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  1. #1
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    Sep 2008
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    how to cross railroad tracks

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    This blogger is a guy that lives near me. His blog is excellent. He's a very very strong rider.


    http://janheine.wordpress.com/2012/0...tracks-safely/
    I like Bikes - Mimi
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Looking at all the love there that's sleeping
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    Funny you should post this.
    DH and I just caught on Showtime last night a show called The Ride - a docu about Phil Keogan from The Amazing Race t.v. show (which we never watch) riding his bike across the country fro MS.
    Excellent show - but Phil nearly had his adventure come to an end when he wiped out in the rain crossing RR trax (head down, didn't see them coming).
    Rain is bad enough. RR tracks are a potential disaster. Extreme caution is always warranted.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Katy, Texas
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    1,828
    I was wondering why the bog writer didn't mention the danger of wet or even slightly damp (fog, mist) tracks and the dangers of falling. I have seen more people go down on tracks and cattle guards that they didn't realize were damp and slick and they were either not exactly perpendicular or were leaning, than I have in any other kinds of common biking accident. Don't know if that is due to the prevalence of rail road tracks and cattle guards around here or just circumstantial but.. wet paint is also equally potentially slick.

    marni
    marni
    Katy, Texas
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    2,617
    Saw "The Ride" about 5 days after my BF crashed because the guy in front of him in a race didn't properly cross tracks that were damp from fog/mist. The guy started to swing out like he was going to cross perpendicularly, but he went at a totally bad angle, slid out and took BF with him.
    For 3 days, I get to part of a thousand other journeys.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    There are a couple places that I'd rather just get off and walk rather than cross. Tracks, with a single exception, are one of them.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    13,130
    Yea, I wiped out on horrible tracks as we were leaving lunch with Lisa, a couple of years ago. She even warned me! I don't have a lot of experience with tracks; we don't have a lot of them here and the ones I cross regularly are not raised or scary. If I see tracks that look dangerous, I often unclip and put one foot down and scoot across. The reason is in my next paragraph.
    When I went on my bike tour in the Czech Republic, one of the women crashed on wet tracks on the second day. She was in her late sixties. Short story is the docs at the hospital said no, there's no broken hip. She had to hole up in the room until we got to Austria, where they promptly diagnosed a hip fracture. By this time, her stomach was wrecked from the Ibuprofen she was taking. It was really awful.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
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    6,132
    My one and only "crash" was due to wet/sleet covered RR tracks. I was with a large group of guys who are, mostly, amateur "racers" and was paying more attention to keeping up with them than crossing the tracks. Down I went. I hit my hip hard, but that was about it. The real challenge was picking myself up after the wind had been knocked out of me fast enough to satisfy the irate motorists who couldn't be bothered to give me a moment.

    I'm a lot more careful now but if the tracks are wet (thankfully I don't ride in the rain all that often), I'm liable to get off my bike to cross.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  8. #8
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    Sep 2008
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    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
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    Marni, If he didn't mention wet, it's because where we live,we already assume it is wet. but feel free to comment on his blog. he will respond.
    I like Bikes - Mimi
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    2,045
    We don't usually ride in the rain here in Tucson, but on one of the El Tour training rides we did, and the route included crossing trolley tracks near the University of Arizona. A couple of folks went down... fortunately, not me, but I was paying pretty close attention, and knew the tracks were there.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    209
    I too was warned about the same UofA trolley tracks (during ETT training too) and I crossed them SO carefully. But the times I have been in that area were on early Sunday mornings before lots of vehicle and pedestrian traffic. How do you safely manuever while avoiding traffic?

    The blog mentioned "unweigh", what does that mean? Is it kind of like lifting off the saddle slightly and shifting your weight to the back a little?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Katy, Texas
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    1,828
    biciclesta,

    I just assume that a lot of people don't have to deal with wet or damp rr trackes white lines of cattle guards. I guess it depends on the climate one is uesed to.
    around here it is more dry than wet so wet is always a problem.

    no insult intened just a comment

    marni
    marni
    Katy, Texas
    Trek Madone 6.5- "Red"
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    "easily outrun by a chihuahua."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,466
    Does anyone stand up when they cross? I always have, like since 1978. Never (knock on wood) come close to falling when doing that. I stay loose, and let the bike absorb the shock. Stay a little closer to the bike if it's wet. Glide over with more care.

    I avoid riding at all when it rains. Not always possible. But I try.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 03-09-2012 at 09:42 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    Yes, I always lift my butt up off of the seat, in a half stand thing when I cross the tracks here.
    I also don't ride in the rain, unless it starts when I am out there. Or, I am on a tour, as last summer. I had ten years worth of rain in 4 days .
    There's always some other exercise to do. I don't mind running in the rain, as long as it's not too cold.
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Florida
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    462
    Thanks for the heads up. I'm going to start commuting next week, and have two sets of tracks to cross. I hadn't thought of it before, but I will unclip now.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,466
    I don't actually mind riding in the rain, within reason. It's the cars that worry me. Texting in the rain on wet roads...think I'll pass.

    Although 4 days on a tour would be bad.

    Trying to remember, either RAGBRAI 1X or RAGBRAI X, so when I was 11 or 12, I was out there on what became known as 'Soggy Monday,' even got a (cloth) patch for it! But I was much more nonchalant about traffic at that age.

    Of course, if I lived in Portland, I'd probably ignore the wet.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

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