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Crossing Railroad Tracks at a Right Angle


The important point when crossing a railroad track is to have your front wheel cross the tracks at a right angle to avoid it becoming caught in the space between the track and the pavement. Joe Etzler is demonstrating the correct front wheel angle in the picture below.

Step by Step Instructions

1. When you see tracks are coming up, check for traffic in the rear.  If you are riding with others, let them know you must ride single file across the tracks. If motorized traffic is very near, let them pass and cross first.

2. Signal then move over toward the center of the lane. You need to be able to maneuver left or right depending on track angle and conditions. Also, by being in the center of the lane you deter others from passing you.

3. Prepare to cross the tracks so your front wheel crosses at a right angle.Sometimes this means you move far out into the center of the road, near the centerline; other times this means you start on the right but must move to the left to cross safely.

4. Cross the tracks at a right angle, or as close to that as you can maneuver. Some tracks are tricky and make that difficult. You want to avoid your front wheel getting caught in the rut between the tracks.

5. Rough tracks need to be treated like any other tough surface - stand on your pedals to ride through the rough spots with control. Keep a firm grip on your handlebars.

6. After crossing the tracks, resume your normal lane positions needed for the road you are riding.

Let's see this in action in the following video.

Credit to the American Bicycle Education Association and Keri Caffrey

Hopefully this information will help you cross railroad tracks properly and you should be able to avoid an accident like the one that is shown in this next video.

If you would like to have a print copy of these instructions with photos of our very own Joe Etzler demonstrating each step just click on the link below.

Crossing tracks.pdf

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