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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 11-08-12, 01:45 AM   #1
ben4345
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Damn leaves!

Better watch out for those damn stupid wet leaves on the ground.
On my way home, my front wheel slipped and rotated the bike while my rear wheel also slipped and fishtailed. Effectively throwing me onto my side. I wasn't even going that fast!
Yes, I am okay, my invisible helmet saved my life.
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Old 11-08-12, 02:18 AM   #2
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My wife wiped out the other night on the leaf snot... she too is in Portland.

Thankfully... she and her bike were okay.
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Old 11-08-12, 03:55 AM   #3
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I ride pretty slow over patches of leaves. I really like the color they add to an otherwise boring trip. I also ride an MTB so I'm less likely to slip.
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Old 11-08-12, 07:20 AM   #4
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Toss in some walnuts, and it's like riding through marbles on snot. Sure will be glad when the leaves are down. My town also have a leaf pickup program, so there are huge piles of leaves in the bike lane awaiting pickup by the trash patrol.
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Old 11-08-12, 08:38 AM   #5
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Do you know even the railroads have problems with wet leaves. They call leaf oil. Virginia Railway Express (VRE) had an article in their last newletter.
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Old 11-08-12, 09:00 AM   #6
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I had a similar wreck last week, but it was pine needles covering the MUP. I thought I was on the center of the path, but I was on the edge. Went around a turn, back wheel slid off the path, bike went over. My shoulder still hurts a bit and I tore a hole in my gloves.

edit: This was on my hybrid.

Last edited by spivonious; 11-08-12 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 11-08-12, 09:17 AM   #7
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This is the main reason my road bike is put away until spring.
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Old 11-08-12, 09:27 AM   #8
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Ditto to ben4345, for me down a 12 foot embankment to my home parking lot yesterday, that I always walk down when it's wet leaves covered. Except when I'm feeling stupid. Blind luck that I landed on my feet and ran down it like a fool instead of hitting the ground.
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Old 11-08-12, 11:02 AM   #9
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The drive into my apt complex has a 9-12% grade drive, for about 30 yards or so. It's been covered in leaves pretty consistently for the last couple of weeks, even though the complex cleans the parking lot at least a couple times per week. I only had one incident going down the drive early in the morning. Didn't go over, but my rear tire slid pretty good and I had a hard time getting the bike slowed down to make the turn out of the drive.

My wife has dropped her motorcycle putting her foot down in wet leaves, too.
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Old 11-08-12, 11:10 AM   #10
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Oct 23 and 24, flat tire on two consecutive days due to broken glass concealed by leaves in the bike lane.
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Old 11-08-12, 12:15 PM   #11
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It's been dry here so for me it's just "Crunch, crunch crunch, crunch".

Although, carving a corner at speed was a little exciting hitting that big pile of leaves covering up sand.
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Old 11-08-12, 02:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trek_geek View Post
Do you know even the railroads have problems with wet leaves. They call leaf oil. Virginia Railway Express (VRE) had an article in their last newletter.
I was going to post this also. My subway line runs outside in a cut and the trains come down into my station from an embankment. They are on orders at this time of year to creep into the station because of leaves, otherwise they'll overshoot the platform.
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Old 11-08-12, 02:37 PM   #13
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Good reminder. We've had a couple of weeks of dry weather and now it's going to rain this pm, so all those leaves will get super slick.
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Old 11-08-12, 02:59 PM   #14
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Leaves make me nervous but so far the biggest issue is that they are pilled in the bike lanes everywhere which is annoying to try and avoid with traffic. I did get hit in the face last night on the way home however by a rogue blackberry vine. Never even saw it coming since it was above the throw of my light.
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Old 11-08-12, 03:54 PM   #15
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I never had a problem with leaves, until I had that problem with leaves... Was riding around a corner that I was always able to take at speed, when I hit wet leaves on top of wet leaves. Rear wheel lost traction, and down I went. I don't trust them anymore (wet or dry). All to often they gather at a place my wheel rather wouldn't go.
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Old 11-09-12, 12:30 PM   #16
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That happened to me once when I was turning a corner. I too was surprised because I was going slow and it happened without warning.
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Old 11-09-12, 02:04 PM   #17
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One of the towns around here has those trees with the tiny, football shaped leaves on the sides of all the roads in their downtown. Those leaves are like ice when they come down. They lay flat on top of each other and layers slide effortlessly over each other even when dry.
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Old 11-09-12, 03:52 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
My wife wiped out the other night on the leaf snot... she too is in Portland.

Thankfully... she and her bike were okay.
Down here in Eugene it's those golf-ball sized apples that are falling off the trees and gathering in the bike lane under the leaves that freak me out.
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Old 11-09-12, 04:33 PM   #19
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I have yet to experience the "leaf phenomenon" in Cali. But I'll pay more attention now.
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Old 11-11-12, 06:23 PM   #20
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The slick leaf goo is dangerous for cars too. My neighborhood has a lot of trees and when the leaf goo is at its worst, you can slide your car right into a curb just making a routine turn.

Fallen branches are also a threat after a windy day, they hide in leaves and jump up to jam in your spokes, or derail your tire as effectively as a tram track.

On the bike, I basically avoid riding through leaves. I will ride in the traffic lane if the bike lane is leaf covered. If I have no choice, I slow way down and pick my way through.

I keep the bike path in front of my house swept and leaf free, as much as I can. Don't want a rider - like me - to go down on "my" leaves.
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Old 11-11-12, 07:28 PM   #21
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Same issue here as well, one of the roads i travel along is often covered in leaf and tree debris. They started having street sweeper on there twice a week.... to bad he sweeps it in to the bike path most of the time .


Although the Childish part of me cant help but love riding over the dry crackly leaves sometimes even if i know it is silly with all the glass around.
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Old 11-12-12, 11:42 AM   #22
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Leaves around here have been pretty dry so far, but the Horse Apples are all over the MUP.
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Old 11-13-12, 11:18 PM   #23
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I ate s**t on some leaves curbside last month and went down hard. Felt it for weeks, finally done with bandages. The leaves turned the tiny lip of a driveway into a wet train track so to speak and removed all friction between the front wheel and the tarmac. Thought my elbow might need a skin graft but at last, with daily care for four weeks, all is well. The piles of leaves were a result of Hurricane Issac defoliating the local flora.

Basically, the leaves hid the concrete lip from my view and provided lubrication in a direction slightly tangent to my intended line of travel.
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Old 11-14-12, 04:39 AM   #24
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I've never had a problem with leaves, but I will be alert thanks to your stories that might prevent me to have a small accident. Thanks!!!
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Old 11-14-12, 07:01 AM   #25
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I was lucky to have learned about wet leaves on a slow motion fall going up a hill at the end of my driveway years ago. Totally unprepared when the back wheel started spinning and down I went, similar to what happens when for whatever reason you don't get unclipped at a stop light.

Right now all our wet leaves are buried under the snow, biding their time, waiting to wreak havoc when it melts.
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