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Is there anybody out there?

Is there anybody out there?

Is there anybody out there?

Is there anybody out there? Roger Waters - Pink Floyd, The Wall



My winter ride.



This is the first winter of the last three years that I left insurance on the CX500 for the winter. Due to rain and Christmas I had not been riding for almost two months. With a vehicle in the shop for repair, I decided to take the motorcycle to work, an 80 Km (50 mile) round trip mostly on highway. The weather forecast in Vancouver BC was for sunshine.



The motorcycle ride started out a little drizzly, dark and cold at 6:00 AM. Roads were slippery and my helmet shield was frosty on the edges but it was North Vancouver on the edge of mountains and the weather forecast was for sunshine. The ride was twitchy and slippery; I took the utmost of care (as much as anybody can on a motorcycle in the dark in the rain on a cold morning at highway speed). Just as I was merging off the highway in Surrey 8 Km (5 miles) from work I ran into a freak winter wonderland... solid snow falling thick and heavy on the road, the road surface was hard packed snow except for the tire ruts but the weather forecast was for sunshine! On the street headed for work the desolate roads were hard pack snow with no tire ruts with fresh snow falling, think roller bearings. I traveled for about 2 km before I crashed, lying in the snow on my back beside my bike down in the middle of the road I thought the only thing that could be worse would be to get run over, fortunately the gods were with me.



I couldn't get the bike up as it weighs 500 LB with the tires sliding on the snow covered road. A car stopped and the motorist helped me to get the bike upright and off the road. I thanked him and just sat there on my bike now covered in snow thinking of what's my next move. The motorist who helped me drove 100 meters and stopped, neither of us moved for a long time, eventually he came back and asked "what's your next move". With few options and cold hands I abandoned the motorcycle in one of the few driveways around and hitched a ride with the motorist and his wife to work where, as it happens they worked as well. He has offered to give me a ride back to my motorcycle in the middle of nowhere after work which is great because although it is still snowing heavily, the weather forecast is for sunshine!



Anybody else get caught in a freak snow storm while riding? How did it turn out?
 

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I used to ride all year, except when the roads were covered in snow/icy. I stopped that practice after an afternoon winter storm, I waited it out until the plows had cleaned and salted, but forgot about the steel deck overpass on my route home, until I came up on it at about 45 MPH. Best description of the wet/frozen bridge surface would be a skating rink covered in wet soap. I managed to keep it up (I don't know how) and was almost sideways by the time I got to the end of the bridge.







The bridge is still there, the holes have been filled in with concrete, but the steel ridges still stick out, I'm betting the concrete made things even worse in the snow. To add to the fun, it's not a straight overpass, it has a curve in it. Not too long ago an MIT student killed himself on a rice rocket on the overpass. In winter, 3 wheels good, 4 wheels better, 2 wheels can wait.
 

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I have ridden in the snow a bit but not this year. They day I put the bike up which was december 11th I gave it a good ride and it was suppose to snow. Turned into more than enough rain that soaked me. Should have been wearing rain gear. Thank god it wasn't to long before I got home. Only 30 miles.
 

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While not "winter riding", I had a big scare last spring. On a fairly short trip from work to a class I had to attend, about 15 miles, and one section of that is freeway speed stretch with several slight hills and curves. The day had been mostly sunny, but as evening started to fall, the clouds started to move in. I didn't think too much of it because the ride back home is about the same distance.



Just 5 miles from class, the clouds blackened rapidly, got very dense and within seconds the worst cloud burst of rain, BIG FAT RAIN.......and then...........hellacious sized hailstones. BIG ONES for these parts. Easily the size of a nickle or quarter. The next 5 miles felt like I was sitting in front of a gattling gun or bead blaster. I was quick to slow down when the pain of them hitting my legs at 60mph sank in. My windshield deflected them from my helmet and torso for the most part, until I slowed down, and then I was just getting pummeled all over. Got to press on tho', I really couldn't miss this class. The two and a half hour class was sheer agony, as I must have swelled up like a pomegranate.



I couldn't believe my bike suffered no damage, the windshield protected everything until I slowed and then I was hovering over the tank. The fenders surely could have been ball peened, I thought to myself, but no damage at all. It stopped hailing just as I got to class, and then was clear on the way home.



Truely freak.
 

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Last year I took the hack out during a couple of snows and had a ball in some large, empty parking lots! Have not had a chance to do it this year, maybe in Jan. or Feb. Currently, battery is down on the hack but the GL is ready to go. I hope to ride to work tomorrow and then ride some on Saturday, that will give me the last and first days of the years on the bike!

Gene
 

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It sounds like you're having a lot of fun over there.

I was contemplating a ride today because I've just got my CX400 up and running, but it's just too bloody hot!

I live in the Southern part of mainland Australia and the forecast for today is for 40 degrees Celsius, which I think is about 104 degrees in your money.
 

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Back when I lived in Asheville NC and rode a Moto Guzzi I had the opportunity to ride in the snow quite a bit. The Guzzi was my most reliable transportation and I was working as a carpenter building custom houses in the mountains surrounding Asheville. What I remember is it's a lot easier riding up a mountain in the snow than it is riding down. I was a lot younger then and I could pick the Guzzi up when I fell over.



Last winter I was out on my GL650 about 30 miles north of my home in Bucks County PA when it started snowing and sticking to the roads. I took a wrong turn and wound up on a narrow road that dead ended in the middle of nowhere. Turning around on the icy road was scary because if I had dropped it I would not have been able to pick it back up but I managed to get back home with out sliding off the road.



This winter I am being more prudent and have actually driven my truck to work since the snow storm last Sunday. The roads are mostly clear now so I will be riding tomorrow, watching for slippery spots.Maybe I will have a sidecar hack by next winter and I won't have to drive my truck at all.
 

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I was able to ride to work this morning, so the last day of the year is good for riding! The rain & storms are supposed to move in late today, hope it holds off until I get home and get the bike covered. Not too sure about tomorrow, rain in the am, dropping temps all day, maybe I can squeeze in a ride to the grocery! There will be other days in the next 2 months I can ride and March is always good for a lot of warm (but stormy) days.

Gene



PS: April is heaven and May is heaven X 2!
 

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I'm comforted to hear that I am not the only one who can't pick his bike up. I keep trying to think of a way to do a pick up by myself.........but on snow !!! A disadvantage for sure.
 

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well guys its rather easy to pick up a dropped bike here is a video on how to do it



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sP3cqKbOEs



i tried it one time when a dumb a#@ hardley rider dropped his bike and couldnt pick it up
 

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Starting from a 45 degree angle sure helps I'll bet.
 

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If it helps.... bike down on left side (which for me seems to be the dominent....Awe Crap....she's going over - again!!!! situation )- handlbars turned full to left, left hand on left handle bar, right hand on seat grab rale (CXCustom) lift from knees like weight lifter..... bike is now at 45 Brace bike against thigh maintain hold with right hand, straighten handle bars with left. Left hand on engine guard, right hand remains on grab rail... leg-press again, and she's up. I've used this technique too many times to admit - for me, it seems to be 'all in the legs' similar to the video, but I've never tired it backward like that. - Hope there isn't a next time to try it again. LOL
 

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Back in college 35+ years ago in Columbus, Ohio I would sometimes ride in the snow because the bike was my only transportation. Fortunately Columbus doesn't really have much snow usually. My BMW had a low center of gravity & being on city streets speeds were slow & I had ruts to follow so I never dropped it in snow. The fun part was seeing the looks on the other people. I now avoid snow.



We've had so little snow this year in Ithaca that I was able to ride both yesterday and this morning. I just have to be careful of the sand & salt on the road especially at intersections.



Doug
 

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I willingly rode about 45 minutes when it was snowing, but it was at least 35 and sunny, so I knew it wouldn't stick, and it was after our big thaw out, was a fun ride, had about 40 people look at me like I'm crazy doing 75 down the highway while most people in cars are doing 70 thinking it might blizzard or something, people are retarded, but it was funny.



The worst ride I can remember was last April, the day of my friend Dale's funeral, I was staying about 15 from my parents, where my rain gear still was, and it's supposed to rain, so off to my parents I go..... About 5-10 miles from their house, it was a sudden downpour, I have clothes there still, so I continue on, though I was completely soaked about the time the 1st drop hit, that 1st drop was basically a 5 gallon bucket... A couple minutes later, it gets dark, and I notice something was bouncing off my helmet, then it felt like I was being shot by a VERY high powered air soft gun or something, with leather on, and then I noticed it was hail, and rather large hail, and it hurt like HELL, so I'm 1/2 way between parents house, and the funeral, and the funeral will be starting soonish, so I can't go to the parents slowly, which still hurts, so I turn around and go to his funeral soaked to the bone... About 2 weeks before that, I rode to the bar, about 45 minutes away, and it was about 15 degrees out, I walked in, and he couldn't believe I was riding, he offered to buy me a drink, then remembered I don't drink, and bought me a coke, and said I was hardcore, and that was to be my nickname, a few hours, and many beers for him later, he said F that, you aren't hardcore, you're Fair Weather, because it's the opposite, and he liked nicknames to be the opposite of what they mean... To no surprise, there were only 5 bikes at his funeral, though he was VP of the motorcycle club, and those were all from around the corner... No doubt he was up above laughing his ass off as Fair Weather rides through a hailstorm to go to his funeral lol



RIP Superman, we miss you bro
 

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Wow I am relived I am not the only crazy one out there. I go to University of Buffalo and my CX is the only mode of transportation (well also my 10 speed canondale but that is for total emergencies). It is my first motorcycle and I got it in January two years ago. Only had my permit never ridden a bike, but I was so excited that I mended the jammed front break put some gas in and off I was. Couple days getting a hang of it riding around the block and then I hit the town. The funny part was that it still had original tires which were all naked and cracked. But when I hit the first snow they proved to be quite good because unlike many modern tires they were thin and were able to carve through the snow instead of skiing in it. Later on I got avon dual sport tires, which cost me a bundle but turned my bike in to super stable go anywhere machine.

Last winter I rode in the snow too a bit. But only first snow, it is easy when the snow is fluffy and tires easily make way to the road, plus I ride only in the streets no highways and no more then 20 miles an hour. Once the snow packs and turns in to uneven dirty ice there is no point riding anymore. Once I rode out and the streets were clean and the weather was promising sunny, but by evening it started really snowing. As I was getting back at one part of the road near the intersection the snow and packed ice were bad and I started swerving, predictably out of nowhere a cop pops up in the back glowing blue and red. His appearance made me more nervous then the conditions on the road. Thankfully he was understanding and let me be, I was near the house anyway.

Riding in the snow was a stupid thing to begin my learning experience, but it really taught me how to feel and control power to clutch ratio and how to apply breaks in slippery conditions.

Surprisingly on the wet ice it is harder to stand with the bike (on a traffic light with legs slipping ) then to start moving, I guess good tires and hefty weight of the bike provide good traction.

It helped me a lot later on, to drive in rainy conditions also. But it is all good to remissness, during the rides themselves I remember myself being very tense alert and angry at myself for doing this. So unless I really have to, Ill skip the snowy days.











P.S. I hate those metal bridges. Anyone have good tips on how to tackle them? Except to stay away?
 

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When I wore a teenager's clothes I used a motorcycle to deliver the local paper. More than a few times during those years I got caught by snow while working my route. Since I was young (and dumb) I never paused, they had to have the paper! I wiiped out more than a few times but I learned and didn't damage the bike or myself (too much). Now, a half century+ later I am a little (not much) wiser and I no longer ride 2 wheels in the snow. However, since I have 3 wheels, in addition to two, I will confess to taking my hack out last winter and the one before that and just playing in the snow! Here in the south we rarely have the hard packed snow on the roads as do our northern brethern, so when we do, we shut everything down, go out and play! If this winter brings me some more snow to play in, I hope to get some pictures or maybe even some video to share on the board. My hack can really spin, in an empty parking lot, with lots of snow! I have to be carefull, old bones take a damn long time to heal!



Gene
 

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Riding in the snow. Been there done that. Lots of things change when the roads are frozen. Seems like a third wheel would be pretty beneficial.



Metal bridges will always be awkward. The best advise is to cross them as much as possible when the conditions are good in order to learn how to handle the situation. Practice makes perfect.
 
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