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Older than Dirt
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I get frustrated about this time every spring. We live in the county and have about 1 1/2 to 2 miles of gravel to ride to get to a blacktop road. A few years back our good road grader operator retired and his job was taken over by a young kid. The road to the blacktop seemed to suddenly change to a mess of loose gravel.
The road has several hills and while not steep they go abruptly up and down. The "tops" are bare and the bottom portions are at usually as thick as 3" with sand and gravel. The base of the road is hardpan so this makes the surface like riding on marbles.
About 4 years ago I spoke nicely with the kid about all the loose gravel. My pleas fell on deaf ears. I visited the county's road department and spoke to his supervisor there. I was treated politely and the loose gravel was graded to the side after my visit. (I did this a couple of times.) About every couple of weeks he goes down our road and grades all the sand and gravel from one side of the road into a wind row in the middle of the road. Later he returns from the opposite direction at a fairly high rate of speed with his blade set about 2" above the road spreading the wind row all across the road about 2" thick.
During one confrontation in front of my house I asked him if he couldn't grade some of the gravel from the bottoms of the hills to the tops rather than have more hauled in and dumped. I also suggested that perhaps the length of his motor grader and his speed was causing his blade to go higher over the bottom of the dips depositing excess gravel there. His comment was that the rain was washing the gravel to the bottom of the hills. We had been in a 3 year drought at that time.
I told him the road was a death trap for a biker and his comment was that if I didn't like the way he was grading the road "I should move to town". I contacted the county commissioners but they only sent my letter to the road department whom I had already contacted. It is so frustrating to have such a road between me and a nice blacktop. It is like I have the county road department on speed dial and I am talking to someone who doesn't understand English. Whoever said "You can't fight city hall" must ride a motorcycle. Thanks for letting me blow off.
 

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Mississippi Cajun
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24,364 Posts
Refreshing to know that your county tax dollars allocated for road maintenance are so well spent. Keep up the harassment of your district rep. Get the neighbors involved and see what happens. Call the local TV station and see if you can get them out...they love to embarrass local pols with this sort of stuff.
The road dept. can't do much worse to you in the form of quality service, so have some fun with them while you're at it.
 

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Señor Member
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19,667 Posts
That kid isn't interested in improving his skills or performance. He's interested in you shutting up so he can go on slacking.
 

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You sound like you live on my road. Our old grader operator retired as well and he left things to a kid that couldn't care less. We even voted in a new commissioner which did absolutely no good. I asked why they can't put down road tar oil first sometime and slowly create a good road surface. They claimed the state won't let them do that so I wrote the state and they said that's the job of the county commissioner. One big circle jerk!!!!! I didn't no any other state than Texas had so many gravel roads. I got 3 1/2 miles of the junk and think I'll send them the bill when my belt breaks and has to be replaced. Wonder if they'll get the idea then? Probably not, they'll just ignore it saying it's not their problem and contact the state. JERKS!!!
 

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That really sucks. I can only imagine what a pain is the a$$ that is. I recently had a run in with a gravel parking lot, maybe 4 or 5 inches of loose gravel. It was all I could do to keep the bike moving. Slow down and I sink further, speed up and I fishtail all over the place. I got out OK, but I'll be avoiding that crap from now on. This was only about 40 FEET of the stuff, I can't imagine miles of it. Good luck man, I hope you get it resolved.
 

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I would think after the gravel area was regraded they could apply calcium or mag-chloride to help bind it together. It wouldn't be as nice as a emulsion and stone coating but it would help.
 

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From what I have learned road tar oil is no longer allowed to be used due to the polution it creates, lots of oil gets washed away during the first few rains. It has something to due with the DNR and wildlife preversation folks.

Grew up on gravel roads, 5 miles any direction before you found a paved road, learned the hard lesson of rideing to fast, lost a few pounds of flesh over my youth on those gravel roads.

If your road is well traveled, just use the tire tracks to ride out the gravel, if not, pick the outside edge, go slow, wild animals like to jump out you know.

Depending on how many home owners are on that strecth of road, the bill for paving should be devided up amoungst all.
 
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