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Old 01-14-2014, 04:57 AM   #12
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manfromthestix's Avatar
Joined: Dec 2004
Location: Lexington, Virginia
Oddometer: 2,311
Originally Posted by filmfan View Post
Be aware that you are likely to find gravel and sand and ride accordingly.

We get plenty of snow here, and by the time spring rolls around you can't tell that some roads are actually paved, for all the gravel and sand on them. Gravel on pavement is like riding on ball bearings.

Staying away from the inside on turns helps, as what's left seems to stay the longest there.

Based on my experience on the bicycle in these conditions, a tire with a deep open tread helps a lot. Though on the moto I run regular pavement tires, and I just ride with extreme caution for the first couple of months.
This man knows what he's talking about. The thing that will knock you down is lean angle - so long as the bike is generally upright you can slide or skid without any issues, but get the center of gravity off-line and you may be asking more of the tires than they can provide in that situation. Stay within the bounds of traction and you'll be fine. As others have stated, once you get familiar with it you can have some fun with spins, power slides, drifts, etc. but I save that stuff for my little dirt bike and not the ($$$) Big Pig.

Originally Posted by DC2wheels View Post
The head of our town's highway department (in N.H. their title is "Road Agent") explains that the possibility of a traction related accident has his department laying down LOTS of sand and salt. They do sweep the roads once it looks like winter is finally over.

But on a MC especially with a heavier bike- IF POSSIBLE- I try to stand it up to very near vertical and let up partially, if not fully, on the brakes and glide through the crap....providing the gravel section is short and I can still get through the corner after that.

Barring that, some lean angle might be OK and the rear might hang out a bit but stay off that front brake as much as possible until the gravel/sand ends. Front end lockup is NOT your friend.
Please export this excellent behavior to Virginia! The VDOT sands & gravels the roads here to the point the look like dirt roads by the end of the Winter and then that's it. Yer on yer own until the rain or traffic washes or wears it off. We've had on again - off again winter here so they've put down huge amounts of sand everywhere, to the point that riding a bicycle will shake your fillings out of your teeth. I saw where a car flew off the road on the grit just last weekend; it's a sharp turn, but he would have been fine except for all the sand. The deer like the salt, too, they come down out of the woods to lick it up from the roadsides.

As if sanding during Winter weren't bad enough, last summer the VDOT came around and chip-sealed the road near our house. I was DISMAYED . It was a crappy job to begin with and has haunted my bicycling and motorcycling since:

The windrows got so deep I took a flat blade shovel and wheelbarrow out and collected a bunch of gravel to patch my driveway , thanks VDOT. It's been 8 months since they did this and it still SUCKS, but it is what it is and I just ride accordingly.

Take care, be safe, end enjoy the ride! As a geologist I love it when the leaves are off and the snow/ice highlights the local structure:

Happy New Year!

"If it doesn't blow smoke and make noise, it isn't a sport!" - radio ad for shop in Bozeman, MT
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