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  1. #1
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    My town ruined my TT

    I have a 15 mi. ride I call my time trial. Two years ago I did it at 17.4 mph and last year, due to less riding, I did it at 17.1 mph. So, this year I'm riding more, getting more fit and losing weight. In fact, I've lost 12 lbs and am starting to feel strong on the hills. A couple weeks ago I did my TT and was beset by headwinds the entire ride. Still managed 17.2 mph and was stoked. No doubt in my mind I could be knocking on the door to 18 mph sometime in late Sept. At age 65 and still 10 lbs over "cycling weight" at 185 lbs. I was really looking forward to future TT's. So, last Monday I went off on my TT and was met by very strong headwinds. I knew this was not the day for records but at least I was getting a good workout and would be ready when that cool, windless, record day arrived. I was about 12 mi. into the ride when I turned left onto Clubhouse Rd., a cyclist favorite around here. Residential and tree lined with a sight rise at the start and nice sloping downgrade with flowing corners Clubhouse Rd. is three miles long and where I gain my speed and make up for some of those hills at the mid-point of the ride. A swift and beautiful way to end the all out blitz to home. WTF!! As I crested the first rise and began to gain speed downhill I hit fresh chip seal. Two miles of chip seal causing the bike to be on the edge of traction and, of course, slowing me down just to stay upright in the corners. At the end of the road where it T's into Tobacco St. I stop and survey the Tobacco St. entrance to Clubhouse Rd. No warning sign until you're 15 feet into the corner and the chip seal. Anyone leaning a bike into that road will be on their ass in a heartbeat. When I got home I was pissed. They chip sealed Clubhouse Rd. which didn't need any work and they never posted an appropriate warning. I was almost too angry to speak when I called the First Selectman's office. Fortunately for them (and me too probably) they were closed and I had to leave a message. They haven't returned it.

  2. #2
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    If they put in speed bumps next, you'll have a leg up on a cyclocross practice run. Just dismount, carry the bike while running over them and back in the saddle for more chipseal.

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  3. #3
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    At least they didn't barricade it permanently like they do in our community. If the road is well traveled, it will be pretty smooth in a week or two. Our town is 75% chipseal.

  4. #4
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Money is tight. I have a friend who is a township supervisor in one of the wealthiest townships in Pennsylvania. He's told me that we can anticipate even more chip seal, because it's cheaper, and the money's not there to do other kinds of repair/maintenance. Looks like you need to find a new course, or change your expectations for improving your times. I wonder if anyone can develop a formula for calculating how much chip seal can slow you down? What is the drag in terms of reduced time for a given wattage output?
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  5. #5
    Senior Member VertigoFlyer's Avatar
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    Ok I'm a west coast rider, what the heck is chip seal?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    It's great timing that you should ask that question. On Tuesday I did 3 x 6.7 mile TT intervals, on a TT bike, on my local 3 turn TT course that is out in the countryside. Recently one of the roads was chip/sealed making a section of about 2.5 miles new chip seal, a section 2.5 miles long with smooth pavement and a 3rd 1.7 mile section of worn down chip/seal. I wondered how much the new chip seal took out of my speed during the intervals and looked at the data afterwards. The evening had little to no wind and the course is flat. Riding at the same HR and wattage the speed on the smooth pavement was the fastest @ 26+ mph, the smooth chip seal had an average speed of around 25.2 mph and the fresh chip seal allowed an average speed of 23.7 mph over the intervals. I think the new chip/seal section cost a whole gear in order to keep the cadence between 90-96. I did have to slow down significantly when making the right hand turn onto the fresh chip/seal which may have reduced the average speed a little more in that section.
    Last edited by Allegheny Jet; 09-15-11 at 09:19 AM.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VertigoFlyer View Post
    Ok I'm a west coast rider, what the heck is chip seal?
    In NE Ohio it is when they spray a coating of hot asphalt on the roadway then overlay the tar with a coating of #8 limestone. The stones are up to 1/2" in diameter resulting is a course sand paper finish on the road. At first there is an abundance of loose stone that needs to be worn off or brushed off.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VertigoFlyer View Post
    Ok I'm a west coast rider, what the heck is chip seal?
    It's a coating of stone and an oil-based mixture used to cover roads.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member bigbadwullf's Avatar
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    "Tar and chip" to the rest of us Some of our roads were done a few weeks ago and are able to be ridden now.
    Last edited by bigbadwullf; 09-15-11 at 09:51 AM.

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  10. #10
    Senior Member guybierhaus's Avatar
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    I just rode my 10 mile TT course yesterday, first time in a year. Was disappointed I was over 2 minutes slower. And now your timely post. Yes the chip seal did it. And here I was thinking my 66 year old body was finally failing. At least 3 miles of my route was just done in early August. I stayed off the road for a couple weeks to let the loose stones travel to edge or get pressed into asphalt. But yes the fine bumpy ride is there. Interesting, a road chipped sealed 4 years ago was actually repaved. Nice smooth ride there; but only about 1/2 mile of my route.
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  11. #11
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    One of my sons interned (Civil Engineer) with TxDOT for several summers. The difference between chip seal and smooth hot topped asphalt is substantial. Look for more and more chip seal in the future. In some of the prairie states they are even abandoning lesser state highways, plowing them up, and turning them back to the counties.
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

  12. #12
    Senior Member bigbadwullf's Avatar
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    Asphalt right now is expensive. Oil is partly to cause. Gas prices are another part of it. You wanted "green", you're getting it. Be careful what you ask for as you might just get it.

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  13. #13
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    It's a coating of stone and an oil-based mixture used to cover roads.
    Dang! That stuff is awful. It must shred tires pretty quickly. I'll take California potholes before this stuff.
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  14. #14
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbadwullf View Post
    You wanted "green", you're getting it. Be careful what you ask for as you might just get it.
    How about we not insert politics into every discussion... I could provide a long list of other factors, but will refrain from doing so, as it has no place here.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    How about we not insert politics into every discussion... I could provide a long list of other factors, but will refrain from doing so, as it has no place here.
    An emphatic plus one.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    Here in Iowa, they sometimes will substitute tree sap for asphalt or oil. Generally pretty small gravel and within a couple weeks smooth enough to ride comfortably. Beats straight gravel.

  17. #17
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aztallrider View Post
    how about we not insert politics into every discussion... I could provide a long list of other factors, but will refrain from doing so, as it has no place here.
    Quote Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
    an emphatic plus one.
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  18. #18
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I hadn't really noticed that chip seal was any slower than any other material. So I guess maybe I'd be riding 19 mph everywhere if only it weren't for chip seal. (By the way, bigger tires do help.) And I've never noticed traction problems on, unless maybe it still had loose gravel.
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  19. #19
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    I wonder how much it lowers gas mileage due to the extra friction. Us bike riders will have to eat an extra doughnut or maybe pie for more fuel.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by VertigoFlyer View Post
    Ok I'm a west coast rider, what the heck is chip seal?
    You can't hide behind geography. Over thirty years ago Alameda County, CA started putting chip seal on suburban roads. I still remember the road crew telling me how much better it would be for me because of the increased traction. I just smiled politely and rode off through the not-yet-sealed stones.

  21. #21
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    I'm getting the feeling that either I wasn't clear or there are different chip seals. What I'm talking about is a stone and oil surface with the stones so loose that bicycle and motorcycle wheels slide a lot. By a lot I mean dangerously. Chip seal pops up and dings the underside of your bicycle, motorcycle, and car. It is not inconsequential. It is a paint killer and dangerous. I had to slow to 10 mph to stay upright where I usually do 20+ mph. It can be very scary. It's not just about being inconvenienced.
    Last edited by bruce19; 09-15-11 at 05:23 PM.

  22. #22
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    just be glad they didn't chip seal a mountain road like they did here. I thought the surface was still pretty good, guess that's why I'm not allowed to maintain roads for a living. There was another road where they used "chips" that were round stones over 1/2" in diameter. I haven't been on that road since I rode my mountain bike on it right after it was chip sealed, I've been afraid.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
    I'm getting the feeling that either I wasn't clear or there are different chip seals. What I'm talking about is a stone and oil surface with the stones so loose that bicycle and motorcycle wheels slide a lot. By a lot I mean dangerously. Chip seal pops up and dings the underside of your bicycle, motorcycle, and car. It is not in consequential. It is a paint killer and dangerous. I had to slow to 10 mph to stay upright where I usually do 20+ mph. It can be very scary. It's not just about being inconvenienced.
    From what I am reading here, there are quite a few varieties. I live on the Illinois Iowa border, and on the Illinois side, most secondary roads are asphalt based. When they apply chip seal if you get into it right after application, it is indeed difficult to ride through. In Iowa, most secondary roads are primarily gravel. They will periodically spray tree sap on top of the gravel to keep down dust. Stay out of the tree sap until it dries or you will have a mess. In our city, they are currently going over asphalt streets with oil and gravel or tree sap and gravel. after a while this sinks in and it becomes more asphalt like.

  24. #24
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Well now that we're into it....who knows about "rip rap?"

  25. #25
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
    Well now that we're into it....who knows about "rip rap?"
    The big rocks placed along the edge of bodies of water to prevent erosion?

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