geekonabike (Addict) View all posts in this topic  
Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:33 am
Just shows the importance of traction        

Glad you're otherwise alright. Good luck mending.

It's very easy to have something like that happen. They say gyroscopic action is what keeps bikes up but I think traction is often more important. If you're on dry pavement and riding at walking speed and the bike leans a bit too far and wants to fall, throttle brings it back up not because of gyroscopic action so much (methinks), because then why won't it want to stay in the same plane it's in (the one where you're leaned over enough to want to fall)? No, the tire traction lets you move the bike into a better plane. "Castor" effect is also important.

Anyhow, all the books will tell you that in any given situation you have a finite amount of traction which you can use for braking, accelerating, leaning (and turning), staying up, and probably something I'm missing. But that finite amount changes with road conditions, including how the road itself leans. (You do get more with a banked turn if your speed matches the banking, but that's a tangential thing, no pun intended.)

So yeah, I myself am paranoid about situations where the amount of traction (or tire friction) is diminished. Water itself only removes something like 15-30% of traction if I remember correctly. Water mixed with other crud can make it like ice. One that I read about was diesel fuel, which then was demonstrated to me when I was following a school bus that was leaking the stuff. My minivan's ABS suddenly engaged when I was coming up to a 4-way stop after the bus had done the same. I smelled the stuff after wondering what was going on. A couple weeks later I was about to enter a ramp and smelled it again, and then saw a big spill I would have ridden onto so I ran off the main road to get by it. (Can't remember if I actually went onto the gras, as this was probably 2006.)

Dirt and sand, and grass and leaves can also really reduce traction.

You survive and learn. Certainly your story is a common one. Lick your wounds and be smarter for it. Glad you were wearing gear. Thumb up

-Mike D.

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