"Cheese slicer" barriers

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Bendmac, May 22, 2020.

  1. Bendmac

    Bendmac Been here awhile

    Nov 1, 2006
    Central Oregon, USA
    Rant of the day...is it my imagination or are we seeing (at least here in the U.S.) more and more "cheese slicer" barriers going up along our highways?

    Hitting a guardrail is dangerous enough as it is. Always the possibility of being ejected from the bike and over the side. But if I had to dump the bike and "ride the slide", now I've got to be worried about being possibly being decapitated or dismembered?

    Doing a search, I see numerous protests in the UK as well as in the U.S. and Oz and New Zealand. All, apparently, fall on deaf ears.

    Riding off road is what I guess we consider to be an acceptable risk. There's rocks, mudholes, trees, barbed wire fences, cattle guards, etc. But, unless you're a real stud, speeds on those kinds of roads are going to be less than on the slab.

    Yeah, I know...motorcycles make up just a small part of the overall traffic on these roads and it can't just be about "us" as riders. But, between tar strips and wire rope barriers (not to mention distracted cage drivers), seems we just can't catch a break. And videos like this are...chilling...to say the least.

    OK....rant over....I need a cigarette!
    dharmadan likes this.
  2. windmill

    windmill Long timer

    Feb 18, 2008
    Kent, Washington State
    They're mostly being installed to prevent a vehicle crossing a median into oncoming traffic due to lawsuits. The theory being the odds are they're a lesser of 2 evils.

    As a motorcyclist, I figure its really low on the threat scale, and is just something to be aware of to adjust for accordingly the same as any other hazard.
    strommonster likes this.
  3. sluagh

    sluagh not fade away

    Dec 7, 2019
  4. Snowbird

    Snowbird Cereal Killer

    Mar 19, 2008
    Between the Great Lakes and Appalachia
    I don't know specifically whether there's more cable barrier or not (I suspect there is more of it, tho), but all the sign posts out there also pose a danger. Some of the sign posts-- talking the single ones here-- could be replaced with ones that break away for motorcycles and not just for cars. Most of you don't know this, but single and double sign posts have two parts. Part A is driven into the ground. Part B is bolted to part A and holds the actual sign. If a car hits the sign post, the post breaks at that juncture, improving the outcome. If a motorcyclist hits the sign post, it removes part of the motorcyclist from the rest of the motorcyclist. Part A has to be lower than 4" from the ground when B breaks away so it doesn't rip a hole in the car's gas tank.

    I've noticed in some states that guide rail (not talking cable guide here, but box beam or 'W' beam) has a piece at the bottom I assume is to prevent a motorcyclist from going under the rail. That is an example of making an improvement for motorcyclist safety IF I read what I see correctly.
  5. Motor7

    Motor7 Long timer

    Sep 16, 2013
    East Tennessee
    Every time I ride I look at those damn things and hope I never have to slide off the highway into them. Lottery odds to slide through between two of them and not catch your head/helmet on the bottom wire. Then there is the lose a leg/foot/arm/hand scenario by hitting one......or get a different lucky and dead center the damn thing and put you out of your misery. I know a guard rail post it bad, but for some reason the zillion small narrow wire posts just give me the shivers.
  6. Wildmtn

    Wildmtn Still Lost

    Aug 30, 2017
    Northern Colorado
    They have a purpose. I saw a driver who was in the fast lane and distracted, drop two wheels off the road to the left, over correct, slide sideways then have the tires catch and head directly into the opposite traffic direction on the freeway. It resulted in a head-on and a motorcyclist was between the two cars as they hit head on. Cables went up in the year after that incident. If the cables stop or reduce the above from happening I am all for them.

    Any barrier, post, barrel, rail, car, tree, building, wire, pole, critter, etc. will be a bad thing for a high velocity human to run into so avoid at all costs.
  7. Tall Man

    Tall Man Speak as you find.

    Jul 14, 2007
    The Occident
    Our DOT has for years now been replacing the wire barriers with modern guide rails. Correctly viewed as "progress", it has been slow but steady.

    A clear plurality of the work has been and is occurring in rural counties and thruways, where the wire barriers have been around for many decades. A favorite road of mine is representative, insomuch that it has significant curves and elevation changes: precisely the environment where an excursion off the asphalt would be doubly unpleasant if the legacy wire barriers remained in situ.

    The DOT's efforts are a result of earmarked funding, which is itself a manifestation of political will. Sometimes, the outcomes are exactly what they should be, where they should be.
  8. AviatorTroy

    AviatorTroy Following my front fender

    Oct 15, 2007
    Castle Rock, CO
    Yeah as said above the cables are more effective at keeping opposite direction traffic out of my lane which I’m all for.

    When Armco steel guardrails first came out there were plenty of problems with them and still are.

    Hit anything going off the side of the road at high speed and it’s going to be bad.
  9. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

    Sep 6, 2011
    I’ve had friends and acquaintances hit rigid guard rails on bikes before. The results aren’t pretty. Especially if one hits the I beam post. That is a true knife edge at speed. Severs limbs off quite neatly.

    the cables are floppy and fairly thick. I’d much rather hit a cable barrier than a rigid barrier.
    strommonster likes this.
  10. Fleksta

    Fleksta Been here awhile

    Apr 16, 2010
    Canaan, NH
    There's a section of road nearby that still has old wood beam guardrails...all I can think about are the enormous splinters :p3rry
    Whodatschrome likes this.