I’m the kind of guy who regularly walks into closed doors, trips over my own feet and bumps my head on low overhangs, but I’ve never had problems on train tracks.
I’ve heard people talk about the danger of train tracks while cycling and I witnessed this first hand last weekend in San Francisco. I was standing near some SF Muni trolley tracks and saw three cyclists drop their front tire into the track and eat the pavement.
Three out of multiple dozens is a relatively small percentage I guess, but that’s still more than I would have expected. I ride along streetcar tracks almost every day without incident. Sure, care needs to be taken, but it doesn’t seem like a great deal of bike skill is needed. Unless I cross at a nearly right angle, I unweight my front wheel as I cross the tracks to prevent a fall. If my rear wheel drops in, I accelerate and bounce it back out.
Am I mistaken? Am I just lucky? My guess is these people weren’t paying attention, but is avoiding falls around train tracks a secret skill for which instruction is required? Would an instructional video be helpful? And what are the chances of me taking a major spill just as the video camera is rolling?
Let me know what you think. I might shoot video this weekend at the Union Pacific tracks along the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.