After a week in the mountains with lots of rain I’ve got some thoughts about slick roads. The relationship between a driver and the road is one based on trust. In dry conditions a driver learns how their car responds to the road. They trust their tires have enough tread to provide the grip necessary to guide the car in the direction their want to go. This is a fairly stable system.
However, when the rain comes, everything changes. The tires have to cut through all the water to reach the ground. In the first moments of rain, a film of oil often appears on the roads surface – a significant danger to motorcyclists. Once the rain comes, most of what a driver knows about their car changes. It will respond differently to driver input because the relationship to the road has changed.
So when we hit slick roads, the way we drive must change. Maybe we go slower so the car’s balance can be more stable. Maybe our senses are heightened, so that we can better feel all the changes. Maybe we take a pause and wait for the heavy rains to pass. Whatever we choose to do, the first step is realizing that slick roads demand their own way of approach.