"A few feet to the left and I'd be history!"
Well, I've been working a lot of hours lately. And fitting in riding time has been a challenge, but I've been making time. Work will settle down a bit after this week, but I went out on a 20 miler tonight, familiar route and about 12 miles in I'm coming down a fairly fast road with some corners. The speed limit is 40 and the corners are open enough to see traffic coming. I'm doing about 35mph and come into a right hand turn I'm leaning the bike a little and I always grab a little front and rear brake just before entering this turn. A white ford pickup is coming from the other direction, but appears to be in his lane. I've riding this road dozens of times this year alone.
So I squeeze a little of both brakes and the back of the bike totally loses traction, I counter steer but the back end kicked out so fast that it whips my left foot out of the pedal! The bike slides towards the other lane completely sideways and then the back tires catches, now threatening to throw me over and around heading across the road in front of on-coming pickup at 35 mph! I manage to correct the steering/handlebars and because I almost always keep pedaling down hills...I have a rythym with my right leg which is still clipped in and manage to keep the crank rotating. I manage to keep my balance and the bike manages to come back into my lane/right side of the road with about two feet to spare between me and the oncoming pickup! I still had enough speed to stay up right and keep going. Man!! Was that scarey though. I thought "I just came within two feet of certain death!" Whew.
A couple observations:
1. the road is fairly smooth and free of debris, so I don't think that was the cause of this
2. Conditions were dry, 84 degrees and mostly sunny...ideal for cycling
3. Bike handling skills,(especially the ones I learned from years of mt biking) are important and likely saved my life! As is a good bit of luck and a calm head!
4. Although this seemed to happen in slow motion, it all took place in the span of about 3 seconds or less
5 I did not need to change my cycling shorts after this incident , and I'm still alive and unhurt
6. If I hit that truck head-on at 35plus mph...I'd be dead for sure!
7. I shredded the MIchelin Pro2 Race tire on the back of the bike last week when I ran over some metal. I had to put an almost new Bontrager Race X Lite Silica tire on until the new Michelin comes in at the LBS. I think that this tire just doesn't have nearly the traction or grip that the Pro2 Race has and as a result the back of the bike just took off. I've taken that turn upwards of 40 mph several times before without even a hint of losing grip I road the rest of the ride a little tentative about leaning the bike over like I normally do to make turns. I just don't have a lot of confidence in the rear tire, until I can get the Michelin back on there.