Once again I feel the need to vent, share, moan...some of these things might be peculiar to where I live, but if so take it as a warning, they could happen where you are!
Bad roads happen, it is normal, but when you are out for a ride and you notice a road because it has a good surface, maybe things have gone a little too far. Shouldn’t the norm should be a good road? Near where I live is a main road between two large towns. The road itself is in pretty good condition, except for the middle of it. You see the latest surface was laid in two parts, keeping one lane open while the other was worked on. This is of course totally normal, except they have managed to make one lane about 5cm (2 inches) higher than the other. This might not sound a lot but you try hitting that while overtaking a car, it certainly makes life a lot more interesting.
As does the white paint they use over here in France for road markings. In the wet it is slippery as ice, I know, trust me! The French motorcycle action group, the FFMC has managed to get the law to specify a certain type of non slip paint to be used, but this takes time to implement and so many white lines are still there, lurking, waiting, ready to pounce on the unsuspecting. Much worse than that though is a very French habit of putting pedestrian crossings on the exits of roundabouts, honestly, you reach your exit on the roundabout and suddenly there is a troop of people crossing the road in front of you. You have to stop or kill them and so run the very real risk of having someone ram you in the back, bloody intelligent or what? Oh and in the village next to mine they have three pedestrian crossings, all well and good, except they are all in the space of 100 meters, really I just want to know why?
Could this ever be a good idea?
Another pet hate of mine are people who say “be careful” or “take care” every time I go out on my bike. I know they mean well, and it is just because they care, but do they really think I am not aware of the dangers when I ride? I am a grown up, sort of, and so I am meant to be responsible. It is nice that they think about me, I really wish they would keep it to themselves.
I couldn’t stop today without mentioning this one…you see them, walking towards you in the street, they come up, stand beside you and say “nice bike”, not so bad you might think, but then they say, “I used to have a bike”. Your heart sinks, you know what is going to come, the sob story about having to sell it for the wife, kids, house etc . Then will come the tale about how fast he was, and how fast his bike was and how they don’t make them like they used to. When it gets to that point I usually want to say “Thank F..k for that” and punch them, but most times I suffer through it and get to the “ I am thinking of buying another one” part of the conversation. The worst are of course the old men, they really do believe that bikes were better when the suspension was crap, the electrics shorted out in the rain, the engines couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding and the frames had a hinge in the middle. You will never convince them that a modern bike can have a soul but then you will never convince them that anything in modern life is better than “when they were a boy”.
Enough venting for today, the sun is out and the sky is blue, time to go and avoid white lines and dodgy road surfaces and if I don’t stop nobody will talk to me. Sounds like an excellent plan!