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Mt. Hamilton - The good, the bad, and the ugly

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Mt. Hamilton - The good, the bad, and the ugly

Old 11-05-12, 11:10 AM
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cthenn
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Mt. Hamilton - The good, the bad, and the ugly

Haven't ridden Mt. Hamilton from SJ in a few months, so I thought this past weekend would be a perfect time to go. Weather-wise, it really could not have been any nicer. Perfect weather for short sleeves without getting too hot on the final push. However....they have "fixed" the road, and while some of it is really nice, some of it is really not. They chip sealed the middle portion of the road with, by far, the biggest aggregate I have ever seen in my life used for chip. The rock was literally at least an inch in diameter, and it was an absolutely terrible rough ride. It was hell pedaling on that stuff, felt like riding through sand or mud...could not hold any speed whatsoever, felt like I was holding onto a jackhammer (ok, not really that bad...) It's like this for about 6 miles. However, when it does end, they have repaved the road with actual asphalt, which rides so smooth and fast. This part was a joy to ride, but again, it only goes about halfway up the final ascent, before reverting back to the old road. It is also chip seal, but not nearly as rough as the new part. So there's some good, some bad, and some simply ugly stuff out there.

I hope this is not the trend of road surface treatments...every year cities come up with a new technique to resurfact roads it seems, but I hope this is not going to be the norm because it is awful for road bikes.
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Old 11-05-12, 12:53 PM
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It seems to be a trend. They just resurfaced Skyline (highway 35) with that same coarse chip seal.

Hamilton was nice yesterday. I went up for a fun ride- no intervals or repeats, just enjoying the scenery. I think that over all Hamilton's pavement is better than it was at the beginning of the year.
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Old 11-05-12, 07:36 PM
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BTW, How are the newly resurfaced sections of Skyline? I've been avoiding taking the AV B-Ride on long stretches of Hwy 35 due to the perceived poor ride quality.

- SteveE
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Old 11-05-12, 11:49 PM
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Section from OLH to Alice wasn't too bad on Sunday.
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Old 11-06-12, 12:45 PM
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Why oh why must they chip seal everything? (Yeah, I know it's cheaper.)
The city of Sunnyvale is doing it all over, when even my mobile home park had the good sense to redo the main thoroughfare with new rubberized draining asphalt this year.
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Old 11-06-12, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by bigbenaugust View Post
Why oh why must they chip seal everything? (Yeah, I know it's cheaper.)
The city of Sunnyvale is doing it all over, when even my mobile home park had the good sense to redo the main thoroughfare with new rubberized draining asphalt this year.
Because they only look at short term, and short term is cheaper. Never mind that their ****ty ass repair will fall apart in a year or two and they have to do it again.
On a side note. PG&E is doing some work by Stanford now. Their patch job can only be described as done by an incompetent monkey tripping it's brains out on shrums.
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Old 11-06-12, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by UmneyDurak View Post
Because they only look at short term, and short term is cheaper. Never mind that their ****ty ass repair will fall apart in a year or two and they have to do it again.
On a side note. PG&E is doing some work by Stanford now. Their patch job can only be described as done by an incompetent monkey tripping it's brains out on shrums.
We drove over that on our way to Windy Hill the other day... I can only hope that's temporary.
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Old 11-08-12, 12:02 AM
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That business that's going on at Page Mill and Arastradero (west of 280) took out one of our riders yesterday. Put down one of those cheap rubber speed bumps(the kind that are in parking lots, not on roads like PM) right before you turn left onto Arastradero as you are descending Page Mill. No warning, and it was black in a shaded area. I wouldn't want to hit it at 20 on my car, much less my bike. We didn't see it, but he likely went OTB and landed on his face. I hope they ripped them up already. Complaint already put in with the water utility that did it.
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Old 11-08-12, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by UmneyDurak View Post
Because they only look at short term, and short term is cheaper. Never mind that their ****ty ass repair will fall apart in a year or two and they have to do it again.
On a side note. PG&E is doing some work by Stanford now. Their patch job can only be described as done by an incompetent monkey tripping it's brains out on shrums.
If if is what I think it is (it's called cutback), then it's probably temporary. I work in a construction related field and we deal with PG&E a lot. After they are done ripping up the street, they dump this cutback stuff into the holes "temporarily" until they come back to repave it. Temporary can be six weeks though, and in the meantime, the cutback patch is usually garbage and hell to ride over. Love when the stuff starts to settle and you have these sharp edges of the patch, which really wake you up when you ram into them.
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Old 11-08-12, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by cthenn View Post
If if is what I think it is (it's called cutback), then it's probably temporary. I work in a construction related field and we deal with PG&E a lot. After they are done ripping up the street, they dump this cutback stuff into the holes "temporarily" until they come back to repave it. Temporary can be six weeks though, and in the meantime, the cutback patch is usually garbage and hell to ride over. Love when the stuff starts to settle and you have these sharp edges of the patch, which really wake you up when you ram into them.
It's got to be temporary, but between that, the steel plating, and the rocky debris, I'm going to just skip as much of that as I can till its finished.
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Old 11-08-12, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by SteveE View Post
BTW, How are the newly resurfaced sections of Skyline? I've been avoiding taking the AV B-Ride on long stretches of Hwy 35 due to the perceived poor ride quality.
There's still some loose gravel but it's rideable if you dial it back a little. The section from OLH to skylonda has a bit more than the section from Kings to skylonda. There's more loose gravel in the center of the road and on the shoulders. I ride in the right tire track because it's been cleaned by traffic.

The ride on the new chip seal isn't great but we're going to have to get used to it.
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Old 11-08-12, 02:39 PM
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My town just chip sealed a major (55 mph) road. I looked up the Caltrans specs for chip seal and the road in question was way too broken up for this sort of treatment. Probably won't last two years. To add insult to injury the shoulders are narrow and following the chip seal process a slight excursion off the pavement will result in attempting to ride in 4" or more of "chips" - good luck with that. Soon, we're all going to be riding hybrids with 40mm tires.
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Old 11-08-12, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by cthenn View Post
If if is what I think it is (it's called cutback), then it's probably temporary. I work in a construction related field and we deal with PG&E a lot. After they are done ripping up the street, they dump this cutback stuff into the holes "temporarily" until they come back to repave it. Temporary can be six weeks though, and in the meantime, the cutback patch is usually garbage and hell to ride over. Love when the stuff starts to settle and you have these sharp edges of the patch, which really wake you up when you ram into them.
Ah thanks for the explanation.
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Old 11-09-12, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by cthenn View Post
If if is what I think it is (it's called cutback), then it's probably temporary. I work in a construction related field and we deal with PG&E a lot. After they are done ripping up the street, they dump this cutback stuff into the holes "temporarily" until they come back to repave it. Temporary can be six weeks though, and in the meantime, the cutback patch is usually garbage and hell to ride over. Love when the stuff starts to settle and you have these sharp edges of the patch, which really wake you up when you ram into them.
I think it's been considerably longer than 6 weeks now.
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Old 11-13-12, 02:01 PM
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I was planning on going up Mt. Ham this weekend if the rain went away, sad to hear about the chip and seal. :|
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Old 11-13-12, 05:29 PM
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Don't let it chase you away. It's not that bad. There's no gravel left, just a rougher pavement surface. The nice new pavement farther up makes up for it- that section was pretty bumpy. Over all the road is better than it was four months ago.
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