Gravel in a turn — What should you do?

You’re tailing your riding buddy on a fav back road when suddenly OHMIGOSH; he’s pointing wildly at gravel in the turn! He somehow makes it through (this should be a clue: he ain’t exactly Nicky Hayden now is he?)… but, now warned, what do you do?


First, you’re not right on his tail, correct?

Slow a little and assess your options. If the stones are few enough to count, you can probably ignore them since they’re primarily a visual distraction, posing little loss-of-traction potential.

If not, assertively modify your line so you avoid the most dense part.

If you see you still must ride through the gravel, straighten the bike and brake firmly prior to the patch; then release the brakes and ease through on a neutral throttle, delaying the completion of your turn until you’re back on clean asphalt.

Then pull over and talk. What have you learned?

Note: If you are in a blind turn, do not consider the opposite lane part of your avoidance strategy. If oncoming traffic suddenly appears, your chances are zero to none.

Pete Tamblyn