M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby Barb1013 » Fri May 16, 2014 7:43 am

Last Friday I was riding my bike to work (5.30 am) to North Ryde. I ride down Beecroft Road towards Epping. It was a 'damp' morning and there was a little bit of 'misty' rain around, although it was not raining down Beecroft Road. As I road over the overpass of the M2 I had an accident. I was unconcsious and luckily for me a car driver behind witnessed/saw all and stopped to render assistance - I dont remember anything. I have to thank her, Emma (this is all I know of her) because without her help I could have been killed by an oncoming car). I also have to thank another motorist who stopped and directed traffic around me. Also want to extend my thanks to Ryde Hospital who were brilliant.

I know what caused my accident and I know that everytime I ride across this particular section of road I encounter the expansion joints that run diagonally across this road. I fear them, even in the dry and on my motorcycle (I feel my motobike 'slip') and I know that this was why I had been flipped off my bike. I was very lucky. No broken bones, but stitches in my forehead, grazes to my knees (both) and graze and severe bruising to my right side and both hands and my head. I have to add that my helmet saved me from what could have been a very serious injury.

So a short stay in hospital and a few days off work and I am back, but not in action on either bike at the moment. I still have a numbness in my head which I have been told could take a few weeks to go (all part of the concussion). My post here is really to ask if there are any other cyclists who have had a similar experience on this road?

I have writen to the RTA because I really do believe that something should be done about these joints to make them safer for cyclists and motorcyclists.
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by BNA » Fri May 16, 2014 10:18 am

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Re: M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby queequeg » Fri May 16, 2014 10:18 am

I ride that same section a few times a week and I am aware that many people have come off in wet/damp conditions (many of the on these forums)

I mitigate the risk a little bit by approaching the joint on the left side of the lane, and when the joint comes up I lean to the right, straighten up, and cross the joint as close to 90 degrees as I can, then straighten back up and continue on my way.I find that doing this results in no slippage, but you have to remember the joint is there!

Generally if it is raining heavily I will come down Beecroft Rd and do a Hook-Turn at Cheltenham Rd and use the M2 Overpass over to Kent St, then come down Kandy Ave. If the rain is just drizzle or poor visibility, I use Sutherland Rd and use the M2 Underpass to Derby St. I only use Beecroft Rd over the M2 in dry conditions (as in not raining, the road can be wet).

I am not sure that RMS will/can do anything about the joint. It seems to be a common design along the M2 overpasses. There is a huge one on Epping Rd at North Ryde that presents similar issues, and I have seen a few motorcycle accidents at that intersection.
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Re: M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby Boognoss » Fri May 16, 2014 11:20 am

I'm one that had come off on that joint (drizzly morning last August). Bit of skin off, damaged rain jacket, broken mirror and a derailleur hanger was the result in my case. Quite lucky considering......

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Re: M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby rogan » Fri May 16, 2014 11:21 am

They're shockers. I've heard of numerous at Beecroft Rd - where the problem is you are doing a good speed, normally 50+ km/h.

My "off" wasn't there but at North Ryde, as mentioned. Luckily at lower speed, and in heavy traffic. If it'd been flowing traffic, speed limit used to be 80 - who knows?

I've even seen one rider fall off at the M2 off ramp at Pennant Hills Rd.

The trick is you have to treat them like rail tracks or tram tracks, get your front wheel as perpendicular as possible, not easy when the Nth Ryde and second Beecroft Rd joint are only 10-20 degrees to the traffic. Hold your bars firmly. Even then it won't always work. And for people who aren't familiar with them, they're deadly in wet weather. The time they got me, years ago at Nth Ryde, I remember falling down, thinking WTH?
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Re: M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby human909 » Fri May 16, 2014 12:21 pm

rogan wrote:The trick is you have to treat them like rail tracks or tram tracks, get your front wheel as perpendicular as possible, not easy when the Nth Ryde and second Beecroft Rd joint are only 10-20 degrees to the traffic. Hold your bars firmly. Even then it won't always work. And for people who aren't familiar with them, they're deadly in wet weather.


THIS. (Though down hill at that angle is more difficult than dealing with tram tracks. Also unweight the front wheel so it glides over the joint.)

But still. This is a hazard that should not be there It should be reported immediately and fixed immediately. These accidents could easily turn deadly if there is a car closely behind. The kicker here is that unlike tram tracks there is no reason that expansion join needs to be like that.

I would get complaining to the road authority ASAP, better yet send them that video and get as many anecdotes as possible. Point out that this is a road hazard and they are liable.

For those that suffered material loss consider sending a letter of demand. This danger is clearly foreseeable. If they are solely designing for motor vehicle then that is simply negligent. (I'm not a fan of blaming others, but infrastructure that doesn't consider cyclists is down right endemic and that needs to change.)
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Re: M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby Xplora » Fri May 16, 2014 4:29 pm

Really sorry to hear about the accident... my response to that video Boog was "bloody hell!" because you did nothing wrong there. I thought it was those sawtooth dividers you get in some places but the angle is so sharp I don't see what else you can do to avoid it.
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Re: M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby Barb1013 » Fri May 16, 2014 4:58 pm

Thank you all for your responses. I just knew I would not have been the only person to have had this happen..... Oh and Boognoss your video was frightening and I think that this is what happened to me (although it wasn't raining quite like that). I haven't heard from the RTA but then I don't expect they will respond for a while. I will keep at them until I get some sort of response. My feeling is that they really should do something about these joints. Everyone who uses roads has the right to feel safe and I know whenever I have ridden (wet or dry) I have NEVER felt comfortable riding that stretch of the road over those joints. When I get back on my bike (not for a few weeks) I will take the extra 5 or so minutes and cross over earlier at traffic lights just after the school and ride on the footpath (slowly) till I reach the bottom of that stretch (lights) and cross back to go under the bridge before Epping Station. I love riding both my motorcycle and my pushbike and cant wait to get back on both........

Do you think changing tyres to those a bit wider with some tread would have helped? (At present I have Gatorskin 100x 28 (I think)...
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Re: M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby yugyug » Fri May 16, 2014 5:41 pm

Barb1013 wrote:Do you think changing tyres to those a bit wider with some tread would have helped? (At present I have Gatorskin 100x 28 (I think)...


Bicycle tires don't hydroplane so you want less tread for street reading (tires known as slicks). I think gatorskins are pretty slick though. I'm not sure if wider tires would help in this situation. Anyone?
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Re: M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby Strawburger » Fri May 16, 2014 6:47 pm

I'm not familiar with the exact location, however is it possible to bunny hop them? (If you don't run panniers that is)
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Re: M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby Xplora » Fri May 16, 2014 7:01 pm

Gatorskin 28s are about as heavy as a roadie tyre gets while still being slick. Nothing wrong with the tyre, stupid road design got you :(
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Re: M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby Mulger bill » Fri May 16, 2014 8:13 pm

Xplora wrote:Gatorskin 28s are about as heavy as a roadie tyre gets while still being slick. Nothing wrong with the tyre, stupid road design got you :(

THIS.

Glad you're reasonably OK Barb, heal quick and well.

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Re: M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby kPrdfHTb » Fri May 16, 2014 9:06 pm

Jesus christ, glad everyone's alive. I've heard nasty things about train tracks, I never thought about these things. Good luck with your recovery, Barb.

I've been over a couple like that (not always in dry conditions) and it's always been scary - though I think running 40mm tyres has helped.
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Re: M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby am50em » Sat May 17, 2014 10:25 am

queequeg wrote:I mitigate the risk a little bit by approaching the joint on the left side of the lane, and when the joint comes up I lean to the right, straighten up, and cross the joint as close to 90 degrees as I can, then straighten back up and continue on my way.I find that doing this results in no slippage, but you have to remember the joint is there!


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Re: M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby Xplora » Sat May 17, 2014 11:29 am

The difficulty with trying to "mitigate" a lot of these crazy slippery patches is that there is NOTHING you can do sometimes to avoid it. Coops came down hard a few weeks back after (I think) hitting a gloopy patch of dry liquid nails, he's twice the bike handler I am, and he was the third wheel to hit it. If you don't balance the bike just right at the critical moment, your front wheel washes out faster than you can say "this is going to hurt". Boog's video sums it up. He wasn't doing anything foolish and didn't do anything to self inflict. He was leaning on the handlebars in just the wrong way at just the wrong time. Might have been a tiny bit too much at the wrong time, but enough given the wet conditions.

40mm tyres wouldn't stop that from happening. Completely different geometry might help, but are you going to sacrifice rideability on wet days for that 1 in 10000 chance you'll wash out the wheel? I would hope not.
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Re: M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby queequeg » Sat May 17, 2014 2:06 pm

^^^ I agreed, it is hard to get it perfect, and in dark and rain you can barely see it. That's why I go a different way on those kind of days.
touch wood, I haven't come off the bike in over 3 years. the one that hurt the most was similar to boog's in that it happened without warning. front wheel hit an oil/fuel spill on the road in the wet, and I was sliding on my side before I even knew what happened. I had gravel rash from shoulder to ankles as I slid while still clipped in, bike on top of me. Winded me badly, and luckily had someone see it happen and help me. I was only 400m from home and my wife got a nasty shock as I dripping blood at the front door!
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Re: M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby GTPilot » Sat May 17, 2014 3:10 pm

yugyug wrote:
Barb1013 wrote:Do you think changing tyres to those a bit wider with some tread would have helped? (At present I have Gatorskin 100x 28 (I think)...


Bicycle tires don't hydroplane so you want less tread for street reading (tires known as slicks). I think gatorskins are pretty slick though. I'm not sure if wider tires would help in this situation. Anyone?


In this situation it has nothing to do with hydroplaning, it's simply lack of grip. Here you may find that a textured tyre surface "may" hold better due a softer more forgiving contact patch. Something a slick tyre does not deliver. The only real way to handle these would be to gingerly roll over then as perpendicular as possible to the gap. Bunny hop even if you're good enough! :)
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Re: M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby biker jk » Sat May 17, 2014 3:27 pm

GTPilot wrote:
yugyug wrote:
Barb1013 wrote:Do you think changing tyres to those a bit wider with some tread would have helped? (At present I have Gatorskin 100x 28 (I think)...


Bicycle tires don't hydroplane so you want less tread for street reading (tires known as slicks). I think gatorskins are pretty slick though. I'm not sure if wider tires would help in this situation. Anyone?


In this situation it has nothing to do with hydroplaning, it's simply lack of grip. Here you may find that a textured tyre surface "may" hold better due a softer more forgiving contact patch. Something a slick tyre does not deliver. The only real way to handle these would be to gingerly roll over then as perpendicular as possible to the gap. Bunny hop even if you're good enough! :)


The softer tread pattern will not grip better than a slick on a hard surface because it will deform.
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Re: M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby Barb1013 » Sat May 17, 2014 3:54 pm

Thanks all for your good wishes and responses to my questions - I have panniers on my bike so bunny hopping won't be the go (I am not sure I could do it anyway!!) Gosh I cant believe how much I have healed in a week! I still have bruises down my right side and scabs, redness and bruising (going yellow at the moment) around the really deep gash on my right hand but the scabs have all healed on my face/nose and the stitches have now been removed from my forehead also! Only downside is that I am still a bit numb on the right side (I think where the helmet edge was) but I am not too worried as feeling, all be it slow, is coming back. My real worry at the moment is the gash on my head - doctor said as soon as he took stitches out it started gaping (aargh!!) but he has stuck a sterri strip and plaster over it and told me not to get it wet! There goes hair washing for a day or so!! I am hopeful that by the end of next week I will be good (I am going on holidays - UK).....
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M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby herzog » Sat May 17, 2014 4:00 pm

Actually there could well be some hydroplaning involved.

A bike tyre won't hydroplane at a stable 1.0g loading on the ground. Well, not unless you're doing impossible speed.

But, it can absolutely hydroplane when the bike is momentarily de-weighted, such as over a bump.

If these expansion joints are imparting a noticeable bump, this could well be what's going on.
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Re: M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby GTPilot » Sat May 17, 2014 4:14 pm

biker jk wrote:
The softer tread pattern will not grip better than a slick on a hard surface because it will deform.


Care to explain your theory, you seem to contradict EVERY tyre manufacturer on this planet with that statement.
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Re: M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby GTPilot » Sat May 17, 2014 4:31 pm

herzog wrote:Actually there could well be some hydroplaning involved.

A bike tyre won't hydroplane at a stable 1.0g loading on the ground. Well, not unless you're doing impossible speed.

But, it can absolutely hydroplane when the bike is momentarily de-weighted, such as over a bump.

If these expansion joints are imparting a noticeable bump, this could well be what's going on.



yes to some degree, and its similar, but not quite hydroplaning. You will find its more due to a smooth surface meeting a smooth surface, with the addition of water acting as a lubricant. When these conditions are, met you will loose traction and slip. This is where a tyre with a broken surface will provide better grip in the wet as it will break the surface tension of the lubricant and provide "some" grip, but not much. thats dependant on the down force levels, more down force, more pressure to break that surface tension.

In the dry, the soft tyre surface will provide grip on the hard smooth metal, the softer and slicker the tyre, the more grip. but only on the dry.
Last edited by GTPilot on Sat May 17, 2014 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby biker jk » Sat May 17, 2014 4:33 pm

GTPilot wrote:
biker jk wrote:
The softer tread pattern will not grip better than a slick on a hard surface because it will deform.


Care to explain your theory, you seem to contradict EVERY tyre manufacturer on this planet with that statement.


I refer to a tyre with a tread pattern versus a slick tyre, not the softness of the compound. Of course the softer compound has better grip but a slick tyre has better grip than one with a tread pattern when the riding surface is hard.
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Re: M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby GTPilot » Sat May 17, 2014 4:37 pm

biker jk wrote:
GTPilot wrote:
biker jk wrote:
The softer tread pattern will not grip better than a slick on a hard surface because it will deform.


Care to explain your theory, you seem to contradict EVERY tyre manufacturer on this planet with that statement.


I refer to a tyre with a tread pattern versus a slick tyre, not the softness of the compound. Of course the softer compound has better grip but a slick tyre has better grip than one with a tread pattern when the riding surface is hard.


Indeed, but only in dry conditions. ;)
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Re: M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby biker jk » Sat May 17, 2014 4:42 pm

GTPilot wrote:
Indeed, but only in dry conditions. ;)


Not quite, a tread pattern makes no difference to grip in the wet according to Sheldon Brown:

Bicycle tires for on-road use have no need of any sort of tread features; in fact, the best road tires are perfectly smooth, with no tread at all!

Unfortunately, most people assume that a smooth tire will be slippery, so this type of tire is difficult to sell to unsophisticated cyclists. Most tire makers cater to this by putting a very fine pattern on their tires, mainly for cosmetic and marketing reasons. If you examine a section of asphalt or concrete, you'll see that the texture of the road itself is much "knobbier" than the tread features of a good-quality road tire. Since the tire is flexible, even a slick tire deforms as it comes into contact with the pavement, acquiring the shape of the pavement texture, only while in contact with the road.

People ask, "But don't slick tires get slippery on wet roads, or worse yet, wet metal features such as expansion joints, paint stripes, or railroad tracks?" The answer is, yes, they do. So do tires with tread. All tires are slippery in these conditions. Tread features make no improvement in this.
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Re: M2 OVERPASS EXPANSION JOINTS BEECROFT ROAD

Postby queequeg » Sat May 17, 2014 5:48 pm

it has nothing to do with hydro planing. Basically the surface is so slippery that the tyre has no grip, no matter what type of tyre it is. Try riding over those awful steel cover plates you find when road works are being done. They are lethal, and this is pretty much what the expansion joints are made of.

Other items that cause tyres to lose grip include "purple ice" (aka Jacaranda Flowers). They make me more nervous than the expansion joints.
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