Summer's Here, don't get Snake Bit
Hey boys and girls, the days are getting longer and warmer and that, my fellow riders, brings out the snakes--so be on the lookout. But the snakes we're talking about here are not those creepy reptiles that wiggle through the bushes looking for something to squeeze. No, these snakes don't wiggle, but they can make you and your bike encounter some major league wiggling.
In many if not most states, quite a few highway maintenance crews lay down numerous narrow strips of tar goop as a way to seal cracks in the road. As bikers, we like to see our roads in good condition, but whoever got the idea to patch up the nation's tarmac with strips of slippery tar has not been doing us any favors.
The challenge posed by most road snakes is that they are random and do not follow a pattern. As a result, it is difficult if not impossible to miss all the darn vipers. And to add to the challenge the traction loss from strip to strip is inconsistent. When encountering an area teaming with summer-baked tar strips just do the right thing and slow down so you can get used to the feeling. At higher speeds, hitting a snake, with your bike leaned over for a turn can generate a big scare as the front tire squirms from the sudden lack of traction. If you are riding more or less in a straight line, you probably need not fear. It's only when you and your bike are playing roadracer can the slippery snakes strike.