General Cycling Discussion - Storm Drain Warning!!
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09-15-00, 03:35 PM
I was recently cycling through a Westchester (NY) village and ended up being somersaulted through the air, landing heavily on one knee(causing serious damage). Plus a severely strained neck. The cause? My bicycle wheel (which admittedly is quite narrow) entered the gap between the iron bars of a street storm grate that was a few feet from the curb - even at the slow speed I was cycling (10mph) I was propelled into the ground. My bike stuck, vertically inter-grated (excuse the pun)into the grate. Luckily no car was following me. I'd like to know: 1) Has this hapened to anyone else; 2) is this type of storm drains (ie, parallel bars only and no intersecting crossbars) just considered a normal cycling hazard and, if not, did I just find the only one in the County. If they are common, something should be done about this. This is an unacceptable road condition. I was lucky, relatively, but somebody else may not be. Does anyone know of any advocacy groups I could contact.
09-18-00, 01:44 AM
You might try looking ahead for road hazards and then avoiding them, it should be especially easy at a slow speed.
10-11-00, 05:22 PM
Go to your local city hall and start making complaints. They better listen, in Dublin, California a rider was paralyzed, quadraplegic, becuase he did the same thing you did. It does not take a big crash to be seriously hurt. The body is in a precarious position on an upright bike anyway, usually headfirst. If you go about it the right way I am sure you could convince the city/town to install bars perpendicular to the direction of traffic.
11-25-00, 12:59 PM
I agree, this is a dangerous thing to always watch for. It is especially wise to avoid any water or seemingly harmless debris, such as leaves in my case. It was the fall and I was feeling like a kid. (isn't that why we all ride???!!) In my town, we have drains that are just angles cement holes in the curbing. I wouldn't have done this on my narrow roadie tiree, but adventurous as I can be on my knobbies, I was plowing through piles of crunchy leaves on the side of the road when before I even knew it, my rear wheel was sucked sideways and down into the drain while the rest of me continued forward. I was fortunate to not have broken anything but my pride. Landing on one knee and an elbow, I also scraped my hip, tearing my tights and long sleeved izumi jersey. I still love to thrash the fall foliage, but believe me, I am much more cautious, and I NEVER ride right up next to the curb, when hitting those piles of leaves. I guess I'll never grow up. I just hope I'll be a little wiser! :D
12-29-00, 09:51 AM
Watch out for those r.r. tracks also they can do bad things to your strait line tracking, I know.!!!!!
12-30-00, 05:51 AM
Up here in Canada it may be colder but at least we don't have to mind a sewage systems as much....a while back they desided to make the sewer lids with diagonal lines, so they're less corrasponding.....
it's safed me a bunch of bails i'm sure of it!!!!
yes the type of drain that you encountered is normal. Due to the sometimes abnormal volume of water and other items that can pottentially clog a normal sewer drain that is the style they came up with. However most of the time the bars run in opposing directions to the flow of traffic. What you encountered if I understand it correctly is a groos error in placement of that grate. Sorry to hear of your accident it sucks!
02-22-01, 06:47 AM
There are some classic road dangers well known to all experienced cyclists. Parallel drains are one of them. Tell your local council, and they will probably change them.
Other well known dangers include slippery wet leaves, black ice in the shade of a tree on a bright winters day, pot holes full of water that are deeper than you think, lack of grit/salt on a bike lane, raised curb where a bike is supposed to join a bike path, metal sewerage system covers which get slippery when wet, raised paint road markings which you have to ride across, the first rain after a long dry spell making the road very slick.
The road is no place to play, and remember, you're not being paranoid; THEY really are out to get you.
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