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  1. #1
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    How to destroy a perfectly good cycling road

    ..... tar and gravel it.

    WIN_20140714_103129 (2).jpgWIN_20140714_103147 (2).jpgWIN_20140714_103335 (2).jpg

    as far as you can see in both directions.
    '81 Austro Daimler Olympian, '86 Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, '87 DeRosa Professional, '99 Calfee TetraPro, '03(?) Macalu Cirrus, '04 Tallerico, '97 Co-Motion Tandem

  2. #2
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Yep, it'll be crap for awhile, but in the end it beats potholes.

  3. #3
    Senior Member pavemen's Avatar
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    If WA is anything like CA, that road did not even need to be serviced!

  4. #4
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Calm down fredly. I've been riding the tar and chip every summer up here for 17 years, on the road bike and my motorcycle. I haven't gone down on it yet.

  5. #5
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    it's just a matter of time. Its gets better as pressure and heat compress it. Eventually it becomes a pretty smooth surface to ride on, which is just about the time, they start the process over.

    One time on a century we had to do a descent on tar and chip that had just moments before finished. It was that or add 25 miles to the ride. We chose the gravel.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
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    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  6. #6
    Senior Member busygizmo's Avatar
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    You can get used to it if you ride on it often but when you are used to mostly smooth tarmac and you get on some it can be a bit of an adjustment. We go over and ride in eastern Washington every year and every once in a while you'll be riding along and look down at your computer and wonder why your speed seems so low and realize they put down fresh chip seal. It makes a big difference on long climbs IMO.

    Worst, as mentioned, can be descending when it is fresh. Had a few scary moments this year coming off Washington Pass when I had to move into the shoulder for traffic to end up on loose rocks. I'm a timid descender normally but this made me white knuckle it a bit more than usual.

  7. #7
    VFL For Life Velo Vol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
    I've been riding the tar and chip every summer up here for 17 years
    Why?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavemen View Post
    If WA is anything like CA, that road did not even need to be serviced!
    The road has to be in good shape before they can chip seal it. They don't do it to roads that are all busted up. As counties start running low of funds, you'll see this more and more. It's longer lasting than regular pavement.
    Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.

  9. #9
    BF Avatar Zombie Hunter Jseis's Avatar
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    Chip seal adds ~10 years to the pavement life. Usually done within 5 years (or less) of new overlay. Waste of money on a worn out alligatored and raveled road. The former looks like blocky chunks of asphalt, the latter looks like a rough sand paper surface as the tar has been worn from the gravel.
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  10. #10
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    On one county road here that I ride all the time, they finally put on beautiful new blacktop. Wow! Quiet, smooth, relaxing, just wonderful. Then the next week they chip sealed it. They completely chip sealed the North Cascades highway in the pass section while the pavement was still perfect. That was a bummer. But we adapt: wider rims and tires, lower pressure, just get used to the lower speed. Carbon helps a lot. Need a special chip seal grinder bike.

    I hear our chip seal up here is nothing compared to Texas chip seal. I guess everything is bigger in Texas, including the chips. Went on a tour in Montana this summer. Saw some Montana chip seal. That stuff was so big, you couldn't even see the rumble strips they cut in it. Sharp, too. Lots of flats.

  11. #11
    Senior Member coppercook62's Avatar
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    As fate has it my favorite route was tarred and chipped sealed today. Super bummer

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    On one county road here that I ride all the time, they finally put on beautiful new blacktop. Wow! Quiet, smooth, relaxing, just wonderful. Then the next week they chip sealed it. They completely chip sealed the North Cascades highway in the pass section while the pavement was still perfect. That was a bummer. But we adapt: wider rims and tires, lower pressure, just get used to the lower speed. Carbon helps a lot. Need a special chip seal grinder bike.

    I hear our chip seal up here is nothing compared to Texas chip seal. I guess everything is bigger in Texas, including the chips. Went on a tour in Montana this summer. Saw some Montana chip seal. That stuff was so big, you couldn't even see the rumble strips they cut in it. Sharp, too. Lots of flats.
    Texas chip seal is the most unpleasant paved surface I have ever ridden on. I would rather have the potholes. At least you can dodge them.
    Robert

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  13. #13
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    CT stuff isn't too bad after a week or so of getting settled. Still is a bummer to have a freshly paved road chip sealed without much time to enjoy it.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  14. #14
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    The roads around my house are getting new chip and seal surfaces this week. Ours "chip" material is all glacied or river pebbles, so at least it's not like riding on broken glass.

    Until they clean up the excess you do end up with 3" of the stuff outside the car ruts, but that just makes life a bit more exciting.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Jiggle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
    Texas chip seal is the most unpleasant paved surface I have ever ridden on. I would rather have the potholes. At least you can dodge them.
    They guy who bought my road bike last week said, Dude, I see why you want to sell this. These roads are crap!

    I ride a CX bike now.
    Last edited by Dannihilator; 07-16-14 at 04:56 PM.

  16. #16
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    Back in New Zealand Tar and gravel are the norm. When I came to Korea this smooth road surface thing was a surprise. Tar has issues on the hottest days. It melts and gets sticky.

  17. #17
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Chip seal is great. Get some 28mm tires and embrace it.

    There are a couple of roads around here where they were nice enough to leave the paved shoulder alone but usually they do the whole road.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  18. #18
    Senior Member yote223's Avatar
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    I don't see any prob. But then I don't ride road bikes with bologna skins for tires either. Jmo.
    It's hard to soar with the Eagles when you're flying with Turkeys
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  19. #19
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
    CT stuff isn't too bad after a week or so of getting settled. Still is a bummer to have a freshly paved road chip sealed without much time to enjoy it.
    I live in Lebanon, CT and chip seal here sucks. And, the idiots here put the chip seal warning sign after you've made the corner on the chip sealed road. So, come around at speed on a bike or motorcycle and you could find your self on the ground looking up at the sign.

  20. #20
    Senior Member redcon1's Avatar
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    Welcome to rural PA roads. Worst is when it's first laid, with all the loose gravel collecting on the sides and center.

    Surprised there is not a Chip-Seal Grinder thread.

  21. #21
    Senior Member mrodgers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redcon1 View Post
    Welcome to rural PA roads. Worst is when it's first laid, with all the loose gravel collecting on the sides and center.

    Surprised there is not a Chip-Seal Grinder thread.
    Yup, rural PA here too. Nothing but tar and chip roads. They don't clean them up either. The loose gravel can lay for months before finally getting kicked to the berm (no shoulders on our roads, just road, 1 foot maybe of gravel then tree trunks usually or a bank or drop-off.)

    Lately though a lot of the back roads are getting blacktopped. I think the gas companies are doing it on their routes to the new well builds. They are actually doing a nice job. The state doesn't fix the potholes, they just tar and chip overtop of the potholes. On one road I ride which is a numbered state route, I have to ride on the yellow line because of all the broken up pavement. Eventually they will come and just tar and chip over all the broken pavement and holes and it will still be rough to ride or drive on and get broken up within months. All the roads that are getting blacktopped by the gas companies are smooth as glass.
    Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!

  22. #22
    Chopped Liver Dannihilator's Avatar
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    Ok, no political statements outside of PnR. Chip and tar isn't all that bad especially when it's done right, you just need to know how to deal with it.
    Strike like an eagle and sacrifice the dove.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Black wallnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavemen View Post
    If WA is anything like CA, that road did not even need to be serviced!
    And you're an engineer employed by a DOT?

    Chip seal comes as has been mentioned in this thread a number of different variety. Some roads, called oiled roads start a out as chip seal and that is all they ever are. There are different screen sizes for the chips that go on the asphalt oil or emulsion that sticks it to the surface of the road being done. If you think chipseal is bad try roads that are not maintained or concrete cracks every 10 or so feet. Chipseal is a lower cost option to extend the life of a roadway or a way to make a roadway. It is what I get to ride on most of the time, hey it beats cobblestone!


    Mark

  24. #24
    Senior Member pavemen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
    And you're an engineer employed by a DOT?

    Chip seal comes as has been mentioned in this thread a number of different variety. Some roads, called oiled roads start a out as chip seal and that is all they ever are. There are different screen sizes for the chips that go on the asphalt oil or emulsion that sticks it to the surface of the road being done. If you think chipseal is bad try roads that are not maintained or concrete cracks every 10 or so feet. Chipseal is a lower cost option to extend the life of a roadway or a way to make a roadway. It is what I get to ride on most of the time, hey it beats cobblestone!
    I know what chip sealing does. What I was commenting on is the fact that a perfect road will be resealed in CA before there are any visible cracks in it but they will let a road with cracks go until they need to resurface/rebuild it completely. Just because a road is on the calendar for resealing does not mean it needs to be done (use it or lose it budget matter aside).

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post

    I hear our chip seal up here is nothing compared to Texas chip seal. I guess everything is bigger in Texas, including the chips.
    I spent five months last year riding on the chip seal around San Antonio. I have ridden logging roads in the NW that were smoother!

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