Much ado about…..


Black Ice. It’s Still March Ya Know.

Posted by gottabkd on Monday, March 19, 2007

And the snow is still falling.

By now, Canadians are getting tired of the winter…. and this year is no different and today we woke up to more of it, snow that is. Right now there is a nice little blanket of it covering everything….. and it’s still falling.

But having said that, during the heat wave of last week, I was shocked to see the die-hard riders garn their gear and hit the road. There were so many of them I was sure spring had arrived. OK, so it wasn’t really a heat-wave, but it was a balmy 6 degrees above zero and that gives every biker the itch to ride. And with EST happening three weeks earlier, to us die-hards, that means the sun is available longer during the day, which allows the roads to get warmer and stay that way while the sun shines.

A riders biggest fear during colder weather is black ice . Typically caused when the snow melts during the day and then refreezes when the temperature drops, thus leaving a sheen on the road that is indistinguishable from the road beneath it to a puddle or an ice patch. When we ride too early in the season or too late in the fall, this can be a major hazard to a riders ability. It can cause the best riders to unnecessarily sweat in their leathers (or winter gear in this case) and is why you never see any rider during the evening hours of sunset to sunrise, no matter how warm it gets.

In an earlier article called "And I survived" , I wrote about driving my bike all year round and learned all too quickly how black ice can be the peril of a rider. As it turned out, I got lucky and never had the opportunity to kiss the pavement, but I did learn some valuable skills when dealing with the black stuff. Through trial and error, and speaking to the boys with more experience that I, I learned the best way to handle the slippery stuff is to just keep going. Glide over the ice while not changing anything while doing that; keeping speed the same, no sudden movement of the handlebars and for heavens sake, NO BRAKING! If these factors are maintained, you can learn to handle this treacherous nuisance while keeping yourself save and allow your eager itch to be satisfied just the same.

As I get older, taking less risk seems to be the norm for me… so while I wait for Spring to arrive, I will watch the die-hards take to the roads where they can learn what I already know. All I ask is that you stay safe and ride smart while doing that…..

Till Next Time…..Tags: , , , ,

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