Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bike Traps: The concrete blob (Part I)

The concrete blob. It's not the most dangerous bike trap. But it is by far the most pervasive one in Guangzhou. They are everywhere!

I'm not sure how exactly they get created. I'm guessing there's some leftover cement on the chute on the back of the millions of cement trucks that rumble around Guangzhou everyday. The stuff eventually slides down and plops on the street like a big pile of chunky peanut butter. Or it's dribbled, making a long bumpy line. It often just dries into a mound, or a car or truck will run over it, creating an extra dangerous obstacle with ruts, ridges and dodgy edges.

Concrete blobs usually aren't big enough to knock you off your bike, unless you hit one at high speed when riding with one hand while the other hand is holding a water bottle or fishing a snack out of your back jersey pocket. The biggest danger is that they throw you off your line and cause you to ride into traffic. They can also be hard to see because they often blend in with the road. I've never seen road crews removing them. Once they've been born, they're permanent fixtures, unless some righteous roadie takes a stand. To be continued ...

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