Commute Tips from your Bike Hub Mechanic Amanda

Don’t Fear the Tracks — Respect the Tracks

Everyone has heard some variation of this tale: you’re riding along, enjoying the feeling of the sun on your face and the breeze through your helmet (hint hint), when all of a sudden the MAX tracks sweep up out of nowhere and turn your dreamy spring ride into a tangle of scrapes, contusions and embarrassment. You vow that you will never, ever ride anywhere near the tracks ever again.
If this sounds familiar, it is probably easy to imagine the tracks as a sinister beast, lurking and waiting to introduce you and your sweet ride to a world of pain. This is far from the reality though. If you are cautious about traversing the tracks, there is no reason to fear them.diagram showing perpendicular track crossing

Two things to keep in mind when crossing the tracks: Cross them as close to perpendicular as possible — that is, cross at a right angle to them. This way, it’s impossible for your wheel to make the deadly slip into the track.

cross-tracks-angle
Sometimes 90 degrees isn’t possible or safe. Instead, try to cross with at least a 45 degree angle.

Also they’re made of metal and provide less traction, so if you find yourself cornering on them, try to take as wide an arc as possible – especially when it’s wet outside. Follow these two guidelines and ride fear-free!cross-tracks-Lturn

 

Images from: http://www.ibiketo.ca/blog/crossing-streetcar-tracks-some-tips-tricky-manoeuvre

2 thoughts on “Commute Tips from your Bike Hub Mechanic Amanda”

  1. In addition to the ‘cross at 90 degrees’ rule, another tip is to try to keep your bike at 90 degrees, or as close to vertical as practical. If your bike is leaning over, then the force will be exerted at an angle to the ground (and the tracks), making it more likely that you will slide along them.

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