OP
@pdxvespa avatar
UTC

Modératrice
2005 Cobalt Blue ET4
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6952
Location: Portland, OR
 
Modératrice
@pdxvespa avatar
2005 Cobalt Blue ET4
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6952
Location: Portland, OR
UTC quote
Those of you who know Portland, Oregon know that it's a river city and therefore a city of bridges. There's a friendly 2-lane bridge on my route to work; I'm at ease on the faster 4-lane bridge that I take downtown; and in this month's Oregon Scooter Club ride I crossed the Washington state line on the freeway bridge-- So far I've made it a personal mission to avoid the bridges that have steel grates rather than asphalt--

This past week, I was blithley motoring along the river downtown, with my bridge of choice in mind, when I discovered the road closed and all traffic diverted-- you guessed it-- onto one of the dreaded-bridges-with-grates (the Hawthorne, for those in the know).

Luckily, I've been doing the mantra for months about The Power of Gyroscopic Force, and just replayed it in my head as I made the transit: "Loose grip on the handlebars; acknowledge the squirrly feeling, but don't fear it-- the laws of intertia will prevail, & the scooter will remain upright." Well, OK, I condensed that to "Loose grip, heads up, no fear!"

It worked! 8)

NB: I still have plans to skip the grates during Portland's long rainy season--
@beale avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
None! I sold it :(
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3247
Location: Burlington NC
 
Ossessionato
@beale avatar
None! I sold it :(
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3247
Location: Burlington NC
UTC quote
Good Job! I can not stand those grates, Beale.
@sarah avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
Stella
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1937
Location: Seattle, WA
 
Molto Verboso
@sarah avatar
Stella
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1937
Location: Seattle, WA
UTC quote
Congrats on overcoming your fear! I have no choice but to cross a grated bridge twice/day going to work and have come to get used to it. Just nice and steady and no changing lanes until you're out of the grated part. Not my favorite but it is now just part of the commute.

Doing that on the freeway bridge would be very different though!
UTC

Member
Genuine Buddy
Joined: UTC
Posts: 43
Location: New England, USA
 
Member
Genuine Buddy
Joined: UTC
Posts: 43
Location: New England, USA
UTC quote
Just let her go where she will.
Unnerving at first but pretty cool after you've done it a few times.
@kib avatar
UTC

Hooked
2005 Vespa ET4
Joined: UTC
Posts: 290
 
Hooked
@kib avatar
2005 Vespa ET4
Joined: UTC
Posts: 290
UTC quote
Very impressive !!!

Unlike the University Bridge in Seattle or the Morrison Bridge, the Hawthorne doesn't allow much room for error, ya really have to thread the needle...

(I too have avoided if at all possible, and when I do go over it, you couldn't have pulled a telephone pole outta my fanny with a tractor I was so puckered up)

Way to go !!!!!
OP
@pdxvespa avatar
UTC

Modératrice
2005 Cobalt Blue ET4
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6952
Location: Portland, OR
 
Modératrice
@pdxvespa avatar
2005 Cobalt Blue ET4
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6952
Location: Portland, OR
UTC quote
Kib wrote:
Very impressive !!!
Unlike the University Bridge in Seattle or the Morrison Bridge, the Hawthorne doesn't allow much room for error, ya really have to thread the needle... Way to go !!!!!
Thanks!
Quote:
(I too have avoided if at all possible, and when I do go over it, you couldn't have pulled a telephone pole outta my fanny with a tractor I was so puckered up)
I know that the visualization ahead of time helped keep that pucker response in check--
OP
@pdxvespa avatar
UTC

Modératrice
2005 Cobalt Blue ET4
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6952
Location: Portland, OR
 
Modératrice
@pdxvespa avatar
2005 Cobalt Blue ET4
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6952
Location: Portland, OR
UTC quote
seattlescoot wrote:
Congrats on overcoming your fear! I have no choice but to cross a grated bridge twice/day going to work and have come to get used to it. Just nice and steady and no changing lanes until you're out of the grated part. Not my favorite but it is now just part of the commute.
Good for you-- nice that it's become routine for you. And I now have more bridges to choose from--- 8)
@addicted avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
Consume Less & Share More
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3130
Location: New Jersey, USA
 
Ossessionato
@addicted avatar
Consume Less & Share More
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3130
Location: New Jersey, USA
UTC quote
We have loads of iron grated bridges along the New Jersey shoreline. There are three distinctly different types of gratings; the smooth grating, the saw-tooth grating, and the knobbed grating. The smooth grating can be more slippery, but it doesn't catch your tire treads. The texture-finished gratings catch your tire treads, causing a sometimes unnerving oscillation. Modern tire tread patterns, without a center-cut rain groove handle grated bridges best. Be extra cautious in wet conditions.
OP
@pdxvespa avatar
UTC

Modératrice
2005 Cobalt Blue ET4
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6952
Location: Portland, OR
 
Modératrice
@pdxvespa avatar
2005 Cobalt Blue ET4
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6952
Location: Portland, OR
UTC quote
addicted wrote:
We have loads of iron grated bridges along the New Jersey shoreline. There are three distinctly different types of gratings; the smooth grating, the saw-tooth grating, and the knobbed grating. The smooth grating can be more slippery, but it doesn't catch your tire treads. The texture-finished gratings catch your tire treads, causing a sometimes unnerving oscillation. Modern tire tread patterns, without a center-cut rain groove handle grated bridges best. Be extra cautious in wet conditions.
Gary, you're truly a marvel. Who else could give us a taxonomy of bridge grates? 8)
UTC

Member
LX150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 25
Location: Seattle, WA
 
Member
LX150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 25
Location: Seattle, WA
UTC quote
The Hawthorne is an unnerving bridge to cross. I went across it three consecutive times late at night when I got lost in Portland earlier this spring.

The proper technique to crossing a grated bridge, explained to me from a motorcyclist, is you cross them at an angle, instead of straight. Think of it as snowboarding down a hill. As you aproach the grated bridge move over to either the far right or left of the lane you are traveling in. Then as you cross the bridge, gradually travel at an agle across your lane to the opposite side. If you have reached the opposite side of your lane and your still not accross the bridge, then switch and travel gradually across your lane to the other side. Keep doing this until you have crossed the bridge and then resume your normal riding line.

The reasoning behind the above described manuvering is so your tires don't run parellel to the grating. Those with vintage scooters which have skinnier tires then their modern cousins have a harder time crossing grated bridges and definetly should practice the angled riding technique. One other thing to watch for when using this technique is that when doing it, you look like you are trying to do a lane change and other drivers can sometimes freak out and may do something unexpected; though I have yet to experience this, but I am always prepared incase something does happen.

-Jeff
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