Its amazing the amount of absolute crap you see on the roads when you slow down to cycling speeds… glass, metal, bits of builders’ rubble, bits of garden rubbish. Cycle lanes end up full of the stuff and then people on bikes riding legally “as far to the left as practicable” end up completely outside the bike lane and must endure the ire of ignorant people in cars.
Unfortunately all the well-meaning bleeding hearts with “cyclists’ best interests at heart” seem to want to build more special purpose bike lanes, forgetting that what keeps all the crap out of the roadway is the traffic running over it and flicking it off to the left and right — you build a chunk of road that cars can’t drive on and that’s the bit of the road that ends up with all the crap in it!
One of the worst sections I see every day is the bridge over the railway on North road at Huntingdale — in either direction the bike lane is full of glass, wire, rocks, nails and bolts… and the odd washing machine part, metre-high weed and chunk of wall board.
Last night an ominous ka-pow from under the back tyre soon proved correct as yet another piece of crap ripped through the tyre on much the same piece of road that delivered my last puncture. This morning I found that a cycling cow-orker has three stitches in his leg, a tetanus injection and a course of antibiotics as a result of gash from a piece of metal that flew up and hit him from junk in the bike lane.
At least I finally managed to find the contact details for VicRoads to report hazards and glass on the roads; Bicycle Victoria has the phone number and a dud URL, so I’ll try 13 11 74, then option 4, then lots more voice mail options, then hopefully a person. Five minutes on hold and still no person, so hang up and look around the VicRoads site and finally find http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home/AboutVicRoads/ContactUs/FeedbackAndEnquiries.htm, then submit one hazard report to VicRoads and one webpage update to Bike Vic.