Caught in the tram tracks
As an inexperienced cyclist, I was not aware of the danger that tram tracks pose to bicyclists. While on a tour of the regeneration efforts along an historic industrial canal, my front wheel suddenly lodged in the cavity of a tram track. The jolt hurled me over the handlebars onto the timeless cobblestones of Brussels.
Bloodied and broken, I was immediately assisted by a good Samaritan who carried medical supplies in his car for just this sort of occurrence. He was impressively prepared with a neck brace, pillow, and body splint, which permitted my horrified tour colleagues to carefully move me off the tracks to avoid the oncoming tram.
Police and medical personnel arrived momentarily and whisked me off to the best medical care that I have ever received—not once being asked about my medical insurance.
Apparently, getting one’s bicycle wheel caught in a tram track is not an uncommon incident. I have learned that European designers are working on a spring-loaded cover for the track cavity. The tram wheel pushes aside the cover when in contact with that portion of the track. The cover slides back once the wheel has moved on, restoring a level surface for bicyclists.
Until this safety solution is implemented, bicyclists should be aware of the danger that tram tracks pose, as more cities invest in shared surface track-dependent transit.