HEDGE TRIMMING

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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Cugel
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby Cugel » 14 Nov 2018, 11:14am

Peejay56 wrote:With today's health and safety culture it amazes me they are allowed to cut hedges with an exposed fast rotating flail mower. The cuttings that get thrown on the road are a real pain no question, but if it throws a flail off (which they do occasionally) it would seriously injure someone if it hit them.
Surely it's not beyond the realms of engineering and technology to guard the flail mower and direct the cuttings straight down without throwing everything all over the road?

Rant over, Pete.


I confess I was surprised that such flails are still being used. I've passed a lot of hedge-cutting tractors in the last few years and not seen one. I think it must be 15 years since they seemed to be replaced with better implements around the locales I cycle in.

There's also a much greater tendency for the tractor driver to cease operations when he sees you coming, until you're past. That never used to be the case. I can recall getting showered with cuttings 20 years ago, even when making great efforts to give the thing a very wide berth.

Cugel

eileithyia
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby eileithyia » 15 Nov 2018, 8:13am

keithhull43 wrote:Having cycled over 3000 miles without a puncture I have had 2 in 2 consecutive days, both from thorns left in the road by farmers cutting hedges. The second day I was out with a local cycle group and we suffered 8 punctures from 10 cyclists within a 10 mile section of the run, surely a record. 1 week later and despite keeping to busier roads where the thorns are less prevalent we had 3 more punctures. Time surely for farmers to be regulated to clear away their hedge cuttings from the public highway.



I've not read 2 pages of comments. A record... hmm unsure, we had 14 punctures amongst a group in the early 80's on a half mile stretch of road that was just being cut..... hindsight means I now walk if I see a stretch being cut. Some of those were multiple punctures to one bike while some of us :D escaped.
We also had a similar number on a junior MTB ride on a local canal path where the farmer had not bothered to clear up.... The downside of that one; every time we thought we had repaired those that were apparent, and were about to set off again... yet another tyre was found to be punctured as not all deflated immediately but gradually over time whilst we were waiting.

Some years ago members of Ribble Valley CRC received multiple punctures on a ride on one segment of road..... helped by the fact one of the members was a local councillor.... the farmer / contractor was successfully sued.

I do generally believe modern tyres are more resistant... and while I appreciate thorns can be very vicious, I would ensure tyres are not becoming worn and are well pumped up.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

pwa
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby pwa » 15 Nov 2018, 8:18am

I may be tempting fate here, but yesterday I did around twenty five miles mostly on hedge lined lanes and a lot of it had already been cut. Very little sign of debris on the roads so maybe the worst is over.

rjb
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby rjb » 15 Nov 2018, 12:54pm

It's not only hedge trimmings. Some years ago in Somerset they resurfaced a road with tar mixed with crushed glass. It looked fantastic with the glass glittering in the sun. All was well until the frost started breaking up the surface. It was not only cyclists that were suffering, pet owners and horse riders were removing shards of glass from hoofs and paws after every walk.
Thankfully they must have found another use for all those bottles. :roll:
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TrevA
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby TrevA » 15 Nov 2018, 5:04pm

On yesterday's ride we encountered a 1/4 mile stretch of road covered in hedge cuttings. We were on tenterhooks as we rode past/over them but luckily nobody punctured. It's not practical to get off and walk in your cleated shoes so we just have to run the gauntlet.

We also encountered a road that was fully covered in mud, save for a narrow strip down the middle. You could feel your wheels slipping as you rode along. Farmers really do have a lot to answer for.

ChrisButch
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby ChrisButch » 15 Nov 2018, 5:33pm

One of the reasons you sometimes get a lot of punctures and others not is to do with the composition of the hedge. In areas where there's a lot of hawthorn/blackthorn you'll obviously suffer. But here in mid-Devon the hedges tend to be dominated by beech, hazel, elder etc - with the occasional thorn being mostly wild rose. Up on Exmoor it's almost all beech.

ChrisButch
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby ChrisButch » 15 Nov 2018, 5:57pm

PH wrote:
ChrisButch wrote:The problem only began in the 70s, when flails replaced oscillating cutters (like the domestic hedgecutters still in use), which were much slower. Because the flails rip rather than cut, they's also bad for the health of the hedge.

I'm a bit surprised to rad that. I'm no expert but heard a wildlife program on the radio some years ago that made the opposite argument - That flailing was healthier than cutting for both the hedge and wildlife because it removed the dead wood, rather than have it fall within the hedge and rot.

That's a surprising and, I suspect, minority opinion. There's no problem with dead wood lying on the ground near a healthy tree or shrub - that's its natural condition. The problem is in the cut or torn ends left on the hedge, which are no longer protected by the bark. With a neat cut across the branch only the minimum area of the inner layers, which are vulnerable to infection by fungal and other pathogens, is exposed. With a rough rip or tear the exposed surface area is much greater.
Last edited by ChrisButch on 16 Nov 2018, 12:55pm, edited 1 time in total.

eileithyia
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby eileithyia » 16 Nov 2018, 8:41am

TrevA wrote:On yesterday's ride we encountered a 1/4 mile stretch of road covered in hedge cuttings. We were on tenterhooks as we rode past/over them but luckily nobody punctured. It's not practical to get off and walk in your cleated shoes so we just have to run the gauntlet.

We also encountered a road that was fully covered in mud, save for a narrow strip down the middle. You could feel your wheels slipping as you rode along. Farmers really do have a lot to answer for.



Has no one heard of / or indeed use cleat covers????? Essential for walking around, protecting yourself when you walk into cafes / toilets and protect your cleats from wear and tear that could eventually cause the cleat to be damaged / fail while in use on the bike??????
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

eileithyia
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby eileithyia » 16 Nov 2018, 8:43am

ChrisButch wrote:
PH wrote:
ChrisButch wrote:The problem only began in the 70s, when flails replaced oscillating cutters (like the domestic hedgecutters still in use), which were much slower. Because the flails rip rather than cut, they's also bad for the health of the hedge.

I'm a bit surprised to rad that. I'm no expert but heard a wildlife program on the radio some years ago that made the opposite argument - That flailing was healthier than cutting for both the hedge and wildlife because it removed the dead wood, rather than have it fall within the hedge and rot.

That's a surprising and, I suspect, minority opinion. There's no problem with dead wood lying on the ground near a healthy tree or shrub - that's it's natural condition. The problem is in the cut or torn ends left on the hedge, which are no longer protected by the bark. With a neat cut across the branch only the minimum area of the inner layers, which are vulnerable to infection by fungal and other pathogens, is exposed. With a rough rip or tear the exposed surface area is much greater.



I thought deadwood was good for wildlife.... a place for insects to over winter..... birds that feed on said insects etc.....
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

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foxyrider
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby foxyrider » 16 Nov 2018, 9:12am

TrevA wrote:On yesterday's ride we encountered a 1/4 mile stretch of road covered in hedge cuttings. We were on tenterhooks as we rode past/over them but luckily nobody punctured. It's not practical to get off and walk in your cleated shoes so we just have to run the gauntlet.

We also encountered a road that was fully covered in mud, save for a narrow strip down the middle. You could feel your wheels slipping as you rode along. Farmers really do have a lot to answer for.


Horse poo, cow poo, mud, hedge trimmings, sewage - just another day riding my local lanes thanks to the very thoughtful, responsible country folk. Why do equestrians think it's okay to leave er leaving on the road? And there are lots of horses in these parts.

My experience is that the middle of the lanes is actually worse than the muddy wheel tracks, often slimy with green stuff, stones, maybe grass. Even in summer. Hedge trimming is annoying but the year round gravel washouts and excrement deposits do, in my view, offer more danger.

Maybe we should club together to sponsor a road sweeper to go around the lanes on our behalf. The scheme could be extended to cover cycle tracks / routes which seem to accumulate lots of debris. We should as cyclists be prepared to contribute to keeping the infrastructure running.
Convention? what's that then?
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reohn2
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby reohn2 » 16 Nov 2018, 10:30am

meic wrote:
Time surely for farmers to be regulated to clear away their hedge cuttings from the public highway.

I think that they are theoretically regulated. Also you can theoretically sue them over the damage caused. In practice if it is nothing more than a roadside repair to your innertube you just have to lump it.


If hedge trimming cause car tyres to puncture they'd be forced to clean up their mess from the roads.However cyclists are an insignificant minority that aren't listened to,so we are where we are as a result.
It's one of the anticycling attitudes which persists in the UK.
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pwa
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby pwa » 16 Nov 2018, 10:56am

I once did a job for a wealthy farmer (fingers in pies outside farming) who told me that the thing he disliked most about the job of hedge cutting was clearing up the mess afterwards. Which he clearly did or he wouldn't have mentioned it. And in recent days I have seen a lot of freshly cut hedges with little evidence on the roads. So some farmers are making a decent job of it. Most of them are around here.

reohn2
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby reohn2 » 16 Nov 2018, 11:14am

Some farmers and contractors clearly clean up,most don't IME.
I've seen hedge trimming heads with flaps attached,home made from conveyor belt material or similar that catch 90%of trimmings.
I even registered on a farming forum to explain how easy they were to fit and how clean the road can be left as a result.
There were two sensible replies From farmers that were sympathetic and said they'd look into it,but overwhelmingly I was met with derision and abuse,mostly from contractors,including one made no bones about how much he hated cyclists and how if he could cause punctures it made him all the happier for it :?
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pwa
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby pwa » 16 Nov 2018, 11:22am

reohn2 wrote:Some farmers and contractors clearly clean up,most don't IME.
I've seen hedge trimming heads with flaps attached,home made from conveyor belt material or similar that catch 90%of trimmings.
I even registered on a farming forum to explain how easy they were to fit and how clean the road can be left as a result.
There were two sensible replies From farmers that were sympathetic and said they'd look into it,but overwhelmingly I was met with derision and abuse,mostly from contractors,including one made no bones about how much he hated cyclists and how if he could cause punctures it made him all the happier for it :?

You get DHs in all professions. Like I say, around here the picture is good with very little debris after hedge cutting, at least on the lanes I've used recently. I haven't seen any sweeping going on so it must be equipment choice. I do see some small debris on the roads immediately after cutting but it is so small that as soon as it rains or the wind picks up it is in the gutter.

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TrevA
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby TrevA » 16 Nov 2018, 11:36am

eileithyia wrote:
TrevA wrote:On yesterday's ride we encountered a 1/4 mile stretch of road covered in hedge cuttings. We were on tenterhooks as we rode past/over them but luckily nobody punctured. It's not practical to get off and walk in your cleated shoes so we just have to run the gauntlet.

We also encountered a road that was fully covered in mud, save for a narrow strip down the middle. You could feel your wheels slipping as you rode along. Farmers really do have a lot to answer for.



Has no one heard of / or indeed use cleat covers????? Essential for walking around, protecting yourself when you walk into cafes / toilets and protect your cleats from wear and tear that could eventually cause the cleat to be damaged / fail while in use on the bike??????


Cleat covers are too much of a faff. I've got some but can't get them on, and when I've got them on I can't get them off! I just keep an eye on the cleats and replace when the start to get worn. The left one wears out much quicker than the right because I put my left foot down at junctions.