Those who ride bicycles in The Villages need to avoid the hazard of storm drain grates; otherwise, they could end up with a broken neck or worse.
The hazard is the type of storm drainage grate that is prevalent in the tunnels and villa areas throughout The Villages. So, all cyclists need to be careful.
The photo (below) shows what happened to a bicycle and its rider during a group ride with the Sumter Landing Bicycle Club.
The group ride was from Sumter Landing to the Village of Fenney and return. After a break at the picnic tables at the Spanish Moss Recreation area, the SLBC group was getting the ride restarted when the accident occurred.
Luckily, only a minor injury occurred because the accident happened at a very slow speed; the victim rode her bike back to Sumter Landing.
The SLBC maintains a database for cycling accidents requiring medical attention.
That database contains two serious accidents due to a bicycle wheel caught in the gap between the grate and the grate frame; in December 2014 one accident resulted in multiple fractured vertebras in the neck. At typical cycling speeds, and higher, the bike stops instantaneously and the cyclist flies over the handlebars onto the pavement. Three accidents have been reported; we do not know the total number of bicycle/grate accidents which have occurred over the last few years.
All cyclists need to avoid this hazard.