|Approaching SRT tracks|
The other side of not derailling my efforts is making smart decisions on the bike. This means not taking unnecessary risks, especially around railroad tracks. I learned the hard way late last year that tracks are not something to toy with. I was lucky that my injuries were minor, and I was able to ride away. If you talk to folks that have been riding for a while, a majority have stories to tell about railroad tracks. Works like "fracture" or "crack" are often used in combination with "clavical or hip". Just this spring I've had multiple friends end up off the bike for extended periods of time while their injuries heal. These are folks with tens of thousands of miles on the bike; I've riden with them on events like the Assault on Mt Mitchell. These aren't novice riders that didn't know how to handle tracks.
After my encounter, I felt like I had just been body slammed by a professional wrestler. One moment I was crossing the tracks, the next I was picking myself off the ground. There wasn't a moment of "I'm going to fall" or "oh this is going to hurt". Anything that happened between when my wheel caught the rail and I went down was done purely on instinct. I had to have landed on my right arm, as it was tender for several weeks afterwards. If I had more time, I probably would have had worse injuries, as I probably would have attempted to put my arm out to brace myself.