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Tuesday, February 9, 2010
After The Flood...and the ice...and the snow.....
..we can look forward to potholes.
Big gaping potholes. Potholes that can flatten your tires and throw you to the pavement. Potholes that can swallow your wheel and spit out a mangled, partially digested mass of aluminum, its spokes splayed like the whiskers of a retarded cartoon cat. Familiar roads will now be like mine fields, with danger lurking in every shadow. They come and go all the time, growing and eventually getting repaired, but the weather of the last few months has potholes appearing like mushrooms in a cow pasture. They'll be with us for awhile, so be careful!
Even a small pothole can cause a pinch flat, so it is good policy to keep your tires topped off. Eighty pounds may feel cushy, but you may well regret the comfort when a snakebite strikes.
These longitudinal wheel grabbers are most common along the shoulder or the crown of the road.
New potholes aren't the only hazards that follow winter weather. Most hills in and around urban areas have been generously covered with a serving of sand, salt and other traction-enhancing and ice-melting materials. Unfortunately, the same sand that allows the minivan to get up a hill to pick up the kiddos can feel like tiny ball bearings under the tiny contact patch of a road bike tire. It will take time, traffic and some good rains to clear all of this stuff away, so keep that in mind when you release the brakes and start a screaming descent of your favorite hill.