Cyclists offer few details on pavement test ride

ktanner@thetribunenews.comJuly 16, 2013 

An arrow marker in the newly paved section of Highway 1 is littered with loose pieces of the new larger paving aggregate.


Local bicyclists who took part in a test-ride on Highway 198 south of King City on Saturday are keeping mum about their take on various fixes Caltrans tried there in an effort to find the best treatment to smooth over a rough patch of North Coast highway.

About two dozen bicyclists, including riders from the San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club and the Slabtown Rollers Cycling Club of Cambria, checked out eight different paving treatments applied to an area that had gotten the same kind of chip-seal applied last fall to about 20 miles of Highway 1 between Cambria and the Monterey County line.

Test officials asked cyclists not to reveal details of the process or opinions on whether there seems to be a feasible fix, according to Slabtown Rollers spokesman David Lacey.

“UC Davis wants to go through their process … and we don’t want them to feel like we’re trying to jump the gun with too much field chatter,” he said. “I’m not doing anything to mess this up.”

Cyclists rode on each test section on their own bikes, then turned around and rode back. They then drove their motor vehicles on the test patches.

“Raw data may be available in three to four weeks,” according to Caltrans spokesman Jim Shivers, but he added that the timeline for the final report and recommendation is still undetermined.

Additional “texture testing” is scheduled in the next couple of weeks, he added.

The state road agency hired the UC Davis Pavement Research Center, which led Saturday’s test. The center is compiling the test results and determining the best solution.

Lacey said, “The bottom line is, we all want to have that road fixed. … We feel privileged to be asked to participate and are anxiously awaiting the results. … My sense is we’re going to get there.”

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