Danger: Railroad Crossing!
by Pete Hawkins
One of the more serious road hazards we bicyclists face is when crossing railroad tracks. This danger has been recently confirmed by two experienced TCBC riders who sustained serious injuries when negotiating wet railroad tracks.
Below is a link to an article that does a fairly good job of reviewing the subject of how to safely cross railroad tracks, although the author’s suggestions for “bunny hopping” tracks should be considered by only the most skilled cyclists and then only in dry conditions. Other articles, blogs, and videos can be found on-line by Googling “How to safely cross railroad tracks on a bicycle”.
In a nutshell, here are things bicyclists need to know and do:
-Remember that railroad tracks, along with any other metal or painted road surface, become extremely slippery when wet.
-Approach tracks cautiously; always slow down before reaching the railroad crossing.
-Verbally alert those riding with you; announce your intentions by calling out: “Tracks -Slowing!” “Angled Tracks - Slowing!” “Tracks - Changing Line!”
-Be aware of nearby vehicular traffic; cross the tracks as close to perpendicular (i.e. 90 degree angle) as you safely can.