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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 06-27-07, 04:20 PM   #1
jchou701
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Hitting WATER DRAINS (in San Francisco, Market street)

I always knew to avoid water drains because our skinny tires could get stuck, but those are only for water drains big and long enough to get stuck in. I usually go over ones that have tiny holes that can't do any damage.

Riding down market street in SF I knew there were some huge water drains (are they even drains? they're huge, anyways...). I biked over a few water drains which were fine for my tires since the holes were tiny and they ran perpendicular to my tires, not parallel.

So i overgeneralized and headed towards another drain only to see that these holes were much larger and they ran parallel to my tires. They weren't huge so i didn't get stuck but they were big enough to cause pinch flats.. flatSSSSS.

I tried going diagonal over them and lifting the weight off my front/rear tires but it was already too late.

Anything similar happen to anybody else before?
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Old 06-27-07, 05:02 PM   #2
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An example of how bike unfriendly/ uncoconscious things really can be.
I believe those are vents for BART..or so i thought.
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Old 06-27-07, 05:18 PM   #3
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They have these in my city. I ate **** on one and got a pretty
gnarly scar on my eyelid from the event. Later, I was working
when the mayor came into my business. I told him how ****ed
up those drains were, and I had some pretty serious wounds on
my face to prove it. He was sympathetic, but hasn't done ****
about it, despite his efforts to make our city more bike friendly.
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Old 06-27-07, 05:25 PM   #4
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I broke a rear wheel on one when riding home after work... It spanned the width of the street and was probably only 2" long. I hopped the front wheel over without issue but since i suck at t3h bunny hop the back wheel dropped right into the slots. Pinch flatted and b0rk3d the wheel (it was way out of true and the braking surface has a nice fat dent in it). I didn't fall but i did have to call my girlfriend and get a ride home from her.

Needless to say, i avoid that road nowdays.
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Old 06-27-07, 05:25 PM   #5
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in b-more we have some really bad drains where if they are parrallel to your tire they can totally swallow your whole tire. it's pretty easy to see them coming if you are paying attention, though sometimes they can be hard to avoid in heavy traffic, but i was riding last winter in the snow and while most drains were a little melted through and still visible, one was totally covered and i plowed right into it. luckily i wasn't going too fast (12mph-ish) since i was in the snow but boy that sucked. obviously pinch flatted my tire. to its credit, my deep v got a slight bend in the lip, but overall stayed totall true

p.s. the worst thing is that the drains are square, so the grate can be placed horizontally just as easily as it can be placed vertically... EASY fix
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Old 06-27-07, 11:26 PM   #6
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for a while there was a city council member running around town ordering that all of those drains got turned so they were perpendicular with traffic. that was nice. i normally just go around. i really hate the huge metal grates on market (i think those are the bart vents), especially when its raining. also the bridge by the baseball park is pretty awful. im so scared of crashing on it.
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Old 06-27-07, 11:39 PM   #7
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The bridge at giants ballpark is fine for 25 width tires. I've also rode over the bart vents (center lanes on market) and that sh&t is not good for your wheels at all (bent rim).
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Old 06-27-07, 11:42 PM   #8
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i ride 21's, so.. yea. ive never had a problem, but it freaks me out.
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Old 06-27-07, 11:43 PM   #9
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what about those tracks for the silly-a$$ trolleys ya have running up and down market--
they were easy to skip over on my cyclocross bike during the critical mass ride but I thought
they were a bit treacherous.
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Old 06-27-07, 11:48 PM   #10
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every cyclist in sf will eat **** in those tracks at least once in their life. im convinced of this. ive done it. i just make sure to cross them at a sharp angle now.
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Old 06-28-07, 01:05 AM   #11
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I hit one of those coming across the 10th st bridge(not sf, pgh) balls out when a car would not move over and had a wonderful 3 course meal of stem, side of car and pavement. I was able to get up and make it home atleast. Crazy.
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Old 06-28-07, 03:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onetwentyeight
every cyclist in sf will eat **** in those tracks at least once in their life. im convinced of this. ive done it. i just make sure to cross them at a sharp angle now.

TRUTH.
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Old 06-28-07, 04:22 AM   #13
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To be more specific, I was biking at night so it was even hard to see those large 'bart vents'

And yes, I had to hope over those damn tracks also. Coincidentally, I was actually talking to someone today about biking on market and he actually showed me his scars from a broken wrist + elbow from those tracks.

crazyyyyy

Stay in the bike lane on market everyone.
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Old 06-28-07, 06:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onetwentyeight
every cyclist in sf will eat **** in those tracks at least once in their life. im convinced of this. ive done it. i just make sure to cross them at a sharp angle now.
Our local flavour is intersections where N/S/E/W streecar tracks converge for straight-through traffic as well as alternate turning tracks for each direction. Hello, deathtrap ... especially when every driver around you is switching "lanes" in the middle of the intersection and gunning it to try to get around the parked cars up the street.
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Old 06-28-07, 07:18 AM   #15
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I've avoided those for about 17yrs now.....ever since I trashed a rear wheel when I hit one taking a corner.


Wasn't in SF nor was it on a SS/fixie, so I guess it doesn't matter.
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Old 06-28-07, 07:38 AM   #16
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someone from santiago, chile (i think) posted a pic of a drain that had long enough holes to fit the entire bottom half of the wheel up to the fork. i think it was in the expat shames thread
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Old 06-28-07, 09:41 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onetwentyeight
every cyclist in sf will eat **** in those tracks at least once in their life. im convinced of this. ive done it. i just make sure to cross them at a sharp angle now.
i've eaten sh*t in the trolley tracks
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Old 06-28-07, 10:08 PM   #18
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Metro grates in DC (Virginia) got me late one night in the rain. Tore up my face nice and good. Those grates are huge.
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