Cycling in Melbourne Australia
Interesting report in The Age today:
Spills prompt bike-lane safety fears
A Melbourne council is examining the safety of its bicycle lanes after a rider claimed he was seriously injured when he crashed on green "safety" paint that had become dangerously slippery after rain.
Bicycle Victoria has also received a number of complaints from cyclists who say their tyres have lost traction on the green paint in Yarra City Council following a downpour.
Anyone else noticed this?
Well lankymanX2, I am the person in question who you refer to as a "mufty".
For the record, I was not out to win any Tour stages at the time of the accident. I was riding casually, but carefully, barely pushing 20km/h, most likely around 10-15km/h by the time I came to the corner.
I am a keen cyclist, having ridden bicycles since an early age and have commuted by bike for a number of years.
I cannot over-emphasise how slippery the corner was at the time I went down. I had NO traction. I was riding on standard 25mm road tyres, Vittoria Zaffiros from memory, the kind of tyres which I've ridden on for many years with zero problems in the wet.
I don't care for the supposed results of the engineering tests. I know what I experienced. If you take a closer look at the lane (as well as many others sections around Yarra, particularly other parts of Gipps St) you will see that the surface is not of a uniform layering. Some sections seem to retain the grittiness with the crushed quartz type of stuff, other parts basically look like any other painted surface on a roadway, i.e. - white paint. Interestingly enough, after I managed to scramble off to the side of the road I did see at least two other wild narrow skid marks through the lane, perhaps from other cyclists who had experienced a similar situation prior to my fall. At the time, the lane was barely wet, as it had been spitting, not pouring rain, thus the worst time for a potential road accident, as anyone who cycles or drives knows.
Just so you know, I am still injured, with what is looking like a permanently damaged knee. After many sessions of physio, gym, specialist appointments, scans etc, I still have pain and am unable to obtain a full bend, which severely inhibits things I encounter on a daily basis.
I am not looking for sympathy, but more hoping that in the future you think a little about the person involved before you publish something for public digestion from the safety of your hidden keyboard, acting like an authority on a situation you know little to nothing about.
With no intention to criticise, Leigh, just curious and keen to help, may I ask if there were any road surface factors besides the green paint. I've noticed in a couple of places on St Kilda Rd where the green paint's been plonked down over bumps and subsidance with no effort to fix the road surface. The effect tends to camoflage the "bump", so do you recall feeling any sort of bump at the time your bike went out from under you? If somebody hit a bump at the apex of a corner, they'd experience a loss of traction like you describe and it wouldn't necessarily need to be a big bump.
It seems to me from my experience of green paint in and around my routes is safety issues arising from how it's been laid rather than the actual surface material itself, and your tyres shouldn't have been any problem. I run Vittoria tyres on my road bike and they're like glue, even in the wet.
No, there are no discernible bumps to speak of where I went down. I honestly believe that it was a number of factors that contributed to the crash, though I place most of the blame on the actual paint itself. Yes, it was damp, yes, there is a noticeable camber to the corner, and yes, the surface was only about a week or so old at that stage, but never before had I experienced on a wet road what I did that evening.
I agree somewhat with your idea that the problem lies in the application, not in the surface itself. If you ever ride around that area, go slow and have a look at how much variation there is the lanes on Gipps and Nicholson streets alone.
I will also state for the record that I did not approach The Age about constructing an article around my accident. That came about, without my consent or knowledge, through correspondence that I previously had with Bicycle Victoria. The article that appeared in the Melbourne Weekly paper I was interviewed for, but not that one. I do like the title of "Bicycle Engineer" though; it makes being covered in grease all day long seem more important and prestigious than it really is. :)
I'm sure by now you thought you would not here anymore comments regarding your fall.
I'm involved in a business that colours recycled glass for the use in bike lanes, bus lanes, pools, decorative and many other needs.
I read about your fall around the middle of last year and went out to inspect what product had been used for the bike lane. As a cyclist myself I thought straight away it would be a cheap paint finish and not Coloured Recycled Glass.
Apart from the fact that we have developed a use for our unwanted glass that we dispose of everyday, we have developed an excellent safe product for the use in bike lanes. When it’s wet unlike paint finishes it has high levels of antiskid. At night it has great reflectivity as the glass shines in the lights.
Most Vic Roads use coloured recycled glass but councils seem to go for cheaper paint finishes even knowing the longevity of coloured recycled glass. The glass is 2-3mm thick clear with a green colour coating. Even when the top surface comes off the colour will shine from underneath. This means it will last until the glass has worn completely. St Kilda Road bike lanes have been there for 8 years and have never been replaced.
The most important thing to us as cyclist is that it adds safety to bike lanes and not a concern on a raining day.
We made contact with the council regards our product but no response. We also have tried to ring Bicycle Victoria but have not had a return call.
Anyway I just wanted to share some knowledge about our product.
Any comment on the sharpness of the individual pieces of glass. There seems to be widespread comment regarding an higher incidence of punctures shortly after it is laid down.
I can understand how this could be the perception as we all hate puncture’s.
For safety the glass is tumbled to take off sharp edges. Our glass is laid in garden beds as a loose decorative product. I can squeeze tightly it in my hand without it cutting into my skin so I can’t imagine it cutting into tyres.
I hope this helps ease your mind.
Not my personal experience, but again, just basing it on the experiences of others, (the thread linked to, and discussions on other fora) there was certainly green glass in their tyres.
Could it be that during the laying process, or perhaps, with the (repeated) pressure of car tyres, some of the glass beads shatter? The shards must come from somewhere. (I think the latter makes sense, and also why there's a higher incidence shortly after its laid, as there is loose glass product lying around, not secured in the goop.)
Your right I have also seen after laying that the contractors leave excess product lying around. Saying that I'm surprised it has punctured a tyre and if you know a link that I could see this it would be appreciated. Cheers Paul
Paul - linked to a thread above. This one.