July 4th - Cycling in the rain presents its own hazards and challenges, but is especially hazardous in the rain following a dry, hot spell.
When roads are dry, the surface, which is gently abrasive, grinds residue from tyres and collects dust and detritus, plant matter and spilled oil, fuel and other gunk from vehicles. This is all mixed and blended by traffic action into a sort of instant-grease mix, just waiting for the atmosphere to add water.
When the rains come, the first surface waters and traffic action mingle with the powder to form a soapy, slippery fluid that actively foams and reduces traction. Cornering in this goop on narrow tires can be like cornering on ice, and wheel spin and braking skids are the signs that one needs to be careful.
Most car drivers would never notice it. But anyone on two wheels dreads the sight of the white froth on a road surface, just waiting to steel your wheels from under you.
Take care folks.
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- digitaldion said: Be careful! In January is hit an oily patch on my Vespa after overnight rain. Ended up with a broken shoulder blade and dislocated shoulder. My doctor had a similar injury the previous year falling off his road bike on a diesel patch on a club ride.
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