New-to-me road hazard

I’ve written before about the road hazards for bike riders on Philly streets (here and here). Today I had first hand experience with a hazard that’s quite prevalent on my new commute.

My new commute is much easier. There’s a bike lane the whole way. This is wonderful. It’s more scenic (trees!). It’s closer. All of these things are very very good. But there’s a new hazard on the road for me: trolley tracks.

Part of Philly’s public transit system are trolleys. They’re great. One is literally two blocks from my new place, and drops me a block from work. I love having the trolley accessible. BUT, they require tracks. In the street. This is an irritation when driving, but when riding a bike they’re down right dangerous. See, trolley tracks are just wide enough for a bike tire to slip into, as I learned first hand this morning.

A truck was parked in the middle of the road so the workers could unload construction materials, effectively blocking the bike lane and the traffic lane. Cars had to stop until there was no oncoming traffic. I stopped as well, waiting for the cars to go so I could follow. I made it over the first trolley rail no problem. I made it over the second rail no problem. I started to pass the truck. But there was an oncoming vehicle. Who was NOT paying attention nor were they slowing down or moving over to allow me room. So in the interest of not colliding with the oncoming vehicle, I had to move closer to the truck. While trying to avoid the oncoming vehicle and the side mirror of the parked truck, I can’t say I was paying attention to my rear wheel.

Well, my rear wheel slipped into a trolley track and down I went, sprawled in the middle of the road. Fortunately the vehicle had passed and the next one stopped so I could pick myself up. My travel coffee mug had skittered across the road (it fell out of the side pocket of my backpack). I extracted myself from under my bike, retrieved the mug, righted my bike, and walked, wounded pride and all, to the side of the road to assess damage. Lucky for me, no damage to my bike. My chain had slipped off, but that was it.

I, on the other hand, was not as lucky as my bike. I’m rather scraped up and a bit bruised. I have road rash on my elbow and knee. I haven’t had a skinned knee for over a decade. I had forgotten how much they sting (like a sonofab*tch). And I just know I’m going to have some nice looking bruises on my leg since most of my weight landed on my thigh. Ouch.

Oh, thank you to the nice woman walking by that stopped to make sure I was OK. I’m fine. Really. I just wish my mom could kiss my skinned elbow and knee and make it all better like she did when I was 8.


About slmcdanold

I’m learning to laugh at myself on a daily basis. I’m a librarian (cataloger) and I love it. My job involves all things metadata related in any and all formats. I have been known to cause a ruckus when necessary (aka troublesome cataloger) and make no apologies for it. I have a passion for continuing education and teaching. I’m a newbie coder (still learning). I like to cook. I’m a fan of rugby (go Australian Wallabies!) and ice hockey (go Detroit Red Wings!). I’m car-free and bike/walk a lot. I’m learning to love running one stride at a time. I own (and love) a very mouthy cat with a punk attitude and a slightly neurotic rescue mutt.
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