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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been riding now for 15 years and always have ridden all year round. because of that I have had some memorable experiences, like riding on the motorway in a snowstorm.
Last Wednesday was the most memorable up till now, and I don't want too many of those.
What happened?

I live in the village of Vries, some 20 km from the city of Groningen. I had to be at my dentist at 8 in the morning. Walking the dog at 6 I saw it was nice dry freezing weather, about 2 of 3 C below freezing. That's OK with me, so at around 7.30 I got on the bike and rode into town.
Before I was halfway it started raining. Yes, raining.
The water hit the frozen ground and turned to ice. I made it into town, thinking it would be less slippery there, but no, the sidewalks were frozen there as well (the roads were mainly still OK, because in the previous days a lot of salt had been sprayed on the roads.
After my visit to the dentist (from which I escaped with my teeth intact) I got on the bike again and tried to ride out of town veeeery carefully. On the main road all traffic was standing still, because of head-tail crashes that had occurred. While trying to manoeuvre between the lanes, I discovered that the road really had turned to ice. Standing still and moving my boots across the ground was a very slippery and scary experience. The only thing that I could do was to ride straight ahead. If I had wanted to try to get out of the lane by moving sideways, I would certainly have fallen.
At one moment the window of a van next to me was rolled down. Out came the head of a police rider in full riding gear: What the hell are you doing here?! he asked. I told him I had been surprised by the sudden rainfall and was trying to get home. He told me, he had gotten off his bike, because a collegue had already fallen, and all policeunits were occupied dealing with accidents. He advised me to put the bike at the side of the road, and sit and wait. Since I couldn't even get out of my lane without falling over or slipping away, I decided to ignore his advice and procedeed slowly to the motorway. When I got there, I stuck to a speed of about 70 - 80 km/h. This was reasonably safe, as the road home was almost straight. I couldn't ride much slower as some cars were speeding by with speeds above 100 km/h. On the way home I counted 4 cars lying in ditches along the road!
When I got home I parked the bike on its sidestand and had some difficulty climbing off. As I tried to swing one leg across the saddle, the other threatened to slip away!
After another hour or so these conditions dissapeared, because the temperature rose above zero.
Ah what an adventure riding a bike can be.
let me know if any of you had similar experiences!!

Peter
 

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What tires are you on and pressures (low I guess?)? I'm not sure I'd trust my 'getting near to replace' or even new Bridgestones on that. Rounded profile tires mean't for taking fast corners just don't seem right to me for ice. But I've had to ride on something similar for a doctor appointment.

I try to ride vertical, feet out, 2nd gear never braking. I'm not sure if the feet do much aside from giving some dutch courage. Wash your bike often if riding salted roads - it's a killer for these bikes. Ride safe.



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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tires

I ride on Bridgestone Battlax 020 with slightly above normal pressure (practice with police riders here in Holland) I hadn't thought about letting some pressure go under these circumstances.
I praise ABS when riding in these conditions, although one should realise that your braking distance can be extended a long, long way under conditions like I described!
I spray the bike a lot with fresh water, when returning from winterrides, but all the same it shows, especially with dealers when you come in to talk about trading in your bike for a new one. Then they cluck their tongue and comment: I can see you having been riding in winter - and there go some hundreds at least off the trade in price.
Then some weeks later you come into the showroom, and you spot your old bike looking absolutely brandnew and none the worse for wear.
Always wonder how they do it and what enviromentally nasty stuff they use to clean the grime that you and I normally can't get rid off...

Peter
 

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Amazing

Hi Peter.
Glad you got home in one piece!
As I live in Tropical Northern Australia, I doubt I will ever experience weather like you had.
We have more problems with molten tar than ice!
Best wishes.

Ken.
 

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Peterpost, yes I wonder how everything comes back like new on the resales. But they have the advantage in not paying the same prices for parts as us! Still, it always amazes me how used BMW's can look like new again which I don't see with many other bikes.

During my Spring service I generally pay attention to any paintwork needing tidying up like brake/clutch reservoirs/levers, stands/ rear tie bar and take plastic and the under belly cover off for a good clean up. Do you have 'Gunk' engine cleaner? It works great on wheels as well. I also use a Badger airbrush with large jet for most small paint jobs, mostly black and silver.



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