The recent bout of bad weather (has anyone who commutes in London noticed how snow or rain seems to start and finish during rush hour periods?) has started to focus a large portion of my attention on the manhole cover. There are so many devilish covers to negotiate, I seem to pass one, with trepidation, every few metres. Fear of its slippery surface conjures up images of my front wheel slipping away with me falling with a smack to an undignified halt in the middle of the road.
It's not without good reason that I admit this anxiety. I've seen friends come a cropper on a couple of occasions when turning on a wet cover, even at near stationary speed. Until now I've escaped this fate using various simple strategies many of you will be aware of.
If your unable to cycle around the cover, cycle over it in a straight line, there's no chance of it getting you if you attack it straight on with confidence. It may be OK to turn on a cover in dry weather, although I would advise even against that, but never turn on a wet cover. If you find yourself turning on a cover, heavens forbid, wait until you've passed it before applying the break. Although slightly off subject I have to mention that drafting of vehicles is also not a good idea in the wet, not only is your breaking speed reduced but you'll have less time to react to oncoming covers. Save drafting for dry weather.
I'm generally not superstitious but today is Friday 13th which in this country at least is considered unlucky. I'll be taking extra care on the roads today and especially over those covers. Please do the same and take care out there!