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Visionary
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Discussion Starter #1
I got what could have been a nasty surprise 2 days ago, I want to share the story.
I commute on my bike so I ride the same highway, take the same exit every day. The highway has been under reconstruction and paving all fall, so I'm used to being careful on those stretches, running into uneven lanes, milled areas, bumps, holes, every day. They are very good about signing for all this, 'bump' signs, 'uneven' signs and lines showing the bad spots, and even whole sections marked 'motorcycles, caution, stay in lane' I found these signs were usually very accurate and a great help, but I guess I was a bit too trusting though and I let my guard down on a section that had been previously untouched..my exit! So far the exits have been left alone, until Tuesday.
I get off my usual exit and I will admit I normally enjoy it, it's a pretty tight left turn, descending and decreasing radius, and actually banked due to the lay of the land. The road then tucks under the highway, straightens out and then merges onto the side road. After an hour on the interstate it's fun to brake and downshift, set up the perfect line, then accelerate through the turn with a bit of enthusiasm, and after doing it every day I found I could push it pretty hard going through there, it's pretty safe despite being a blind corner because the merge is later on a straight section.
The surprise was when I passed the apex and discovered that a construction crew had milled the second half of the turn down, leaving it all groovy, and far worse hadn't cleaned up the millings, there was a pretty decent layer of gravel all across the road, especially on the inside of the turn. Right where I was, leaning pretty hard to accelerate out of the tight turn. NO warning signs, no equipment there, nothing but a suddenly very scary piece of road for the speed I was riding at.
Nothing bad happened, I was very gentle with power and steering as I slightly reduced the lean and let the turn go wide, used up the whole road and just concentrated on keeping the tires on track, but it could really have been ugly...the pucker factor was about a 8 on the 1-10 scale.

Be careful out there, expect the unexpected, and RIDE SAFE!
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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14,359 Posts
It is never a good feeling, but you know you are a biker when you just react to the changed conditions and don't think about what to do until after the fact.

Then you think of what you could have done differently or what could have happened.

It is amazing how quickly the body reacts when you don't try to think your way through it.
 

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darn glad you are in one piece.
other riders have LOST IT on exit ramps with gravel.
that was a pretty irresponsible thing for the road crew to do ... they need to clean up their mess. You did a fantastic job of staying on two wheels. congratulations!

dT
 

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American Legion Rider
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23,631 Posts
I've been in that same situation. Was lucky that there was no oncoming traffic so I could use more of the road. All road crews have a half dozen working. Usually 5 supervising and 1 doing the work. Maybe there needs to be 7 on a crew. 1 to watch out for motorcyclists. I have no idea what the other supervisors do except lean on stuff but obviously we need 1 more to look out for us.:p
 

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Thanks for sharing the story. It's a good reminder for people to be aware and to always expect the unexpected....and to be able to rely on their skills to get them through bad situations.

Ride safe!
 

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Visionary
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Discussion Starter #8
In hindsight your right, I guess part of the lesson learned is that the side affects of a construction zone might extend past the signed area, they spread. I assure you I will not to let my guard down too early again.
You were riding in a construction area, why were you surprised?
 

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Shaper Of All Things Metal
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2,799 Posts
Mike, glad you had a good outcome due to keeping a cool head. :thumbsup:

Curves can always hold surprises and it doesn't have to be in a construction zone. Sometimes trucks drop the back trailer wheels off onto the shoulder on curves and if it's a muddy shoulder they'll bring some mud up on the road surface. Sometimes built up mud and gravel hanging under a vehicle will fall off (not uncommon in rural areas). On a straight away, usually not a big deal, but on a curve and unexpected it can be a big deal.

In my area it's not unusual to find spilled grain on curves. Sometimes a gravel road runs up to the curve in the highway and gravel is carried out onto the hard surface. Follow a 'pot' sometime and you may find yourself slipping and sliding around a curve in livestock poo. :eek:

Bottom line, curves are fun but require heightened awareness.
 
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