Bicyclists are always at risk on the roadway. When they encounter an obstacle, it can be even more dangerous.
Here are some of the most common metal obstacles and some tips on how to handle them.
Cattle guards: The bumpiness will slow you down as you go across, so it’s best to carry some speed as you cross a cattle guard. It might be a good idea to get going fast and then coast over the guards, as peddling may be difficult and bumpy. Go at a 90-degree angle, and if you’re worried about crashing, dismount and walk across.
Railroad tracks: The metal obstacle most common for bicyclists, railroad tracks can be deadly if not handled with care. Cross the tracks at a 90-degree angle, as with cattle guards, and ride straight across without turning. If you do crash, you may find yourself needing an experienced train accident lawyer to handle your personal injury claim.
Manhole covers: If you’ve ever walked across a manhole cover, you know the texture isn’t the same as the asphalt or concrete around them. In rainy or damp conditions, this can be a disaster waiting to happen for bicyclists. They are often slippery and can have raised hard edges that can spike your tire. Don’t turn or brake while on a manhole.
Sewer grates: One of the most common enemies of bicyclists, sewer grates can be found on most city streets. A bicyclist that is hugging the curb and isn’t paying attention may see his or her entire tire fall into a grate, causing a horrific accident. If it’s too late to avoid the grate altogether, try and go across perpendicularly to the grate or on as much of an angle as possible.
Metal bridges: These obstacles are most often problematic because of how wet and slick they become in inclement weather. They are perfectly safe when it’s dry, but bicyclist may find themselves falling all over the place with just some light rain.
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