Dirtiest roads

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foxyrider
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Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Dirtiest roads

Postby foxyrider » 21 Nov 2019, 7:05pm

Yes i know all roads are dirty and in this instance i'm not on about litter either.

I've covered a fair few miles in my cycling career, 'east' Midlands initially then best part of 40 years in the 'north' Midlands/Pennines with forays into Europe to keep things interesting. In all those years, a quick wipe down of the bike every couple of weeks has usually sufficed unless i've been doing the off tarmac thing.

I'm currently based in Bristol so my rides are taking in bits of Glos, Wilts, Somerset and occasionally over the Severn into Wales and suddenly my bike is covered in road dirt on just about every ride! This isn't just a little bit of puddle splash, i've returned a few times looking like a Somme refugee, no wonder i've had some looks when i've stopped for a cuppa. On one ride, my bike and kit acquired a coating of orange 'mud' over just about every millimetre and that was on a dry day, the muddy NCN track i used added nothing to the mix. :lol:

So the question is, is this the muckiest bit of Britain for riding or does anywhere else suffer from extreme 'mud on road' syndrome?
Last edited by Graham on 22 Nov 2019, 8:55pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: road dirt
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

Steve
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Re: Dirtiest roads

Postby Steve » 21 Nov 2019, 7:57pm

You might well be right, I found Somerset at this time of year unbelievably filthy, mud got everywhere. Not like that round here - largely because farming is different here.

Mike Sales
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Re: Dirtiest roads

Postby Mike Sales » 21 Nov 2019, 8:02pm

I have found Fenland roads which are temporarily and literally unrideable, because of fields being worked. Sometimes the farmer cleans up.
In general the lanes can be filthy to ride in winter.

whoof
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Re: Dirtiest roads

Postby whoof » 21 Nov 2019, 8:16pm

It depends on what roads you ride and what type farming is done.
Clearly agricultural areas will be have more mud than urban roads. If it's a dairy area twice a day the cows will bring mud out onto the roads and also add their own 'mud'. Of its crops it depends on the season for ploughing, planting and harvesting.
I certainly don't find the Bristol area to be any worse than Devon or Cornwall.
I often go down lanes and think the middle of the road could do with a good mowing.

ChrisButch
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Re: Dirtiest roads

Postby ChrisButch » 21 Nov 2019, 10:59pm

Somerset? The worst Somerset has to offer is squeaky clean compared with the average narrow lane in mid-Devon. The combination of high banks, no verges, no roadside ditches or other drainage, runoff at every fieldgate, steep gradients running across the contour, more adopted mileage to maintain than any other county highways authority with dwindling resources to meet that obligation, the generous contribution of organic top-dressing in this dairy and beef country, and high annual rainfall....I moved down here from York nearly 40 years ago. Still haven't recovered from the culture shock.

pwa
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Re: Dirtiest roads

Postby pwa » 22 Nov 2019, 8:29am

Farm mud on the road usually comes from tractor tyres, which of course means some work is going on in the fields and the soil is wet. I have known a few farmers and without exception they try to avoid working the land when the soil is wet. I suspect that sometimes they end up working wet ground because of time pressures and in spite of their own reservations about doing that. It is bad for the soil and, yes, it can bring a lot of crud onto adjacent roads.

How I feel about this mess is influenced by a number of factors. Firstly, agriculture is something we all depend on. We need food. Farming is important. It can also be messy and within reason we should accept a certain level of mess. If there is a film of mud on the road, I can live with that. But when it becomes large clumps I begin to think the farmer should be doing something about it.

Last week I noticed that a local farmer harvesting a late crop (possibly maize) had employed the services of a road sweeper (lorry thing) to try to contain the mess made by tractors taking large trailers of the crop down the road. He had also deployed warning signs to ask folk to slow due to a skid risk. Ten out of ten for that.

Mike Sales
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Re: Dirtiest roads

Postby Mike Sales » 22 Nov 2019, 8:46am

There is a field in our village where the gate leads into the middle of the village. After complaints the farmer cleans up after harvesting. Inevitably a film at least of mud is left.

ChrisButch
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Re: Dirtiest roads

Postby ChrisButch » 22 Nov 2019, 9:06am

pwa wrote:Farm mud on the road usually comes from tractor tyres, which of course means some work is going on in the fields and the soil is wet.I have known a few farmers and without exception they try to avoid working the land when the soil is wet.

In non-arable, livestock-dominated areas such as most of Devon tractors are working in fields year-round, the more so now that keeping stock out in the fields throughout the year is so common. Haylage etc is delivered to the cattle-feeders in the field, the immediate surroundings of which become a morass in the winter: so working in wet fields is often unavoidable. (Round here that means any time between September and May, except when there's a hard frost).

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Mick F
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Re: Dirtiest roads

Postby Mick F » 22 Nov 2019, 9:12am

Dirtiest roads I've cycled on were in Dunbartonshire.
Damp most of the year, so the roads were continually dirty. It was a constant battle to keep my bike clean despite mudguards.

Where we lived, there was a pathway between the houses, and there was a puddle there that never dried up in the two and a half years we lived there. No, it wasn't a water leak!
Mick F. Cornwall

peetee
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Re: Dirtiest roads

Postby peetee » 22 Nov 2019, 9:34am

It's pretty awful in west Cornwall but my new SKS Longboards are doing a brilliant job of keeping the bike clean in comparison to my previous 'long' mudguards.
Mind you, I would take this sort of muck any day to the awful stuff I used to contend with in Hampshire. The heavily trafficked roads there throw up a horrible dark grey mix that stains clothing and doesn't wash out.
Current status report:
Back on two wheels in deepest Pastyland and loving every minute. Mission: to enjoy big, bad hills again.

Darkman
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Re: Dirtiest roads

Postby Darkman » 22 Nov 2019, 10:47am

I live in south Lincs - big sugar beet country, and they harvest that from September right through to spring.

The amount of mud that gets dragged out onto the roads around here this time of year is horrendous, and it's bloody dangerous. They 'clean' the road, which gets most of the lumpy bits off, but it's still covered in loads of brown filth which is now spread evenly over the road surface. And they don't always clean it straight away anyway - it can be left 24 hours or more, especially on b-roads where they think nobody will notice - b-roads that don't get gritted.

I've complained to the council about it being left on the road before and they said "nowt to do with us, take it up with the gendarme".

One time the road was 'cleaned' by the farmers, and all the sludge had been "snow-ploughed" onto the footpath, covering it in three inches of mud (even covering one side of someone's wheelie bin), making it impassable on foot. Council didn't want anything to do with that, either.

Pretty sure if I went out and deliberately threw mud everywere, I'd get fined. Seems it's perfectly OK if you annoy everybody in a tractor, though.
Last edited by Graham on 22 Nov 2019, 8:57pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: mud

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Mick F
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Re: Dirtiest roads

Postby Mick F » 22 Nov 2019, 11:03am

peetee wrote: The heavily trafficked roads there throw up a horrible dark grey mix that stains clothing and doesn't wash out.
Yes, that was the stuff in Dunbartonshire.
Mick F. Cornwall

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al_yrpal
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Re: Dirtiest roads

Postby al_yrpal » 22 Nov 2019, 11:18am

I moved here to Devon from South Potholeshire and marvelled at the potehole free road surfaces. But, just recently Farmer Giles has been harvesting beet and whatnots with his humungous tractors and the roads are scattered with massive clods of red clay which they do absolutely nothing about. The centre of the lanes becomes a continuous slippery and dangerous mud ridge and my lovely bike gets bathed in the stuff.

Humbug!

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

CliveyT
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Re: Dirtiest roads

Postby CliveyT » 22 Nov 2019, 11:21am

Darkman wrote:I live in south Lincs - big sugar beet country, and they harvest that from September right through to spring.


Other issue with beet is it stays in the ground until the processor needs it and then the farmer has to harvest and transport it, regardless of what state the ground is in

gbnz
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Re: Dirtiest roads

Postby gbnz » 22 Nov 2019, 11:44am

Darkman wrote: Pretty sure if I went out and deliberately threw mud everywere, I'd get fined. Seems it's perfectly OK if you annoy everybody in a tractor, though.


Have to admit we've two local farmers with a dirtyrecord. Neither have much of an excuse, given that their "crops" are beef cattle and sheep I.e. No difficult harvesting sessions or dairy cattle requiring milking twice a day.

I find that the most satisfying response is to micturate in their farmyards when passing. There's something quite satisfying about it, particularly if there's a brand new Massey or John Deere to shower :wink: And I suppose I'm doing my bit, washing a bit of their filth of the road