Road Conditions: Rt 376 Northbound – Diddell to New Hackensack

Entering Rt 376 from Diddell Road after leaving the Dutchess Rail Trail:

Rt 376 - Diddell to New Hackensack - 1

Rt 376 – Diddell to New Hackensack – 1

All of Rt 376 has thick gravel along the shoulder from the deteriorating asphalt.

The wheel-trapping longitudinal cracks on the shoulder show where the previous surface extended beyond the bottom paving layer. Basically, you must ride to the right of the edge of the “new” cap over the travel lane and left of the parallel cracks:

Rt 376 - Diddell to New Hackensack - 2

Rt 376 – Diddell to New Hackensack – 2

Sometimes, you must use the road surface. Fortunately, it’s not too bad at this spot:

Rt 376 - Diddell to New Hackensack - 3

Rt 376 – Diddell to New Hackensack – 3

But it quickly returns to normal:

Rt 376 - Diddell to New Hackensack - 4

Rt 376 – Diddell to New Hackensack – 4

In some places, the travel lane is developing longitudinal cracks, so moving off the shoulder will require taking the lane:

Rt 376 - Diddell to New Hackensack - 5

Rt 376 – Diddell to New Hackensack – 5

Chooosing your line requires the ability to ride precisely between gravel, cracks, and traffic:

Rt 376 - Diddell to New Hackensack - 6

Rt 376 – Diddell to New Hackensack – 6

I can ride along this plateau every time, but it seems unreasonable to expect that level of ability from every bicyclist:

Rt 376 - Diddell to New Hackensack - 7

Rt 376 – Diddell to New Hackensack – 7

In this spot, the potholes expose three layers of paving. The only “safe” line seems to be on the very edge of the “new” cap, just to the right of the potholes:

Rt 376 - Diddell to New Hackensack - 8

Rt 376 – Diddell to New Hackensack – 8

The “new” cap didn’t adhere to the previous asphalt very well, perhaps because the thickness dropped below the spec. I’m crossing the travel lane to reach the left turn storage lane at the New Hackensack signal, having avoided a drain grate that occupies the ever-narrowing shoulder:

Rt 376 - Diddell to New Hackensack - 9

Rt 376 – Diddell to New Hackensack – 9

A map showing the route:

Rt 376 - Diddell to New Hackensack - map

Rt 376 – Diddell to New Hackensack – map

[Edit: A comment from someone who shall remain anonymous:

This person has found an amusing way to get attention to potholes: he just adds a penis drawing to the pothole with spray paint.

https://www.minds.com/blog/view/643183911223963656

Well, there goes my PG rating…]

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  1. #1 by smellsofbikes on 2015-06-08 - 11:37

    Time for some of those 4″ wide Moonlander tires all the hip kids are riding… I believe Surly even offers a 5″ wide tire. Wouldn’t THAT be fun to trundle along with all day long.

  2. #2 by smellsofbikes on 2015-06-08 - 11:40

    This, by the way, is one reason I’ve been reluctant to embrace trikes, despite how fast and fun they are: right now all I need is a clear strip the width of my hand and I can make it through anything. (In fact, since I’m on a 14 pound upright bike, I don’t even mind foot-wide foot-deep holes, as I can jump them.) On a trike, stuff like trash cans and potholes mean I’m waaaay out in the lane. Which I’m legally allowed to do, but that doesn’t help much if I get hit.

    • #3 by Ed on 2015-06-08 - 12:20

      Aye, trikes are the most fun you can have with your clothes on, but three tire tracks flat-out (pun intended) don’t fit on the roads around here.

      Every now and again, I hear a woman’s voice saying “Pull up! Pull up!”…

    • #4 by Red County Pete on 2015-06-08 - 15:56

      Yep. Getting the recumbent trike was a mistake–should have gone for a T’easy or other such bike. Commuting in the SF bay area on a trike was, er, terrifying interesting