|The damage to my wheel today, thanks to rough roads!|
I can imagine an elderly person, with limited mobility, tripping over and breaking a hip. Or a motorcyclist hitting a 5 inch deep hole and being sent over the bars. These things can kill, at the very least they can damage your property.
So today when I awoke early knowing that the weather would be probably the first warm day of the year, I donned my Castelli cycling shorts and got on the saddle for an hour. I had intended to ride further but heading into my 12th mile I heard that resounding "pop!" every cyclist knows and dreads - a spoke had broken. I limped home the 2 further miles, pissed off at yet further expense.
The last two times road surfacing has caused damage to my bikes I wrote to Southampton City Council to ask that they a) fix the roads and b) pay the bloody costs of my repairs. I never even got a "fuck off" in reply. Something is seriously going wrong at the transport department if they even fail to give a response. I did however manage to get Jacqui Rayment the Transport cabinet member for the council to give a response on the recent "CYCLISTS DISMOUNT" signs. They were duly removed. I've repeated my complaint via twitter to the same lady - perhaps this is a way to get the Council's attention?
I may not be a lightweight (a hard physical job and a love of food mean I currently top out just over 15 stone, if I could box I'd be a heavyweight punchbag) but I choose my bikes and wheels accordingly. A bicycle is a remarkably strong device, far stronger than a lot of people realise. 32 and 36 spoked wheels with good rims and thicker spokes will take some reasonable punishment - the trouble is this area is fast becoming mountain biking territory as the undulations and holes are now quite unreasonable.
Christ knows how much money I've lost to this in the past couple of years alone.