Jump to content

Metal grate bridges. (Long post)


Longjohn
 Share

Recommended Posts

Watching G-man crossing the bridge made me think of some of the bridges I’ve crossed. I was looking for a good bike trail in Virginia before I drove to Williamsburg for a week long visit with my sister in law. Actually I was going for a week long bicycle adventure while my wife visited with her sisters. Google brought me to Virginia’s Capital Trail website. I was excited to see a paved trail from Virginia’s historic capital of Jamestown to their modern capital of Richmond.

I got up early and started at sunrise. It was twenty miles down the Colonial Parkway to the beginning of the trail. It was going to be a long day, I think the website said the trail was 60 miles. 20 miles to the trail + 60 miles of trail and then turn around and repeat 160 miles.

I got as far as the river and it appeared the trail ended. WHAT? They were constructing a big new bridge to cross the river but it was far from being finished. I assumed the trail was supposed to cross that new bridge. The old bridge was a draw bridge, one lane each direction, metal grate. There were no signs saying bicycles were not allowed on the bridge but it looked like a terrible place to ride. I went for it, I had to go fast because there was no way traffic could get around me on such a narrow bridge. I made it across but couldn’t find where the trail picked back up. I rode about five miles or so on the road looking for the trail before giving up and turning around and riding back across that draw bridge again. Probably the worst bridge I have ever crossed.

It turns out Virginia got ahead of themselves with their trail website. The trail did not exist yet it was in the process of being built. All they had was about six miles of the 60 mile trail built. How hard would it be to mention on the website that it was under construction?

What challenging bridges have you crossed on your bike?

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Just now, bikeman564™ said:

There's a couple bridges near me that have grating, and I've crossed them many times at all speeds w/o issue. But all times have been dry. I hear if the grating is wet then a slippery factor is applied.

This drawbridge was not in the best of shape. I’m thinking because it was going to be replaced the maintenance was minimal.  The drawbridge operator was in a cab I had to ride under and he gave me a look like he had never seen a bicycle cross the bridge before. This is RR’s area, he is probably familiar with it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've crossed over a few metal grate bridges over the years. Fun to look down and see the river below. However as I mentioned in another post, they can be slippery and I wouldn't want to slide on one. I was following some friends who were on a tandem over such a bridge. They started fishtailing badly and were lucky enough to get stopped before crashing. Illinois has now covered about 3" feet wide of that surface and made it a bike lane.

Years ago many of the bridges from the Katy Trail across the Missouri River were horrible for both cars and bicycles. The one into Hermann was really bad. You could call someone to take you over in a pickup truck or call the cops who would block a lane if they weren't too busy.  Fortunately they have all been rebuilt or modified with bicycles in mind. 

  • Awesome 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Before I gave my mountain bike to my son I explored some proposed bike trails on old railroad beds. Rail beds are pretty rough before some improvements are made to them. I rode across a railroad bridge that didn’t have a deck, just the railroad ties. They were spaced fairly close together but even on the mountain bike it was a rough ride.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m not smart enough to copy & paste images off the web but if somebody could post an image of the Bixby Creek Bridge in Big Sur CA Id appreciate it.

The scary thing about that bridge is there is hardly any shoulder and the retaining stone wall is about up to your waist.  You get clipped by a car or loose your nerve and hit the side you are going over the wall.

Crossing that bridge on a bike was scary as shit and spectacular all in one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Longjohn said:

Especially with the Japs guarding it.C80D995C-1C2D-4FFE-8909-276AFA5854A1.thumb.png.b1a2f87abd268862bea14976b93eef38.png

My dad was a POW at Changhi Prison during WW II. (Where they took the prisoners from to build the bridge).  He took exception with that movie... Kill 20% of the prisoners for sport,  let another 20% die of starvation and work to death 10% and you would have a more accurate portrayal.

  • Sad 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Longjohn said:

Watching G-man crossing the bridge made me think of some of the bridges I’ve crossed. I was looking for a good bike trail in Virginia before I drove to Williamsburg for a week long visit with my sister in law. Actually I was going for a week long bicycle adventure while my wife visited with her sisters. Google brought me to Virginia’s Capital Trail website. I was excited to see a paved trail from Virginia’s historic capital of Jamestown to their modern capital of Richmond.

What year was that trip?  That does seem insane! 

One of these days I will drag my butt down there and ride it. I think it is pretty flat, and when I have looked at the ride - places to stop, things to do - I am not overly pressed to get down there :(  I'd probably try the Virginia Creeper Trail first instead of the Capital Trail.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...