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toolboxjesse
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PostSubject: black ice question   black ice question I_icon_minitimeThu Dec 01, 2011 10:02 am

I plan to drive my S'wing to work every day this winter (except when it rains or snows). In Atlanta the temps in the morning can be as low as 20 degrees, so well below freezing.

My question is how would I know if there is a risk of black ice on the road. Assuming black ice would only happen at or below 32 degrees on the road (and of course after some kind of precipitation), but are there certain other risk factors that I should be looking for?

Jesse in Atlanta
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bigbird
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PostSubject: Re: black ice question   black ice question I_icon_minitimeThu Dec 01, 2011 10:30 am

x


Last edited by bigbird on Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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jdeereanton
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PostSubject: Re: black ice question   black ice question I_icon_minitimeThu Dec 01, 2011 11:42 am

bigbird wrote:
... The worst place for it is on bridges over rivers, overpasses, cloverleafs, etc. The reason is that these structures get colder first as the temp falls, and that's where the condensation occurs first.
My suggestion is get an external temp gauge on your Swing, and if the temp is hovering at or just above the freezing mark and suddenly slips just below freezing, be on the lookout.
...

Any elevated surface that is "surrounded" by air is the risk. Next can be shaded areas on roads where the air temp dropped and the sun has not yet caused the 'black ice' to melt or dissipate. Condensation from car exhausts can be a contributor as well.
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RickV
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PostSubject: Re: black ice question   black ice question I_icon_minitimeThu Dec 01, 2011 2:37 pm

Oh yes, I agree with all of the above - living in the Southern suburbs in the Minneapolis area I have to travel on multi-lane bridges to get to Mpls/St. Paul and the close ring cities - even when you are alert for black ice sometimes the first indication is cars sliding here and there and then the ABS activation on your own vehicle - very scary. undecided Everyone gets caught on this.

No two wheel riding for me once the temps fall and roads freeze - can just imagine how long it would take to go down with my SW on black ice. There are however, a few Ural riders with sidecars that do ride all winter long in the snow, slush and such - you can tell because they have the real rusty machines!!!

Rick V

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MikeO
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PostSubject: Re: black ice question   black ice question I_icon_minitimeThu Dec 01, 2011 2:39 pm

Lots of over-bridges here - it's so flat!
Many are marked with 'Ice' road-signs.
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"Hi Yo"
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PostSubject: Re: black ice question   black ice question I_icon_minitimeThu Dec 01, 2011 2:54 pm

Another problem to be aware of is the "watering" of the roads by automatic sprinkler systems. A nice clear dry, but cold morning can deliver a patch of ice.
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Daboo
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PostSubject: Re: black ice question   black ice question I_icon_minitimeThu Dec 01, 2011 4:24 pm

I commute 60 miles year around and have done so down to 16F. But I won't ride when it is slick. That sounds like a contradiction, but it isn't.

I ride on the same roads each day, so I know the places where water sticks around and will freeze when the temps get down. For instance, the Seattle Convention Center is directly above the I-5 Express Lanes. Water draining off will drip onto the Express Lanes under there in two particular spots for a couple days after a rain. I know where to position myself in the lane at those points.

We also have so much traffic that the car tires on the main road and freeway dry out the road if there's been some time from when the rain quit and when the temps get to freezing. The weather websites I frequent, have an hourly weather forecast so I can see when the moisture will probably hit the roads, when the temperatures will get to freezing, and what the time and temp is in between.

We're getting an unusual high pressure weather pattern right now with clear cold days and nights. For the next few days, we will get temps in the mornings down to freezing and below, but no moisture. For my normal commute, it won't be a problem.

However...on Saturday morning, I'll be traveling at 7am to the prison in Monroe near the mountains. It's a beautiful ride through the countryside with hills, valleys and curves. There will be plenty of places in the shade and places where moisture will collect. I don't ride that road daily, so I don't know how dry it'll be from the ride the day before as I do on my commute. I'll think twice about taking the bike on Saturday. The low will be 27F and any moisture will definitely be frozen on the road surface. If I have any doubts, I'll take the car. It's just not worth it.

Chris
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honda_silver
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PostSubject: Re: black ice question   black ice question I_icon_minitimeThu Dec 01, 2011 4:34 pm

toolboxjesse wrote:
My question is how would I know if there is a risk of black ice on the road. Assuming black ice would only happen at or below 32 degrees on the road (and of course after some kind of precipitation), but are there certain other risk factors that I should be looking for?

Please note the road temperature(s) could be different than the advertised or measured temperature .... as well as temperature fluctuations. So you could find yourself at temperatures near freezing and be at risk.

If vehicles are having visible problems due to black ice, then pulling off to the side of road may not be safe. If a vehicles panics it may swipe you on the side of the. If you see any signs of black ice, you could already potentially already be at risk.

Weather forecasts and internet current road conditions may be your best chance to avoid black ice ... it will always be better to err pm the side of "safety first".
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roadrunner
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PostSubject: Black Ice   black ice question I_icon_minitimeThu Dec 01, 2011 6:50 pm

"Hi Yo" wrote:
Another problem to be aware of is the "watering" of the roads by automatic sprinkler systems. A nice clear dry, but cold morning can deliver a patch of ice.

I've never understood why so many automatic sprinklers appear to be set to water the road on purpose. Are they trying to grow another lane, or trying to make black ice so they can sit back and watch the carnage...
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MikeO
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PostSubject: Re: black ice question   black ice question I_icon_minitimeFri Dec 02, 2011 5:52 am

I've just realised my previous post is utterly useless! Embarassed

However, I guess it confirms what others have more usefully said, that roads on over-bridges are far more susceptible to black ice.
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: black ice question   black ice question I_icon_minitimeFri Dec 02, 2011 6:13 am

MikeO wrote:
I've just realised my post is utterly useless! Embarassed

I don't think so, whoever wrote about black ice on Wikipedia says pretty much the same about bridges in Minnesota. I read somewhere that when you hit black ice you won't hear the road noise from your tyres, probably the last thing on your mind as your butt clenches in fear when you ride over a patch! Shocked
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Waspie
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PostSubject: Re: black ice question   black ice question I_icon_minitimeFri Dec 02, 2011 6:51 am

In hindsight, by nature of it's name I suspect the first signs of encountering 'black ice' will be the feelings felt through the seat of your pants and it will be too late.

If that thought is scary, put the 'Wing' on it's centre stand now and wait till spring.

If your planning a ride and suspect you may encounter black ice, ride sensible look for that shiny effect on the surface of the road and ride accordingly. No rapid power inputs, no excessive braking.

Been riding in black ice conditions for years, leave home, fine, then go round a corner and sense the presence of the stuff, then it's gone then further on another patch. Don't know about anywhere else in the world but here in the UK there is no such thing a 'black ice' warning on the weather forecasts. You can see what the conditions are at home but what are they like around the corner?

Just be AWARE, it will catch you out if you ignore it's potential to unseat you.
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MikeO
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PostSubject: Re: black ice question   black ice question I_icon_minitimeFri Dec 02, 2011 6:53 am

Thank you, kind sir! (Meldrew)

I'm particularly conscious of posts made in response to questions about a specific product which, in essence, tell the questioner that it is not what he wants but so-and-so is better.

For example, I asked on another forum about what sort of flight socks I should buy after my recent scare and the only answers I received told me that I didn't need them!

I know we tell others what we find works for us and that's acceptable but when specific information is sought about a 'thing', such posts as I received are useless.

Very important note about road noise - not thought about that before.
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: black ice question   black ice question I_icon_minitimeFri Dec 02, 2011 8:15 am

As retired safety professional but most of all as year round rider for the past 56 years---observation, it probably does exist if you don't pay attention and don't or cannot "read road".

Ice signs should mean something to rider---of course bridges which cool quicker always deserve respect in winter.

As I have gotten older, below 35-40 Degrees F and dark and wet, I wait until light, maybe warmer and hope road dries a little.

For years (20) as Army Civ. Safety Manager in Europe/Japan/Kore and, concerned with accidents and their sometimes their nasty result-----Saw many GI's blame their "trip" into the woods on black ice......most cases was cold, maybe a little slippery and they were not paying attention-----one problem for us was many people in the Army are from the south and just plain don't know how to ride/drive in slippery. Take a kid from Ironwood MI and he will probably keep the wheels on the road, bike or car.
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Old Limey
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PostSubject: Re: black ice question   black ice question I_icon_minitimeFri Dec 02, 2011 1:46 pm

I rode different bikes to work for over 20yrs,I only didn't ride if it was snowing, before i left home. Obviousley you try to keep as upright as possible, loosen grip on bars.When all suddenly goes quite you know your on ice (black or otherwise) forget about brakes or sudden changes of direction, slow steady throttle and as much forward planning as possible,follow in car tracks if you can or though sometimes it can be better on fresh snow.Iam talking now of riding in heavy rush hour traffick such as we get in the North of England. Scary but somehow satisfieing to know you can do it. Wink
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tinman
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PostSubject: Re: black ice question   black ice question I_icon_minitimeSat Dec 03, 2011 7:19 pm



Living in the banana belt of the great white north I have to say that bigbird
is spot on. One main reason is heavy transport rig traffic. Those tires generat a lot of heat and it warms up the pavement and freezes moister in the air causing black ice .
If i was to attemt to ride in these conditions I would use double DS ice radials , no cruze control and low speeds. affraid
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model28a
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PostSubject: Re: black ice question   black ice question I_icon_minitimeSat Dec 03, 2011 7:39 pm

Tinman welcome to the forum, you are fitting in quite well. Not to many people are as quick to catch on and join in the humor as you. Congratulations. :not worthy:
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