In the Groove

It’s me! The princess of biker blogging.

I’ll never forget my first experience with grooved pavement:

A few years ago when I was first learning to ride, I took my little Sporty out for a spin after school one day.  I took some back roads down around and through the reservior and over to Finksburg where I hooked up with a friend who had taken me on my very first ride ever.  After riding around for a bit and stopping at Twin Kiss for a casual dinner, we realized that not only was it the heart of rush hour but it was beginning to get dark.  I had 2 options for getting home:

  1. Go back the way I came — This would take about 40 minutes, I’d be riding with no streetlights or anything to illuminate my way other than my own little headlight, and the deer would be jumping out in front of me in droves as I rode through the woods.
  2. Take the main strip — This would only take about 10 minutes, and would be well lit.  But did I mention the six lanes of 60 mph rush hour traffic?

OMG, I just got up to sixty for the first time an hour ago!  And with all of those lanes and all of that traffic?  I’m thinking hell no!  But my friend convinced me that all of the traffic was coming towards Finksburg and I would have multiple travel lanes the other way practically to myself.  I grudgingly admitted he was right, and off I went.

I was doing fine for about a half a mile, until I saw the signs that said Road Work Ahead and Caution-Grooved Pavement!  AAaaaarrrgh!  Good grief, if I knew about this I would have taken my chances with the deer!!!

After freaking out for a few seconds, I collected myself, moved to the you’re-too-slow-to-make-it-up-this-huge-hill lane, and concentrated on what I remembered reading in my Motorcycle Operator Manual from the DMV:

Riding over rain grooves or bridge gratings may cause a motorcycle to weave.  The uneasy, wandering feeling is generally not dangerous.  Relax, maintain a steady speed, and ride straight across.

My steady speed was about 35 mph (well below the speed limit)…but then again, that’s what that slow lane was built for, wasn’t it?  After less than 5 minutes (which seemed like an hour), I was turning into my neighborhood and I began to breathe once again.

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Over this past summer, DelDOT was quite busy repaving many roads around us.  One day I came to the main intersection a few blocks from home to discover that they had grooved up the pavement for resurfacing.  I travel through this intersection practically every time I leave my house.  It was nice that the big piles of gutter grit and road debrit had been cleaned out of the intersection, but now I was going to have to face grooved pavement again.  🙁

Relax, I told myself.  Keep a light grip on the handlebars, and glide straight across.  It worked fine the first time, and it worked fine again now.  Sure it felt like my bike was doing an involuntary cone weave underneath of me, but supposedly that’s what it should feel like.

It has been about six monthd, and the intersection still has not been repaved.  Riding on the grooved pavement has become routine.  I just can’t wait for spring to come so I can get back out there, and back in the groove….