Over the weekend, Wolfeboro's problematic recreation trail claimed at least two more victims, sending one of them to the emergency room with a broken hip. That rider is one of the leading kidney disease researchers in the United States. The other victim would have gone to the emergency room, but said he was vacationing with a relative who is a doctor, so he would get patched up by her.
Earlier in the week we had repaired a hybrid bike for a rider who said the rear tire jammed in one of the rail crossings while she was towing a trail-a-bike. Apparently the bike sufferd the serious injuries in that case. The rear wheel was ruined.
Dr. Kidney is a very benevolent human being and an experienced road rider. He and his companions usually ride the road when they visit. For some reason he decided to check out the path. We did not know he was headed that way, or we would certainly have warned him about the trail's peculiarities.
I've joked that we should cross-promote with the hospital when we do bike rentals. We could offer a discount coupon or a gift basket of first aid supplies. But Dr. Kidney's injuries are no joke. He has been extremely helpful to people near to me who are in research studies for polycystic kidney disease. He and the other study doctors can't do anything about the fact that we have no health coverage, but it somehow feels a little better just being able to talk to him.
When we heard about the crash a couple of us really felt like heading over to the tracks with sledge hammers. It wouldn't fix the many treacherous spots designed into the trail, but it would help us pound out our frustration at it. It's basically a tantalizing trap, an illusion of a trail. We warn every rental group.
Wolfeboro's trail is certainly one of the best examples of so-called biking infrastructure that is actually harmful. We make do with scraps of money and awkward mergers. In this case it's a rail car club that insisted the rails be left or the trail could not be built at all. Perhaps one or more of their members should be required to pull a shift every day to help evacuate the injured.