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Tram Tracks 電車軌

In Hong Kong, riding inbetween the tram tracks is done by quite a few delivery cyclists, and can be a good (and relatively traffic free) way of getting along Hong Kong Island, though there is the ever-present danger of the tram tracks, and the bumpiness of the road painted tram markings.

不少單車騎士選擇在騎在電車軌之間,貪其車輛較少,行駛較順暢。若是這樣,請注意電車軌本身以及路面上崎嶇不平的電車標記對單車來說構成不少危險。

How to safely cross tram tracks

If your bicycle wheel, especially the front wheel, slips or gets caught on trams tracks it can result in a nasty fall. The key to dealing with tram tracks is to cross them at a right angle (or at least a big angle) in an upright position, avoid braking and move your weight back on the saddle. The skills apply to all slippery surfaces including tram tracks and are especially important in the wet when things are extra slippery.

萬一單車輪(尤其前輪)不幸在電車軌上滑倒,甚至卡在軌內,有可能導致嚴重翻車意外。竅門是:車把向前,以90度直角橫過電車軌(起碼大切入角度)、重心向後、避免剎車。這方法對所有地滑均有作用,天雨路濕時尤其重要。

As for other road riding skills, the key is looking ahead and planning your actions. Look ahead for tram tracks and select your travel line and actions beforehand rather than having to bail out at the last moment and risk putting yourself in a hazardous situation.

與其他單車技巧一樣,眼看四方,預早決定下一步動作。看定前方電車軌,預行選擇行車路線及下步動作,以免最後關頭才左閃右避令自己狼狽不堪,徒增危險。

The two most common tram track crashes are:

  • The front wheel sliding out from under you on the tracks, and
  • One or both wheels getting caught in the tracks.
兩個在鐵軌上最常發生的意外:
  • 前輪往兩旁滑開
  • 車輪卡在路軌中

The key to avoiding both is to cross the tracks as close as possible to a right angle – avoid crossing tram tracks while travelling parallel or near to parallel to the tracks. Start your turn before you cross the tram tracks so you are in an upright position and not actually turning when you cross the tracks.

重點是盡量用直角切入並橫過路軌—避免以平行或接近平行的角度橫過路軌。先轉向後過軌,確保過軌時車把與車身方向一致。

When trams turn at road intersections the tracks take a long arc around the corner. This means you may find yourself crossing the tracks at less than a right angle. Don’t panic – just stay off the brakes, move your weight back on the saddle and “coast” over the tracks at the biggest angle possible (try for more than a 45 degree angle to the tracks).

電車在十字路口的轉彎弧度很大,意味著騎單車時的切入角度將不足90度。別緊張—放開剎車制,重心傾後,用最大切入角駛過鐵軌(試試多個45度角切入)。

Watch out for trams 小心電車

Sounds obvious but it has to be said. Don’t forget to look for trams when crossing tram tracks – they can be travelling at over 30 km/h. Sometimes when cycling on the road you may get too focused on cars and trucks and can forget about trams. Trams can hide behind other trams as can cars and trucks, so make sure both directions are clear before crossing tram tracks. Pay particular attention when crossing behind a tram as it can hide trams and vehicles travelling in the opposite direction.

聽似廢腑之言,但總要提醒一下:橫越路軌時切記眼觀四方電單。有時候,專注力都往放到汽車上去,反而忽略了電車。如普通私家車或貨車一樣,電車亦會被另一輛電車遮擋。故此必須事先確定兩邊都沒有電車才橫過路軌。在電車後橫過時要打醒十二分精神,因為她很可能擋著你的視線,令你看不見對面行車線的車輛。

Stop for tram passengers 電單上落客,請停車

Bicycles, as legal road vehicles, are required like all other vehicles to stop behind trams that have stopped on the road to pick up or drop of passengers.

身為合法的道路使用者,當電車停下上落客之際,尾隨之單車必須停車等待。

So ride sensibly, look ahead and anticipate. Remember:  right angles; no brakes; weight back, and you’re on track.

眼看四方保持警覺,預早盤算行車,做個明智的單車騎士。切記:直角﹔別剎車﹔重心傾後。一路順風!

2 Responses

  • Chung says:

    Is it legal to ride inbetween tram tracks; especially so for tram tracks which being marked as out of bound for other motor vehicles considering bikes are treated as an ordinary vehicle?

    • wheeliefine says:

      Short answer: we’re not sure. Advice is conflicted and it’s hard to tell from the ordinances.

      For instance, the Tram regulations (Cap 107, s68) say:

      Nothing in this Ordinance shall take away or abridge the right of the public to pass along or across every or any part of any public road along or across which the tramway is laid, whether on or off the tramway, with carriages, cars or vehicles not having flange-wheels suitable only to run on the rails of the tramway.

      Some police have said that we should not use tramlines; others can’t see why not.

      Normal road rules apply, of course, – so if you cross double white lines, that must be illegal. But if you join the tramway at an open crossing, and then ride along, between (but not crossing) double white lines? Not sure.
      Other normal road laws / RUC rules apply, such as that all vehicles (with bikes especially specified) are supposed to keep left when not passing.

      From a safety point of view, I’m concerned that tramlines are not good for us – junctions are not designed for us to be aware of other vehicle movements, or other drivers to be expecting us. There can be debris on the tracks, and tram passengers aren’t expecting us either, so cycling fast is not really possible.

      Moreover, in the big picture, if we use the tramlines, ie. avoid using the road, motorists and the public get the wrong impression that we aren’t supposed to be on the road. We are, we have the right. If we don’t use it, we may lose it!



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