Author Topic: Watch for sand on new pavement.  (Read 248 times)

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Offline zerodish

Watch for sand on new pavement.
« on: September 07, 2021, 07:24:37 am »
I just did the Smokey Mountains. Both Cherokee and Gatlinburg are excellent destinations. However if you get the chance I recommend turning West at the northern visitor center and following the Little River Gorge. You are in a gorge 1000 feet deep at spots. I think you are required to use lights in the day time. They are paving. I have been through enough new pavement that my fenders are coated with tar. I stopped at the rest stop at the top for an hour then decided I wanted to get out side of the park before dark. I took off on the right coasting there is not much shoulder. By the time I get to the front of the line the flagger opened up the lane. So I took off at 40 mph. The speed limit is 35 and they let me have the lead. A nice ride on good pavement until I came to a patch covered with a light coating of sand. You can't skid or you will crash. So I put down one leg and braked lightly exactly like I do on ice. I got lucky and didn't crash. I let the 2 miles of cars pass me and proceded at a more reasonable speed. 

Offline John Nettles

Re: Watch for sand on new pavement.
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2021, 07:11:42 pm »
Sometimes experience is the best teacher.  I learned many many moons ago to look for sand/loose debris on curves at the bottom of a hill.  Unlike you, I became intimate with the sand and pavement. Lesson learned.

Offline zzzz

Re: Watch for sand on new pavement.
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2021, 09:11:14 pm »
I had a similar situation one time and I had never seen it before or since on the many many other times I’ve encountered fresh pavement.

A few years back I rode the Sierra Cacades route from north to south. The road through Giant Sequoia NP was in the process of being paved and they were actively paving a really long stretch, maybe 10 miles, beginning at the 20 mile/ 4K foot downhill to Three Rivers. I was stopped with the rest of traffic  and the  flagger asked me to wait so all the cars lined up behind me could go ahead of me. When I started down the hill I was thinking I was going to have a blast on the fresh asphalt and giant decent and empty road ahead and behind me. But in several spots they had a light dusting of sand(?) and it felt like the road was covered in little ball bearings. When I hit those areas it took all my attention to stay upright.

I’ve thought back on that many times and wondered, was it sand or was it something else? Why were they spreading it on the road? And why have I not seen it anywhere else?