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Old 11-26-10, 10:23 AM   #1
calderp
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Anyone know about narrow-gauge railway touring?

I hear there are lengths of abandoned track 100+ miles long out in cali that you can take a modified narrow-gauge railbike on. Anyone know where I can find info/maps on these trails?
Thanks!
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Old 11-26-10, 12:26 PM   #2
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rail bike....intriguing yet wacky

do tell
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Old 11-26-10, 01:12 PM   #3
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Wow. Had no idea. Thanks for giving the heads up on such a thing.

http://www.railbike.com/default2.htm
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Old 11-26-10, 03:34 PM   #4
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There is a railbike book on amazon, but it doesn't help much unless you are lucky enough to live next to one of the few places they describe that is public. Railbiking looked like it was going to be a sport, Outside had coverage. But since the 80s, people have converted a lot of potential trails to bike paths, and sold off the steel. Or they have sold spur lines to private interests. What is happening out there is kept pretty quiet. Some people have figured it out, but not really said much about it. Much of the activity is illegal. I would love to do a rail ride in Ontario, because rails cut through absolute wilderness, and even the ones in use get often only daily trains. But finding the place hasn't come to me yet. I just don't know the system. There is apparently a Quebecer who has done lots of trips, so I guess he figured it out. There is quite a bit of good info on making bikes though.

http://rrbike.freeservers.com/Railbi...art_Adventures
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Old 11-26-10, 04:12 PM   #5
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As usual the best stuff is on Youtube. A little non-HP to start with:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ff7Pg...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqzAv0wc09o

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nk-tk...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUoPM...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ev7YU...eature=related
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Old 11-26-10, 06:43 PM   #6
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wacky! intriguing but still wacky!
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Old 11-26-10, 09:10 PM   #7
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ride out to cali then ride on the active lines.
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Old 11-26-10, 09:22 PM   #8
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with your ipod earbuds in really loud!
or not.
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Old 11-27-10, 06:05 AM   #9
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I passed a railbike in Nymindegab , Denmark
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Old 11-27-10, 01:05 PM   #10
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cool story
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Old 11-27-10, 11:56 PM   #11
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Hmm, the semi-legal side of things hadn't even occurred to me. I suppose that's going to make finding info about rideable rails on the internet difficult. Shucks. Great links though, I also didn't realize there were so many people doing it, although i suppose it doesn't surprise. thanks peterpan!
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Old 11-28-10, 05:32 PM   #12
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That just gave me an idea of using the rails to explore a little. I wonder if 700x38 or 700x40 tires would be too small for riding between the rails.
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Old 11-29-10, 09:39 AM   #13
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There used to a be a section of abandoned track nearby that went through a county park. I tried riding between the rails a few times (on the gravel/rr ties) and it was horrible. I guess it depends how well the ballast (gravel) covers the ties. In this instance, not very well. Even a short ride beat me up pretty bad and gave me a headache. I was riding my MTB with front suspension, BTW.

Made for very nice XC skiing when it snowed, though!

They have since removed the rails and turned it into a nice bike path with crushed limestone.
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Old 11-29-10, 10:24 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr View Post
That just gave me an idea of using the rails to explore a little. I wonder if 700x38 or 700x40 tires would be too small for riding between the rails.
I have tried that on a MTB and found it unpleasant riding on that surface.
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Old 11-29-10, 10:51 AM   #15
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I have tried that on a MTB and found it unpleasant riding on that surface.
... but there are probably roadies so proud of their ability to "hold a line" that they could ride on top of a single rail
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Old 12-06-10, 01:37 PM   #16
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Well what I was thinking was more along the lines of building a rail-bike which is a modified bicycle which rides on the tracks itself, meaning you are gaurunteed a smooth surface without any major climbs, and you don't even need to steer but holding a line is a nice thought! maybe that could become a new roadie ultra-sport: racing on railroad tracks with 20mm tires. To pass you have to bunny-hop to the other side of the track!
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Old 12-06-10, 06:15 PM   #17
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Narrow gage RR were only built where standard gage was not possible.
Like Steep slopes..

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-06-10 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 12-06-10, 07:50 PM   #18
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... but there are probably roadies so proud of their ability to "hold a line" that they could ride on top of a single rail
No problem,







except when it rains.
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