Black ice

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
flat tyre
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Re: Black ice

Postby flat tyre » 2 Jan 2017, 5:55pm

Very difficult to spot in my experience, also difficult to judge in what conditions it may form. There are the obvious ones such as earlier rain then a frosty morning, or draining surface water freezing onto the road surface. I have been caught out once or twice in recent years by seemingly dry conditions but where a mist of fog has formed this condensed onto the road then froze. As for those that say you can tell by the tyre noise...well by the time you've noticed any change you're probably off and sliding along on the ice! My advice would be to keep a close eye on the weather forecast (I always look at the Met office web page), know your local roads as there will be some areas more prone to ice, and if possible stick to routes that you know will be gritted.

samsbike
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Re: Black ice

Postby samsbike » 2 Jan 2017, 6:08pm

Cheers all. I may just not ride. It's no fun falling first thing in the morning

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Heltor Chasca
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Black ice

Postby Heltor Chasca » 2 Jan 2017, 6:59pm

Fitted my studs and flat pedals on the Big Dummy today day. Morning School Run tomorrow and Wednesday probably won't happen. At 1730 today it was already as slippery as an inside out salmon. I would do it if I wasn't carrying a 7 year old. Precious goods and all that. Might stick to afternoons for now.

reohn2
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Re: Black ice

Postby reohn2 » 2 Jan 2017, 7:08pm

One other thing that I concerned about when it's frosty with potential black ice,car drivers don't always appreciate it and some drive as per normal :shock: :? .
When they start skidding about I don't want to be there on my bike :shock:
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CREPELLO
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Re: Black ice

Postby CREPELLO » 2 Jan 2017, 7:13pm

Wasn't the recent fatal A40 crash near Witney partly caused by black ice and freezing fog? I'm guessing that the fog froze to the road surface, causing the black ice. Question is, can you tell freezing fog from normal fog? I'm thinking that dry but untreated minor roads could become lethal if there is fog when the temperature drops.

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Heltor Chasca
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Re: Black ice

Postby Heltor Chasca » 2 Jan 2017, 7:23pm

reohn2 wrote:One other thing that I concerned about when it's frosty with potential black ice,car drivers don't always appreciate it and some drive as per normal :shock: :? .
When they start skidding about I don't want to be there on my bike :shock:


Absolutely. I saw this just a couple of days a ago in the mud and ice down our way in Somerset. I even had the pleasure of a close pass from the OTHER direction. The young 'un driving, either deliberately changed course towards me or had a small skid. Either way it made my pupils dilate.

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Si
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Re: Black ice

Postby Si » 2 Jan 2017, 7:38pm

gaz wrote:January forecast is for a sustained period of cold frosty mornings. Studded tyres fitted to the commuter and I will continue to ride with care.

+1
Even if there isn't much ice studded tyres just help you to relax more. Plus they get you fitter:-)

only issue is remembering to be careful when you stop and put your non-studded foot down!

Vorpal
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Re: Black ice

Postby Vorpal » 2 Jan 2017, 7:39pm

Si wrote:
gaz wrote:January forecast is for a sustained period of cold frosty mornings. Studded tyres fitted to the commuter and I will continue to ride with care.

+1
Even if there isn't much ice studded tyres just help you to relax more. Plus they get you fitter:-)

only issue is remembering to be careful when you stop and put your non-studded foot down!

Or put studs on your feet. :mrgreen:
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Toffee
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Re: Black ice

Postby Toffee » 2 Jan 2017, 11:10pm

Spent 3 hours in the local A&E when Mrs T and I hit some black ice on our ride today. Both of us went down but I got my feet out of the pedals landed without any injuries, Mrs T on the other hand just had the bike go sideways and landed on her elbow with the handlebars hitting her wrist as they came own.

Quite lucky to only have a small crack in one of her wrist bones which should heal ok. Neither of us saw the ice but the hill we were about to go up was covered on our side in it.

reohn2
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Re: Black ice

Postby reohn2 » 2 Jan 2017, 11:28pm

Sorry to read about your falls,I hope Mrs T gets well soon.
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AndyK
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Re: Black ice

Postby AndyK » 3 Jan 2017, 12:40am

I think I've mentioned this in the past but it's worth repeating:
Most local highway authorities provide maps on their websites of their gritting routes. Although these are mostly urban streets, A roads and some B roads, they can also include other minor roads if they happen to be on a bus route or the most-used road into a particular village or to a school. If you're planning a ride into the countryside it's worth getting to know your local gritting map.
The council I used to work for (Hampshire) also puts out a tweet on Twitter when it's sending out the gritting lorries (actually salting lorries round here) of an evening.

ElaineB
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Re: Black ice

Postby ElaineB » 3 Jan 2017, 9:22am

Why risk any sort of injury? It's not pleasant riding in temperatures lower than 3* and if you ride down lanes that don't see sunlight ice can still be lurking.
Spring isn't far away and think how fed up you would be if nursing broken bones then. A fireman once told me...'a dead hero is of no use to anyone'. Stay warm and safe until the ice has melted.

pwa
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Re: Black ice

Postby pwa » 3 Jan 2017, 10:52am

If you hit black ice you can go from cycling to sliding down the road on your behind in a second. No delicate bike handling will save you. My advice is to choose another form of transport on really bad days, or confine yourself to roads you know are reliably gritted. Avoid shortcuts down side streets. And avoid cycle tracks.

Never tried the studded tyres, but thy sound like a bit of a faff, considering how few days of the year are icy around here. Maybe a better idea if you have a second bike that can be left with studded tyres on over the winter, to be used when in doubt.

pwa
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Re: Black ice

Postby pwa » 3 Jan 2017, 11:00am

On the question of how to tell when it is a bad day for ice, one indicator I use is a manhole cover on the driveway beside my kitchen door. It has a hand hold in a cup-like depression, which holds a tiny amount of moisture, over cold metal. I dip a finger in and if I feel wet moisture I conclude that things are probably okay locally. If I touch ice I fear the worst.

Threevok
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Re: Black ice

Postby Threevok » 3 Jan 2017, 12:47pm

pwa wrote:Never tried the studded tyres, but thy sound like a bit of a faff, considering how few days of the year are icy around here. Maybe a better idea if you have a second bike that can be left with studded tyres on over the winter, to be used when in doubt.


There are indeed a faff, with the constant on and off - especially if you use them in conjunction with slime tubes. Also, some days, you just don't know what the conditions are going to be, until the morning - a bit of a rush to change them beforehand, if you commute.

As you mention, I have my second bike set up already, which is a lot easier. When I only had the one bike, I would leave the spikes on - from the beginning of November to the end of February.