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Grinded Road

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by nina, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. Last Saturday night I had one 'oh Shit' moment, of which I was wondering whether I could've reacted in a better way.

    I was going to a mate's house that night. Haven't been at his place for months, so I never went there with my bike, meaning I wasn't familiar with the roads. It was dark, and just as I was about to leave my house it started to drizzle -> wet roads.
    I really wanted to get there though, so I put on my plastics and off I went.

    It all went good, until I encountered this one road: in the left lane were parked cars, leaving little remaining space until a painted line marked the beginning of the right lane. The right lane had tram tracks running in its centre. Not wanting to be too close to be the parked cars, or to be going on the white line, I chose to ride on the right lane in between the tram tracks. Which went just fine, until I reached those (100?) metres where the road in between the tracks was grinded in such a way, that very rough rills were created. Now it was grinded in the way the lane was going, so the rills were running in the direction I was riding. Man, my heart started racing when I realized what I had gotten onto, my knees instinctively grabbing the bike as tight as they could. The bike was more or less stuck in it's track and started to slip and slide according to the rills; I hardly grabbed the handlebars at all, not wanting to disturb the bike and pull her wheels in an angle to the tracks.
    I was so glad when the sliding and slipping stopped as the area of grinded road was finished and I had a normal road surface, giving me my usual grip back!

    I have learnt one thing: if it's dark and wet, don't ride any roads you don't know well!

    But what I haven't learnt: what should I do next time, if I encounter the same problem?
    Just hanging in there, hoping there won't be any corner coming up as long as I'm on that grinded bit on the road, was a really scary thing!
  2. According to the author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Motorcycles" these grooves in the road surface feel less safe than they actually are. (p.185)

    But the first time I rode through them I sure wish I had a spare pair of trousers.
  3. Don't know that book... It felt reeeaaaally slippery though. Maybe if they're dry they're OK, but if they get wet, they're very bad? I didn't dare to try to steer away from them, just sat there and prayed for it to be over soon.
  4. not riding a road you dont know if its dark and wet is hardly the lesson you need to take away from this buddy.

    Focus on your SRs and staying relaxed on the bike and calm. watch twist of the wrist, it will teach you how to respond to unsettling situations well.
  5. Get hold of a dirt bike and RIDE,if your answer is to "pray for it to be over"--sell your bike now-you will die.
  6. It's a good book, but like the title suggests it covers some really basic stuff. Still, I'd recommend it if you've ridden less than a year, especially as it helps you to get a wider perspective of the motorcycling world.

    If you're in the situation again, just relax, slow down a little if it makes you more comfortable, and focus on where you're headed.
  7. Take some sammiches.
  8. Entertain at home.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Unconnected has made the main point, work on your S/Rs there will always be moments on the road where the conditions are not what you expected. Freezing up is not good, you need to be able to assess your options as coolly as you can. Sounds difficult and it is difficult, but you need to work on it. Saying I won't ride somewhere because I don't know it will severely limit you.

    Grip the tank - Good, Gentle on the inputs Good. It does feel a lot worse than it is, trust your tyres. If you are forced to make a change of direction then do it gently. Tram tracks cross as broadly as you can. You are thinking about these things and that is best of all. :)
  10. Keep your head up, don't look down and relax.

    The bike will cope fine if you relax and let it do it's thing.

    Having said that, the reality is a lot more difficult than the theory.

    Talk to me about it when I see you next.

  11. Try one of the timber bridges with the wood exposed, Their fun,
  12. My first experience with scored bitumen was on a sharpish roundabout, now that was a fairly tense few moments!!. I later learned that there is more grip there than you think, even though it feels really unstable. The more you ride on imperfect roads, (theres a lot!!) the better the rider you will become, so just relax and stay focused.
  13. I have a few long seams in the road that run simarly.
    Aside from feeling REALY sketchy when braking they are mostly harmless, just do fight them, relax and adjust as required.
  14. I would definitely have preferred to encounter for the first time grooves like that when the roads are not wet. Being able to see better (daylight) would've helped me to prepare mentally and see that it's actually not _that_ bad.
    There's already enough unexpected things happening out there on the roads.

    Sounds as if my reaction wasn't that bad: gripping the tank with my knees and not fighting the bike. The relaxing bit isn't easy though :D

    I still happen to become uneasy as soon as the bike starts sliding in the tiniest bit. Even if I know what I am supposed to do, my heartrate does go up! Having to cross tram tracks in order to get home/leave home might be helping me to get used to that, as any metal bits on the road cause the back wheel to slip a bit when wet.
  15. Relax your grip on the bars, shift your weight rearwards if you can do so (it pays to practice moving smoothly around on the seat without upsetting the bike for just these situations) and keep a little throttle on. The bike will squirm around but you'll find that if you let it follow its own line it will do so quite safely. A moving motorcycle left to its own devices is surprisingly stable. Much more so than if you start fighting it.
  16. You're right on all counts there. This is where good observation helps. If you see a situation coming, you can consciously prepare by loosening up. Once your body learns that trick it'll start to do it automatically.
  17. So last night I went to the exact same road again. Having dry roads and being mentally prepared of what is to come, helps a great deal. Didn't feel that scary anymore - it helped a lot to know how long the strip of grinded road was going to be.
    So I gripped the tank again tighter with my knees, tried to really relax my upper body this time, while barely touching the handlebars to let her do her thing. It worked :)

    I am always amazed by how much easier things are, when you don't try to put too much pressure on the bike, but rather let it pick its own way. Just like riding horses...
  18. #18 Salty, Jun 6, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    Petrol drinking horses
  19. With more brains and less likelihood of killing you. :bolt:
  20. Bikes don't shy if a leaf flutters down in front of them.