Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-15-12, 02:47 PM   #1
Epicus07
Velophile
Thread Starter
 
Epicus07's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Bikes: See Signature.
Posts: 1,082
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Tire-Swallowing Storm Drain of Doom

When I was growing up my dad always told me to watch out for storm drains with slots large enough to eat your tire. Seattle has replaced most of these along the side of the road and I can't remember the last time I actually saw one...

Until I went to ride my sweety home from work. Turned down a dark alley Downtown at 11:30pm and started slowly towards the back door to her work. I had a high powered LED light so visibility was good.

I saw the storm drain very clearly as my front wheel dropped into it. It was such a weird feeling falling into the street. I went over the bars and managed to get myself pinched between the handlebars and the top tube of my bike. Since i was lying on top of the bike on its side, my body weight was keeping the top tube pressed into my thigh.

I didn't have time to sit there disoriented. My leg started to really hurt and i couldn't lift myself off of my bike enough to get free. After a few minutes of struggling i managed to pop my front wheel out of the drain and turn the bars enough to get free.

Sadly this was not my beater I was riding but my beloved Roubaix with its fancy White Industries wheels.

Conclusion:

Front rim utterly trashed. Just had the frame inspected (since its full carbon). Not a scratch on it anywhere. Everything perfectly aligned. thank god for that

Nasty bruises on my leg and my ribs ache pretty good (felt them really compress and strain during the impact) but nothing broken or seriously damaged.


Watch out for those Tire Eating demons folks! The streets may be getting rid of them but alleys sure aren't.
Epicus07 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-12, 03:21 PM   #2
northbend 
Senior Member
 
northbend's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: North Bend, Washington State
Bikes: 1937 Hobbs; 1977 Bruce Gordon; Merckx MX Leader (Campy 10); Schwinn Paramount (Fixed gear); Fat City Yo Eddy (MTB), Alex Singer (allrounder)
Posts: 1,613
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Glad you're ok! That could have had a much worse outcome than it did. You need a MTB for those midnight forays downtown.
northbend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-12, 04:33 PM   #3
Drillium Dude 
Senior Member
 
Drillium Dude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Sultan, WA
Bikes: 73 Colnago Super, 78 Medici, 79 Dennis Sparrow, 80 Alpina, 81 Bill Davidson custom, 83 Colnago Mexico, 85 Somec Super Corsa, 85 Spinella (Olympia), 02 Bill Davidson custom
Posts: 6,982
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Reminds me of a Gordon Lightfoot lyric: "Beware of strange faces and dark, dingy places..."

Glad you're okay after that little adventure. Wheels can always be replaced; body parts, not so much

A lot of this going on with our C&V crowd lately. We'd better start knocking on wood, it seems...

DD
__________________
My Flickr pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30331021@N08/

Drillium Dude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-12, 04:45 PM   #4
rootboy 
Senior Member
 
rootboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Wherever
Bikes:
Posts: 15,976
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 193 Post(s)
I've got to stop reading these crash threads. I'm afraid of crashing. Glad it wasn't worse.
rootboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-12, 06:14 PM   #5
Chris_in_Miami
Senior Member
 
Chris_in_Miami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 4,517
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Glad to hear you didn't get too badly hurt, and it's really cool that your bike largely survived!
Chris_in_Miami is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-12, 07:06 PM   #6
elguicho 
Restore, ride, repeat...
 
elguicho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Chicago
Bikes:
Posts: 391
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Pictures or it didn't happen. Just joking, I hope you get back on the saddle soon.
elguicho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-12, 07:14 PM   #7
RobbieTunes 
Idiot Pro Tempo
 
RobbieTunes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: NC
Bikes: at Pedal Room
Posts: 20,853
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 249 Post(s)
I was in a group line once, and the guy in front of me said "drain" just as I saw it, seemingly under my front wheel.
It was the wide slot type that will never go out of vogue here. Somehow, my front wheel rode the iron, but not the back.
Like one of DD's employer's anchors, it dropped, I stopped. Scratch one rear wheel, probably a Matrix, on my Trek 510.

One of my friends, who's forgotten more about bikes than I'll ever know, took me to his house,
and we laced in a Weinman concave. I still have flashbacks of that whenever I see one of those grates.
Since then, I've never ridden the concrete edge, always the asphalt road portion.

I'm glad you're somewhat all right, and the frame's not toast. It seems they could have angled those slots.
__________________

Robbie ♪♫♪...☻

Use both sides of the towel.

1985 Raleigh Racing USA - Competition (honoring cehowardGS)
1988 Centurion Dave Scott Ironman Master
1989 Centurion Dave Scott Ironman Expert
1989 Centurion Carbon R

http://www.pedalroom.com/members/RobbieTunes
RobbieTunes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-12, 08:24 PM   #8
seedsbelize 
Senior Member
 
seedsbelize's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Tixkokob, Yucatán, México
Bikes: '84 Schwinn Letour Luxe, '87 Schw'inn Prelude, 91 Giant Yukon, 92 Schwinn Paramount PDG 5 '72 World Voyageur
Posts: 3,058
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Just this spring the city fathers tore up the streets of old town Mérida, and put those grates in where there were no grates before. Wide gaps, parallel with traffic flow, right in the bike lane, inside of the parked cars. There might be more bikes in Mérida than there are in Portland. You gotta wonder...
__________________



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kactus View Post
Flubber.
seedsbelize is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-12, 09:15 PM   #9
Bikedued
Senior Member
 
Bikedued's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 10,886
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 111 Post(s)
I hit one of those last year, and they're the majority here unfortunately. Amazingly I saw it at the last second, and the front tire rode the grate, but the rear? WHAM!! I had enough forward momentum to keep moving, but ouch! Warped the rim somewhat, but was able to be straightened. I also hit one the other day, but a different type. Made of aluminum or some silver material, with doglegged plates running parallel with the road. It was scary! The front tire briefly jerked to the right, then as quickly as it started it was over. I stayed upright thank goodness. Aside from that there is one spot on my usual away from traffic commute. A grooved blacktop road patch about 8 feet wide all the way across the road. Really freaky if you're not ready for it. Feeling a 23C front tire squirming back and forth under you is not fun. I grab the hoods and ride it out every time, but I still never get used to it.,,,,BD
__________________
So many bikes, so little dime.
Bikedued is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-12, 10:02 PM   #10
Flying Merkel
Senior Member
 
Flying Merkel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Costa Mesa CA
Bikes:
Posts: 2,639
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
I remember hitting one of those on my Continental. Had to ride the rest of the school year on a potato chip shaped rim. Somehow i didn't fall
Flying Merkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-12, 05:46 AM   #11
big chainring 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Wilmette, IL
Bikes:
Posts: 5,721
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
I thought those grates were long gone. Back in the 70's Bicycling magazine often reminded readers of the dangers of sewer grates.

In my neighborhood, growing up, just about every kid wiped out on the railroad track spur that lead to the quarry. It crossed the road at an acute angle. I swear those tracks were alive. They reached out and grabbed your wheel.
big chainring is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-12, 06:17 AM   #12
rootboy 
Senior Member
 
rootboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Wherever
Bikes:
Posts: 15,976
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 193 Post(s)
I guess I should feel lucky. We have the cross pattern ones here.
rootboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-12, 06:36 AM   #13
qcpmsame 
Cycling Saved My Life
 
qcpmsame's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Pensacola, Florida
Bikes: '12 CAAD 10 Ultegra, '78 Medici Pro Strada
Posts: 9,820
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 176 Post(s)
Good that you were not physically injured, probably mentally scarred for life with the sight of the front wheel burned in to your mind forever. Sorry you wrecked the wheel, this will set you back a bit but look at the bright side of getting a new wheelset for your baby. Stay safe, we don't really like reading these reports.

Bill
__________________
I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me. Philippians 4:13

"I did not choose to have Parkinson's Disease, I do choose not to allow it to control my life." Davis Phinney

Semper Fi, USMC, November 10, 1775, Tun Tavern, Philadelphia, PA.

qcpmsame is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-12, 06:56 AM   #14
jpr1379
Senior Member
 
jpr1379's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Bikes:
Posts: 57
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
For the most part be have the waffle grates but we still have alot of the slot grates. Havent hit one yet but they are sneaky and jump out the most unexpected times. I'm pretty sure they colaborate with trees on who jumps out and when.
jpr1379 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-12, 07:04 AM   #15
KonAaron Snake 
Fat Guy on a Little Bike
 
KonAaron Snake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Bikes: Two wheeled ones
Posts: 15,578
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 369 Post(s)
Glad the damage isn't worse, but sorry about the rim Taco. Sometimes I feel like urban commuting is like that old videogame...Paper Boy...where everything is an obstacle.
KonAaron Snake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-12, 11:12 AM   #16
gaucho777
Senior Member
 
gaucho777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Berkeley, CA
Bikes: '72 Cilo Pacer • '72 Peugeot PX10 • '73 Speedwell Ti • '74 Nishiki Competition • '74 Peugeot UE-8 • '86 Look Equipe 753 • '86 Look KG86 • '89 Parkpre Team Road • '90 Parkpre Team MTB • '90 Merlin
Posts: 5,713
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 120 Post(s)
Glad you & the bike weren't hurt too badly. I hate those storm drains. I had a much less severe incident with one recently. I was pinched between a big truck and a "slot-type" drain. I managed to ride just barely outside the storm drain on my right, almost up against the truck on my left. But there was a lot of sand and gravel on the road, and my rear wheel slid right into the drain anyway. Fortunately, the tire landed on a lip and didn't go all the way in, but it left some really nasty scratches on my Araya Gold rim that needed to be polished out of the braking surface.

gaucho777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-12, 12:16 PM   #17
lostarchitect 
incazzare.
 
lostarchitect's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Bikes: See sig
Posts: 6,338
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Bummer man. There is one of these grates at the corner of Vanderbilt & Willouby in Brooklyn that I ride around every day. Both these roads are bike routes, and it's in a dangerous spot. I noticed recently that someone has placed a construction-orange mat of some kind over the grate. It looks "official." I'd bet someone complained and this is a temporary fix. If I was you, I'd also complain.
__________________
1964 JRJ (Bob Jackson), 1973 Wes Mason, 1974 Raleigh Gran Sport, 1986 Schwinn High Sierra, 2000ish Colian (Colin Laing), 2011 Dick Chafe, 2013 Velo Orange Pass Hunter
lostarchitect is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-12, 12:24 PM   #18
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Bikes: too many
Posts: 28,058
Mentioned: 57 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 734 Post(s)
The director of county roads here in Essex County told me (by email) that I can report defects and hazards to him. I've begun to blog them, and I'll be sending him a pointer to the blog. The photos I shoot with my iphone automatically have geo-location embedded in them, and picasa displays the locations automatically, next to the photos. Nifty, huh?
__________________
Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-12, 01:13 PM   #19
scotjonscot
Senior Member
 
scotjonscot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: middle north (Mpls)
Bikes: 1984 trek 610, 1989 panasonic dx-4000, 2001 schwinn panther, 1963-ish Sears 3spd, 2012 Soma Buena Vista(wife's, but I like to ride it)
Posts: 197
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This was one of my great fears as child after witnessing a cousin take a really nasty header.
scotjonscot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-12, 01:20 PM   #20
mazdaspeed
Senior Member
 
mazdaspeed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: WA state
Bikes:
Posts: 4,816
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Not to be overly litigious but perhaps you could convince the city to compensate you for your wheel? Those things are a real danger to cyclists. There is one by my house and I always imagine how bad it would be to hit that thing... ouch.
mazdaspeed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-12, 01:31 PM   #21
krome
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 425
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mazdaspeed View Post
Not to be overly litigious but perhaps you could convince the city to compensate you for your wheel? Those things are a real danger to cyclists. There is one by my house and I always imagine how bad it would be to hit that thing... ouch.
I agree. The city should have insurance. That kind of grate is a liability. It isn't unheard of to be compensated for injury resulting from a bad sidewalk (pedestrian not cyclist).
krome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-12, 02:41 PM   #22
GrayJay
Senior Member
 
GrayJay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: EagleRiver AK
Bikes:
Posts: 1,230
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mazdaspeed View Post
Not to be overly litigious but perhaps you could convince the city to compensate you for your wheel? Those things are a real danger to cyclists. There is one by my house and I always imagine how bad it would be to hit that thing... ouch.
In this day and age, it seems blantantly neglectfull of the city to leave those drain grates as-is. It would be a fairly simple project for the city to go around and retrofit them by welding on additional perpendicular flat bars onto the grates. Better that you sue them for minor bike damage and body injury in order to get thier attention to do right and fix the problem, rather that letting the city wait for the grates to kill or permanently injur a biker and leaving the city with a much, much larger liability suit.
GrayJay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-12, 03:00 PM   #23
Peruano
Biker
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: New Mexico
Bikes: One or more from each decade since 1960s
Posts: 128
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I realize this is a pedal bike forum, but I ride both kinds of bikes and the same dangers apply to both when it comes to tire traps. Check out the suicidal cattle guards recently installed on county roads in New Mexico. Even my relatively fat tired motorcycle is placed at danger of slipping between the rails that parallel the line of travel. I have protested to the local hwy folks but so far have not received much consideration or response other than we will look at it.

This one would break your neck at any speed. Tom
Peruano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-12, 03:07 PM   #24
krome
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 425
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peruano View Post
I realize this is a pedal bike forum, but I ride both kinds of bikes and the same dangers apply to both when it comes to tire traps. Check out the suicidal cattle guards recently installed on county roads in New Mexico. Even my relatively fat tired motorcycle is placed at danger of slipping between the rails that parallel the line of travel. I have protested to the local hwy folks but so far have not received much consideration or response other than we will look at it.

This one would break your neck at any speed. Tom
That is bad. Most cattle guards I've seen have the rails perpendicular to the road. parallel is just asking for trouble.
krome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-12, 09:02 PM   #25
Epicus07
Velophile
Thread Starter
 
Epicus07's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Bikes: See Signature.
Posts: 1,082
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hey Guys,

Thanks for all of your thoughts and support.


The storm drain in question is not in the road itself but in the center of a downtown alley. I'm very careful around drains at the side of the road but didn't even think of one being in the middle and it totally blindsided me.
Epicus07 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:18 PM.