Why The Face? – Trains

I’m fortunate to have showers at work so I can run during my lunch break.  There’s a route through nearby neighborhoods that take me over train tracks right at the end.  As I was finishing up I saw a train coming.  Not one to risk death to save 3 minutes, I decided to let it pass rather than jump the tracks.  Smart, right?  BUZZ.  Just after the engine passed me I heard it downshift and start braking.  A minute later, it was stopped.  I saw 4 options:

  1. Run to the front of the train and go around the engine.
  2. Run to the back of the train and go around the last car.
  3. Wait.
  4. Go over / through the train.
I stood there for a good 5 minutes debating:
  1. What if the train starts going while I’m running towards the front?  Longer wait.  No.
  2. How long is this thing?  Is there even anywhere to run alongside it?  No.
  3. No.
  4. Obviously yes.
In true Wesley Snipes fashion, I tossed my water bottle through the train, hoisted myself up onto a train car, and shimmied through to the other side.  I hopped off and wrapped up my run.  No big deal.  But seriously?

WTF!  Stupid trains.

4 thoughts on “Why The Face? – Trains

  1. EBK says:

    I agree. Damn trains. In Clarksville, TN there is a century (100 mile) bike ride that takes place every year boasting the flattest, fastest, easiest 100 miles that has been meticulously measured forward and backward by people who matter to be exactly 100 miles. The goal of the “racer” cyclist is to work as a group fighting the wind to set the fastest 100 mile ride. (not ever, but for this event. To my knowledge no Pro’s have shown up but they would be crushing this). The best time so far was 3:47.
    I participated one year. We immediately got out of the parking lot and up to 27-28 mph. I did more than my fair share in the first 2 hours and was fell off the group at mile 75, but I tried to keep the pace up because we had gone fast enough in the first 3 hours that I might still be able to break 4 hours.
    Then the damn train. The lead group which was only a minute ahead crossed the tracks right as a very slow moving train came and stopped. With neither end in sight, and the next aid station on the other side of the tracks, I was very tempted to carry by bike between the train cars. I decided not to because things could have been really dangerous in cycling shoes if that train started moving. The guy on the other side of the train said there was an overpass a mile down the road. Great. now I’m up to 102 miles by the time I get back.
    A group had accumulated and we did the extra bit, but with hopes of still setting a good personal time, I skipped the aid station and continued while everyone else stopped.
    Then the train got me again. I was by myself and missed a turn. After riding for several miles on a main highway I knew something wasn’t right. I flagged down a car and asked they had seen a bunch of cyclists – nope. damn. I got back to the aid station and saw my error.
    I ended up riding 107 miles in about 4 hours and 15. Damn trains.

    • Mike says:

      Whoa buddy. It was probably the same train that messed with me too. Union Pacific? Thought so. You should’ve hopped the train. Did any other cyclists who were behind you catch up while you were stopped at the train?

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