No, this brand of black ice had not the decency for any of it. It adhered to the contours of the chipseal in a matte, thin, perfectly transparent crust. It did not reveal itself in any visual manner what so ever, ensuring that its ice-rink quality slickness caught the traveler entirely by surprise.
Having discovered this treachery, I backtracked gingerly only to learn that even more of the road was covered with the stuff than I'd realised. What before had looked inviting now seemed hostile, even sinister - a formidable booby trap. A Boxing Day ride was not to be. But at least now I understand what I'm dealing with, and why the locals warn about it so zealously. Black ice is a force to be reckoned with, all the more so when its perfect stealth is matched by its perfect slickness. Even studded tires, I'm told, will not always help. This could be one long winter!