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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 05-14-14, 01:15 PM   #26
squegeeboo
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
I looked at the google street view. that crossing is in excellent condition. meaning the roadway on either side is not falling apart or chipping. I would not be doing any fancy stuff like crossing lanes at a RR crossing. be slow and predictable. I saw the angle and it should be fine going slowly. if you are still not comfortable take the sidewalk but that seems not necessary. good luck.

for reference check out this nasty crossing. yours is absolutely pristine!
http://moderntransit.org/expy_graphi...ldshoulder.jpg
You are wrong about the conditions. First you're using a google maps image from nearly 2 years ago, the little bits of potholes that are starting around the edge of the plates has had 2 years to grow. Second, I'm on it every day, and I'm telling you you're wrong about the condition it's in. 3rd, the two sets of tracks are at different heights from each other, causing some bounce/bumps which make sliding out or slipping into the track a higher risk, and while yes, that one you linked to is in really bad condition, it's at a right angle, which makes it already better than mine, because it solves the entire issue I asked about in this thread, and doesn't have metal plates all around the tracks, causing extra slip concerns, also making it better than mine.

Additionally, you seem to be consistently missing the issue, that if I didn't cross my lane on the track, I would be riding at something like a 30 degree angle to the track, giving my wheels a much greater chance of getting sucked into the track, causing an accident. This is a common concern/risk with railroad tracks, as you can find across the entire forum from peoples stories about my exact concern happening to them.
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Old 05-14-14, 01:22 PM   #27
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A popular biking road near here has an even sharper angle, on a one-lane in each direction road. I have a mirror, so it's easy to monitor traffic coming up behind. I'll either let the cars pass by, or take the lane and point left, like a left turn signal. But I end up in the oncoming lane, so there can't be any cars approaching, either.

If your tracks were just a little less angled, I'd ride across them staying straight on the road, not trying to angle over. But I'd keep my speed up enough to coast over the tracks. The critical thing is to make sure to be centered and balanced on the bike, so the tires don't have any side force at all.

I've seen riders fall when they turn sharply just before the tracks to hit the rails at 90 degrees. They are still leaning into the turn when their wheel crosses the rails, and they slide right out, even though the wheel is at 90 degrees.

Your crossing. It looks like a 45 degree angle to the road. It's tricky to cut across your lane, since you can't really control two lanes of traffic coming from behind, and you'll be in the left of the two lanes by the time you cross over.


Thanks for the advice, it's really sounding like I should use the path to cross, and then move back into the road when safe to do so, if there's any heavy traffic at all. I'm able to stay just in the right hand lane when crossing instead of going across both, by doing a not quite 90 degree angle, (basically, solid white to dashed white, not double yellow), it's really only been an issue the once so far when once I moved over to the solid white some jerk college kid thought it meant he could pass me, in the right lane, directly on the tracks, but it's bound to happen again.
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Old 05-14-14, 01:29 PM   #28
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no loss of dignity to stop, and walk the bike across, and then get back on?

though the classic Cyclocross barrier leap and remount is something to learn ..

back in the day they also flipped over both toeclips at one as soon as they were back on the saddle..


when you get to the track turn your front wheel at a right angle to it ,

and move to the far side and come back to the near side so your bike can square up to the tracks . your rear wheel will follow.

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Old 05-14-14, 02:46 PM   #29
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You are wrong about the conditions.
OK, well then, it's definitely a dangerous spot for sure. I wish you luck and good fortune.
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Old 05-14-14, 03:12 PM   #30
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That would be a good way to get yourself arrested or hauled into court by the RR company. Seriously.
1. I'm not talking about pouring concrete, I'm talking about 8 inches x 3 inches of brown foam on the ground from a spraycan you get at Home Depot. Frankly, you could do the same thing with a stick. Only the outside of the rail where the tire first transitions from the asphalt to the steel. Inner edge would just get mooshed by the first pass of a consist, anyway. 2. Maybe in Raleigh they have more robust enforcement by the RR companies, but here in the North East... ah, not so much. Like, you think NSC or CSX is watching that crossing? Really? I'd be impressed. Fact is, around here we have stranger things just bubbling out of the ground next to the tracks. NJ: The Landfill of Opportunity. Gosh, I've got much better ways of getting arrested and hauled into court. And my lawyer always buys me dinner, with my own money!

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Old 05-14-14, 04:57 PM   #31
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I'm curious, what size tire are you running? I commute over several tracks that angle with questionable road quality and just get out of the saddle and barrel right over them with no concern, 12-22mph depending on mood/hill. But I use 2" tires inflated to ~70psi.
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Old 05-14-14, 05:23 PM   #32
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Just some words to the folks here and anyone browsing not a member..... You should always listen for train, no matter how safe you think it is, you never know if a loose freight car or cars might roll through and kill you on the spot. They often won't trigger the crossing circuit.

- Andy
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Old 05-14-14, 05:30 PM   #33
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45° is very crossable straight on. No adjustment to you whatever course you're riding is needed. If you wish, a slight wiggle making an S to cross more square to the rails may help, but isn't needed. OTOH, if you're flying on the curve (hard to gauge how sharp it is) and leaning, you might want to square up a bit so the bike is verticl as you take the bump, hen resume the curve.

More of a priblem are the nea parallel crossings you see near cities and in narrow valleys. These require that you secure a full lane so you have room to make an S-curve as you cross.
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Old 05-14-14, 07:03 PM   #34
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I always lift my front wheel and just hop over tracks with the front, that works well for for me, I've never yet crashed on railroad tracks even when they are wet.
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Old 05-14-14, 07:18 PM   #35
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I always lift my front wheel and just hop over tracks with the front, that works well for for me, I've never yet crashed on railroad tracks even when they are wet.
Yes, many of us do. But it's not possible to hop while in a curve (unless you really like road rash).
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Old 05-14-14, 07:33 PM   #36
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Fat tires would help. Or simply dismount. It will slow you down less than a crash. Drivers are part of the opposition , it's hard to change that.
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Old 05-15-14, 11:57 AM   #37
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I'm curious, what size tire are you running? I commute over several tracks that angle with questionable road quality and just get out of the saddle and barrel right over them with no concern, 12-22mph depending on mood/hill. But I use 2" tires inflated to ~70psi.
Just got a new specialized tri-cross bike. Still using the tires that came with it, 700x32's, inflated once a week up to 100psi or so. When those wear out, or before my first tri of the year, whichever happens first I'll drop down to a 700x25 or 28.
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Old 05-15-14, 12:57 PM   #38
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Honestly, if it's that much trouble, I would just dismount and walk it over. I'm not eating asphalt or replacing bent wheels just to avoid a brief inconvenience - no way.
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