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Discussion Starter #1


Mr. Rancher recently remodeled some cattleguards on county roads. Yes, he replaced pipes that were perpendicular to the roadway with rails that are parallel to travel and spaced just wide enough to threaten even a fat tired motorcycle and definitely trap a lesser bike.

Fortunately he left on pair of rails at a closer spacing which I have successfully ridden across on numerous occasions, but always at slow speed and aware that if the tire falls into the slot, its an endover. Here's the strip I cross on.







Its been that way for my last dozen trips and I had not thought much about it, but once I stopped to take these pictures today, I've come close to scaring myself. If the tire (front) falls in that slot, the bike will stop. I guess I'll talk to the local highway maintenance guy and see if there is a remedy. Be careful. Tom
 

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If the general public has access to that road, the rancher might appreciate you bringing the hazard he's created to his attention before a motorcyclist or mountain biker crashes. I'm sure he'd rather hear it from you than from a lawyer! I would imagine that there's a pretty good chance he doesn't even realize the danger.
 

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I'm surprised that your county signed off on that. No one builds a cattle guard that way except maybe on private land when they're trying to use up scrap.



Just sayin'.
 

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Wow! Thats an accident waiting to happen. At least you can see it though. One of my usual riding spots has grass thats about a foot tall. I was riding my usual route and stopped dead in my tracks by a telephone pole lying in the field. It was only then that I realized under all that grass was about 6 inches of mud. Needless to say, that was a pita to get out of. Nothing was hurt too bad except for my pride when I smacked my helmet in the front fender.
 

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If the general public has access to that road, the rancher might appreciate you bringing the hazard he's created to his attention before a motorcyclist or mountain biker crashes. I'm sure he'd rather hear it from you than from a lawyer! I would imagine that there's a pretty good chance he doesn't even realize the danger.




i second donbenito.
 

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I think an alternative way would be to cross it at a 45 degree angle.

Personally, I like the kind painted on the asphalt. Very easy to deal with.
 

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I think an alternative way would be to cross it at a 45 degree angle.

Personally, I like the kind painted on the asphalt. Very easy to deal with.




Cross it at the maximum possible angle, post to post.....more like 80 degrees.
 

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How do [insert rival town here] mothers keep their daughters home on a Saturday night?

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Paint a cattle guard on their porch.

[rim shot]
 

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somebody is gonna get hurt on that! I agree on taking it pole to pole on an angle.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Dumb me I assumed it was some clueless rancher who was saving metal or taking out a grudge on a motorcyclist that was dating his daughter. Alas, not so, I called the County Highway department and the supervisor informs me that his crews were installing the new guards and "could not change them for lack of funds", he was limited in his ability to do anything because he was unsure who owned the land on the other side of the guard (its hundreds of landowners of lots from 5 to 80 acres in size), and his inclination was to close the road until funds were available (not realizing how many people actually used these three access points to some 100 square miles of private land and access to a 14,000 acre conservation area and the Manzano Wilderness area and bordering national forest sites. I have just addressed my concerns in writing to my local county commissioner and am awaiting some response as to the willingness of the county to acknowledge the liability that they would face if a serious accident occurrs or their response to the risks that their cattleguards pose.

For those who are not familiar with western customs, NM is an open range state which means that cattle have the right to graze anywhere that they are not fenced out or excluded from. If you want to keep cattle from your property you may be required by law to have a four strand barbed wire fence or to tolerate 'my" cows in your yard. As a result the State and County governments are responsible for fence literally thousands and hundreds of thousands of miles of road edges to keep cows from traffic and from entering area where they are inappropriate. This is one case where the government can't meet its intended responsibility without impinging on other citizens. Mind you I don't normal rail against the government, and in this case I'm focusing my complaints against a bad manager and planner. Lets see where it goes, but motorcycles deserve consideration too. End of soap box. Tom
 

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Dumb me I assumed it was some clueless rancher who was saving metal or taking out a grudge on a motorcyclist that was dating his daughter. Alas, not so, I called the County Highway department and the supervisor informs me that his crews were installing the new guards and "could not change them for lack of funds", he was limited in his ability to do anything because he was unsure who owned the land on the other side of the guard (its hundreds of landowners of lots from 5 to 80 acres in size), and his inclination was to close the road until funds were available (not realizing how many people actually used these three access points to some 100 square miles of private land and access to a 14,000 acre conservation area and the Manzano Wilderness area and bordering national forest sites. I have just addressed my concerns in writing to my local county commissioner and am awaiting some response as to the willingness of the county to acknowledge the liability that they would face if a serious accident occurrs or their response to the risks that their cattleguards pose.

For those who are not familiar with western customs, NM is an open range state which means that cattle have the right to graze anywhere that they are not fenced out or excluded from. If you want to keep cattle from your property you may be required by law to have a four strand barbed wire fence or to tolerate 'my" cows in your yard. As a result the State and County governments are responsible for fence literally thousands and hundreds of thousands of miles of road edges to keep cows from traffic and from entering area where they are inappropriate. This is one case where the government can't meet its intended responsibility without impinging on other citizens. Mind you I don't normal rail against the government, and in this case I'm focusing my complaints against a bad manager and planner. Lets see where it goes, but motorcycles deserve consideration too. End of soap box. Tom


Where bureaucracy and cattle lobbies fail, a couple of quality pieces of 4'x8' plywood and some molly bolts might prevail!





And if that's not your flavor, might I suggest running for county office? From the pics you've posted they seem to be in need of a replacement for the cadaver currently in charge of cattle guard design.
 

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Maybe you can get them to weld a 8" wide plate across it for motorcycles to use. Or maybe just leave a piece of plywood there.
 

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It's hard to tell from a picture, but it looks like the underlying beams could be cut about where your tire is resting and the two halves rotated 90 degrees and reinstalled. In any case, let me commend you Peruano, for your response to the problem. It's always better to help solve the problem than to merely complain about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
B-dub, Thanks for your understanding that I'm trying to be reasonable and solve the problem if possible. I wrote to my county commissioner and while I've not heard from him, he obviously passed my concern on the the road guys supervisor, who wrote on my email that he will check it it out this week. Good enough for me for the moment. Lets see what happens. As to diagonal approaches, that is one strategy, but that metal can be slippery and anything less than 90 degrees and with considerable momentum stands to risk deflecting that wheel into the slot. I don't like to play with those dangers when I don't have to. Welding some mesh or welded wire to make a motorcycle track would work (if the cows would not learn to walk that track), but lets see what the highway boys come up with. Tom
 

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as a county worker, I can say that if a biker gets hurt on a county road because of a non-motorcycle cattle guard with no warning signs............one law suit will rip the county a new one!. This is stupid. and looks like someone got a deal on short rails! Good deals always come with a price. If anyone has a wrecked bike, haul it to one of these and lay it on the ground. Call the police and get a report. Make the county buy you a new bike!.....Maybe then they will get off their asses and fix them before someone really gets hurt.
 
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