Friday, June 24, 2011

Slip slidin’ away.

For some reason we northerners insist on being able to drive like it’s mid-summer, even in the depths of winter. And for that reason the authorities apply road salt by the tonne from December through March. (The other reason being, of course, it’s a conspiracy by the auto industry so their cars rot out after 7 or 8 years and need to be replaced more often than would otherwise be necessary.)
Fortunately there are some islands of sanity, including our township which doesn’t use salt in our area. The reason is to reduce the amount of salt that runs off into White Lake and, as a by-product, cut down on the number of deer hit while licking salt off the country roads. Instead they use sand – lots and lots of sand. Which is great on icy roads in January, but not so great on paved roads in June. And since our township is too poor to operate a sweeper, the sand can linger on the roads until well into the summer, inexplicably concentrated in corners and intersections. 
Hence this, the end result of a front wheel hitting a skim of sand in the middle of a off-camber corner.
Fortunately there was nothing hurt but some pride, a bit of confidence, and a signal light lens, but it serves as a good reminder to pay very close attention to the road surface ahead as the wrong stuff in the wrong place will put you down in an instant.


  1. Thanks Richard; I'm fine. It was my riding partner who slipped, and she's fine too. (But a little embarrassed.)

  2. Reminds me of Alberta roads. Sand and gravel on paved roads suck. I am glad that no more than pride and a signal light were hurt.

  3. phew, glad you're both ok. yes we have areas like this at higher elevations as well. this past year it seems that sand/salt/gravel has not washed away at all...

  4. Ah right, sorry for the misunderstanding. You need eyes everywhere! Sand isn't a hazard in the UK unless you live by the sea, but round here mud and cow-crap are a constant feature. So much so that I ride a way to town that is 5 miles longer just so I don't have to pass a farm where the cows cross the road 4 times a day. That stuff is slippery! Glad she is OK, anyways.

  5. I am glad only a little pride was hurt – that mends a lot sooner than physical injuries. Sand on the road is very unusual here in the UK, just like Richard says. I did experience some when riding in the northern states and noticed it seemed to sit on bends just where you really didn’t need to see it during the summer months. I am not sure, but I suspect bikers tend to notice road surfaces much more than car drivers.

  6. Sonja - Thanks. I experienced this in Alberta as well. Pretty common in snow country I guess.
    Ms. M - It seems worse this year here too. Not sure why as we didn't have a particularly bad winter snow wise.
    Richard - No worries.
    Gary - With road conditions being so critical on two wheels I think all experienced riders have a much better awareness than cagers who, let's face it, are only dimly aware of their surroundings when driving.

  7. Sure glad a turn signal and a little pride were all that were hurt!

  8. Mr. M, thanks. Cheap lesson indeed.


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