Rumbles

“ARE YOU READY TO RUMBLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLE?”

Yes I tried to ride over each rumble strip on the route again this year. On 700C x 28s. Some rumble strips were barely there while a few were expectantly rougher that normal. And I did miss a few. I had no flats and no crashes. I did see many close calls where riders would swerve to miss them both left and right. It was almost comical to hear so many riders worried about my safety when I rode right up the middle. I certainly don’t recommend anyone else to ride the rumbles unless they are prepared. But it proves you can ride across rumble strips and survive.

10 Replies

GORDON BROWN, August 4, 2014 at 1:42 pm

I thought it was interesting the amount of stuff one would see on the road from bikes after rumble strips. Most common was head and tail lights and the lenses off of them.

#857503

michael courtney, August 4, 2014 at 3:58 pm

I rode across plenty of rumbles on 23’s, 0 flats. From what I saw it seemed much more dangerous to try to swerve right or left and try to merge with the other riders. Key thing is rumbles are just that, rumbles slow down hold your line and you will be fine.

#857818

sipako, August 5, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Fear-of-rumble-crashes seem like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because people are frightened, they swerve suddenly, brake without warning, group closer than their bike handling skills allow, and get very tense. If you relax and go straight across, you’ll be fine. I go across them unless there’s a lot of space. Best to stay away from tense riders.

I saw one crash on the rumbles this year. At the last minute, a large group squeezed into one lane, slowed, braked, and tires touched. A woman went down on her forearm, didn’t look broken but I’ll bet it hurt and shook her up.

#859743

sipako, August 5, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Fear-of-rumble-crashes seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because people are frightened, they swerve suddenly, brake without warning, group closer than their bike handling skills allow, and get very tense. If you relax and go straight across, you’ll be fine. I go across them unless there’s a lot of space. Best to stay away from tense riders.

I saw one crash on the rumbles this year. At the last minute, a large group squeezed into one lane, slowed, braked, and tires touched. A woman went down on her forearm, didn’t look broken but I’ll bet it hurt and shook her up.

#859749

SSC1, August 5, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Rumbles at the bottom of one of the big hills on the last day were a real problem. I am a heavy rider – and my wheelset can take my weight. However, when exceeding 30 mph on a downhill and hitting those rumbles at that speed – relaxed or not – I worry about blowing a spoke or a tire. They should have marked the rumbles with bright paint before the rumbles……

#859968

KC, August 5, 2014 at 7:48 pm

I know a single rider’s experiences are not a large enough sample to draw any conclusions, but I swear in 2012, there were more accidents caused by people trying to swerve to avoid rumbles than anything else. I think I saw five accidents that year and four of them were around rumbles.

I haven’t noticed as many the last couple years, but, again, that’s just one rider’s experiences and I may not have been in the right place at the right time (so to speak).

#861461

David, August 5, 2014 at 8:15 pm

I don’t try to hit each rumble strip (at least I don’t cross lanes to purposely hit them) but I go over most that are in front of me. They are smoothest in the drops, arch your back like a cat about to land and just power over them.

I also run 700 x 23 tubeless at 40 psi front and 60 rear. So a lot better absorption than most. Usually much better than the people that have inevitably started drafting. I have had random drafters complain about crossing them…

But I also grew up on gravel roads with plenty of washboard type ripples and all the other fun of gravel roads.

#861474

Corey, August 6, 2014 at 7:50 am

Rumbles felt fine as the captain of a tandem with 32mm tires. In fact, my 9 year old stoker daughter liked going over them and was disappointed when we missed a few.

#862147

ts, August 8, 2014 at 12:42 am

I hate the last minute swerving that people do to avoid rumbles. It’s not like they’re placed randomly like booby traps – you always know exactly where they will be! And typically there will be a few hundred people in front of you pointing them out just in case you didn’t notice the upcoming intersection. If you can’t plan ahead and position yourself to miss them, then just go over them – it’s not the end of the world.

#868067

jwsknk, August 8, 2014 at 7:55 am

worst was probably the last day. and those down the centerline of that nice pretty new road. is there that big of a problem with head on crashes in that area or is that a sign of things to come?

#868616

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