee?!!?) The weirdest injury is the back side of my knee. I have a couple scrapes there and I can't for the life of me figure out how. There's a 6 " raspberry on my hip, one on my shoulder, small one on my elbow, a cut on my index finger on the opposite hand and then the road rash front and back on my knee.

I probably should have made this 2 threads given my thread title.

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3. steel
YEP! but 23C tires.
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Old 01-08-09, 09:15 PM   #23
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I am guessing Arkansas ranks #50 behind MS. We deal with some real jackasses around here.
Part of those rankings is also bike friendly legislation. I had very polite riders. There was one guy that honked a bunch as he came up behind me so gave him the biggest grin I could and waved at him like he was a long lost friend. I don't know why he was honking. It was a flat section with no cars coming at all.

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Old 01-08-09, 10:28 PM   #24
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Y I'm glad it wasn't a very busy road. It was delightful just to ride. It was somewhere near 70 degrees while I was down there. Didn't see another cyclist at all. League of Bicyclists ranks MS at 49 on bicycle friendliness. I had very good encounters. The drivers were very polite on the road I was on.
I rode in MS in Oct. when visiting family. Rode a mup into Hattiesburg, and did some road riding in the Greenwood area. I actually hooked up with some locals for a group ride one evening out of Greenwood. Great guys, but not a lot of them. As with you, weather was great. Glad to hear you're OK.
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Old 01-08-09, 11:06 PM   #25
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Here in Washington State, chipseal has basically two forms: 1)the crushed rock surface over the asphalt oil base, or 2) the pea-gravel type. The latter is very much preferred by me. When I know I'll be on the former type, I reduce pressure in the front tire to give a bit of cush. The route along the Skagit River from Sedro Wooley to Concrete is pretty cobby, being 1/2" crush, rather than 1/4" pea. Same with the new job they just did on Lopez Island a couple years ago. I think it depends on budget. Pea gravel is alot more money than crush.
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