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Thursday, March 10, 2016

My First Off!

We have been having some rather inclement weather recently, wind, rain and the occasional hail storm thrown in.

I've still been riding every day in to work with no dramas, even with it being well below freezing I've always managed to stay shiny side up!

So when I left work the other afternoon after a day of heavy showers with a bit of sunshine to brighten up the day I thought it would just be a normal 9 mile ride home.

I left work and headed no more than 1/4 mile up the road, and as I waited for the traffic lights to change the first of the hail stones started to fall.

OK, I thought, nothing to worry about, so I continued on my way. 

Another 1/4 mile and they were starting to come down thick and fast, the road was starting to look white, with just the tyre tracks from the car in front visible.

By the time I had travelled another 1/4 mile I was in white out conditions!

Now I have tyres with a 80% bias to tarmac 20% to mud, so I guessed I would be ok.

The problem I encountered were the ridges in the road. Over the years the road surface has worn down and created tracks in the tarmac.

These were now filled with hail and the whole surface of the road was becoming very slippery.

I felt the back end twitch so dropped down to 2nd gear and with that my speed slowed right down, so much so that I then had to drop into 1st to keep going.

This is when the back end decided that it was time to overtake the front as my front wheel came out of the track and hit a bigger build up of hail.

I wasn't going fast, probably no more than 10 miles an hour, but I ended up with the bike facing the wrong way looking at a car slithering to a halt!

I still had hold of the handlebars even though I was on my knees. I had pulled the clutch in and the engine was still running so I hit the kill switch and stood up.

The guy jumped out of the car following me and helped me up with the bike and we pushed it into the driveway of a house.

Making sure I was ok, which I was, not a bruise or a strained muscle, which was lucky! But best of all, nothing damaged on the bike either. The crash bars on the front really earning their keep!

I wish I had taken a picture of the road and the hail, but it did not occur to me to do so till after I had got home.

The road conditions went from perfectly dry with the sun shining, to a couple of inches of hail in all of 1 mile and 5 minutes of riding - you could not predict that happening at all!

Whilst I was waiting in the drive of the house, the lady owner came out to make sure I was ok and to see if I wanted a cup of tea (so very British) I thanked her but declined her lovely offer.

I waited for around 10 minutes when as quickly .as it fell it all got washed away with traffic and the rain that fell afterwards.

I then made it home to tell the tale.

The journey continues..........

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