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-   -   Of Trolly Tracks and Broken Bones... (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=1166435)

DrDyno 02-14-19 07:31 PM

Of Trolly Tracks and Broken Bones...
 
By way of introduction, I'm 73 years old and took up cycling, seriously, seven months ago. Four months ago I purchased my first (previously owned) Road Bike, a Focus Izalco, which I dearly love! I live a 3-mile straight shot from the Pinellas Trail in St. Petersburg, FL. I ride the trail at least three times a week and average 60 to 70 miles weekly. Okay...

Riding with a friend, last week, we were following the Pinellas Trail north, about 18 miles from home, through Clearwater, Florida. Clearwater doesn't appreciate the Trail like most of the other towns through its 38 mile meanderings. And, while pointing out the next turn through light traffic, I passed over the old trolley tracks with total disregard for my intercept angle. The next thing I knew I was on the ground with a great deal of pain in my left shoulder. I could move my arm through a full arc so I figured it wasn't broken. The bike only experienced a scratched pedal and a beat up rearview mirror. So, it was obviously time to turn around and head home.

Interestingly, according to Strava, I set 3 PR's on the 18 mile ride home! HA!

Of course, the Little Woman demanded I go get it x-rayed and, sure enough, I fractured my left clavicle. BUMMER! I'm out of action for 6 - 8 weeks!

Got home from the Doc and set my Jamis Commuter up on my training wheel. (I've come too far in the past seven months to stop now!) Two pics for you: my exquisitely colorful left shoulder (taken in a mirror so it looks like it's my right shoulder) and the trainer set up. Apologies for the clutter around the Jamis... wife allows me only a small portion of the porch!

The moral of this story is: WATCH OUT FOR OLD TROLLEY TRACKS ON OTHERWISE PRISTINE BLACK TOP! ...CROSS AT 90 ONLY!!


https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...1e07dce6cd.jpg

https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...519a83f8c0.jpg

tcs 02-14-19 10:14 PM

The city of Knoxville studied this - actually by studying video of real cyclists crashing in the real world at real track crossings! - and determined: 'Crash rates are reduced dramatically at approach angles greater than 30, and practically non-existent at angles greater than 60.'

https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/utc/328571/utcnewsletterquarterly1jan2019.pdf

They laid down some more pavement to make the crossings safer.

https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...9691ee9282.jpg

Bmach 02-14-19 10:15 PM

Good luck with your recovery. What did the Dr say about riding on the trainer? Did he say to give it a couple weeks or have at it?

DrDyno 02-14-19 11:01 PM


Originally Posted by Bmach (Post 20795474)
Good luck with your recovery. What did the Dr say about riding on the trainer? Did he say to give it a couple weeks or have at it?

...I didn't ask. As it turns out, having my arms outstretched with my weight against the handlebars is a comparatively comfortable position for me. I feel as long as I have no particular discomfort and the pain, (which diminishes daily) doesn't increase, I'm good to go! :thumb:

SHBR 02-14-19 11:33 PM

That could have been much worse.

Train tracks are no joke, there are times I dismount and walk across, especially if its wet.

Stay safe.

BobbyG 02-15-19 08:19 AM

Thanks for the warning. Sorry about your injury. I agree, you were very lucky it was not worse. I applaud your gumption to keep riding, even if it's on a trainer.

rumrunn6 02-15-19 08:26 AM

& sounds like you hit the tracks one-handed? I hit some mud one-handed this winter & went down. glad your incident wasn't worse. be a good patient & here's wishing you well

Lemond1985 02-15-19 08:31 AM

https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...50a44b4e29.jpg

fishboat 02-15-19 08:36 AM

Ouch! Good on ya for taking up riding at 73..very cool. I broke my shoulder when I was in high school...a bummer, but it heals. All things considered..your crash could have been much worse.

Just about to send a PM to you..I have a question about the Pinellas Trail and environs..

Retro Grouch 02-15-19 10:01 AM

St Louis recently paid millions of dollars for just a couple miles of trolly line. DUMBEST IDEA EVER! Already had several claims of trollys, which can't dodge, damaging parked cars. Sure look cute though.

indyfabz 02-15-19 12:29 PM

If you are parked fouling a trolley line that should be your problem. Philadelphia has six street trolley routes left over from the days when trolleys ruled the city. The Route 15, which passes a block my current house, was originally a trolley but was converted to a bus route at some point. Maybe a decade ago it was converted back to a trolley route using, in part, restored vintage cars. I used to ride those things back in the day, until they were replaced in the early 80s by modern cars made by Kawasaki.

http://www.heritagetrolley.org/image...adelphia11.jpg


We also have "trackless trolleys" (a/k/a "trolley busses"). They are electric busses that draw power from tandem overheard wires. Three routes remain.
http://images.nycsubway.org/icon/tit..._trackless.jpg

ironwood 02-15-19 03:59 PM

It happened to me about forty years ago. My bones were younger then. Ever since that time I try to cross tracks at a right angle. Wider tires, 42mm or so are also more forgiving.

fietsbob 02-15-19 04:17 PM

We have a Old Trolley, for the tourists, it shares the trestles with the MUP when over the river, along the route..
https://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/me...-riverside.jpg was electric, but now has a diesel-motor-generator car to power it's electric motor,
pushed or pulled depending on the direction of travel.

A yellow stripe is painted on the pavement as a warning to park behind it.. or it's your fault ..






..

tcs 02-15-19 07:10 PM

They ran a new streetcar track across an existing bike route at an acute angle here in Parts Unknown, so the city helpfully put up a sign informing the cyclists they were about to crash.

https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...bc6babc2f2.png



Originally Posted by ironwood (Post 20796580)
Wider tires, 42mm or so are also more forgiving.

Frank Schwinn knew what he was doing when he introduced the balloon tire in 1933.

SHBR 02-15-19 07:21 PM

Trackless trolley buses, make more sense, safer too.

Train tracks are best if they are either elevated or put below ground in urban areas.

Murphy's law dictates that people will "do" stupid things, have to make everything idiot proof.


I-Like-To-Bike 02-15-19 09:01 PM


Originally Posted by indyfabz (Post 20796267)
If you are parked fouling a trolley line that should be your problem. Philadelphia has six street trolley routes left over from the days when trolleys ruled the city. The Route 15, which passes a block my current house, was originally a trolley but was converted to a bus route at some point. Maybe a decade ago it was converted back to a trolley route using, in part, restored vintage cars. I used to ride those things back in the day, until they were replaced in the early 80s by modern cars made by Kawasaki.

I used to flatten pennies on the tracks of 52 trolley back in the 50's. This picture was taken at the end of the line block from my parent's house. I also spilled a basket full of newspapers that I was delivering crossing these track at a bad angle; I learned my lesson about this early in my bicycling life. these tracks. It was the old style trolley that reversed direction by changing the electricity pickup pole and had driver's controls at both ends.

https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...e5fad5e1b6.jpg

In the 60's I used to drop my grandmother off by car at the 5th and Godfrey northern terminus of the 47 trolley after she visited so that she could get back to her South Philadelphia home which was located at the other end of the line.

https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...ef2d30b5fb.jpg

Before I turned 16 I used to ride my bicycle to visit her ; the trolley tracks were always tricky to ride around, especially on narrow streets with parking on both sides or the street or on cobblestones, or both.

https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...1a20a7536f.jpg

https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...e26694c344.jpg


https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...86edabf6dc.jpg

For those who may be interested: a listing from a few years ago about what used to be as far as trolley service in Philadelphia:
Philadelphia Transportation Company Streetcar Routes as of January 1953 Philadelphia Trolley Tracks: 1953 Philadelphia Transit Map

More Philadelphia Trolley photos from the 60's at: https://hiddencityphila.org/2014/05/...tones-and-all/

Back then a cyclist learned to navigate safely in and around trolley tracks or didn't get around too much within Philadelphia.

DrDyno 02-16-19 12:25 AM

Hi All,

Thank you for your well wishes and support. I keep wondering how I could have been so careless as to cross those trolley ruts without a second thought. And then, several of your pics gave me the answer.

I had already crossed the trolley tracks from outside to inside without any concern... I was actually crossing BACK across the trolley tracks from inside to outside. Notice from "indyfabz's" picture (below) that his trolley tracks have no rut on the outside. The wheel rut is on the inside, only, as are several other of your pics from different locations. Crossing from outside to inside, there was no rut and I didn't even look to see if there was a rut in the reverse direction. Careless in the EXTREME! Tough lesson about tracks in a roadway but... one I will never forget!


https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...c8a3215a82.jpg

Jumpski 02-16-19 07:09 AM

Great reminder for everyone- thanks. Good luck with your recovery, and take care!

John E 02-16-19 10:22 AM

This is one of my big gripes with local joggers in Del Mar, where the bike lane takes a small detour to increase the track crossing angle on Coast Bl., just north of 15th St. When I see pedestrians taking the bike lane instead of the sidewalk, I am not shy about yelling that I absolutely need the bike lane there.

Retro Grouch 02-16-19 11:43 AM

I'm not a lawyer but I play one on the internet.

It looks to me like posting that diamond sign of the bike crashing due to the track or painting a yellow line for parked vehicles says: We know there's a hazard here but we've chosen to do it anyway. We think we're more important than you.

nmichell 02-17-19 01:41 PM

I've crashed a couple times due to trolley and train tracks, even though I'm usually pretty aware of them. The last one was on a trip to Santa Fe -- I fell pretty hard at the beginning of a ride but thought I just had a sprained wrist, so I did the 50 miles I had planned. When it refused to get better, my wife the M.D. said "Yeah, you probably broke it. It'll heal." No sympathy at all! It did heal, but it took about 6 months. And fortunately, it never kept me from riding :-)

Retro Grouch 02-22-19 10:19 AM


Originally Posted by nmichell (Post 20799245)
I've crashed a couple times due to trolley and train tracks, even though I'm usually pretty aware of them. The last one was on a trip to Santa Fe -- I fell pretty hard at the beginning of a ride but thought I just had a sprained wrist, so I did the 50 miles I had planned. When it refused to get better, my wife the M.D. said "Yeah, you probably broke it. It'll heal." No sympathy at all! It did heal, but it took about 6 months. And fortunately, it never kept me from riding :-)

But did you damage your bike?

Bodies heal. Bikes have to be fixed. :)


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