Blacktop Cadence: It's Tarmac!

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You've walked on it. You've most likely skinned your knees on it while playing kickball or four-square. We're willing to bet you've hooned on it. Yes friends, it's the reason we're not all driving Land Rovers today: it's tarmac! An evolution of John Loudon McAdam's road-building system, which involved breaking rocks in the hot sun, tarmac — introduced by E. Purnell Hooley as a way to cut down on dust produced by the vacuum created by fast-moving vehicles — used a crushed-stone aggregate bound with tar.

However, what we refer to as tarmac today is asphalt. Rather than a process, asphalt is correctly the binding substance of the aggregate; the term for the road-surface material itself is "asphalt concrete." There you go. The tarmac your Yokohamas love is most likely actually asphalt concrete. Who knew that we'd been lied to all along?


Asphalt Concrete [Wikipedia]

Jalopnik Road Trip Report: Sevening on the Tail of the Dragon [Internal]

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