The state of the roads


New Member
Not sure where I'm going with this, but please bare with me.

I used to do quite a bit of single track 5-6 years back, which involved me just getting on my bike and heading out through the fields which backed our house. I'd not see another person, or a road for miles.

We've since moved house however and whilst in a fairly rural village location, I don't have the luxury of being able to just get on the bike and go single tracking. As a result I haven't done much in the way of cycling in the last 5 or so years.

Having signed up for the London to Brighton I thought it a good idea to get my backside back on the saddle and get some training done and I think the bug has bitten again and I'm loving it - can't wait to go out again.

Due to the L2B being held on roads in the main I've kind of stuck to road riding, swapping my big nobbly tyres for some semi-road tyres (Continental Double Fighter II).

One thing that has struck me is the real state of the roads in places. In one particular area near me I was nearly shaken off my bike the surface is that bad.

I have also considered commuting to work on a few days (when able), and rode the route to work on Saturday for a trial run. The roads were fairly quiet, but still a few cars about and very occasionally I felt the urge to shout at a passing motorist who felt a little closer to me than I would have preferred - but that could just be a perception thing?

I guess what cycling (on roads) does is give you a new appreciation for other road users - but does cycling make you a better driver, or does driving make you a worse cyclist?

Oh, and how you road bike users do it is beyond me - I felt shaken to pieces and I've got a ruddy great MTB with front suspension!
Our club rides take us up to the south downs, back through the Meon valley and onto to Isle of Wight (Although not all on the same ride) and the quality of the road surfaces can be... variable, to say the least. Especially through the quieter lanes the surface is often so covered in gravel it's like riding on marbles where as some of the roads which have been recently resurfaced are oily and caused one rider to come off yesterday on an adverse camber bend. But the surfacing, or lack there of, which bugs be the most is where sections of the road surface seem to be entirely missing. Patches up to half a mile long where the top dressing has totally come away and you seem to be riding on barely tarmac'd hardcore. Not fun on 700x23 110psi tyres!
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