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An actual near miss; tram tracks.

Discussion in 'Your Near Misses - A Place to Vent' started by thermal, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. So I dumped my bike on Sunday because of stupid tram tracks.

    Riding East along Swan St in Richmond, I was in between the left-most tram track and a row of parked cars. Road surface is crap here, it goes: parked car->asphalt->big ugly crack->concrete->tram track. The asphalt and concrete sections are maybe 20cm per strip.

    I wasn't filtering, there wasn't any traffic around me, so I thought I'd just move away from the parked cars in case someone opened their door on me. Started to move to the right, hit the tram track and bikey no likey. Because it had been lightly raining, the tracks were ultra slippery. Back wheel started bouncing left and right and I nearly saved it too... until the front tyre hit the bloody track. Then I was sliding down the road thinking two things. 1. Shit, I'm wearing shorts, better get onto my back and let the leather take the slide and 2. Wow, the sparks coming from the bike look awesome.

    So I ended up with some road rash on my left knee, some nice bruising on my right shin and a gouge in my right ankle. And I'm pretty sure I pulled everything there is to pull in my right leg and my groin. Ground down clutch lever, bar end, crank case, little bit on the tank, gear shifter is borked and a few other scratches. Hopefully Charlie can bring her back to life.

    The important part: what I did wrong. And no, it wasn't the fact that I was wearing shorts. Wearing an Iron Man suit wouldn't have stopped me from coming off - and this is what matters. From what I can tell, it was a combination of two things. Speed and indecision. I was going really slowly (witnesses said 10-20kph tops). And when I decided to move over the track, I didn't 'flick' the bike - I just sort of lazily wandered to the right. This meant the tyre spent too much time on the slippery metal and from that point on I had little to no chance of recovery. Had I been going faster, I probably would have made it across, maybe with a little slip - but the tyre would have made it across before it became an issue and should have regained grip.

    Lesson? If you ride around tram tracks, don't be scared of them, but do be assertive. Be on them for as little time as possible.

    Also, thanks to all the people who helped me out, even though you won't be reading this.
  2. This is it in 1. If you are crossing a potential slip hazzard running the direction of the bike you wanna move away from it first so you can cross it at as great an angle as possible. If both wheels are on it at the same time you're fcuked.

    While trying not to be condescending you really should have known this by now, you've been riding in Melbourne a while now. Most riders should learn this within their first few months just from the threat of bitumen crack snakes. Also I'm not one for preaching ATGATT and will short and singlet it from time to time, ok maybe a lot. But I am a firm believer of ATGITR (in the rain). Slipery tires scare the bejebus out of me.

    But I don't want to lecture you, so glad your OK and glad you've thought about it and your assessment of things is spot on. Hope it isn't too costly for the fix.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. This, I reckon. Going faster would have given you more gyroscopic effect and therefore stability to keep you upright, but you choose the appropriate speed for the situation and if it's not enough, you have to give it some extra 'push' on the bars to get across the tracks.
    • Like Like x 1