Whether you’re new to riding or a well-seasoned winter rider, there is a great deal to know about winter safety. We have all the helpful tips you'll need to avoid the dangers of black ice and stay safe.
Safety should be everyone's priority during any ride, especially during winter when snow and ice pose as extra threats. Read below for the best ways to be prepared to deal with black ice this winter riding season!
Black Ice Breakdown and Safety Tips
What is Black Ice?
In order to stay safe when dealing with black ice, you must understand exactly what it is. Black ice isn't actually black; it's a very thin and clear ice that appears black because the colour of the asphalt shows through. It forms when the road surface is at least 32 degrees C or lower and has come into contact with water. This can be from rain, melting snow, runoff, or even vapour from fog and vehicle exhausts. Black ice can very easily make any winter ride unsafe since it's so hard to see.
Where Does Black Ice Form?
The most common areas for black ice to form are bridges, mountains or hills, areas of permanent shade, and congested roads or highways. Bridges and other points of high elevation reach colder air faster and take a longer time to warm up so it is likely that black ice will form quicker and last longer in these spots. High traffic areas are another spot to avoid during winter riding since black ice can easily form from car exhaust. Where traffic is heavy, the road has little time between cars to soak up any sun and will likely form black ice quickly.
Five Helpful Tips in Case You Hit Black Ice
- Try to remain calm and steer straight until your bike is over the black ice patch.
- Avoid accelerating, turning or braking until you reach dry pavement.
- Try to ease your way to the shoulder of the road where fresh snow, sand or dirt can provide some traction.
- If you can't avoid turning, remain as upright as possible.
- If you have to break, use your rear breaks so that your front wheel can continue to roll and connect with the pavement.
Knowing these helpful black ice tips is definitely an asset! Always be prepared and aware of road conditions this winter riding season in order to stay safe.