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Old 01-03-2015, 09:44 AM   #1
whitham_wannabe OP
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Black Ice and SLIIIIIIDE!

As if it's not bad enough that I have to come in to work on a Saturday, when I turned into the parking lot, I found the parking lot was nothing but a sheet of ice ... hell of a way to start your day!

The first mark, to where the bike ended up.


Would've been nothing, but the bike made a bee line for the curbing and messed up my wonderful Britannia fairing. Another turn signal, a couple of hours breathing in fiber glass fumes and she'll be as good as new! Well, as good as she was before.


The moral of this story ... stay in bed on a Saturday morning.
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whitham_wannabe screwed with this post 01-03-2015 at 10:05 AM
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Old 01-03-2015, 04:59 PM   #2
Bar None
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Tough Saturday morning.
I have only been on black ice one time and don't want to experience it again.
Going down a hill and had absolutely no control of where I was going.
Hit some spilled diesel fuel going down a mountain in Mexico and had the same experience.
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:01 PM   #3
whitham_wannabe OP
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Yeah, I had no chance. They've just sealed the parking lot, and now the water sits on top and, this morning at least, freezes. I had to slide the bike about three feet to find somewhere I had enough traction to pick it up!
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:56 AM   #4
JettPilot
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That sucks... But also serves as a warning... That parking lot is not the only place you are likely to find a surprise of black ice. Ride below freezing long enough, and it will happen again, and likely in a far worse place. I would take the car in those kind of conditions. Riding to work, trying to doge traffic that is trying to kill you, looking at stinking buildings, and the back of cars, not my idea of fun. Add ice into the mix, and it just becomes exceptionally dangerous.

I would save myself and the bike for getting out of town, where there is less traffic, and loads of fun that make the FUN VS RISK equation a lot better

Mike
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:20 AM   #5
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At some point you just have to put the bike away till spring. Bad enough if you dump all alone and bust up a bike, but if you crash and the car or garbage truck behind you can't stop either....... it's just not worth it at that point to say

"hey, look at me.... it's January and I rode my bike to work today".

I am not sure the insurance company is going to be very understanding. They might pay the claim, but your next premium will dictate you start riding a KLR cause you wont be able to afford insurance on your present bike anymore.

Glad your still with us just the same.
Dang, ride safe will ya?
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Old 01-04-2015, 09:18 AM   #6
Charlie Gary
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That kind of post is why I stop commuting by bike in November. I'll start up again in March.
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:20 AM   #7
brownricer
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Ouch! Well, better there than in traffic.
I can see how you got surprised- in the pics, it just looks wet, not icy.
But I figure it was at or below freezing... when it's that cold and it's wet, I just don't ride.
How was the route there? Streets looked the same, or drier, or...?
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:46 AM   #8
cjmadura
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Black ice is sinister, and the scourge of riding in the Northwest during winter.

Last year I was heading to work over the back side of Marquam hill here in Portland, as opposed to staying low on the surface streets and taking the long, traffic-heavy way around. About 2/3rds up the hill, the bike started feeling "wrong". I was fortunate to coast to a stop with my legs playing "outrigger" and assess the situation. Pitch dark, frigid, and the street was so damn slick I could hardly keep my feet.

Continuing over the top and down the other side was out of the question, so I managed to turn the bike around and head for lower elevation, using the sidewalk-less edge of the street (lawns, gravel shoulders, etc) to get back down at a snail's pace.

Happily, my commuter is a 2008 KLR with crashbars and sideracks, so a drop is not a problem at low speed, barring injury (I wear heavier armor as well in the winter). Now I'm really careful during the dark, icy months, and will shelve the bike on icy mornings in favor of the PITA train system.

This is why my K1300s sees very little action during the winter - I would be miserable if I busted up all the expensive plastic commuting. It may be cheap and underpowered, but a KLR is truly a great bike.

Ride safe!!!
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:56 AM   #9
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Bluhduh

Unlucky !! I have seen similar but I am lucky enough to ride my whole commute and park on well used roads so its LESS LIKELY to happen to me (touch wood) but you really need a cheap hack for the winter............ cheaper bills make this kind of drops easier to swallow.

Pointing out the obvious, not everyone has the choice to take the car..
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Old 01-04-2015, 01:06 PM   #10
JettPilot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wibble View Post
Pointing out the obvious, not everyone has the choice to take the car..
Bonjour Wibble,

It does not have to be a car... If my wife has the car, I just take the Van or the SUV and still leave the bikes home... That's just for safety. For me, I wont ride if its less than 24 C ( 75 F ) outside, just not fun riding in the cold.

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Old 01-04-2015, 01:18 PM   #11
JettPilot
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Here is the best advice I have ever seen on this forum.


" The only thing I don't do is ride for basic transportation. That is cage time. Miles = opportunity. Opportunity to get injured or worse. I'd rather live to ride something in a way I'll cherish and let the commuting miles tick away under 4 wheels. "

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Old 01-04-2015, 03:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by JettPilot View Post
For me, I wont ride if its less than 24 C ( 75 F ) outside, just not fun riding in the cold.
Easy to say when you live in FL.

Also easy to say not to ride to work. For some of us that may be the only time we get to ride.

He hit black ice, shit happens.
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Old 01-04-2015, 03:06 PM   #13
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Look at mounting a set of studs for winter.

You will be amazed what even a simple automotive style stud will make.

I commute year round here in NH. Studs have allowed me to stay confident in very bad weather.

Glad you are ok and commuting year round is awesome. But I will concede I won't ride in a major storm unless I get caught in it. Everything has limitations
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Old 01-04-2015, 03:25 PM   #14
brownricer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JettPilot View Post
Here is the best advice I have ever seen on this forum.


" The only thing I don't do is ride for basic transportation. That is cage time. Miles = opportunity. Opportunity to get injured or worse. I'd rather live to ride something in a way I'll cherish and let the commuting miles tick away under 4 wheels. "
Hm. I don't put much stock in that logic, and here's why:
Let's say that, statistically, there is one accident per 10,000 ridden, per individual. That does not mean that if you have been accident-free so far but your odo has just gone over 99,999, you are less than a mile from an accident. It is just not so, even if every inch of that 10,000 miles was covered solely on public roads, and only to get to and from work.

If the OP wiped out on black ice his first time out on a motorcycle a mile from home, how would that relate to miles accumulated? Would it matter where he was headed, or why?

And when we hear about an accident, do we first ask "How many miles have you ridden?" I have yet to see such questions on any thread here regarding an accident, nor have I ever heard it in any other conversation with those who ride. Nobody asks these things because everybody knows that total miles ridden doesn't matter.

My point is that the risk factor resets every time you get on the machine, and how many miles one rides or for what purpose is so small a factor as to be negligible, IMHO. If that seems dubious, just compare "miles" (which equals experience, BTW) to stuff like black ice, traffic, fatigue, drugs and alcohol, excessive speed...

Okay, maybe I'm off-base... maybe some folks just feel that "practical" motorcycling spoils the fun of it for them personally. I get it (although I do not feel that way, myself). But "miles=opportunity to get hurt or worse" as a reason to not ride unless it's only for the sake of riding just doesn't make sense to me. I just don't buy that we are allotted XX number of safe miles before the odds catch up with us, so we shouldn't "waste" any of them riding for transportation.

Getting back to black ice: my own hairy black ice experience involved a loaded cargo van, on a very cold but sunny day... took a corner onto a one-way in NYC and before I knew what was going on, the van was pointing the other way. Even when I got out and looked to see what I'd run over, it was hard to tell it was ice.
Are there risks specific to winter riding in freezing climes? Yes. That is a fact.
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Old 01-04-2015, 04:12 PM   #15
whitham_wannabe OP
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Thanks for all the good wishes, but I have to admit that I ride all winter, and have done for the last 7 years without too many issues. I just prefer to ride than to drive, regardless of the weather.

Saturday was warmer than it has been, around freezing, but there was a big bank of fog / mist at work which made this ice rink possible. The rest of the commute was fine, mostly dry.

Not too worried about the damage to the bike, lets just say it's not it's first rodeo! It's all just cosmetics. Certainly not going to taint my insurance record for it to just look purty again.

And for when it gets really treacherous, I have this ...
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whitham_wannabe screwed with this post 01-04-2015 at 04:18 PM
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