What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

08 April 2011

G is for Gaffe

I rarely take a picture and afterwards
think, 'Hey, that's exactly what it
looked like!' But this is exactly what
it looked like.
So the bicycle and I were on the train the other day, as is our wont on days when we've been working hard at Bike Texas and want an easy ride home (taking the train removes most of the hills from my cycling route). I really enjoy the train for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is watching the scenery go by. Stuff around train tracks is off the beaten path, as it were, so you see a lot of graffiti or back lots or just slices of life that you wouldn't normally see while driving by. I love it.

The train in Austin starts out downtown, heads east for a little way, then swings around to the north, which means that it crosses some streets at an odd angle. Which further means that the signal gates are set pretty far back from the tracks on either side just to cut across the angle safely. Far enough back, in fact, for a car to fit between the tracks and the gate...

Yes, that's what I saw. I don't know if the car just got caught when the gates started coming down (because as I said, there is quite some distance between them; it's totally conceivable that someone might get caught), or if the driver was unwisely sitting on the tracks and didn't get off of them quickly enough, or if he didn't want the gate hitting the top of the car so he stopped behind it. Whatever it was, the nose of the car was right up against the gate (as you would be, if there were a train coming!), and fortunately the train had plenty of clearance, so the car was in no danger. I'm just sad that my camera was put away for the whole thing.

I don't know what the driver did once the gate raised and he was free to continue. He probably went home with this wacky story to tell. I do know if it had been me caught between a signal gate and a train, I would have had to pull over at the nearest open spot and have a lie down before continuing (fortuitously, there is a park very near this particular area). And then I'd have to get up and walk around a bit, thanking God that I was still alive and in one piece. And then I would finish my drive home, carefully avoiding all train tracks.

That's what I would have to do. What would you do?


Tiger85 said...

If I got caught between the gate and a train, I would freak out. Once freed I'd drive to where it was safe and thank God for keeping me safe and the fact I would see tommorrow. I would also avoid train tracks for a while. =)


Carole Anne Carr said...

Thank goodness no one was injured. Would like to know why that happened. :0)

Susan Oloier said...

I can already feel my heart pounding and pulse racing during that read. I would probably cry from the come down and the relief of being okay.

Anonymous said...

probably wet myself

Su said...

@Tiger: Yep, me, too.

@Carole: Me, too. Traffic was really backed up on this street, so I think the driver probably just was unlucky with his timing.

@Susan: Oh, yeah, I forgot the crying part. I would have to do that, too.

@mybabyjohn: Another excellent point.

Donna said...

I'm with mybabyjohn. Definitely wet myself.

Charlie's Church of Christ said...

what's the gate made of? I would have busted through. and then probably cried and drove home to family for the guinness book of world records longest group hug.

GigglesandGuns said...

Be sick comes to mind. Getting checked out at the hospital. Don't you think the police will be looking for the person? Oh, the story possibilities her. orry.

Su said...

@Donna: It would be a good day to be wearing Depends, methinks.

@Charlie: Fiberglass, I guess? Just your normal signal gate. Actually, I think most people call them signal arms, I've just gotten in the habit of calling them "gates", for some reason. I'm sure it's totally possible to run through it.

@Giggles: Didn't think of that, but yeah, I think there would be some sickness involved! IDK about the hospital-- there was no actual damage done to anything. And while they were legally trespassing since the signal gate was down, the police probably aren't bothering. But yeah, this definitely has "novel fodder" written all over it.

SharleneT said...

Start singing, "Lord, I'm Coming Home!" Great timing, for you, to get a story and pix. Can't imagine how the driver felt. Hope the seats were waterproof...

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