Rail Road crossing - Challenge.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Rail Road crossing - Challenge.

    I am fortunate to be close to work but unfortunate to have to cross a set of railroads where a bike or pedestrian path is not available. I know what you thinking, perhaps I shouldn't use it. It is perfectly safe and often used for runners/joggers, and bikers. Besides, in the last 3 months in my way to work, never seen a train (heard it once late at night). For the past several months I've been trying to find a way to cross them without getting off the bike more of a challenge then a need. Obviously it only takes a minute to get off the bike and cross them.

    Challenge: Show me how is done consistently . I've successfully done a few times but not very consistent.

  2. #2
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    I just make sure to hit the tracks and close to 90 degrees....no problems. can probalby go to 45 degrees easy enough if it isnt wet.

  3. #3
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    Yea, just go over them perpendicular (90 degrees) as mentioned and it's not a big deal. They can be extra slippery when wet, so exercise appropriate caution in those conditions.

    I cross 2 sets of railroad tracks each way and honestly I don't even think much of it anymore. Can't remember the last time I got off my bike to cross them, even when wet.

  4. #4
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    yep, cross at 90 degrees.

  5. #5
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    In addition, standing up and weighting the pedals (rather than the saddle) helps keep you more in control too. Or I might even weight the "outside" pedal (meaning the direction the tires would tend to slip if they were to slip) a bit more to prevent skittering. Also, keep a straight line until your front wheel clears the tracks, rather than turning while on the track.

  6. #6
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    This video may be of interest. Beware badly maintained crossings.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oq9LenxS-ug

    I fudge the 90 degrees on a couple of crossings. More like 75-80 degrees.

  7. #7
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    I don't think i made it clear, there is no path crossing although there is a path up to the rail road. I am using a mountain bike 29er ss, and even attempted to hop the rail. The problem is the bike is about a few inches smaller then the distance between the rails. When I hope the second rail, the rear wheel is dropping in between the rails making it near impossible to hope the second rail. I can't explain any better but bottom line, I was looking to challenge someone to post their successful crossing the rails. When I say rails I mean anywhere on the gravel portion where there is absolutely no pathway.

  8. #8
    cmg
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssphoenix View Post
    The problem is the bike is about a few inches smaller then the distance between the rails.
    Are you using click shoes?
    if so you have two options:

    1. You will need speed and coordination, hit it 90 degrees, lift front over first rail, when you near second rail you need to bunny hop, then that leaves only the rear to get over the second rail, big problem is the possibility of pinch flats from miss timed bunny hop. To practice, measure rail distance, set it up at home or in the forest with broomsticks or similar, and practice away.

    2. Hit it at an angle less than 45 degrees this effectively shortens the bike within the rails giving you more time, lift front wheel over, lift back wheel over, and repeat for next rail. This method takes into account that you can lift the front and back wheels high enough to clear the rail, and as mentioned if wet this method can end badly.


    Either way, you're gonna need to practice, a good skill to have is the ability to hit/cross obstacles at less than good angles, lord knows in the forests the obstacles are rarely at 75 - 90 degrees.

    Good luck mate
    always mad and usually drunk......

  9. #9
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    I have a crossing like that on one ride I do regularly.

    I line it up at 90 degrees. Then I pretty much just do it in order - get the front wheel over the first rail, get the rear wheel over, repeat for the second.

    The tricky bit is that I have very little time to get the front wheel up after the rear wheel crosses the first rail. I guess that mostly comes down to commitment.

    The line's active, but the trains are pretty slow and I can see and hear them. So as long as I'm not doing something stupid, it's pretty low-consequence. Just a matter of trying.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  10. #10
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    Learn pedal-ups - kinda like what cmg71 is talking about. Problem with 90 crossings is if you hit them hard enough, or you miss the timing you can pinch flat. If you can pedal up and over, you can get over any railroad track at any angle, pretty much. You can also do them from a standstill, which can come in handy. Here's a little video I did some time ago.

    Better yet, go out there with a shovel and a plank and build a kicker, then boost a 360 table over it.


  11. #11
    cmg
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    Yep Dions vid shows what l mean

    I forgot the third option in my post above...

    3. Attack the rails with more speed and commitment than you are comfortable with and rely on your skill to get you through*










    * when l do this l usually just crash my brains out, but it may work for you.
    always mad and usually drunk......

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssphoenix View Post
    I don't think i made it clear, there is no path crossing although there is a path up to the rail road. I am using a mountain bike 29er ss, and even attempted to hop the rail. The problem is the bike is about a few inches smaller then the distance between the rails. When I hope the second rail, the rear wheel is dropping in between the rails making it near impossible to hope the second rail. I can't explain any better but bottom line, I was looking to challenge someone to post their successful crossing the rails. When I say rails I mean anywhere on the gravel portion where there is absolutely no pathway.
    You can do it without jumping hit at 90.

    You know the two wheels are gonna hit the tracks at about the same time...just pop the bike up and forward...like going over a root.

  13. #13
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    I play on a set of tracks like that sometimes.... I roll up at a 45 degree angle or even closer to parallel with the first track, bunny-hop into the middle of the tracks, then repeat for the 2nd track and hop out. Tires never touch medal. It's smooth like butta.

    It's also fun to roll up completely parallel to the first track (a challenge on it's own with the railroad tie bumps), and hop up onto it with both wheels (hard to land on top, but you feel like Danny Macaskill for a second), then hop down into the middle, then repeat on the second track.

    Also, someone mentioned bunny-hopping as an option if you're using clipless pedals... I just have to chime in and say that if you can't do it on flats, it's not bunny-hopping.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssphoenix View Post
    I don't think i made it clear, there is no path crossing although there is a path up to the rail road. I am using a mountain bike 29er ss, and even attempted to hop the rail. The problem is the bike is about a few inches smaller then the distance between the rails. When I hope the second rail, the rear wheel is dropping in between the rails making it near impossible to hope the second rail. I can't explain any better but bottom line, I was looking to challenge someone to post their successful crossing the rails. When I say rails I mean anywhere on the gravel portion where there is absolutely no pathway.
    Manual!

    You posted this in the commuter forum...it's quite understandable that people are going to assume a paved crossing, most likely a road, unless you provide adequate details otherwise.

    There are really lots of ways you can get across tracks without an actual crossing. The only limit is your skill on a bicycle.

  15. #15
    cmg
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmg71 View Post
    3. Attack the rails with more speed and commitment than you are comfortable with and rely on your skill to get you through*










    * when l do this l usually just crash my brains out, but it may work for you.
    btw if you do this, film it
    always mad and usually drunk......

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmg71 View Post
    Attack the rails with more speed and commitment than you are comfortable with and rely on your skill to get you through*

    This is the way. I commute on a 29" hardtail, and I cross tram tracks (and climb shallow steps).

    I have gears, so I downshift first, and I do try to lift the front wheel up to lessen the impact of the first obstacle, at least.

    Otherwise, I just pedal through, and the 29s just roll over everything.

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