September 17, 2019 at 8:17 am #4025
Yesterday afternoon on my cycle home I met another unfortunate cyclist who had a nasty fall on the Ridgeway. I actually came off at the exact same spot last month and also did myself quite a bit of damage.
The offending bit of track is a downhill section made up of an exposed chalk surface as you approach the Ridgeway from Starveall Road, just outside of Aldworth.
The majority of the time this track, despite being quite rutted, is perfectly safe to cycle on but after a shower the surface becomes an ice rink and can catch out an unwary cyclist going at speed. It’s a mistake I make on average once a year.
Has anyone else been caught out on this section before? Is there anyway of finding out who has responsibility for this section of track as it could do with resurfacing or at the very least some signage being put up to warn users of the track, or is this just wishful thinking?
September 17, 2019 at 7:50 pm #4026
If the track is a right of way open to cyclists, such as a bridleway or byway, then you could try contacting the county council’s rights of way officer. Emphasise that cyclists have been injured due to the surface.
September 18, 2019 at 10:07 am #4030
Hi, do you mean the chalky drop/climb near Roden Downs (as noted on OS maps)? If so, some mountain bikers enjoy that part because of it’s technical features. It is good to improve safety of course, some may say resurfacing that stretch with hardpack could make it dull, others would say it would make it usable. It’s a natural trail after all.
September 18, 2019 at 2:29 pm #4032
The exposed chalky bits of the Ridgeway can be treacherous after light rain as it does become very slippery. There’s not much that can be done about it being that it is just the local geology being exposed. Top dressing it won’t help as it would soon be eroded to expose the chalk again.
I know the section well and unfortunately it just needs extra care after rainfall. Tyre choice and running a lower pressure should help in those situations. There is actually a worse bit if you follow the course of the Ridgeway from where you describe towards Streatley (the “chalk and flint climb”). Its a great commute route though in dry conditions.
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