Thursday, February 21, 2008

Got Oversteer?

oversteer \O"ver*steer\ n. The situation that occurs in cornering when the rear of a vehicle tends to skid before the front.

First, let me mention that I love oversteer. When autocrossing my little Focus, just letting up off the gas while cornering lets the back end come around in this perfectly controlled manner that's so elegant it nearly boggles my mind. In powerful rear-wheel-drive vehicles, you can get oversteer by mashing the accellerator while cornering. On a bicycle, if conditions are right, as they were today, you can actually corner while feathering the rear brake and get the back end to come out from under you, and stay out from under you for a good while but without actually wiping out. Today, I got to do it at least three times.

Light snow covered with sleet and a layer of soft, fuzzy flurries on top is one set of conditions that make for great oversteer. As I came around through my apartment's parking lot, just a quick blip of the rear brake sent my back end out, and my bike settled into this beautiful drift. Two sets of tire tracks. One narrow and with the imprint of my tire tread. Another, further out from the apex of the curve, very wide and with only the outline of my tire shoulders leaving this spiral-looking groove in the snow.

It was so fun I went back just to practice a few times. It made my day.

Random Tunage:
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps (Acoustic)
Rock Kills Kid - Hide Away

4 comments:

Apertome said...

Heheh. Yeah, I've got oversteer but more in a hazardous way than a fun one, for the most part.

The jersey arrived yesterday (on my birthday!) Thanks man, it's really nice. I wrote a thing about it and posted a photo. So that sock site just sent it to you to give away, or what?

Noah said...

Well, I linked to them and in exchange they hooked me up with a jersey. I don't do a whole lot of recreational road riding and I certainly don't race. I figured that it would better serve one of my readers. I had pick of the litter, but I chose Pink Floyd in size Large just because that's what I'd order if I was going to keep it. The plan was pretty much to give it away when I got it, though.

I don't blog (here) for money. This is where I rant, brag, and play with big words so that I can go back and read it later. It just so happens a few hundred other people like you have stumbled across it and for some reason keep coming back. Not that I mind, of course.

matt said...

you should try riding a fixed gear - you can get the same "drifting" effect, and people actually stop like that!

it looks damn cool, for sure, although i'd be a bit scared to try it in snow.

Jon said...

Yeah, I could get that same effect on my VF1000R on dry pavement, back when I was young, stupid and (I assumed) immortal. It "was" fun, though.

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