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Pothole Gauge

Advises on depth of waterfilled potholes
  [vote for,

Every cyclist knows how difficult it is to gauge the depth of a waterfilled depression in the road surface. Is it an inch deep and thus relatively safe to ride through? Or is it a pothole deep enough to fold a wheel in half and pitch the rider under the wheels of a bus? The time available to make such life and death assessments is often very short, as is the average lifespan of cyclists who get it wrong..

I propose a 'Kinell Gauge' mounted within each one-metre length of kerbstone along the road edge. This device would incorporate a microphone capable of recognizing the word 'kinell' as uttered by cyclists hitting potholes, and the volume of the shout, be it "kinell" or "KINELL" or KIN-NELL !!!" would be taken to indicate the depth of the hole, and a flag of similar height would pop up out of the top of the kerbstone at that point and remain on show for any cyclist coming along later. It would be of little use to the first cyclist of the day but that person will at least have the satisfaction of knowing that, if they do go under that bus, their experience will have been of benefit to countless others.

After a period of dry weather (say 24 hours?) the flag will automatically slide back down into the kerbstone from where it emerged, as in dry weather the pothole depth will be obvious.

Cyclists worldwide would need to adopt a standardised expletive. I have suggested "kinell!" but if the system caught on I daresay the cycling fraternity would opt for whatever is the most universally acceptable alternative. (The word I have used is normally uttered as three syllables, the first of which has been omitted for presentational purposes.)

Mygo, Oct 21 2001


       is avoiding them not an option?
dekoi, Oct 21 2001

       Sadly, not always, Dekoi. With kerbstones to the left and juggernauts a few inches to the right, the luxury of being able to steer around potholes is not always available. Screeching to a halt is often the better bet in such situations, but one needs to know whether to do so.
Mygo, Oct 21 2001

       I regularly encounter dangerous potholes cycling in London, but the problem isn't really assessing how deep they are - it's the fact that they're there, causing you to either stop suddenly or veer in front of fast moving traffic to your right. [Mygo] Try hopping over them - most bikes are easy enough to bunny-hop to clear the sort of distance that is usually involved.
stupop, Oct 22 2001

       ride on the pavement, illegal i know, but use in your defence "i'd ride on the roads if i could officer, but them damn potholes"
dekoi, Oct 22 2001


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