Riding over bridge grating - PHOBIA

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Ez Biker :-\), Mar 22, 2003.

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  1. Well fellow recumbo friends, a few weeks back I had the misfortune of rolling over Boca Raton, Fl.
    Bridge grating, on a wet road and tires, which (Of course) resulted in a lovely... AND IMMEDIATE
    CRASH on the bridge grating. ABSOLUTE "0" control-ability! (With the majority of the weight being
    towards the back, via my seat and rear bag, the front wheel just seems to track ever which way,
    causing the recumbo to get squirrelly - even on a dry pavement / bridge) Lucky for me, my GRR Ti
    handlebar end and Ran's side seat bar took most of the blunt of the crash. My left elbow received a
    gash and the mother of all strawberries road rash on my right rear side. However on the mental side
    the experience has me stopping to walk over the same bridge or trying to use the side pedestrian
    walkway. That phobia has now spread to other bridges as well. Today was clearly THE MOST PATHETIC
    DAY IN MY 45 YEARS OF CYCLING.

    I'm in the process of talking to local bike activists and see what can be done to get some
    protective stripping or covering on the bridge. (Some bridges have a cement strip that is actually
    meant to make the bridge grating less noisy, when vehicles roll over it. For years, the State Of
    Florida has resisted in any kind of bridge strip additions on it's bridges, sighting the stripping
    would add too much weight, for the bridge to lift it. Recently I went and photographed the bridge
    and watched numerous DF cyclists navigate over the bridge, VERY CAREFULLY and with GREAT CONCERN
    looks on their faces. It's a shame, a State that touts it's self to being a bicycle friendly state,
    allows for this kind of cyclist nightmare to exist, without any motivation to re-design more bicycle
    friendly bridges.

    For now, I'll be riding the opposite way, with only 2 bridges to cross, (Both with the stripping)
    and also wearing roller skating elbow pads (Saw a West Palm Beach low racer use them at the recent
    local Florida HPV event) as some sort of mental safety insurance. BUT, it's that PHOBIA, that I'm
    going to have to contend with for sometime... :-( Sorry for the WHINEY post - just needed to vent
    my ANGER and depression for becoming a bridge crossing WIMP.

    EZ (Phobic of Bridge Grating) Biker :-((( Pompano Beach, Fl. (GRR Ti & Tailwind Pilot)
     
    Tags:


  2. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    "EZ Biker :)" wrote:
    >
    > Well fellow recumbo friends, a few weeks back I had the misfortune of rolling over Boca Raton, Fl.
    > Bridge grating, on a wet road and tires, which (Of course) resulted in a lovely... AND IMMEDIATE
    > CRASH on the bridge grating. ABSOLUTE "0" control-ability! (With the majority of the weight being
    > towards the back, via my seat and rear bag, the front wheel just seems to track ever which way,
    > causing the recumbo to get squirrelly - even on a dry pavement / bridge) Lucky for me, my GRR Ti
    > handlebar end and Ran's side seat bar took most of the blunt of the crash. My left elbow received
    > a gash and the mother of all strawberries road rash on my right rear side. However on the mental
    > side the experience has me stopping to walk over the same bridge or trying to use the side
    > pedestrian walkway. That phobia has now spread to other bridges as well. Today was clearly THE
    > MOST PATHETIC DAY IN MY 45 YEARS OF CYCLING.
    >
    > I'm in the process of talking to local bike activists and see what can be done to get some
    > protective stripping or covering on the bridge. (Some bridges have a cement strip that is actually
    > meant to make the bridge grating less noisy, when vehicles roll over it. For years, the State Of
    > Florida has resisted in any kind of bridge strip additions on it's bridges, sighting the stripping
    > would add too much weight, for the bridge to lift it. Recently I went and photographed the bridge
    > and watched numerous DF cyclists navigate over the bridge, VERY CAREFULLY and with GREAT CONCERN
    > looks on their faces. It's a shame, a State that touts it's self to being a bicycle friendly
    > state, allows for this kind of cyclist nightmare to exist, without any motivation to re-design
    > more bicycle friendly bridges.
    >
    > For now, I'll be riding the opposite way, with only 2 bridges to cross, (Both with the stripping)
    > and also wearing roller skating elbow pads (Saw a West Palm Beach low racer use them at the
    > recent local Florida HPV event) as some sort of mental safety insurance. BUT, it's that PHOBIA,
    > that I'm going to have to contend with for sometime... :-( Sorry for the WHINEY post - just
    > needed to vent my ANGER and depression for becoming a bridge crossing WIMP.
    >
    > EZ (Phobic of Bridge Grating) Biker :-((( Pompano Beach, Fl. (GRR Ti & Tailwind Pilot)

    EZ,

    For a real "pucker factor" experience, try crossing a long bridge with a metal grating deck on a
    motorcycle in the rain.

    As for wearing elbow pads, in my experience they would be useful in minor crashes, (but I believe
    hip pads would be even more useful on a lowracer).

    They other solution that comes to mind is getting a multi-track HPV. In my experience, a rear
    suspended trike with 53-406 Maxxis Hookworm tires allows one to pretty much ignore road hazards.

    Tom Sherman - Various HPV's Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  3. John Foltz

    John Foltz Guest

    EZ Biker :) wrote:

    > It's a shame, a State that touts it's self to being a bicycle friendly state, allows for this
    > kind of cyclist nightmare to exist...
    >
    Florida is bicycle friendly? When did this happen? I though it was the state in which cagers can go
    off the road and hit kids on the sidewalk, with impunity. Where geezers, drunks, and narcoleptics
    can take out whole pacelines without even getting a ticket. It'll take more than a PR blitz to
    change that image.

    Sorry to hear about the injuries. My rule of thumb is to never ride on wet bridge grating. I don't
    even like to ride on wet metal expansion joints, although they aren't *too* bad, if you go slow &
    hold a straight line. Falling on a grate - eww, that hurts just thinking about it! :-(
    --

    John Foltz --- O _ Baron --- _O _ V-Rex 24/63 --- _\\/\-%)
    _________(_)`=()___________________(_)= (_)_____
     
  4. Jay

    Jay Guest

    Periodically (maybe 5-6 times/year) of yearround transportational cycling I come across a situation
    where I see a situation that I consider to be somewhat risky and I will walk my bike or trike.

    (eg 3 sets of diagonal railway tracks that were wet with rain, a very bizarrely set up intersection
    where the drivers were really impatient to move after a long wait for a train, crossing at the
    intersection in my city that has the highest accident rate, a wet metal bridge, a section of road
    that had a wide area painted with slick lines that were wet, etc.)

    My attitude is that that extra 5 min a few times a year are worth the peace of mind.
     
  5. Tom, Thankfully I got the Motorcycle stuff out of my system early in life. Even today I tend to
    cringe, seeing motorcyclists on the streets in the rain. The multi-track HPV sounds like a good
    idea, but probably not too practical on A1A, where there's a lot of traffic, 4 wheel and 2 wheel. EZ
    (Phobic of Bridge Grating) Biker :-((( Pompano Beach, Fl. (GRR Ti & Tailwind Pilot)

    "Tom Sherman" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > For a real "pucker factor" experience, try crossing a long bridge with a metal grating deck on a
    > motorcycle in the rain.
    >
    > As for wearing elbow pads, in my experience they would be useful in minor crashes, (but I believe
    > hip pads would be even more useful on a lowracer).
    >
    > They other solution that comes to mind is getting a multi-track HPV. In my experience, a rear
    > suspended trike with 53-406 Maxxis Hookworm tires allows one to pretty much ignore road hazards.
    >
    > Tom Sherman - Various HPV's Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  6. Jay my problem is, I've had to endure the same dangerous bridges for years. In the past I had no
    problem with them, until the recent mishap. It's just a pain in the butt, (Mentally) to think I'll
    have to keep constantly hopping off / on the bike, while seeing other cyclists successfully making
    it over the bridge. EZ (Phobic of Bridge Grating) Biker :-((( Pompano Beach, Fl. (GRR Ti &
    Tailwind Pilot)

    "Jay" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:BAA2A76E.6DA0%[email protected]...
    > Periodically (maybe 5-6 times/year) of yearround transportational cycling
    I
    > come across a situation where I see a situation that I consider to be somewhat risky and I will
    > walk my bike or trike.
    >
    > (eg 3 sets of diagonal railway tracks that were wet with rain, a very bizarrely set up
    > intersection where the drivers were really impatient to move after a long wait for a train,
    > crossing at the intersection in my
    city
    > that has the highest accident rate, a wet metal bridge, a section of road that had a wide area
    > painted with slick lines that were wet, etc.)
    >
    > My attitude is that that extra 5 min a few times a year are worth the
    peace
    > of mind.
     
  7. <Laughter> Gee John, YOU KNOW FLORIDA WELL, DON'T YOU!!! You are correct on all your observations!
    EZ (Phobic of Bridge Grating) Biker :-((( Pompano Beach, Fl. (GRR Ti & Tailwind Pilot)

    "John Foltz" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > EZ Biker :) wrote:
    >
    > > It's a shame, a State that touts it's self to being a bicycle friendly state, allows for this
    > > kind of cyclist nightmare to exist...
    > >
    > Florida is bicycle friendly? When did this happen? I though it was the state in which cagers can
    > go off the road and hit kids on the sidewalk, with impunity. Where geezers, drunks, and
    > narcoleptics can take out whole pacelines without even getting a ticket. It'll take more than a PR
    > blitz to change that image.
    >
    > Sorry to hear about the injuries. My rule of thumb is to never ride on wet bridge grating. I don't
    > even like to ride on wet metal expansion joints, although they aren't *too* bad, if you go slow &
    > hold a straight line. Falling on a grate - eww, that hurts just thinking about it! :-(
    > --
    >
    > John Foltz --- O _ Baron --- _O _ V-Rex 24/63 --- _\\/\-%)
    > _________(_)`=()___________________(_)= (_)_____
     
  8. John Riley

    John Riley Guest

    "EZ Biker :)" wrote: [..]
    > I'm in the process of talking to local bike activists and see what can be done to get some
    > protective stripping or covering on the bridge. (Some bridges have a cement strip that is actually
    > meant to make the bridge grating less noisy, when vehicles roll over it. For years, the State Of
    > Florida has resisted in any kind of bridge strip additions on it's bridges, sighting the stripping
    > would add too much weight, for the bridge to lift it.
    [..] A local trail crosses some water on a draw bridge. There is a rubber strip for the skaters, and
    the grate part is covered with a high friction coating; some kind of rubber or tar with grit in it.
    It doesn't take concrete.

    John Riley
     
  9. Edward Wong

    Edward Wong Guest

    "EZ Biker :-\)" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Well fellow recumbo friends, a few weeks back I had the misfortune of rolling over Boca Raton, Fl.
    > Bridge grating, on a wet road and tires, which (Of course) resulted in a lovely... AND IMMEDIATE
    > CRASH on the bridge grating. ABSOLUTE "0" control-ability! (With the majority of the weight being
    > towards the back, via my seat and rear bag, the front wheel just seems to track ever which way,
    > causing the recumbo to get squirrelly - even on a dry pavement / bridge) Lucky for me, my GRR Ti
    > handlebar end and Ran's side seat bar took most of the blunt of the crash. My left elbow received
    > a gash and the mother of all strawberries road rash on my right rear side. However on the mental
    > side the experience has me stopping to walk over the same bridge or trying to use the side
    > pedestrian walkway. That phobia has now spread to other bridges as well. Today was clearly THE
    > MOST PATHETIC DAY IN MY 45 YEARS OF CYCLING.
    >
    > I'm in the process of talking to local bike activists and see what can be done to get some
    > protective stripping or covering on the bridge. (Some bridges have a cement strip that is actually
    > meant to make the bridge grating less noisy, when vehicles roll over it. For years, the State Of
    > Florida has resisted in any kind of bridge strip additions on it's bridges, sighting the stripping
    > would add too much weight, for the bridge to lift it. Recently I went and photographed the bridge
    > and watched numerous DF cyclists navigate over the bridge, VERY CAREFULLY and with GREAT CONCERN
    > looks on their faces. It's a shame, a State that touts it's self to being a bicycle friendly
    > state, allows for this kind of cyclist nightmare to exist, without any motivation to re-design
    > more bicycle friendly bridges.
    >
    > For now, I'll be riding the opposite way, with only 2 bridges to cross, (Both with the stripping)
    > and also wearing roller skating elbow pads (Saw a West Palm Beach low racer use them at the
    > recent local Florida HPV event) as some sort of mental safety insurance. BUT, it's that PHOBIA,
    > that I'm going to have to contend with for sometime... :-( Sorry for the WHINEY post - just
    > needed to vent my ANGER and depression for becoming a bridge crossing WIMP.
    >
    > EZ (Phobic of Bridge Grating) Biker :-((( Pompano Beach, Fl. (GRR Ti & Tailwind Pilot)

    EZ,

    I know exactly what you mean. Our club's executive director holds a ride every month that's called
    the Palm Coast Brunch Ride near Ormond Beach. For those familiar with the area, it's called the
    "Palm Coast Loop". Anyway, on the return stretch to the ride start location, there is such a bridge.
    The ride leader does recommend that instead of riding over the grate...that we get on the pedestrian
    side and walk across instead. I do ride over it most of the times and it feels "scary" just thinking
    of what would happen if my bike (Lightning T-Bolt) slipped from under me and I fell on that grating.
    Yeecchh!!! Anyway, I do have 1.5 inch wide tires and I'm very careful. If the bridge is wet...I DO
    walk across!

    Edward Wong Orlando, FL
     
  10. Larry Varney

    Larry Varney Guest

    This past week I was on Bike Florida, and personally witnessed a fall on wet bridge grating. I had
    been told that six other people had gone done just prior to my reaching the bridge. I wasn't
    concerned, though, since I was on the Greenspeed. Incidentally, I'll be putting up a page and some
    pictures soon - it was a good ride, lots of recumbents, and more trikes than I have ever seen in
    one place.

    John Foltz wrote:
    > EZ Biker :) wrote:
    >
    > > It's a shame, a State that touts it's self to being a bicycle friendly state, allows for this
    > > kind of cyclist nightmare to exist...
    > >
    > Florida is bicycle friendly? When did this happen? I though it was the state in which cagers can
    > go off the road and hit kids on the sidewalk, with impunity. Where geezers, drunks, and
    > narcoleptics can take out whole pacelines without even getting a ticket. It'll take more than a PR
    > blitz to change that image.
    >
    > Sorry to hear about the injuries. My rule of thumb is to never ride on wet bridge grating. I don't
    > even like to ride on wet metal expansion joints, although they aren't *too* bad, if you go slow &
    > hold a straight line. Falling on a grate - eww, that hurts just thinking about it! :-(

    --
    Larry Varney Cold Spring, KY http://home.fuse.net/larryvarney
     
  11. Stratrider

    Stratrider Guest

    EZ, I shared your pain and your phobia. I endured a similar fate up here in SE PA. I was moving
    fast! I should have known better. I went down.. hard on my right side. My right forearm was cut up
    prettly badly. My right shoulder and hip looked like I was beaten up! I was black and blue for six
    weeks! Beware of the open grate bridge!

    Jim Reilly Reading, PA
     
  12. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Larry Varney wrote:
    >
    > This past week I was on Bike Florida, and personally witnessed a fall on wet bridge grating. I
    > had been told that six other people had gone done just prior to my reaching the bridge. I
    > wasn't concerned, though, since I was on the Greenspeed....

    Obnoxious trike owner! ;)

    Tom Sherman - Quad Cities USA (Illinois side) Earth Cycles Dragonflyer [TM]
     
  13. John, that's interesting. If you can ever get some pictures of that, could you send them to me? My
    temp e-mail address is: [email protected] EZ Biker :) Pompano Beach, Fl. (GRR Ti & Tailwind Pilot)

    "John Riley" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    >
    > "EZ Biker :)" wrote: [..]
    > > I'm in the process of talking to local bike activists and see what can
    be
    > > done to get some protective stripping or covering on the bridge. (Some bridges have a cement
    > > strip that is actually meant to make the bridge grating less noisy, when vehicles roll over it.
    > > For years, the State Of Florida has resisted in any kind of bridge strip additions on it's
    bridges,
    > > sighting the stripping would add too much weight, for the bridge to lift
    it.
    > [..] A local trail crosses some water on a draw bridge. There is a rubber strip for the skaters,
    > and the grate part is covered with a high friction coating; some kind of rubber or tar with grit
    > in it. It doesn't take concrete.
    >
    > John Riley
     
  14. Larry, I'm really SHOCKED to hear about those people crashing on the bridges. APPARENTLY, THIS
    DANGEROUS BRIDGE ISSUE IS SPREAD OUT STATE WIDE and thus my crusade will be directed on a Statewide
    basis, until it gets corrected! EZ Biker :) Pompano Beach, Fl. (GRR Ti & Tailwind Pilot)

    "Larry Varney" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > This past week I was on Bike Florida, and personally witnessed a fall on wet bridge grating. I
    > had been told that six other people had gone done just prior to my reaching the bridge.
     
  15. Edward, it is INDEED SCARY, when you come to realize that you are on top of something, where even if
    you have the best balance technique, it could do you no good. Recumbent bicycles have it even worse
    than upright bikes, in that a lot of the weight is towards the rear of the bike. It's like trying to
    maintain your balance or steering while your front wheel is seemingly up in the air. EZ (Phobic of
    Bridge Grating) Biker :-((( Pompano Beach, Fl. (GRR Ti & Tailwind Pilot)

    "Edward Wong" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]... I do ride over it most of the times
    and it feels
    > "scary" just thinking of what would happen if my bike (Lightning T-Bolt) slipped from under me and
    > I fell on that grating. Yeecchh!!! Anyway, I do have 1.5 inch wide tires and I'm very careful. If
    > the bridge is wet...I DO walk across!
    >
    > Edward Wong Orlando, FL
     
  16. Whenever I find dangerous road conditions like wet bridge decks I use them as test areas for my
    bents. One local bridge was a good test area since the deck was well worn before it got replaced
    recently. The steel that was perpendicular to the direction of travel was worn more than the parts
    that paralleled the direction of travel. The result was a slippery set of grooves in the road. Fat
    tires and front suspension help with traction on wet steel. My LWB lowracer with the 90 inch
    wheelbase and suspension takes wet bridges and wet railroad tracks at bad angles very well. The
    extra long wheelbase makes the safest commuter I have tested. The problem is that there will
    probably never be one bent for all occasions. The smaller and lighter bents I use for racing do not
    handle grated bridge decks as well. Don't forget those huge one inch steel plates that construction
    crews put on the road.
     
  17. Jeff Wills

    Jeff Wills Guest

    [email protected] (stratrider) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > EZ, I shared your pain and your phobia. I endured a similar fate up here in SE PA. I was moving
    > fast! I should have known better. I went down.. hard on my right side. My right forearm was cut up
    > prettly badly. My right shoulder and hip looked like I was beaten up! I was black and blue for six
    > weeks! Beware of the open grate bridge!
    >
    > Jim Reilly Reading, PA

    Geez, this is a national emergency!

    The bridge that connects Washington and Oregon in the Columbia Gorge is all metal grating- no
    concrete walkway at all. (It's called Bridge of the Gods- for other reasons.) It's impossible to
    ride on if it's wet- and damned frightening when it's dry (don't look down!).

    I lead a ride up the Gorge and across the bridge every July. Despite the bridge, it's possibly the
    finest one-day ride I've ever been on.

    Here's more about the bridge: http://www.mind.net/dlmark/gorgebog.htm Here's a map and cue sheet if
    you want to come to the Pacific Northwest and try it:
    http://www.cse.ogi.edu/~black/Bikes/34%20Bridge%20of%20Gods%20map.jpg
    http://www.cse.ogi.edu/~black/Bikes/34%20Bridge%20of%20Gods%20cue.jpg

    Jeff
     
  18. Larry Varney

    Larry Varney Guest

    You should have seen my obnoxious grins when I was able to keep on pedaling on some sandy roads that
    had others walking! I will have to admit, though, that it got deep and loose enough a few times that
    I bogged down and had to push the trike a few feet. The last day of the ride started out with a
    thunderstorm that meant that every tent was going to be packed up wet. But, after breakfast, the
    skies cleared and it looked like we were going to have a dry, warm and sunny run to New Smyrna
    Beach. But, with about 20 miles to go, our luck ran out. I'm sure that the motorists were wondering
    about all those crazy people, riding in the rain. And again, it was nice to be able to take corners,
    manhole covers, whatever - without fear that the rain had made it slippery and dangerous. This trike
    stuff is fun!

    Tom Sherman wrote:
    > Larry Varney wrote:
    >
    >> This past week I was on Bike Florida, and personally witnessed a fall on wet bridge grating. I
    >> had been told that six other people had gone done just prior to my reaching the bridge. I
    >> wasn't concerned, though, since I was on the Greenspeed....
    >>
    >
    > Obnoxious trike owner! ;)
    >
    > Tom Sherman - Quad Cities USA (Illinois side) Earth Cycles Dragonflyer [TM]
    >

    --
    Larry Varney Cold Spring, KY http://home.fuse.net/larryvarney
     
  19. Dstra999

    Dstra999 Guest

    >Subject: Re: Riding over bridge grating -

    thanks for the warning. I would not have suspected that this situation would be additionally
    hazardous on my recumbent. However, I have to admit in dry conditions on my DF I like riding a
    relatively short span of the grate and looking down...sort of like flying...like the kid in ET Dave
     
  20. Florida has the worst bike and ped safety record in the nation. Certainly part of this is most of
    Florida's expansion occurred from 1950-1990, when ped/bicycling safety was largely abandoned in
    traffic design, and replaced with suburban isolation pods linked with high speed thoroughfares. My
    old section of town is pretty decent to cycle or walk in, while the new section across the
    intercoastal is an urban extreme sport whether you want it or not. It also makes non-drivers look
    like social rejects as the scurry around like rats looking for a safe route of travel.

    Unfortunately, the "big change" in development is now isolated pod developments linked with high
    speed thoroughfares - with sidewalks.

    "John Foltz" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > EZ Biker :) wrote:
    >
    > > It's a shame, a State that touts it's self to being a bicycle friendly state, allows for this
    > > kind of cyclist nightmare to exist...
    > >
    > Florida is bicycle friendly? When did this happen? I though it was the state in which cagers can
    > go off the road and hit kids on the sidewalk, with impunity. Where geezers, drunks, and
    > narcoleptics can take out whole pacelines without even getting a ticket. It'll take more than a PR
    > blitz to change that image.
    >
    > Sorry to hear about the injuries. My rule of thumb is to never ride on wet bridge grating. I don't
    > even like to ride on wet metal expansion joints, although they aren't *too* bad, if you go slow &
    > hold a straight line. Falling on a grate - eww, that hurts just thinking about it! :-(
    > --
    >
    > John Foltz --- O _ Baron --- _O _ V-Rex 24/63 --- _\\/\-%)
    > _________(_)`=()___________________(_)= (_)_____
     
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