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Old 07-07-06, 07:54 AM   #1
oilfreeandhappy
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Tires slipped on wet RR Tracks

I had a good tumble last evening. It was raining very lightly. I took the lane to make a left turn on one of our Old Town streets. This street has unused trolley train tracks in the middle. Evidently both of my tires hit these wet parallel tracks, and the bike, very unexpectedly, slid sideways.

I hit the pavement, with my left hip and elbow. The former is sore, and the latter is scraped up, but the worst bruise was to my ego. I can't imagine that anybody who witnessed the accident would be left with a desire to get on a bicycle.
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Old 07-07-06, 08:07 AM   #2
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Ouch. Were you at speed when you ditched?
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Old 07-07-06, 08:28 AM   #3
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Always take tracks head on, i.e. perpendicularly. Then at least you have a chance of staying upright in the rain. Good thing you're just a bit scraped and no more!
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Old 07-07-06, 08:31 AM   #4
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My wife went down hard on wet cattle guard in the U.K. several days ago.
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Old 07-07-06, 08:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oboeguy
Always take tracks head on, i.e. perpendicularly. Then at least you have a chance of staying upright in the rain. Good thing you're just a bit scraped and no more!
Good advice, but when the tracks run parallel to your direction of travel, the best bet is to stay far away from them.
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Old 07-07-06, 08:57 AM   #6
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Even taking them perpendicular and at slow speeds can result in wrecking.
One rainy day I was crossing a set of tracks perpendicular at a very slow speed and my wheels went out from under me (or started to). However, I was able to pull up while clipped in and righted myself. Still gave me a heart attack. I now cross tracks at an even slower speed. If something happens at this new speed I may just give up and dismount when crossing wet railroad tracks.
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Old 07-07-06, 09:19 AM   #7
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Sorry about the tumble. Glad you are relatively OK.
I dumped a brand new HD softail on slippery railroad
tracks. They spray something called creosote on the ties
to preserve them. I hit them after a fresh spray mixed with
morning dew. Ouch ensued
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Old 07-07-06, 09:32 AM   #8
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Yeah, ouch! I always seem to do things like that when there's lots of people around to see it. The ego hurts more than the elbow or hip!

One little speck of water on a RR track can change your day. And the gaps between the rail and whatever kind of pavement there is makes the crossing even sketchier. Is there a different route, or another crossing that looks safer?
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Old 07-07-06, 10:17 AM   #9
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I always stand on the pedals in preparation for a fall in case it starts to happen. I don't know if it helps, but no slips thus far.

At speed, I've hopped over a single set of tracks, but that's not often and rarely when there is precipitation on the ground.
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Old 07-07-06, 10:30 AM   #10
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tbh... if your going across them (not turning.. just riding across them) surely riding as fast as possible (minimising the time spent on the tracks) would be the way to ensure not falling?
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Old 07-07-06, 12:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoRacer
I always stand on the pedals in preparation for a fall in case it starts to happen. I don't know if it helps, but no slips thus far.

At speed, I've hopped over a single set of tracks, but that's not often and rarely when there is precipitation on the ground.
This was on my Bent, so standing is not an option. To the other question, I would estimate I was going between 10-15 MPH, getting ready to lean into the turn. My hip is still a little sore. I may have a slight dislocation, but it could just be bruised. I was able to ride to work today with no problem. I'll know more tonight, when I play tennis. I have to push off on the left leg for serving.

Usually I do cross tracks on a perpendicular or angle. I'm wondering if my front wheel hit a gap between the track and the road, and the rear then hit the track. It happened so fast, I couldn't tell you.
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Old 07-07-06, 03:19 PM   #12
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The only time Iíve gone off a road bike as an adult was crossing railroad tracks. Fortunately, I was only about 20 at the time and there were no cars nearby, so I got away without injury. I was so startled that it seemed like I landed on my feet (pedals with toe clips but no straps). The tracks crossed the road diagonally and I suspect that my front wheel tried to follow the rail which through me off balance. Ever since, Iíve been sure to cross all tracks perpendicular and I havenít had a problem since (that was about 30 years ago). Iíve probably jinxed myself and will fall off tomorrow morning (I cross tracks almost every time I ride).

Regards,
Alan
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