Commuting’s greatest enemy is glass on the road. Daily interactions with cars and other road users are normally cordial enough and I believe that for the safe rider, this area that dominates discussion is over emphasised.
Glass removal is not sufficiently well managed. VicRoads will address problem sites if contacted although they apparently only react to areas that they designate a problem and acknowledge that it is difficult to notice the debris we cyclists are affected by. My council, for example, cleans the streets once a month and so the same pile of glass can be encountered for weeks at a time. This causes cyclists to move into the line of traffic or suffer potential flat tyres.
I am relatively capable of wiping the tyres with my glove, although the tyres are usually already cut and it is unusual to wear a tyre down before it needs to be replaced. This takes away some of the environmental gain of the commute.
There are durable tyres on the market, or self sealing tubes, and mtb tyres are less affected, although long commutes are far easier on road bikes with lightweight tyre/tube combinations.
My son has suggested getting drunken idiots off the streets, although I am wondering if councils and VicRoads could be doing more to address this issue.
Mark Friedlander, Frankston, VIC
Glass, rubbish, potholes, leaves- all the debris that traffic produces often ends up on the side of the road, right into the path of bike riders.
Tell us- what do you think can be done to reduce the amount of debris in the bike lanes?
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