Potholes and gravel are big problems this time of year for cyclists and ones that have to be dealt with unless you want to either not ride or hop on the trainer. Here are some tips to deal with these dangers
- Be aware that potholes can often exists in places hard to see such has shadows from trees or buildings.
- Be very careful when drafting, especially in packs larger than 5 as the riders behind are VERY dependent on front riders to call out potholes. Some will ride just to the left or ride of the front cyclist to give them their own view of the road ahead.
- Riding on gravel is not in it self dangerous but changing your velocity or direction can be so give yourself lots of time to slow down for an upcoming turn. Worse yet is when the shoulder/path is clear of gravel/sand but the corner is and is not noticed until it is too late. Be defensive against road conditions and during this time of year expect nearly all corners to have some level of gravel on it, regardless of what the lead up to the corner is like
- Be VERY careful on the front break in gravel/sand, you can use it but too much and you will be down a lot sooner than you would have ever expected!
- Use training tires like Gator skins. Some cyclists avoid the wonderful shoulders because of fear of flats or scratches from sand being kicked up. Training tires do amazing job or preventing flats and while they may weigh a bit more the time you save and the risk you avoid can be worth it.
So what are your suggestions/tips for avoiding potholes and riding with gravel/sand?