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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 01-16-06, 01:04 AM   #1
el twe
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I went on a nice ride this afernoon. Weather was a bit brisk, but all in all a pretty perfect day for a ride. Going up was fine (although this ride is a continuous grade), just a little winded after a few climbs. Before heading back, I was talking with my friend and a roadie who was with the group ride about strategies for getting over the railroad tracks that cut the road in half. I made it up painlessly, but we all had our own strategies. Bunny hop, lift each wheel individually, or just go for it over the better patches.

Well, the ride back was nice. And then traffic was just stopped. A line of about 10 cars were just stopped. I had a gut feeling it was a cyclist. I'm slowing down becuase I'm afraid it's one of the group riders. Well, just as get to him, I hit the tracks and jsut stack. An easy fall, but my first fixed. It turns out, the guy that fell had done exactly what I had, only he wasn't so lucky. He must've been 40 feet from the tracks, so he either flew or slid. No helmet. He was bleeding from two gouges in the back of his head. I think he hit the road reflector on one of them due to the blood. He was freezing, so I let them use my sweatshirt to keep part of him warm. When the ambulane came, they had to cut his jersey off. I must've been there 45 minutes just waiting for this guy to be okay.

So, I've learned somethig from this - please, please, PLEASE wear a helmet. I don't care how ugly it is or if it takes the cool out of fixed, just do it. I could've been that guy on the road.
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Old 01-16-06, 07:48 AM   #2
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Living in the birthplace of the American Railroad, I've learned to slow WAY the hell down for tracks and cross them perpendicularly.

Recently someone replaced many of the crossing surfaces with these really nice plates that I've never seen anywhere else, so I won't be slipping at least, but there's still plenty of space for even a 35mm tire to fit inside.

I think even worse than the railroad tracks are the trolley tracks that some cities have, mostly because their purpose is to run parallel to the path of road traffic, creating all those diversion type accidents. Ironically, my town also had the first electric trolleys in the world, but those tracks and overhead lines have been gone for at least 50 years. If we had those, I don't think I'd go outside of the house.

So, really, slow WAY the hell down. and wear a helmet.
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Old 01-16-06, 09:25 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by DiegoFrogs
I think even worse than the railroad tracks are the trolley tracks that some cities have, mostly because their purpose is to run parallel to the path of road traffic, creating all those diversion type accidents. Ironically, my town also had the first electric trolleys in the world, but those tracks and overhead lines have been gone for at least 50 years. If we had those, I don't think I'd go outside of the house.

So, really, slow WAY the hell down. and wear a helmet.

Those trolly tracks are all over San Francisco, and scare the **** out of me. I know a ton of people who have had close calls on them, and one woman who cracked her hip. I've had two nasty spills in the last 6 months, I've finally learned my lesson and wear a helmet now.
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Old 01-16-06, 01:57 PM   #4
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Trolley tracks are the worst.

There was an article in the Boston Globe last winter about the city's large uninsured population. One of the muman interest stories was a dude who broke his arm when he got caught in some streetcar tracks and had an art student friend make a plaster cast.

Anyone who lives or rides next to tracks has a story about them.
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Old 01-16-06, 02:12 PM   #5
The LT
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I busted my self up crossing train tracks a few months ago .....didn't cross completely perpendicular and front wheel got stuck in the crack ...luckily I was wearing my helmet cus i hit my head pretty hard
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Old 01-16-06, 02:47 PM   #6
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Take a careful look at the condition of the tracks too.

Last set I crossed, I was so focused on making sure I was perpindicular, that I didn't even notice that the wood on either side of the rails had been deeply gouged out, and ran right into the "pothole" that created.
It turned out to just be an exceptionally bumpy transition, but if I'd been going a bit faster, that would've been a recipe for an endo.
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