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I was actually thinking about posting this thread before reading about masterlink's unfortunate encounter with a spilled, 5-gallon bucket full of used motor oil. I had a pants-filling moment the other day when I had an encounter with some gravel on a curve. Lots more of it on the roads here now that farming season is in full swing and there's a lot more traffic coming on and off the gravel roads onto pavement.

I was thinking it might be a good idea if we could all throw out an example of conditions/material that can greatly reduce traction while riding on pavement, especially after hearing what happened to masterlink. His encounter was a freak, unavoidable experience, but a lot of hazards lay waiting for us every day and are fairly commonplace.

Maybe some of us will come up with something to look out for that others hadn't thought of. Food for thought, if you will.

I'll start with an obvious one:

Gravel scattered where gravel meets pavement, especially on curves.
 

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Planalp,
I was thinking the same thing….. Nice tred.

Masterlink,
Thanks for sharing you story … it makes us all a little more careful….

Train track caution
My story comes from a bad experience. Wile riding some single track in CT. We needed to run down the tracks for about ½ mile. Some kids had run fishing line between 2 trees about 100 times. …… This was a little HAHAHA when the train comes, but when a guy on a bike comes along at 20 MPH…. WTF

When Riding the tracks, watch for the jokes..
 

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I am always a bit slower on curves,etc. The day after a good rain or wind storm. Small rocks, branches and WET LEAVES !!!
 

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Just remember, color and texture are the biggest indicators of changing traction conditions. Surface being ridden on must be included in your constant scan for danger. If your looking down, it's already too late. If your head isn't on a swivel, it's amazing your reading this.

Off pedestal, back on the saddle.
 

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I was riding last week when I went around a corner and saw a bucket lid laying in the middle of the corner.. Taken at speed, when cranked over, it would have thrown me to the ground faster than I could have imagined.. Slick plastic, bare road, bike leaned over...

Would have been bad..

I kicked it into the ditch..
 

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You almost said it the first post.....in farming communities watch for spilled grain in the road.
 

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I was riding behind another bike on my way home from work the other day. There was road construction and we had to detour onto another road. We had to make a tight right hander to get onto the detour. The bike in front of me dam near went down on some spilled gravel right in the turn. I saw his frontend slide out and his leg go down. Im still not sure how he saved it but fortunitely he did, I thought for sure I was going to be helping him pick his bike back up.
That was a quick and cheap reminder to him and I to watch out for road hazards, especially around construction.
 

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I'm always super watchful of manhole covers and painted lines/speed bumps... Hitting either while leaned over can be a recipe for disaster. Every morning at work I have to go through a security gate and scan my id card, there's a painted speed bump right by the scanner thingamabob and on a humid/rainy day the paint combined with the incline make it just like putting your foot down on ice!
 

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No crash, just a close call.
Left the house for work this morning on the KLR, Slight drizzle and the roads were plenty wet from the rain overnight. Got to the first turn, maybe 500 yards from my house, a tight 25 MPH left hander. About half way through the turn I must have hit some oil. Both tires slipped sideways. Fortunitely it was a controlled slip. I thought briefly about low siding but as soon as I felt it start to slip I opened up the apex of the turn and got the bike as vertical as I could until I was clear of the slippery substance then tapped the brakes to lose some speed so I could finish the turn.
Cheap lesson. I took it easy the rest of the way to work.
 

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Painted lines or bot's dots when wet. Some tar snakes can unsettle some riders. Steel deck bridges. Mossy roads (beware if a canyon or mountain road goes months without daylight). Cattle guards.
 

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Forest service roads on inclines. They like to use those rubber runoffs across the road to divert spring thaw from washing away the road. They are at about a 30degree angle to the road and sometimes hitting them just right can twist the handle bars out from under you. If i see an unusually severe one ahead I try to blip the throttle to lighten the front end but i'm usually too late and just have enough time prepare for the jolt.
 

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Spilled antifreeze from a radiator leak or overheating car can be very slippery.

Any flat object thicker than a leaf can be a problem if you run over it while braking. In a turn you'll get past it quickly before it gets you too far out of shape, but if you run over something like that while braking in a straight line it can get caught under your front tire and stay there until you either stop or dump the bike. Crushed soft drink cans or pieces of cardboard are the most common ones to watch out for. If you can't help running over something like that, release the front brake while you roll over it, then reapply it afterward.
 

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We have a heavily used car wash near me. It is so heavily used the Armor all \ tire shine crap has built up on the street on the exit driveway. Luckily you can see it on the dry pavement but it is invisable in the rain and slick as ice!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
We have a heavily used car wash near me. It is so heavily used the Armor all \ tire shine crap has built up on the street on the exit driveway. Luckily you can see it on the dry pavement but it is invisable in the rain and slick as ice!
Now, I must admit. That's a hazard I never would have thought of. Good addition to this list!
 

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My biggest bane seems to be 'burger trash'.....

1) On my morning commute, I enter a long curve around the FSU stadium here in Tallahassee, Florida. Oh my..... the entire lane is covered in spilled burger garbage - from a truck maybe? I'm slipping and sling on the greasy junk, all the while hoping and praying I don't dump it, because a pickup truck is right on my back end! If I go down, I get PLOWED!!
I made it. Major 'pucker factor'!

2) Following a buddy one night through a 'short cut' winding through an industrial center - we come up past the Burger King. Had to stop for the intersection, so I put my left foot down - right on top of a half-eaten greasy burger!!! I barely kept from dumping the bike. Gave the idiot in the car behind me a good laugh.
 

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In cattle/hog country (seemingly everywhere) caution should be paid when entering and exiting the interstate. I can't tell you how many times I've seen pig/cow slurry sprayed on the outside edge of interstate on/off ramps. Not only dangerous, but a great way to end up covered in poo.
 

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im extremly suprised no one has said this yet but how about sand. in the desert you have to watch every single turn you make due to it. also when riding further north after winter. the trucks put sand down for traction and not all of it comes off with the snowmelt.
 

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Didn't mention sand or gravel but it's a problem here too. I suppose it has a reason to be there so I just accept it. Crap, on the other hand, sloshing out of trucks is like having chemicals spill out of tanker trucks. Shouldn't happen and I can't excuse it..
Regards
Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Didn't mention sand or gravel but it's a problem here too. I suppose it has a reason to be there so I just accept it. Crap, on the other hand, sloshing out of trucks is like having chemicals spill out of tanker trucks. Shouldn't happen and I can't excuse it..
Regards
Mark
Those rock trucks with the big "Stay Back 300 Feet. Not Responsible For Broken Windshields" warning placards are one of the few things in life that really piss me off.

Just for the hell of it, I called the Highway Patrol one day and they confirmed that the signs mean absolutely nothing and if there are any rocks flying off the truck, whoever owns the truck is responsible for any damage.

Anybody hauling any kind of load is solely responsible for the security of the load.

My guess is it's just a tactic to try to ward off claims by motorists with broken windshields. Personally, I think those signs should be illegal.
 

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I've had a few 'blood pressure' moments...

Wet cattle crossing guard not hit completely perpendicular, but at an angle.

Topped a hill and rolled into a hail patch on the road up in Wyoming (SV650 cruising about 75 MPH).

Driveway approaches can gather sand and slam you and bike down fast and hard (that's embarrassing).

Summertime heat will melt the tar snakes that patch cracked asphalt.
 
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