I finally went over a construction curb

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by henshao, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. henshao

    henshao Bained

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    Where I live the DOT is paving sections of an 8 lane highway lane by lane. Before laying down the new asphalt they have to tear up the old asphalt, and due to what I perceive to be incompetence (in addition to other contributing clues) they are leaving several lanes of asphalt several inches lower than the next lane. Just a 90 degree, 3 or so inch curb. Many times I have been doing 70mph, trapped in this lower lane too frightened to go over the curb and change into the next lane.

    I always assumed that if you hit it hard and steep enough the bike would go right over it, I mean obviously I can't change lanes at highway speed at 90 degrees, but always in my mind I have feared that I would wipe out. I guess I finally built up enough courage because using the entire width of my line I hit that f***er as hard and perpendicular as I could, standing slightly and we went right over it. Had to be going 75mph. I feel accomplished :D
    #1
  2. doc4216

    doc4216 Chronic High Fiver

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    Congrats:clap I remember I hated the construction curb and railroad tracks scared the shit outta me until I did it :D One thing conquered, many more to come!
    #2
  3. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    Way of life in the bay area.
    It's not so bad and soon you will just make a slight adjustment to go up it changing lanes.
    #3
  4. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    As long as you aware what CAN go wrong and don't just try to drift over it lazily, you'll be OK. You have to hit them at a steep angle and lighten up the front of the bike.
    #4
  5. fz6kd7

    fz6kd7 Been here awhile

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    I did a two layer difference between lanes
    @70 it was a good jolt
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  6. OaklandStrom

    OaklandStrom Long timer

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    Way of life, for sure.
    It's one of the reasons I ride a bike with a 19" front, 6" of suspension and foot pegs under my butt. I can get my ass off the seat, shift my weight towards the rear, and give it a little throttle. I wonder what that kind of stuff is like on a cruiser with limited suspension and forward controls.

    I hit a 2x4 one night (just coming out of the S curve on the Bay Bridge) with no warning, at about 70. Absolutely nothing happened.
    #6
  7. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    Pretty much the same on a cruiser. They are heavy, heavy wheels/tires and it rolls right over with no drama. just a bit of a jolt
    #7
  8. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    I hit a deer that was already dead at about 45mph in a thick fog one night. The hind quarters acted like a ramp and I am sure I flew 15' before landing. I only had time for my kidneys to clench before the hit. I landed like nothing had happened except I nearly shit myself from fright.:eek1

    Jim :brow
    #8
  9. henshao

    henshao Bained

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    I see you live in Alexandria. 495 is where this happened, going east. I mention incompetence because twice I have been forced into Maryland due to there being ZERO SIGNAGE of EVERY EXIT FOR 5 MILES BEING CLOSED.
    #9
  10. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Bitch called me a feminist.

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    I don't mind the curb so much, the lower layer grated crap that they leave makes me nervous, and I always seem to hit that crap at speed in a corner.
    #10
  11. bwringer

    bwringer Gimpy, Yet Alacritous

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    Crap like this is why I'm finding more and more that my KLR650 with knobbies is the right tool for urban commuting.

    Indy has developed a rather third-world approach to street maintenance of late.
    #11
  12. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    Oh you mean the "throw some tar on the road and run over it with a pick up truck and tractor until it appears to be flat from 200 feet away" method?

    :fpalm

    They do that shit everywhere here. And then it flakes and cracks and develops holes and turns into an awful surface that sits there for YEARS before they to spend even MORE money fixing it correctly. The whole fix it right and fix it once idea is completely lost on most DOTs.
    #12
  13. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    I've learned it's a deflection issue. Keep the wheels straight and in line, and over it you go. Even at a shallow angle. Cruisers can have a disadvantage here, depending on the handlebars, buckthorns in particular.

    If the ridge is extremely tall, and your angle is extremely shallow, you may scuff along without climbing. Hold the bike securely (which with a cruiser means no buckthorns) and you'll be ok. Let the front wheel deflect, and you'll likely go down very quickly. This will also help keep you upright if you ever get caught in an expansion joint on a bridge that runs parallel to the lanes (evil things those).
    #13
  14. henshao

    henshao Bained

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    Good point, I had never thought about front wheel deflection during my standing on the pegs adventures! I don't know how I didn't think of such a thing before. The bike gyroscopically wants to remain upright; so long as you don't turn the bars and countersteer it into a lean you should be alright. "Hold those suckers tight."
    #14
  15. OaklandStrom

    OaklandStrom Long timer

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    This is why I really like the Wee. I used to have a KLR, but the extra horsepower makes up for being slightly less agile. I hated not being able to accelerate (enough) when I was already going 70. Commuting on L.A. freeways on a KLR was kind of intense. Tapped out at 85, with cars tailgating you. Not fun,
    #15
  16. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    OTOH, I always wondered why those "Motorcycles Use Caution" signs for grooved and "grated" pavement are needed, I have never had any actual trouble from those pavements. The bike just swims around a little but averages out to the initial course desired.

    However for some reason I know not, my road bike (KTM 990 for dirt & paved roads) is unusually sensitive to tar snakes. Some of the asphalt roads here are laced with these and the front wobble is so bad that the first time it happened, I pulled over because I thought I had a flat front tire.
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  17. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Bitch called me a feminist.

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    Maybe they are better at sweeping where you are than the great Philly Meto area, its not the grooves that scare me, its all of the shit IN the grooves. I'd much rather deal with tarsnakes. Around here its basically like hitting lightly graveled hardpack at 70mph.

    Not fun when you tend to run tires with only enough tread to move the water out of the way a little.
    #17
  18. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    Try different tires, pressures, and shock sag settings.
    #18