I have a tar-snake nursery near my home.
They're no worse than gravel really; you get used to them.
They are annoying, but rarely large enough to cause trouble (more on this below).
They feel weird at low speeds, and some of them feel scary at high speeds, but here's something you need to understand:
There are two types of tar snakes:
- the ones that go parralel to your direction of travel
- the ones that go across your direction of travel.
Your tire will will lose traction on both of them, but:
1) the problem is mostly in your head
2) they are only an issue when cornering, unless you're stupid enough to follow one while going straight
3) in the case of the one that goes parallel to your direction of travel, you're back on asphalt pretty quickly (after taking at most a 2" step to the outside)
4) in the case of the ones that are perpendicular to your direction of travel, you're past them so fast that they barely impact your bike.
They are a bit trickier on a wet road, as it takes your tire more time to get a grip on the road again after slipping off the tar-snake.
There is a particularly nasty double-wide one on my way back from school (left lane of the S-curve on the eastbound 91). If I hit that one at anything over 120 kph in the wet, my tire skips out enough that the place where it would regain grip is RIGHT ON THE PAINTED DOTTED LINE. Now that is what some would call a major problem, but since I wear waterproof pants and waterproofing works both ways, I figure I'm fine.
Sure, the bike fishtails a bit, but the strom is really good at recovering from that, and it encourages the cagers around me to give me some space.