Road Conditions: Drain Grates on Vassar Road near Red Oaks Mill

Apart from having a wheel-catcher grid, this one seems survivable:

Drain grate 1 - 43 Vassar Rd

Drain grate 1 – 43 Vassar Rd

You can avoid it as long as you stay alert.

This beauty, however, stops cars dead in their tracks:

Drain grate 2 - 35 Vassar Rd

Drain grate 2 – 35 Vassar Rd

Drivers who pass cars making a left turn into the strip mall on the other side slam to a stop if they’re lucky enough to see that crater before it claims their right front tire; the grid is about a foot down from grade. The scrapes and scuffs on the far side show that, if it wasn’t for bad luck, some folks wouldn’t have no luck at all.

Obviously, you can’t bicycle through that one.

This grate, directly across Vassar Road, would count as a serious pothole in any other context:

Drain grate 3 - 40 Vassar Rd

Drain grate 3 – 40 Vassar Rd

The pavement remains in better shape, because it’s just to the left of the strip mall entrance, but, again, the grate is about a foot below grade. Those scrapes on the far side suggest some folks didn’t notice that in time.

If I rode any further to the right, perhaps just on the other side of the fog line, my wheels would be on the steep slope from the fog line down to the grid. It’s survivable as long as you expect it and keep a tight grip on the handlebars.

Vassar Road, formally known as Dutchess County Route 77, forms part of NYS Bike Route 9.

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