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Thread: Has the world got it in for bikers?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Has the world got it in for bikers?

    The last eighteen months or so have been the worst, as far as biking is concerned, for as long as I can remember. Last season only two club rides were carried out in the dry. Currently we have snow, slush, rain, sleet and sub-zero temperatures even if the sun is shining. Looking out of my window it is quite an amusing sight. My side of our enclave is dry road (pavement) and green lawns, the other side of the road is still under inches of snow. Some parts of America seem to be baking whilst others are under feet of snow - not sure if that is normal, post in and tell us if your weather over, say, the last year has been typical or not. In Australia, Victoria has blazing forest fires whilst Queensland is suffering floods, I know California has had big forest fires as well. In the Arctic the weather scenario has changed so much that they are having face offs between Polar Bears and Grizzlies. A Grizzly/Polar Bear cross (a Pizzly) has just been shot out there by a hunter, although why anyone would want to shoot such a magnificent animal is beyond me. I guess that the world is getting its own back on us bikers for having it too good for too long - almost makes one believe in Gaia, a concept worthy of discussion perhaps?

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    The last eighteen months or so have been the worst, as far as biking is concerned, for as long as I can remember. Last season only two club rides were carried out in the dry. Currently we have snow, slush, rain, sleet and sub-zero temperatures even if the sun is shining. Looking out of my window it is quite an amusing sight. My side of our enclave is dry road (pavement) and green lawns, the other side of the road is still under inches of snow. Some parts of America seem to be baking whilst others are under feet of snow - not sure if that is normal, post in and tell us if your weather over, say, the last year has been typical or not. In Australia, Victoria has blazing forest fires whilst Queensland is suffering floods, I know California has had big forest fires as well. In the Arctic the weather scenario has changed so much that they are having face offs between Polar Bears and Grizzlies. A Grizzly/Polar Bear cross (a Pizzly) has just been shot out there by a hunter, although why anyone would want to shoot such a magnificent animal is beyond me. I guess that the world is getting its own back on us bikers for having it too good for too long - almost makes one believe in Gaia, a concept worthy of discussion perhaps?

    Ken.
    It has been pretty much a typical winter here in Connectucut, USA. We have been warming up in the past few days and the itch to ride is growing. I went to the Harley shop yesterday to set up an appointment to get th 10,000 mile service done on my Ultra, a new rear tire, new isogrips, and an XM sattilite system installed. It'll be all ready for the ride to the Grand Canyon in May. Come on Spring.......

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    Senior Member Piney's Avatar
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    Like Frosts08ultra said, here in the Northeast it's been pretty typical...in fact, it's been maybe even a bit milder than some winters past. Our snow, when it has come this season, has been only a few inches at a time, and generally is melted within a few days. Weather today was in the 50s. While it's probably been passable riding weather these past few weekends, I've chosen not to due to the amount of road salt still on the road surfaces. Once that stuff gets into the nooks and crannies of the bike it's tough to get it out until spring, when an adequate cleaning can be done.

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    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piney View Post
    Like Frosts08ultra said, here in the Northeast it's been pretty typical...in fact, it's been maybe even a bit milder than some winters past. Our snow, when it has come this season, has been only a few inches at a time, and generally is melted within a few days. Weather today was in the 50s. While it's probably been passable riding weather these past few weekends, I've chosen not to due to the amount of road salt still on the road surfaces. Once that stuff gets into the nooks and crannies of the bike it's tough to get it out until spring, when an adequate cleaning can be done.
    Rich, Mark, thanks for replies. It looks, then, as though our weather here has been a lot more extreme than yours. Rex, what is it like in your neck of the Antipodes?

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

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    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piney View Post
    Like Frosts08ultra said, here in the Northeast it's been pretty typical...in fact, it's been maybe even a bit milder than some winters past. Our snow, when it has come this season, has been only a few inches at a time, and generally is melted within a few days. Weather today was in the 50s. While it's probably been passable riding weather these past few weekends, I've chosen not to due to the amount of road salt still on the road surfaces. Once that stuff gets into the nooks and crannies of the bike it's tough to get it out until spring, when an adequate cleaning can be done.

    Ain't that a fact, Rich. The stuff they are using over here 'Wet Salt' is vicious stuff. Not only will it eat the bike away as you are riding, it is also very slimy, slippery muck. With the old dry salt and grit if there was a decent day a quick hose down after a ride was usually all that was needed. With this new stuff I prefer to leave the bike in the shed rather than commit to a three/four hour cleaning session at the end of a short, cold ride.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    Ain't that a fact, Rich. The stuff they are using over here 'Wet Salt' is vicious stuff. Not only will it eat the bike away as you are riding, it is also very slimy, slippery muck. With the old dry salt and grit if there was a decent day a quick hose down after a ride was usually all that was needed. With this new stuff I prefer to leave the bike in the shed rather than commit to a three/four hour cleaning session at the end of a short, cold ride.

    Ken.
    They have switched over to the spray before it snows de-icer here. It works well but makes a mess out of the vehicles that I would hate to have to wash off of my bike. A good thorough cleaning on my bike is an all day affair. I'm not sure what that stuff they spray on the roads is but I would just as soon wait for a good rain to wash it off the roads before I go out for a ride.

  7. #7
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosts08ultra View Post
    It has been pretty much a typical winter here in Connectucut, USA. We have been warming up in the past few days and the itch to ride is growing. I went to the Harley shop yesterday to set up an appointment to get th 10,000 mile service done on my Ultra, a new rear tire, new isogrips, and an XM sattilite system installed. It'll be all ready for the ride to the Grand Canyon in May. Come on Spring.......
    It has been brutal here since November - many days in the single digits and 20s being more common than 40s.

    I try to keep all my bikes (three at present) in "ready to go" condition at all times, which means taking them out for short rides, weather permitting, during the winter months - but even that has been a challenge this year. I don't have a heated suit, so going out when the air temp's in the 20s is a treat, I can tell you!

    I also have a buddy's bike in my outbuilding (he keeps it here because he doesn't have the room at his place). About two weeks ago I took it out for a "loop" (the appx. 8 mile circuit that is the road that leads to our place and which connects with the major north-south roads that bisects the county.

    Suffice to say, I don't think I will ever be capable of having kids... !

  8. #8
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosts08ultra View Post
    They have switched over to the spray before it snows de-icer here. It works well but makes a mess out of the vehicles that I would hate to have to wash off of my bike. A good thorough cleaning on my bike is an all day affair. I'm not sure what that stuff they spray on the roads is but I would just as soon wait for a good rain to wash it off the roads before I go out for a ride.
    That stuff is hell on alloy/chrome. It's why I never take anything but my rat bike out until that gunk is all gone, which takes at least one very strong and day-long rain shower to accomplish!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosts08ultra View Post
    They have switched over to the spray before it snows de-icer here. It works well but makes a mess out of the vehicles that I would hate to have to wash off of my bike. A good thorough cleaning on my bike is an all day affair. I'm not sure what that stuff they spray on the roads is but I would just as soon wait for a good rain to wash it off the roads before I go out for a ride.
    That's my philosophy too, Mark. Trouble is I've been waiting for the rain, and waiting, and waiting, and wai........................

    Mind you, things are looking better this morning, we have had some rain, not enough to really clear the roads, and virtually all our local snow has gone. Could this be the start of something good? We'll have to wait and see. Now I've got to ring the bike insurance company to tell them that I've fitted five carbon fibre panels, in place of the OE plastic plus braided hoses - they will probably say 'We don't need to record these changes.' but it pays to make sure.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  10. #10
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    ... and then there's the gravel.

    Here, the road crews spray a combination of salt and loose, fine gravel all over the place at the first hint of snow. I fear gravel. I do not like gravel. Come into a corner leaned over, hit some - and it's pucker time. Maybe worse.

    I wish they'd just let nature take its course. Road salt is very harsh stuff; it runs off and contaminates the groundwater, and of course is highly corrosive. The gravel nicks up your paint and windshield - and can get you killed if you're on a bike.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    ... and then there's the gravel.

    Here, the road crews spray a combination of salt and loose, fine gravel all over the place at the first hint of snow. I fear gravel. I do not like gravel. Come into a corner leaned over, hit some - and it's pucker time. Maybe worse.

    ...... The gravel nicks up your paint and windshield - and can get you killed if you're on a bike.

    Gravel 'triangles' are quite common out here in the countryside, where minor roads meet major roads at an angle, especially during the summer when there is plenty of loose dust and gravel blowing around. I guess you have the same. One of the reasons I've got my name down for the 'Speedway' training day is so I can get used to the feel of the bike sliding and be able to control it with a bit more skill/confidence than I have at the moment - mind you Diane thinks I'll be coming home with a broken leg 'Old bones aren't as flexible as young ones.' she's muttering. Of course, she may have a valid point.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  12. #12
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    Gravel 'triangles' are quite common out here in the countryside, where minor roads meet major roads at an angle, especially during the summer when there is plenty of loose dust and gravel blowing around. I guess you have the same. One of the reasons I've got my name down for the 'Speedway' training day is so I can get used to the feel of the bike sliding and be able to control it with a bit more skill/confidence than I have at the moment - mind you Diane thinks I'll be coming home with a broken leg 'Old bones aren't as flexible as young ones.' she's muttering. Of course, she may have a valid point.

    Ken.
    Broken bones - and broken bikes - suck, irrespective of age!

    I don't mind wrecking so much if it's the result of error on my part - but, dammit, I could get really pissed about ruining my bike (and breaking a leg) because of some stupid pile of gravel in the %^#!! road!

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    Senior Member Kwozzie1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    Rich, Mark, thanks for replies. It looks, then, as though our weather here has been a lot more extreme than yours. Rex, what is it like in your neck of the Antipodes?

    Ken.
    Where I am in QLD we have escaped the flooding... but weather is weird and I got drenched riding to Brisbane mid week.

    The fires down south have been tragic and murderous. We have a national day of mourning here today. My friends and relatives in VIC have all been spared unlike some.
    Rex
    On the Sunshine Coast, in the Sunshine State Queensland (QLD), Australia

  14. #14
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwozzie1 View Post
    Where I am in QLD we have escaped the flooding... but weather is weird and I got drenched riding to Brisbane mid week.

    The fires down south have been tragic and murderous. We have a national day of mourning here today. My friends and relatives in VIC have all been spared unlike some.
    Our sympathies go out to all those who have lost loved ones, pets and property in the fires, Rex and we are pleased that you, at least, managed to escape the flooding.

    On a lighter note, yesterday was a fine day and so the Honda got an oil, water, tyres and safety check and we hit the road for a short ride to finish off bedding in the new brakes. I went up to Cadwell Park, where there was an 'Open Pit Lane' trackday going on and spent a pleasant half hour or so watching the bikes. A lot of the riders were ACU licence holders riding their racing bikes getting in some practice/testing sessions after the winter fettling. Then it was back through to Horncastle and up to Sneckspeeds where Jan and Paul always have a coffee pot and cookies ready for anyone who pops in. Two of our club members were already there and before I left another six or eight turned up - it was almost like a club night. Back home in time for dinner, give the bike a quick polish and get washed up ready to eat. All in all a very nice afternoon, and the brakes are now bedded in and working like they should.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

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    Why would anybody put salt on the road when there's so much in the air...

  16. #16
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieCLU View Post
    Why would anybody put salt on the road when there's so much in the air...
    It's pure collusion between the Motor Manufacturers and the Elf 'N Saaaaafety, innit? (not to be confused with Inuit although they know all about snow too.) The salt in the air is not enough to melt the snow - so the local Councils use local taxes to spray the roads with wet salt, this turns the snow into slimy, greasy, salty water. This muck stays as a brine solution, which freezes at a much lower temperature than pure water. This salt solution is then ready to penetrate all the crevices in our vehicles, especially our 'bikes, and start the corrosion 'to hell and back' process. This turns our cars into heaps of rusting junk and disolves all the expensive alloys in our bikes so they look and feel like crap. Then we have to go out and buy new cars and bikes, this helps the economy and puts up wages so we can pay more taxes for the Councils to spend on more salt - all in the name of making us SAFER! Go for a ride on our salted roads and forget to wash the bike the very instant you get home and the photo below shows what happens.

    Ken.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

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    Ahhhh Snow, that's the film that forms on the ice cream carton when you take it out of the freezer. And you guys put salt on that???

  18. #18
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieCLU View Post
    Ahhhh Snow, that's the film that forms on the ice cream carton when you take it out of the freezer. And you guys put salt on that???
    No, no, Charlie - we put the salt on the ice cream, but only if it is Bacon, Pork Scratchings or Barbeque Beef flavour. Salt, as you probably already know, really ruins the taste of Mozzarella ice cream which, ideally, needs Worcester sauce.


    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Ladybug's Avatar
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    OK now, you two a ruining the thought of ice cream and Charlie knows where the best ice cream is down at the beach.
    Sherry
    Never lost, always on an adventure !

  20. #20
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    OK now, you two a ruining the thought of ice cream and Charlie knows where the best ice cream is down at the beach.


    And Barry & Adam didn't get to enjoy Cow Licks but we did hit another great place in Flagler Beach. Ahh the memories!

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