Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Good to be out

What fine weather it was for a ride at the weekend. A bit cold, but the brightness was welcome.

Monday, 7 March 2011


In the two miles of the A666 I cycle on of a morning's commute, you can see over 40 marked up potholes identified for repair by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.
Those are only the holes earmarked for fixing, there are plenty more that didn't make the cut. Scale that up to borough or county level and you can easily understand why potholes are big news and why Blackburn is fated to always be remembered for its 4000 holes.

Some potholes get marked more than once because of the way this council goes about its repairs. In marked contrast to neighbouring Lancashire, who seem to visit a reported pothole within a couple of days with material and fill in the hole, Blackburn uses a two-step process.

Firstly someone surveys the problem
and if they decide it is a hazard or worth fixing, marks the limit of the repair with white paint. Later someone comes along with tarmac to fill the hole.

This process often breaks down as it can be months between reporting a hole and it eventually getting repaired. Sometimes the markings just disappear through weather and wear and tear.

This pothole has been marked twice:

First in February

and now in March.

In contrast, this is one of Cumbria
County Council's marked up holes:

Some local roads are breaking up so badly they're beyond repair - they are either a continuous series of patches or the metalling of the road is just falling apart.

The only solution is to properly re-surface but that's likely to happen in only the most severe cases given the current economic climate.

Avoiding potholes on a cycle whilst riding on roads with motorised traffic is not easy, when you can see them - in the dark it's even worse.
A fireman from Nelson fell foul of a pothole at night and is lucky to be alive. Here's hoping things improve soon before more people are injured on the road.

Ride safe and keep reporting those holes.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Anyone for Raclet?

When planning cycling tours, I've often wondered how difficult it would be to carry all the gear needed for camping. It seems someone has the answer - a camping trailer. Not what you might call a lightweight solution.