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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 09-18-05, 03:42 AM   #1
jbaum2501
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eff train tracks!

DAMNIT! They took me down tonight on my brand new bike. First ride out. Luckely no major damage. Drive train was a little louder after crash but settled back into stealth mode thank god... wheel seems fine.

I was riding on Market... just wasnt paying attention I guess... went to take a left on valencia and they ate my front wheel alive. I win the moron prize.

They dropped me outside sparkies diner a few months ago too.. I guess I didnt learn my lesson that time.
You guys have any special trechniques for reminding yourself to think about the tracks?
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Old 09-18-05, 06:21 AM   #2
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Break your arm.
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Old 09-18-05, 10:36 AM   #3
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My friend Steph was eaten by those exact same tracks last night.
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Old 09-18-05, 10:50 AM   #4
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lift your front wheel when you ride over them. Riding a track bike makes you aware of everything. As they say...... "one with the bike".
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Old 09-18-05, 11:12 AM   #5
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try to approach at a >45 degree angle, then get out of the saddle and float
you can also ride parallel to the tracks, then bunny-hop sideways over them

('course, none of what wrote will help you pay attention to tracks...)
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Old 09-18-05, 12:03 PM   #6
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I have witnessed and heard many a story, but have never partcipated in this classic market st. cycling ritual.

You want to try to cross tracks as perpendicular as possible, otherwise like dolface says, a bunnyhop.
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Old 09-18-05, 12:23 PM   #7
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I went down like an idiot on Market and nearly got crushed by a muni. Ruined my pants, but no actual harm to my body. Still, the scare was enough to make me extra aware of the tracks since.
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Old 09-19-05, 05:46 PM   #8
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Ok, i may be an idiot or perhaps the train tracks here in Wis are different than where you are, but i dont get this whole falling over train tracks thing. Here, the gap between the road and the rail is minimal---no worse than going over a series of those really narrow speed bumps/strips on the edge of the road. How is it that the tracks eat your front tire, unless you get on the tracks and make a 45 degree turn and dump your tire between the rails and the road
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Old 09-19-05, 06:11 PM   #9
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We have tracks that run down the middle of the street, in the direction of travel, for many, many blocks. Think: streetcars.
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Old 09-19-05, 06:13 PM   #10
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Are you thinking about a train crossing where the tracks are perpendicular to the street? Turn that Pi/2 radians and try again.
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Old 09-19-05, 06:18 PM   #11
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Aha---i have been enlightened.
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Old 09-19-05, 06:23 PM   #12
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i like the use of radians....reminds me of math class..
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Old 09-19-05, 06:24 PM   #13
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i never understood pi----it just always made me hungry
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Old 09-19-05, 06:33 PM   #14
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You are in good company!
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Old 09-19-05, 07:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouton
Are you thinking about a train crossing where the tracks are perpendicular to the street? Turn that Pi/2 radians and try again.
i pretty sure pi/2 radians is 360, which would be no change in the track angle across the street. but i could be wrong
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Old 09-19-05, 07:38 PM   #16
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You are wrong. =(
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Old 09-19-05, 07:58 PM   #17
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Never had my tire stick in one of those tracks until today when a cop jaywalked out from behind a van. It was either run over the cop at 17mph or move left over the tracks. It ate my tire and I pulled out and wobbled for about 10 feet but managed not to fall. Maintaining balance was not as hard as resisting the urge to flip him off.
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Old 09-19-05, 09:25 PM   #18
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honduraz: 2*pi is 360 degrees, so pi/2 is 360/4 degrees, or 90 degrees.

skanking_biker: pi makes calculus work better.

C (in math teacher mode)
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Old 09-19-05, 10:17 PM   #19
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we hav ethem here in philly....pain in the arse....ive yet to go down though
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Old 09-20-05, 07:48 AM   #20
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Never gone down, but I've done a couple of whoopty-doos where my bike wheel slides forward along the rail and starts coming up on my front.

There was an article in the Boston Globe last year about Bostonians w/o health insurance and one of the people profiled had fallen on the tracks on Centre Street a bit further down from my place. Dude broke his arm and went to his art student roommate to have him make a plaster of paris cast. DIY indeed.



Try bombing that at 25mph.

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Old 09-20-05, 07:55 AM   #21
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I just wish my city had streetcars again.
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Old 09-20-05, 08:09 AM   #22
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Eh. I'm not sold on it. I like fixed infrastructure transit and rider surveys seem to indicate that that's pretty common. Mostly it comes down to people like to be able to see, without a vehicle being present, that they're indeed waiting for the thing in the right place. Secondly, when it arrives, they like being able to visually confirm where it's going, rather than having to know that route #n goes to x. And on top of that, fixed infrastructure usually comes with better waiting areas (though those of us who still have real live street cars know that's not necessarily the case--the B line is probably the best/worst example of this).

Apart from that, though, rubber tired transit simply works better in a shared-use corridor. Streetcars can get caught behind traffic and have no ability to move forward. Not only that, but ADA requirements mean that it's no longer possible to simply run them in a straight line down the middle of the street, they must have curbside access.

There are non-diesel, non-gasoline bus options, CNG and electric being the most popular. CNG is nice but ours really shriek as they accelerate. Electric is better, imo. They use a catenary just like streetcars (in fact, they were originally called trackless trolleys or rubber-tired trolleys) and have similar acceleration, but they have some ability to steer around street obstacles such as double-parked cars.

Fixed rail transit only works better than rubber-tired service when it operates in an exclusive right-of-way, not in a shared traffic corridor. More on this issue as it affects me: http://www.btwt.org/ I used to be a big trolley restoration fan, but as I learned and thought about it more, it just doesn't make sense. Cyclists aside, it's not good transit.
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Old 09-20-05, 02:34 PM   #23
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only time the market tracks have brought me down i was drunk...
tacoed my front, but didn't break the 40 in my hand...
that was an awesome night...
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Old 09-20-05, 03:25 PM   #24
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Ill buy everyone who replied to this thread a beer if they take me down again. mark my words.
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Old 09-20-05, 03:27 PM   #25
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I just wish my city had streetcars again.
Ditto.
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