I have never given much thought to sand before... Well, why would I? Why the hell would anyone stop to ponder the possiblilities of sand unless they were trying to make glass right? Well as I found out yesterday, there's sand and there's sand. The difference? One can be found on the beach and the other can be found on the road.

Hang on, let me try that again:

When you ride a motorbike around town you get used to looking carefully for anything that may impede your progress and/or cause injury or death to yourself. These things can include negligent motorists, large potholes and various substances which may be lying/oozing across the road. Sand falls into this category. On a straight road sand shouldn't cause any problems for a biker (unless it has signifigant depth of course), it's in the corners that sand becomes dangerous. In a car - if a wheel runs through a patch of sand it may lose some traction but unless you are on the absolute limit the other three tyres will provide adequate grip to avoid upsetting the balance too much. On a bike you only have two wheels and only one of them turns. If the front wheel hits sand in a corner at a reasonable speed it will slide towards the outside of the turn while the rear continues holding it's line. The front of the bike seems to dissapear off to the side and you run wide - possibly into the other lane (not good). All this happens in a fraction of a second of course...

Anyway, getting to the point - this is the position I found myself in yesterday afternoon. EEEK!
I've been riding for about a year now and this is the closest I've come to being taken out. The problem in this case is that there was a car coming the other way and for a split second it looked (to me anyway) like our trajectories were going to intersect (ouch) as I skidded and wobbled across the tarmac. Fortunately (thought the noding community may disagree ;-)) I was spared and ended up sliding across the front of the car, missing it by about three feet. Coming to a rest I quickly dismounted and sat on the grass, gently quiverering with shock. The driver of the car showed compassion by speeding off around the corner never to be seen again.

"Thanks buddy, I'm fine."

Isn't there a saying about dark clouds and silver linings? I guess the good news is that I've been brought down to earth and no longer feel invincible on my bike. There is a tmie and a place for everything and I guess I may have been going a little too fast for the unexpected. Maybe I'll slow down a bit.