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MadCat 05-14-02 01:28 AM

Cyclist killed on Edmonton's Death Rail.
This is something a little creepy. It almost makes me feel a little guilty even.
A doctor was rideing across the High Level Bridge here in Edmonton today. He must have weaved too far left and hit the bridge. His bicycle hit one of the beams and he flew forward and his head hit the next beam. I'm guessing he was killed instantly. He wasn't wearig a helmet. The police say he would have lived if he was wearing a helmet. I tend to agree but something needs to be done with that bridge.
I did the exact same thing last summer but my shoulder caught one of the steel beams and I came terribly close to breaking it. My whole arm was black and blue. It hurt like hell for almost a month. I think I'll have to write to the paper about this one. I'll post a story as soon as I can find one.
This is the original threat I posted last september when I hit the bridge myself

gmason 05-14-02 03:03 AM

A doctor not wearing a helmet. :confused:

orguasch 05-14-02 03:24 AM

sorry to hear about that accident in Edmonton, but a very simple lesson is learned in this thread, a helmet is the next biggest invention after bikes

oceanrider 05-14-02 06:36 AM

That is sad news. Cyclists are not invulnerable. There's a difference between having confidence and being just plain stupid and cocky.

Speaking of confidence, I have a confidence issue with bridges. There are a lot of bridges in my daily rides and as a fairly new cyclist, they scare me plain and simple. The shoulders are narrow if they exist at all, they're curvy and I worry about speeding motorists not seeing me around the curve and I haven't learned to attack the metal grates on the spans. I mean my heart jumps in my throat every time I ride over the grate of a bridge. Naturally the wheels don't track on it like a road. Half the time I'm walking my bike up these bridges. Not because I lack the strength or my bike can't make it... I'm just plain chicken. My mind makes pictures of the bike losing it's traction and I fall over and a car runs me over. Do I need a bike psych??

Any advice or words of assurance that I'm not crazy and this is a natural fear for a new cyclist? The more I ride, the more I realize there's more to riding than just pedaling.


John E 05-14-02 08:10 AM

Trust your instincts, Kathy. Bridges can indeed be dangerous. If you worry about being seen from behind on an inside corner, consider moving FARTHER into the travel lane, so that motorists will see you sooner. Wear bright colours. When approaching any steel plate or grid, particularly a wet one, slow down in advance and focus on maintaining your travel line and your balance. Support your local cycling advocacy group (start your own, if necessary) and get to know your city traffic engineer. Perhaps you can get the speed limit reduced on the bridge. Don't laugh, skeptics -- the California Bicycle Coalition and the San Diego and Orange Counties Coalitions have won several significant victories for on-road bicycle accommodations and safety.

joeprim 05-15-02 05:51 AM

Bridges can be worrysome (sp?) I hadn't crossed many until my ride in Vermont a couple of weeks ago. Then I had lots of them wooden on the bike path were fun after the first time. The long one out on the road with the expansion joints took more getting used to. I'll bet those steel suspension girder type are real scarry.

a2psyklnut 05-15-02 10:47 AM

Down here, we call bridges our hills. It's the only significant elevation gain in the immediate area.

Our bridges aren't too much of a problem, but the grating does get slippery when wet and I know of a woman that slipped and busted up her face.

I did however notice a difference when I switched tires. I had a pair of Axial Pro's on my road bike that were stock. I removed them to save them (for what? I don't know) and put a cheaper tire on. The cheaper tires must be of a harder durometer rubber and I skated all around on the grating. IT took some getting used to. Now, I just walk over the grate if there's a lot of traffic or it's wet. Better to be safe than sorry!


gmason 05-15-02 11:35 AM

Likewise in North Holland. But most of ours are over roads on cycle paths. And there are veeroosters (sheep gratings) in many places, including the bridge ends. I found, by looking only, that my wheel would fit into one of the slots with ease.

Definitely a no-no, and very unlikely. Until recently, when they opened a couple of new bridges over small canals that "T" into existing paths so that you have to turn one way or another at the junction. Which is just where they put the new grates. What fun.


Brains 05-15-02 02:31 PM

I won't ride on vehicle bridges any more - after a near death experience 4 years ago in Tower Bridge - I could not even get on the bike for 6 months.

I cycle to work through the summer and have to cross the Thames. I only use one of two crossing the Greenwich foot tunnel or the Wobbly foot bridge - if ever forced to use a road brige them I'm on the pavement (sidewalk)

oceanrider 05-15-02 04:01 PM

Glad to see it's not just me. Even though I'm an old geezer in my 40's, I don't want to look like one. Where there's a walkway, I'll use the walkway. It's just not worth the risk. Now I'll just feel better doing it cuz I'll know I'm not alone.


MadCat 05-16-02 02:08 AM

Here's a link to the actual story I mentioned. As you can see in the itty bitty photo, there's no barier whatsoever between the pedestrian/bicycle path, and the bridge pillars.

I had a look at the section first hand today. It's difficult to imagine how he could have been thrown forward into the next pillar without smacking the initial pillar that the bicycle hit. I personally was taken out by the same pillar that my bike hit. It's frightening what a little veocity can do.

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