A new study confirms central Arkansas bicyclists’ greatest fear is getting their wheels stuck in the River Rail Trolley tracks. In 97 percent of cases, the bikes (and their cyclist) wreck or fall once trapped. The study, released by Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas, shows a record number of cyclists fearing the tracks, surpassing the previous number one fear: accidents with motor vehicles.
“My bike can take a lot,” an anonymous bike shop owner confided, “I ran over a dachshund once – my bike kept rolling like nothing happened. But those tracks will mess you up.”
The River Rail Trolley transports people between Little Rock and North Little Rock downtowns, stopping by several city landmarks. For many citizens, it is a beloved local attraction.
“That Trolley is the pride of our city!” said River Rail enthusiast Judge Buddy Villines. “We’ve always told the bikers to ride perpendicular to the tracks!”
Judge Villines represents the City’s official stance on the problem: they recommend crossing the tracks at a 90 degree angle. However, this solution does little to justify the danger and embarrassment caused by accidents, according to local bikers.
“I’ve seen a guy flip head-over-handlebars after getting trapped,” said bicycle enthusiast Katie Hawkins. “His helmet saved his life, but not his ego.”
The tracks run through many downtown hot-spots and restaurants with window seating. Accidents happen in the public eye, and for many cyclists, the patrons’ heckling is worse than physical damage.
“The tracks caused me to wreck in front of the Flying Saucer once. It was Friday night and the place was packed, all those windows…I wasn’t hurt, but the laughing was brutal,” said Hawkins.
City officials have no intentions to combat the problem further. They plan to remain informed on details surrounding the issue, and may take further steps to ensure safety in the future.
According to the study released by BACA, the third and fourth greatest fears for central Arkansas cyclists were pedestrians who do not heed shouts of “On the left!”, and getting made fun of for wearing spandex, respectively.
*The dachshund previously mentioned was healthy and happy as of press time.