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Paris - Roubaix

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I am sat here watching "The Hell of the North" in dismal, wet, rainy conditions, and recollecting some of my own experiences on rough roads.


We'd been up on some dubious construction roads in the new housing estates and we had been looking for a shortcut through a Chinese cemetery.  In retrospect, I can see where and how we went wrong, but we ended up in a plantation, and then, misunderstanding the answers to our misinterpreted questions, we found ourselves most definitely in the boondocks, on paths that were not an easy walk, let alone rideable on road bikes.  Some wrong turnings, an accidental loop back on ourselves, a second attempt at directions, and we found ourselves on a tarmac road through a little orang asli village.  You can imagine my relief on reaching tarmac.  There are two things I know about tarmac... tarmac roads are connected to other tarmac roads, and one of them leads past Sid's pub.  You can imagine my dismay when the road reverted to gravel.  I would hate to suffer that disappointment 30 or 40 times in one afternoon as each tarmac stage turned back into cobbled farm tracks, with a vision of dying of thirst and never tasting cider again.


Yesterday evening I was out on local roads that have been severely damaged by concrete trucks.  Coming down the hill I'd flitted through what I had taken to be a muddy stream - perhaps a blocked drain, and thought no more about it.  On the way home, perhaps much worse on that side of the road, I realised it was a big slab of freshly spilled wet concrete across the full width of the lane.  A scrubbing brush wasn't sufficient to get it all off, while a wire brush was just scuffing the paintwork something dreadful.  The worst of the concrete splashes are off now, but I might take the bike into work tomorrow and get the car wash guys to put the pressure jets on the residual concrete spots.



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