HEDGE TRIMMING

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

Postby TrevA » 16 Nov 2018, 11:39am

foxyrider 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.


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.


I've often thought that if I ever won the lottery, I would buy a small road sweeper and spend my time sweeping the local cycle paths on a regular basis. They certainly need it and it's a job the local councils and highways authority don't seem interested in doing, except once in a blue moon.

reohn2
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby reohn2 » 16 Nov 2018, 11:40am

pwa wrote:You get DHs in all professions.

Agreed,what surprised me was the open abuse from mainly contractors on a farming forum(IIRC it was the NFU forum) which you'd think would be inhabited by more concientious and mindful farmers and contractors.

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.

In the past I've taken a time to observe good practice and I agree it is equipement choice and wouldnt expect sweeping up was needed after cutting,if the cutting head was well covered.
That said I've had to shoulder the bike two of us carry the tandem before now for more than 200m when the road has been so badly covered in hawthorn cuttings :evil:
It's as I posted previously if car tyres were punctured as a result it would soon be stopped!
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mnichols
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby mnichols » 16 Nov 2018, 1:26pm

I live in a farming community, surrounded by hedge rows and I used to get a lot more punctures that I do now.

I used to cycle around on 23/25mm tyres pumped up to the max and bought based on their speed rather than puncture resistance....and I got a lot of punctures, and got very frustrated on anything less than a perfect road

Now I do most of my cycling on 42mm tubeless nobbly tyres at low PSi and I can't remember my last puncture

So are the farmers in the wrong for not spending time/money sweeping up every last thorn, or is the problem that we use the wrong tyres for the road conditions? I think the same question applies to potholes.

reohn2
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby reohn2 » 16 Nov 2018, 4:17pm

mnichols wrote:I live in a farming community, surrounded by hedge rows and I used to get a lot more punctures that I do now.

I used to cycle around on 23/25mm tyres pumped up to the max and bought based on their speed rather than puncture resistance....and I got a lot of punctures, and got very frustrated on anything less than a perfect road

Now I do most of my cycling on 42mm tubeless nobbly tyres at low PSi and I can't remember my last puncture

So are the farmers in the wrong for not spending time/money sweeping up every last thorn, or is the problem that we use the wrong tyres for the road conditions? I think the same question applies to potholes.

I'm forced to ask if it right that farmers and their sub contractors are allowed to leave roads strewn with sharp thorns against the law?
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PH
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby PH » 16 Nov 2018, 4:35pm

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 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.

Interesting and as I say it isn't something I know much about. Isn't there an advantage, for both the farmer and wildlife, that flailing can be done less often. I think I heard three years was the recommended and my (Childhood) memory of cutting was of it being done each year.

Ben@Forest
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby Ben@Forest » 18 Nov 2018, 8:38am

PH wrote:
ChrisButch wrote: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.

Interesting and as I say it isn't something I know much about. Isn't there an advantage, for both the farmer and wildlife, that flailing can be done less often. I think I heard three years was the recommended and my (Childhood) memory of cutting was of it being done each year.


In tree health and tree surgery it has been mooted that natural tears and rips are better because then the tree's defences 'recognise' what has happened and begin the process of compartmentalistion more quickly (look up CODIT). I don't think larger wounds have much to do with infection - for instance ash dieback is spread through fungal spores from leaves landing on other leaves.

In practice l don't think whether young growth in hedges being flailed or cut makes any difference. What we don't like is the aesthetic appearance of older growth being flailed.

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TrevA
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby TrevA » 18 Nov 2018, 5:05pm

mnichols wrote:I live in a farming community, surrounded by hedge rows and I used to get a lot more punctures that I do now.

I used to cycle around on 23/25mm tyres pumped up to the max and bought based on their speed rather than puncture resistance....and I got a lot of punctures, and got very frustrated on anything less than a perfect road

Now I do most of my cycling on 42mm tubeless nobbly tyres at low PSi and I can't remember my last puncture

So are the farmers in the wrong for not spending time/money sweeping up every last thorn, or is the problem that we use the wrong tyres for the road conditions? I think the same question applies to potholes.


That's a bit like saying all drivers should drive around in 4x4's, then there would be no need to repair potholes and the farmers could leave the roads covered in mud (they do anyway - at least around here!).

My friend is a building site contract manager, he said that his company would be fined if they left the roads in the same state that the local farmers do.

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Cugel
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby Cugel » 18 Nov 2018, 9:29pm

TrevA wrote:
mnichols wrote:I live in a farming community, surrounded by hedge rows and I used to get a lot more punctures that I do now.

I used to cycle around on 23/25mm tyres pumped up to the max and bought based on their speed rather than puncture resistance....and I got a lot of punctures, and got very frustrated on anything less than a perfect road

Now I do most of my cycling on 42mm tubeless nobbly tyres at low PSi and I can't remember my last puncture

So are the farmers in the wrong for not spending time/money sweeping up every last thorn, or is the problem that we use the wrong tyres for the road conditions? I think the same question applies to potholes.


That's a bit like saying all drivers should drive around in 4x4's, then there would be no need to repair potholes and the farmers could leave the roads covered in mud (they do anyway - at least around here!).

.......


That is so .... but ....

There's a scale of responses to the reality of various external conditions. At one end is "change the conditions to the ideal or as near to ideal as practicable". At the other end of the scale is "adapt to reality as it is".

If I had the means to make all Local Authorities and those they employ construct ideal roads, I would. I suspect that most Local Authorities would do so if they had the wherewithal (not sure about those they employ, if they are the sort of cowboys often found "mending" the roads these days).

Alas, there are factors limiting both our individual desires and also those of Local Authorities. One response is to enable continued going-about in the world via the adoption of compensating technologies. With a bike these are innocuous - fatter tyres, a bit of compliance in the frame, etcetera. With motorised transport, the change to more resilient vehicles is not so innocuous - inefficient fuel-guzzling SUVs. Perhaps eventually large half-tracks......

Cugel

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TrevA
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby TrevA » 20 Nov 2018, 7:03am

Easy if your frame will fit larger tyres, but many road bikes will not, which means a new frame or a new bike. The popular Ribble winter bike struggles to cope with 25mm tyres. My Triban 520 suffers rubbing if I use 28mm and mudguards.

Perhaps the rise in the popularity of gravel bikes is a reaction to the plethora of potholes and, to a lesser extent, hedge cuttings. Both my son and son in law have recently bought such a bike for commuting and winter riding. Disc brakes seem to be enablers of wider tyres.

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Cugel
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby Cugel » 20 Nov 2018, 8:46am

TrevA wrote:Easy if your frame will fit larger tyres, but many road bikes will not, which means a new frame or a new bike. The popular Ribble winter bike struggles to cope with 25mm tyres. My Triban 520 suffers rubbing if I use 28mm and mudguards.

Perhaps the rise in the popularity of gravel bikes is a reaction to the plethora of potholes and, to a lesser extent, hedge cuttings. Both my son and son in law have recently bought such a bike for commuting and winter riding. Disc brakes seem to be enablers of wider tyres.


A move to bicycle technologies that can cope with worsening road conditions, or with seasonal risks such as hedge cuttings, seems a pragmatic move so I've made it - minimum 28mm wide tyres as lesser pressures and less (no) punctures; disc brakes and tubeless tyres on the winter bike.

There is a case, though, that if we adapt in these ways, it'll give those who maintain roads yet another excuse for not doing so. A "You'll be all right on your fat bikes" sort of response.

I notice that CyclingUK has an article up today about the waste of money from the Local Authority budgets spent on servicing claims for damage to cyclists, as when they hit a pothole, the damage to a cyclist is far greater than that to a car, so the compensation claims are much, much larger. I fear that the response to this won't be to improve the roads to avoid claims, but to ban cyclists from the (just as degraded) roads!

No politician or other authority, these days, seems interested in the root causes of problems. They'd rather fiddle with the symptoms or brush the various victims of their neglect under some carpet or other.

Cugel

reohn2
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby reohn2 » 20 Nov 2018, 9:39am

FWIW,I don't think it unreasonable for hedge trimming to be removed from roadways immediately they've been cut especially when a)it's the law and b) it causes other road users to puncture their tyres
BTW it isnt just cyclists that inconvenienced but parents with pnuematic tyres on prams and buggies,my own daughtersnhave been inconvenienced in this way.
As I posted up thread if cars were puntured by thorns there'd be a national outcry,it's the minorities who suffer so it doesnt matter in todays society it would seem :evil:
Last edited by reohn2 on 20 Nov 2018, 2:42pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tangled Metal
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby Tangled Metal » 20 Nov 2018, 2:33pm

Our son's pram used to puncture on the footpath to his grandparents for childminding and along the canal towpath near us (practically the only safe place to take the pram since the paths next to the main road are too narrow and big trucks pass through the small town on the roads that are totally unsuitable but it's a rat run).

Anyway we put that anti puncture plastic strip in the tyres and they stopped being as frequent.

So with my 35mm hypers I've not had a puncture over a year now. 3 years if you add in the winter months and the years before the hypers that I used marathon pluses in 37/38mm tyres.

Can you get marathon pluses in less than 25mm widths? Perhaps use them until the hedge trimming stops? You'll never get contractors to clean up after themselves.

brooksby
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby brooksby » 20 Nov 2018, 2:56pm

mnichols wrote:So are the farmers in the wrong for not spending time/money sweeping up every last thorn, or is the problem that we use the wrong tyres for the road conditions? I think the same question applies to potholes.


You're right - we should probably carry a spare set of tyres with us, so we can swap them out if we come across an area where hedge litter has been left over the road... :wink:

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Mick F
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby Mick F » 20 Nov 2018, 3:11pm

I've got through three wheelbarrows due to punctures.
The plastic wheels have a tubeless tyre and when it punctures you have five choices in order of simplicity.
1. Forget it and use the barrow with a flat tyre.
2. Buy a new wheel.
3. Fit a new tyre.
4. Fit a tube.
5. Buy a new wheelbarrow.

The last one, is the best idea, and earlier this year I bought a Ball Barrow.
Puncture proof coz it's not got a tyre with air in it. :D
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06ZZB2VD3/ ... th=1&psc=1
Mick F. Cornwall

pwa
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Re: HEDGE TRIMMING

Postby pwa » 20 Nov 2018, 3:13pm

The countryside is a messy place. Agriculture is messy. Almost all agricultural activity involves a bit of mess. So we should be exercising a bit of tolerance here. The countryside would not be as enjoyable as it is without the hedges, and the hedges have to be maintained. A little bit of mess is inevitable when that happens. When that mess becomes more than "a little bit" is when we should be unhappy.