Wind and Road Snakes

Wife, mom, grandmother, motorcyclist, and blogger.

Wind and road snakes. Have you ever encountered them? Yesterday coming home from work I experienced both! I decided to take a more covered route home. Why? I took a more covered route because of the wind but encountered another road hazard.

The afternoon became little too gusty for two-wheels! There is only one open stretch on the road I had to take and almost lost it twice. I’m guessing many of you have experienced that type of wind hazard. The sudden burst that hits from the side and you feel your bike being pushed out from under you. Yup. That was the kind of wind we had here. 

Wind and Road Snakes

A little farther down the road I ended up in a residential area with a lot of cover so I knew the wind wouldn’t be as hard to deal with.  But, there was another hazard that was new to me. Road snakes. It’s not what you think. Road snakes are that toilet paper tar road crack filler used around these parts! They look innocent enough, but if you hit them at the right angle on two wheels they can be rather slippery!

Wind and Road Snakes
Wind and Road Snakes (small ones)

Well, I had my first encounter with some fresh road snakes shortly after getting out of the wind! There were many of these road snakes running parallel with me and I could feel the motorcycle wobble a little. Yikes! Kept everything upright. Big win!

Wind and Road Snakes. What is that stuff? Looks like toilet paper and tar!
What is that stuff? Looks like toilet paper and tar!

These photos are from today and not the ones I encountered yesterday, but you get the idea. Do you have road snakes or other road hazards by you? Ladies, I would love to have you share your riding stories!

Here is a link to a video explaining what road snakes are and how to handle them!

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14 Responses

  1. Thank you. I always thought those things were slippery but never mentioned it. Use to cringe when I’d see them in front of me. Now I know it isn’t all in my head 😉

      1. Sadly, I’m STILL waiting for the title. If we don’t get it by the time we’re back from vaca, we’re going to file a court request. A whole summer wasted 🙁

  2. Usually they cut around the crack so they can fill the patch with asphalt or at least sand and gravel along with the tar. I cringe when I see those on hot pavement. Steel plates in the rain may be even worse…

  3. YES! I see them all over. Going up Mt. Lemmon in AZ, all over MD, PA and NJ. The worst were going downhill in the rain into Steamboat Springs, CO. With piles of hail on the road side, drenched from hours in the rain, riding in a lightening storm, then the tar snakes. Just what you don’t want to see when you’re wet. . .

    But we made it to the hotel and dried out, ordered Chinese food and stayed in bed for 12 hours! LOL! I hate those damn patches though.


  4. I’ve always called them “tar snakes” and tons of them around here, it’s a cheap way to maintain the highways I guess, at least until there are so many that they might as well pave. Slick when wet, particularly in the cold. And when it’s hot out they can kick your tires around too, they get kind of ‘smooshy’ when it’s hot.

    Other slippery things when wet and cool – painted crosswalk lines, metal expansion joints on bridges, and manhole covers. I’ve engaged my ABS a couple of times when I happened to shift as I crossed a manhole cover with the rear tire. That was a wake-me up!

    Staty safe!

  5. We have them everywhere and they’re treacherous. Usually, you don’t lose enough traction to go down but the momentary loss gives your stomach an instant queasy feeling. I’ve learned to look for and avoid them.

  6. Never seen the white ones before but we have the black tar snakes everywhere in these parts. Not too bad this time of year but in the summer they are really squishy and can send you sideways.

    High side winds are another animal. I’ve read to hang a knee out to help with the buffeting but can never remember which knee I am supposed to stick out.

    1. Trobairitz – that white stuff is like toilet paper that they put down in the crack before filling with tar. Not sure why that is necessary, but quite common around here.

      Haven’t heard about the knee thing before. Let me know if you remember 🙂

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