Road to Ruin

I cycle to and from work every weekday.  At least I did until recently.  A section of road I normally use has been closed and I’m not happy with the alternatives.  One route is a busy, but narrow, trunk road and the other is steep and twisting then single track and all unlit: it’s pitch black from about 4.30pm.  So there goes my 15 mile daily round trip commute and my fitness levels.  A bit frustrating.

We see and hear plenty of stories of roads being upgraded extended or new roads being built.  Roads have helped shaped and define the environment, both natural and man-made. (Inrng wrote a great piece about this within the context of cycling here)

But what happens to a road when it’s closed or falls in to disuse?  When the very reason for the road’s existence is denied?

The other day I took a walk past the empty road and managed to get on to the tarmac.  The picture below shows the road at 12.30pm and despite the day being quite sunny you can still see frost on the surface.

a road

If the temperature keeps dropping over the coming weeks then there will be snow and ice on there.  And with no gritters coming along the road could start to crack and eventually revert ‘back to nature’ I guess.  A simple road like this will achieve no lasting fame as ancient Roman roads or Oriental trading routes.  It doesn’t even have a Strava section on it.

This road will survive, however, as it is due to be reopened in February 2013 and I can get back to the daily cycle commute.


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