Idle Threat Stayin’ Safe

th

 

Traffic-Light-Stop---Editme

Sitting Idly by waiting for the light to change may be revving up your risk.
Back in the days riders simply were not being struck from behind like they are today. We live in the era of Total distracting driving. The cell phone the texting. Now being hit from behind by a distracted driver is a growing concern for motorcyclist… and a compelling reason to find ways to avoid being a sitting target.
Today drivers are not recognizing traffic slowing ahead of them until it’s too late. Bad new when it’s you that’s next in line ahead. In addition to increasing your sight to the other driver behind you is having Hi -Viz clothing or Helmet. Brake light flashers. Or my number one tip while stopped. I always keep my foot on the rear brake pedal. Having that bright red on the entire time while stopped is key.
Tip when coming up to a traffic light or stop sign ahead. Slow gradually, When you anticipate a changing traffic light or see a stop sign ahead, take your time getting there. Slow gradually instead of carrying speed to the intersection, You’ll have a better chance of getting that distracted driver to slow down with you rather than relying on them to suddenly react to you. That way you will also spend less time actually stopped and vulnerable.Once you do come to a standstill, maintain a “tactical ready” position, keeping the bike in gear, you should be in 1st gear, your hands on the controls and an eye always on your mirror. Also avoid stopping at the rear bumper of the car ahead of you. Instead, leave a space cushion that allows you to have a distinct escape if necessary.
As that old saying goes, “Don’t just sit there,Do something!”
Be aware of the Idle threat of sitting in traffic, be ready with a plan and be poised to take action should the driver behind fail to slow.
Michael Theodore
National Road Captain

 

TAR SNAKES

tar-snake-banner

tar-snake-in-curve

This might be a repeat for some members but we have allot of new members now and I posted this in our old website a few years ago. I bring this up while reading a new members blog last month. So here you guys go.

TAR SNAKES

You’ve seen tar snakes out on the road countless times, but probably never paid too much attention to them in your car. But when riding your motorcycle, it’s a whole different story. With only two tiny patches of rubber keeping you upright on a bike, you have to be a lot more wary about road surface imperfections, and tar snakes are among the most sinister ones you’ll find.

What are Tar Snakes?

As roads age, they develop cracks in the surface. As the road gets abused and traffic and weather take their toll, those cracks get bigger and bigger, and cause the road surface to degrade quickly. As a temporary fix, road crews will fill the cracks with sealant – usually a soft, tar-based substance – to fill the cracks and keep them from expanding. The result? A road covered in random, windy black lines that resemble snakes; hence the term, “tar snakes.”

Why Are Tar Snakes a Hazard to Motorcyclists?

Asphalt sealer, or tar snakes, are hazardous to riders because they can compromise your traction in three ways:

  • They have a very different texture than asphalt, and your tires will respond differently to them than to the road
  • They create a bumpy road surface that can unsettle your suspension
  • They can become softer or slicker in hot weather, or when wet

Tar snakes are generally a lot softer than asphalt, so they can easily get foreign objects embedded into them and they can even come dislodged and stick to your tires! Again, none of this would be an issue in a four-wheeled vehicle (which is why they are used), but on a motorcycle, they pose a unique hazard.

What Will Happen If You Hit A Tar Snake?

If you’ve ever ridden over painted lines in the roadway, you may have noticed a change in traction from your tires; this is because paint lines tend to be more slippery than asphalt, and should be avoided.

Tar snakes are similar, but a lot more tricky; because unlike paint lines, you never know where they will be! They are applied on the road wherever damage occurs, so you can hit a patch of them very unexpectedly, and some of these patches can be pretty nasty.

Most of the time, when you ride over tar snakes, you won’t notice much more than a bumpy road. The trouble starts when you’re leaned over; hitting a tar snake can cause you to lose traction momentarily, causing your bike to slide.

Often, you’ll regain traction quickly and won’t experience more than a “puckering moment,” but in a worst-case scenario, you can go down. This has happened to many riders – even motorcycle cops in several cases across the country.

So what do you do when you encounter these dangerous snakes?

How to Handle Tar Snakes on your Motorcycle

Remember, tar snakes are only applied to roads that are damaged, so you’re already riding on a road surface that’s less than ideal. The tar snakes on the road make the surface better for most vehicles, but worse for us riders, so you have to be doubly cautious when riding over them. Here are a few steps you can take to deal with them:

Always scan the road surface while riding to look for them.
  • Mentally, approach the tar snakes as you would any obstacle
    • Be aware of the danger yet remain flexible mentally; be open to new possibilities
    • Accept that the motorcycle may move around beneath you and that traction is less than perfect
    • Visualize a positive outcome
  • Physically, approach the tar snakes as you would any obstacle
    • Reduce speed
    • Approach the tar snakes at 90 degrees where possible, no less than 45 degrees preferably
    • Remain loose on the motorcycle; tightening up or establishing a “death grip” on the motorcycle will only create issues
    • Operate the throttle or brakes in a gradual, slow, and precise fashion
Also, remember that tar snakes respond to changes in weather very differently than normal road surfaces do. In hot weather they can “melt” and become more soft and sticky, and when wet, they can be a lot slicker than asphalt.

Overall, tar snakes are hazardous to motorcycles because they are simply not designed with us riders in mind. Transportation departments and road crews slap them all over aging roads across the country because they are perfectly acceptable road repairs for those in four-wheeled vehicles – the handful of us that ride on two.Just know to look out for them, be prepared, and keep the rubber side down…where it belongs!

Michael Theodore
National Road Captain

Rally Registration and Membership Renewal

Praise the Lord Everyone,
Just to update everyone we will be extending the Rally Pre-registration to July 17.  You will have to purchase at the door after that date for $30. Also if you have not renewed your membership you will not be able to vote at the rally this year. You have to be current prior to rally. I will be updating the list on July 18. It must be postmarked, phone or paypal with July 17th date.
If you are a chapter please make sure to bring your Motorcycle for Missionaries contribution. If you don’t have someone attending the rally please send your contribution to me by July 20. You can call me at 609-742-6539 and pay by phone or paypal.
We want to thank everyone who has supported this ministry through contributions, purchases and their time every year. We are all ambassadors of Christ and without all of you allowing God to use you to reach lost souls the laborers would be few. The harvest is ready and so are Azusa StreetRider members.

Lydia Diaz,
National Treasurer