Sunday, May 31, 2009

Chip 'N Seal

Most of the roads around here are chip and seal. Or seal and chip. How it works is a truck goes along and lays down a layer of sticky, gooey tar which is then covered with an even layer of little pebbles. Those loose pebbles are left there for a while to let traffic fuse the layers together, then the excess loose pebbles are swept off and the lines painted. Kind of a neat way to make a road, and it's only a little bit rougher than standard pavement. Never much of a problem. Unless it's fresh and you don't expect it.

My Saturday loop includes a tight right hand turn off of Smithfield onto Lake Juno Rd. That turn is at the bottom of steep hill - speed about 32 mph, and requires heavy braking. Me, being me, of course, tries to get through it as fast as possible, not crossing the center line, of course, 'cause it's a blind corner too.

Saturday I came sailing down the hill, did my braking, and turned in and saw - loose gravel. Fortunately I had a chance to hit the brakes one more time and get slowed down a bit more. I almost stayed in my lane, I only crossed one of the double yellow lines, but there wasn't anything coming the other way, so it was OK. Just a little more excitement.

At the end of the new "pavement" I had to stop and wipe all the little rocks off the tires. The tar glues them on pretty effectively. Maybe it'll be swept off by next Saturday, but I'll be braking a lot more for that corner next week, just in case.

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