How many of us pay attention to pennies, nickels and dimes?  That’s what I figured, not many.  You get the change back from small purchases and it turns into an annoyance in your pocket and what to you do but toss it onto a counter, table or dresser.  After a bit it piles up and is all over the place and it needs to be cleaned up and converted.  Gravel is a lot like loose change which should have much more attention paid to it. Gravel is loose change on the roads and intersections.  Gravel is one of the most annoying not to mention dangerous conditions when spread on pavement while driving through the many miles of back roads.  It can bring a bike down in no time if the rider is not paying attention.  I know this from personal experience. This season, I have found quite a large percentage of four wheeled vehicle drivers to be quite less than excellent in their driving abilities.  In fact I constantly see drivers cross over the center lines into my lane coming through turns and sweepers.  I also see many drivers edge the shoulders where they kick up gravel into the turns. Here are my thoughts on the best way to handle loose change gravel on the road and get it converted into a non-event situation so that you can continue on with your ride and return home to relax and have your favorite beverage.   Pay attention and look at the turn or sweeper and see if there is gravel.  Slow down a bit before the turn or sweeper.  If I have never been through this turn before, then I slow down.  I don’t know what to expect.  As I have stated before, I err to the side of caution.  One slip up can ruin an entire riding season. Most of the time gravel gets swept out of the tire tracks and you wind up with gravel in the center of the road and some on the sides but clean on the tire tracks.   Therefore, it is important to maintain and hold your line of tracking.  Stay in the outside or inside track and maintain your track all the way through the turn or sweeper.  If you try to cut an apex you’ll be going right over the gravel in the middle and you could most certainly have an incident that will make for an unpleasant end to your day. As much as a throttle jockey as I can be, I pay very close attention to turns, intersections, and sweepers for gravel.  I am constantly on the lookout for gravel.  When the road is clear of debris or gravel then I enjoy my ride to the fullest extent.  But, when I find loose change on the pavement, I am prepared to slow down and handle the situation without incident.  I write these words to truly make you more aware and be more alert to gravel that can come up on you.  This way you are better prepared and ready for when the unexpected comes up on you. Until next time, only you can determine how good a rider you are.
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