Spring is coming. Really. Even if you're still bundled up, you're desperate to put away your snow shovel, and you're watching your heating bills soar because a polar vortex has parked itself in your back yard. Even so. It's a sure sign that spring is coming when potholes appear everywhere on the roads.
You can learn all about how potholes are born at this site, which includes nice graphics and a short video.
While it's below-freezing temperatures that start the process of pothole making, it is after the thaw that the potholes actually form, and get to work putting dents into your wheels, sometimes the underside of your car, and always, ultimately, your checkbook.
The other day I was riding with a friend who drove his Jeep, at highway speed, through a pothole that must have been nearly two feet wide and at least eight inches deep. I'm not sure my brave Golf would have survived that pothole. As for the Jeep, the physical rattling reverberated in that car for quite a while afterwards, and my friend's cursing for much longer.
But while a new set of shock absorbers can set you back by hundreds of dollars, safety is a bigger issue around potholes. They are a real menace to motorcycle riders. Even in a car, swerving to avoid them can easily get you into the next lane, which is a real problem if the next lane happens to be the only other lane on the road: the one with the oncoming traffic.