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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Sand and gravel patches

I've owned a bike for a few years (2000 Shadow Spirit), but have barely ridden the damn thing since I moved to western NC because it has been one mechanical problem after another; it seems like every time I take it for a spin it breaks down on me. I've been letting it sit and rot for almost a year now because I'm tired of throwing time and money at something that inspires no confidence.

I've recently been on the serious search for another (sport) bike, and hope to get one over the winter (hopefully tomorrow, in fact.) There's one thing that I've noticed on my 25 minute mountain road commute in my car, however: Nearly every driveway is sand or gravel, and they all are inconveniently placed around turns. I swear the sharper the turn, the more driveways and gravel there are. This is kind of freaking me out, because most of these hazardous substances you can't see until you're halfway around a blind turn, and every time I go around them in my car I can't help but think, "God I'm glad I didn't take a bike down this road." This is incredibly unfortunate, because anyone who is familiar with the Lake Lure area knows how amazingly fun and beautiful the roads are. I'd love to commute to work in the spring and summer on a bike, but the patches are usually so bad that I'd think I'd wipe out going over them in a straight line, and certainly in a moderate lean.

I guess my question is, what do you riders in sparsely populated areas do about sand and gravel, and how bad is it in reality? Sand patches may not be as bad as I think they are, but ever since I had a low-speed low-side going through a greasy puddle on fresh tires, I've started assuming the pavement is a lot slipperier.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 04:14 PM
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ride slower.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 06:59 PM
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There's a corner near my home that usually has dirt or sand in it. I cross by it just about every time I come home from work (it's my main route home) and I ALWAYS take it rather slow, because chances are there's something non-grippy sitting in the middle of the turn. Even doing that I felt my tire barely slide out a little. You don't need to push it at every turn.

In short: read the post above mine. It pretty much says the same thing but uses only two words.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 08:02 PM
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~~
Lots of that around here too. You can take a ride out and everything is clean. Come home from your ride an hour later and there's a giant swatch of gravel in a turn that wasn't there before.

I just flat out take turns slower to avoid problematic amounts of lean if I can't see the entire turn before I take it.
~~
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