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Gun shy about painted lines on the road - everywhere!!!

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Gun shy about painted lines on the road - everywhere!!!

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Old 07-26-16, 08:43 AM
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TenSpeedV2
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Gun shy about painted lines on the road - everywhere!!!

So about a month ago I took a massive spill making a turn onto a road in the rain, and yes it was mostly my fault. I came in a little too hot for the conditions, and well, I wiped out due to a soaking wet crosswalk with slick paint. I ended up landing on my cheek, scraped both knees pretty bad, and did a number to my right wrist. For the most part, I am now recovered, and my face looks like nothing ever happened.

Well, I am completely gun shy if I have to cross any type of painted area on a road at any type of an angle. If I am rolling straight over it, I am fine. What can I do to overcome this? Over the last few weeks the humidity and dew point here have been near record levels, and that is leaving some moisture on these in a few spots especially late at night when I commute home.

Bike is a fixed gear track bike running Continental Gatorskin 700x23. Front will take a 25 but the rear is limited to that 23. Slowing down is always an option but that does not change the fact that these crosswalks and the paint on the road is still really slippery.
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Old 07-26-16, 08:46 AM
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Where possible, clip out, in advance, and keep your inside foot close to the ground, so you can try to catch yourself. The only "cure" is to get right back on the horse, which means riding like it never happened. Hard to do, I know, but there is no shortcut to regaining confidence.
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Old 07-26-16, 08:51 AM
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Shimagnolo
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You think it's bad on a bicycle, try it on a motorcycle.
I wiped out on a painted line in a hairpin turn, on a *dry* road, coming to a stop in the ditch with a 450lb bike on my leg and a partially torn quadriceps tendon.
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Old 07-26-16, 08:53 AM
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Rule #64 // Cornering confidence increases with time and experience.
This pattern continues until it falls sharply and suddenly.

Cornering in general on fixed gear bikes makes me nervous. The only time I've ever had a pedal strike was on a fixie and it scared the bejesus out of me. That's one of the reasons I don't currently have a fixie in my fleet. Maybe take out a freewheel bike on rainy days until you build your confidence back up?
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Old 07-26-16, 08:55 AM
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There really is no "getting used to it." Painted lines suck. You have to accept that fact.

If I HAVE to hit one while turning, I switch from "body leaning" to "bike leaning". On the former the line between the frame and you is straight, so you are leaning as much as the bike is. On the latter I lean the bike over further but keep my body relatively upright. Almost like I'm PUSHING the bike around the corner. It's the same technique I use if I'm mountain biking and have to make my bike avoid something very quickly (say, a tree.) If you fall on the former you're hitting your shoulder hard, on the ladder you have more of a chance to get your foot out.

I remember reading something about the different types of lean in a while back, but I can't seem to find it now.

EDIT: Didn't see this was on a fixed gear, don't think it changes my opinion much. Although I never feel threatened on a turn until I'm leaning far enough that my pedal will strike, so since that isn't possible on a fixed... I don't know.

Stop riding a 23c track bike on the road and get a reasonable bike with reasonable tires...

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Old 07-26-16, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by kevindsingleton View Post
Where possible, clip out, in advance, and keep your inside foot close to the ground, so you can try to catch yourself. The only "cure" is to get right back on the horse, which means riding like it never happened. Hard to do, I know, but there is no shortcut to regaining confidence.
On a fixed gear that might be a bit awkward.

Just go slow in turns. You are not racing and you seem to be riding on city streets. Just take it easy. Confidence is built up slowly, can't rush confidence. Well, you can, but that one is often referred to as stupidity.
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Old 07-26-16, 09:00 AM
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Seek professional counseling to help you get over your fear.
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Old 07-26-16, 09:08 AM
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Another vote for the just get on and be careful. I did the same on a steel rain gutter in a cobblestone road the day before I started a tour largely over such surfaces. Definitely gun shy and uber cautious the first two days, but by the third I was back at it just fine.

Originally Posted by kevindsingleton View Post
Where possible, clip out, in advance, and keep your inside foot close to the ground, so you can try to catch yourself. The only "cure" is to get right back on the horse, which means riding like it never happened. Hard to do, I know, but there is no shortcut to regaining confidence.
I don't ride with clips, and tried that. The potential problem with that solution is that I couldn't catch myself, and ended up with a pulled groin muscle in addition to my battered leg
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Old 07-26-16, 09:26 AM
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Now you know a little about the real world of reduced traction, physics, and gravity..

Next get the fixed gear track bike Off the street , it was never intended to be used like Hipsters do.

Get some brakes on that bike , or stick to skateboards.

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Old 07-26-16, 09:44 AM
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Chris Froome doesn't like those painted lines either.
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Old 07-26-16, 09:44 AM
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A few months ago I fell two or three times the same way: veering around lollygagging joggers blocking the path, families with kids and dogs. I don't like to rush folks so it's easier to just go around them.

I'd done this many times before but suddenly I was rebounding off the paved ledge like my wheels were made of SuperBalls. Yeah, yeah, I was taking those transitions between the pavement and grass or gravel at a shallow angle, but I'd done it before, no problems.

Turns out I'd overinflated my tires for an experiment a few days earlier and had forgotten to return them to my usual pressure. At the max pressure of around 85 psi the tires, especially the front, was bouncing off the 1/2" ledge like an explosion. After dropping the front back down to 50-55 psi and rear to 60-65 psi, everything was okey dokey again.

But my confidence was rattled.

So to ease back into the saddle I rode the sidewalk around my own block a few times, deliberately riding that little gutter between the grass and pavement where it can catch a wheel and jerk you around. I realized I was overcorrecting, keeping a death grip on the bars, jerking the bike rather than going with the flow, and braking the front brake way too hard.

So I just worked on that for an hour or so, and repeated the exercise a few times over the next week, until my confidence was back. And I still do that exercise once in awhile, just to be sure I'm not lapsing into bad habits, overreacting to minor wobbles, that sorta thing.

Since then I've seen other cyclists either fall or nearly fall on the MUP doing exactly the same thing. Either they'll veer off the pavement to go around slowpokes, taking the transition at too shallow an angle; or the inexperienced riders on rented city bikes will inadvertently wobble too near the edge to get away from approaching speed racer cyclists coming toward them. The city parks have some tricky railroad tracks for the kids' mini train -- I've seen a few cyclists stumble over those. And the maintenance crews tend to fill holes in the gravel path and near bridges with sand and pea gravel -- bikes tend to plow to a sudden stop in that stuff.

So, I practice those encounters. Helps when something sneaks up unexpectedly.

You might try seeking out some place with low traffic to practice your handling techniques on wet and slick patches. Get a feel for when the wheels slip and judge whether you can catch yourself without falling or overcorrecting.
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Old 07-26-16, 10:08 AM
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Hey, take off the stupid Gatorskins. Put on a tire with just a bit of tread.
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Old 07-26-16, 10:19 AM
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G-Force took u out Fixies go or stop add front break for light touch slowing to ease into corners hit slick patchs at Perpendicular angle
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Old 07-26-16, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Hey, take off the stupid Gatorskins. Put on a tire with just a bit of tread.
No.
On a hard surface, tread patterns on a bicycle tire do nothing other than make your product look cool on the shelf in the bike shop.

Originally Posted by Lady Ga Ga View Post
G-Force took u out Fixies go or stop add front break for light touch slowing to ease into corners hit slick patchs at Perpendicular angle
Yes, paint, railroad tracks or even that super slick fresh tar should be crossed with the bike in the most vertical position possible. If it's shiny and wet, be cautious.
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Old 07-26-16, 10:35 AM
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Over the years have slipped on wet metal plates(twice) and once on black ice.
I think I could have saved myself from going down if I slowed down a bit over
the metal plates. Not sure if I could have saved myself from crashing over the
ice. I had to brake/slow down as I approached a left turn. Next rider after me;
I tried to warn him - ended up on his butt too. In any case; these were just minor
falls. I got up and just continued to ride. Winter day or rainy day; just being more
cautious:

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Old 07-26-16, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Lady Ga Ga View Post
G-Force took u out Fixies go or stop add front break for light touch slowing to ease into corners hit slick patchs at Perpendicular angle
G force did not take me out, I lost all traction when my rear tire hit that painted crosswalk as I made the turn and it slid out from under me. I run a front brake on my bike and use it.
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Old 07-26-16, 10:42 AM
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Tagging a Pedal in a corner will do it Too and You cannot coast with the inside pedal up to avoid that..

another problem inherent with taking a Track Bike off the velodrome.
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Old 07-26-16, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by andr0id View Post
No.
On a hard surface, tread patterns on a bicycle tire do nothing other than make your product look cool on the shelf in the bike shop.
Interesting responses from various tire manufacturers on whether treads help or not in wet. The answers range from "probably not" to "we think so". In any case, all seem to agree the actual tire compound and proper inflation matter more.

Technical FAQ: Tire grip in wet conditions | VeloNews.com
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Old 07-26-16, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by kevindsingleton View Post
Where possible, clip out, in advance, and keep your inside foot close to the ground, so you can try to catch yourself. The only "cure" is to get right back on the horse, which means riding like it never happened. Hard to do, I know, but there is no shortcut to regaining confidence.
No!! He's riding a fix gear!

If you have to ride small tires in the wet, ride VIttioria Open Paves. Excellent wet road adhesion. Expensive; yes, cut easily; yes, but riding a fix gear on wet roads that doesn't allow bigger tires and lower pressure limits your options if you want to keep your skin intact.

I had my custom fix gear built to accommodate 25s with fenders and run the Open Paves (24 or 25) in the winter.

Ben
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Old 07-26-16, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Tagging a Pedal in a corner will do it Too and You cannot coast with the inside pedal up to avoid that..

another problem inherent with taking a Track Bike off the velodrome.
Well, I have never tagged a pedal on a turn before and my buddy and I at the bike shop checked it. I would need to be leaning pretty damn far over for me to strike that pedal, so much that I would never be leaning that far in a turn. I would imagine that my tire would slide out before I was over that far to strike the pedal.
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Old 07-26-16, 10:45 AM
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Here in CT they have done a lot of overpass asphalt crack repair. Presumably to seal the bridges and their underlying framework.
The sealant they use is super slippery when hot.
I have noticed it a lot on my Harley. It's crazy slippery when hot.
New back in to cycling so I can't say I've had issues on my bike but I'm very cautious after having my Harley step out numerous times.
I take the corners point to point to straight line the sealant lines.
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Old 07-26-16, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Hey, take off the stupid Gatorskins. Put on a tire with just a bit of tread.
Tread on a skinny bicycle tire has LESS traction than a slick.
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Old 07-26-16, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Tagging a Pedal in a corner will do it Too and You cannot coast with the inside pedal up to avoid that..

another problem inherent with taking a Track Bike off the velodrome.
I have SPD-SL pedals on my fixed gear with 172.5 cranks. Never tagged one and I lean quite a bit when it's dry.
YMMV depending on the pedals you use though.
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Old 07-26-16, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Interesting responses from various tire manufacturers on whether treads help or not in wet. The answers range from "probably not" to "we think so". In any case, all seem to agree the actual tire compound and proper inflation matter more.

Technical FAQ: Tire grip in wet conditions | VeloNews.com
Yes, Not complaining about the tread so much as the compound. I don't think Gatorskins are good rubber... more plastic like.
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Old 07-26-16, 11:01 AM
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Lessen your approach angle and slow down until you get your confidence back...
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