Unseen Mold Causes Florida Bicyclist To Fall
People who live in the north where ice is frequently on the highways know that “black ice” is extremely dangerous. The problem is that people can’t see the danger and cannot take preventive action to stop a serious accident. We almost never have ice on the highway in Florida and mostly bicyclists would not be riding in the extreme cold anyway.
However, there is an unseen danger on some bicycle trails for Florida bicyclists which approximates the black ice phenomenon in the north. Many bicycle trails in Florida have trees and other shrubbery which provide a good deal of shade. Florida, of course, is extremely humid and provides a perfect place for mold or mildew to grow.
Some bicycle trails are constructed of asphalt, and when shady can contain areas of moldy growth that blend in with the asphalt. These moldy areas can be extremely slippery and next to impossible to see. We have seen a number of instances in which bicyclists have fallen because of this unseen slippery condition. Some of them have been seriously injured.
In Florida the operator of a bicycle trail is responsible for maintaining it in a safe condition and if there are known risks, are also responsible to warn of the danger. The operator also has a responsibility to inspect the condition of the trail to determine whether or not there are any unsafe areas. If the trail operator does not comply with these important responsibilities, bicyclists can be seriously injured.
We certainly recommend that Florida bicyclists who are going to use shady trails ask trail operators about the existence of any dangerous slippery conditions. Falling from a bicycle can, of course, cause extreme injury.