Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Fifty Plus (50+)
Reload this Page >

Of Trolly Tracks and Broken Bones...

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Of Trolly Tracks and Broken Bones...

Reply

Old 02-14-19, 07:31 PM
  #1  
DrDyno 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
DrDyno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Posts: 72

Bikes: 2014 Focus Izalco Ergone + 2009 Dynamic Synergy + 2010 Jamis Commuter-4 + 1999 GT Slipstream SE - Hybrid

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
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!!




__________________
Regards,

John G.
St. Petersburg, FL

"If you feel like you're in control, you're not going fast enough!" Mario Andretti
DrDyno is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 10:14 PM
  #2  
tcs
Palmer
 
tcs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 5,624

Bikes: 1980 Mike Melton, 1982 Stumpjumper, 1982 Santana, 1984 Alex Moulton AM, 2007 Cannondale Capo, 2008 BikeFriday tikit T-11, 2010 Dawes Briercliffe, 2017 Dahon Curl i3

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 418 Post(s)
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.


Last edited by tcs; 02-15-19 at 07:01 PM.
tcs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 10:15 PM
  #3  
Bmach
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 602
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 248 Post(s)
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?
Bmach is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 11:01 PM
  #4  
DrDyno 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
DrDyno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Posts: 72

Bikes: 2014 Focus Izalco Ergone + 2009 Dynamic Synergy + 2010 Jamis Commuter-4 + 1999 GT Slipstream SE - Hybrid

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
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!
__________________
Regards,

John G.
St. Petersburg, FL

"If you feel like you're in control, you're not going fast enough!" Mario Andretti
DrDyno is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-19, 11:33 PM
  #5  
SHBR
C*pt*i* Obvious
 
SHBR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 1,092
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 481 Post(s)
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.
SHBR is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-19, 08:19 AM
  #6  
BobbyG
Senior Member
 
BobbyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 4,107

Bikes: 2015 Charge Plug, 1997 Nishiki Blazer, 1984 Nishiki International

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 742 Post(s)
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.
BobbyG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-19, 08:26 AM
  #7  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 22,051

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r

Mentioned: 73 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2777 Post(s)
& 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
rumrunn6 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-19, 08:31 AM
  #8  
Lemond1985
Senior Member
 
Lemond1985's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 636
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 328 Post(s)
Lemond1985 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-19, 08:36 AM
  #9  
fishboat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: SE Wisconsin
Posts: 450

Bikes: Lemond '01 Maillot Jaune, Lemond '02 Victoire, Lemond '02 Poprad, '79 AcerMex Windsor Carrera Professional(purchased new), '06 Bianchi Volpe, '88 GT Tequesta(purchased new), '01 Bianchi Grizzly

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 167 Post(s)
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..
fishboat is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-19, 10:01 AM
  #10  
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 29,127

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1099 Post(s)
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.
__________________
My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-19, 12:29 PM
  #11  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 21,052
Mentioned: 150 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7727 Post(s)
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.




We also have "trackless trolleys" (a/k/a "trolley busses"). They are electric busses that draw power from tandem overheard wires. Three routes remain.
indyfabz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-19, 03:59 PM
  #12  
ironwood
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Boston area
Posts: 1,667

Bikes: 1984 Bridgestone 400 1985Univega nouevo sport 650b conversion 1993b'stone RBT 1985 Schwinn Tempo

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 381 Post(s)
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.
ironwood is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-19, 04:17 PM
  #13  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 39,578

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 165 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6175 Post(s)
We have a Old Trolley, for the tourists, it shares the trestles with the MUP when over the river, along the route..
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 ..






..

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-15-19 at 04:27 PM.
fietsbob is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-19, 07:10 PM
  #14  
tcs
Palmer
 
tcs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 5,624

Bikes: 1980 Mike Melton, 1982 Stumpjumper, 1982 Santana, 1984 Alex Moulton AM, 2007 Cannondale Capo, 2008 BikeFriday tikit T-11, 2010 Dawes Briercliffe, 2017 Dahon Curl i3

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 418 Post(s)
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.




Originally Posted by ironwood View Post
Wider tires, 42mm or so are also more forgiving.
Frank Schwinn knew what he was doing when he introduced the balloon tire in 1933.
tcs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-19, 07:21 PM
  #15  
SHBR
C*pt*i* Obvious
 
SHBR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 1,092
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 481 Post(s)
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.


Last edited by SHBR; 02-15-19 at 09:08 PM.
SHBR is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-19, 09:01 PM
  #16  
I-Like-To-Bike
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Posts: 27,462

Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
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.



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.



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.








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.

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 02-15-19 at 10:01 PM.
I-Like-To-Bike is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-19, 12:25 AM
  #17  
DrDyno 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
DrDyno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Posts: 72

Bikes: 2014 Focus Izalco Ergone + 2009 Dynamic Synergy + 2010 Jamis Commuter-4 + 1999 GT Slipstream SE - Hybrid

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
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!


__________________
Regards,

John G.
St. Petersburg, FL

"If you feel like you're in control, you're not going fast enough!" Mario Andretti
DrDyno is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-19, 07:09 AM
  #18  
Jumpski
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Pine Tree State - Maine
Posts: 96

Bikes: Bianchi Infinito CV, Trek X- CAL 29er HT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Great reminder for everyone- thanks. Good luck with your recovery, and take care!
Jumpski is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-19, 10:22 AM
  #19  
John E
feros ferio
 
John E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: www.ci.encinitas.ca.us
Posts: 19,195

Bikes: 1959 Capo; 1980 Peugeot PKN-10; 1981 Bianchi; 1988 Schwinn KOM-10;

Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 646 Post(s)
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.
__________________
"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." --Theodore Roosevelt
Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324
Capo: 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
John E is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-19, 11:43 AM
  #20  
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 29,127

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1099 Post(s)
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.
__________________
My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-19, 01:41 PM
  #21  
nmichell
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Posts: 393

Bikes: '05 Salsa La Raza, '13 Aluboo (bamboo) SS, '12 DaVinci Grand Junction tandem

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
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 :-)
nmichell is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-19, 10:19 AM
  #22  
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 29,127

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1099 Post(s)
Originally Posted by nmichell View Post
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.
__________________
My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service